Market Perspectives June 14, 2013

Country News

Argentina: Argentine grain exports may hit a snag next week, as farmers will begin a five-day suspension of crop sales on Saturday June 15 to protest government policies, according to Reuters. In anticipation of the strike, exporters purchased more than their usual amounts of corn to try and ease the potential negative impact; however, corn stocks available for purchase were at very low levels. As of Thursday, there were 149 ships lined up and waiting to load grain along the Argentine coast. So long as they are kept on standby, it is estimated that exporters will have to pay in the neighborhood of $20,000 per day per ship. Argentina is the world’s third-largest corn exporter, and recent government data indicates that farmers have harvested 74 percent of the 2012/13 corn crop.

China: China is expected to increase corn imports this year, as feed mills and other commercial interests have stockpiled a larger-than-expected amount of corn, tightening domestic supplies, reports Reuters.

India: Heavy rain in eastern India’s corn belt has delayed shipments of some 500,000 MTof corn and caused feed grain supplies in Southeast Asia to tighten, according to Reuters. India is Asia’s largest producer of corn and the traditional supplier for the region; however, the inclement weather could give global exporting giants like Brazil and Argentina a chance to increase their market access. The situation has increased the cost of Indian corn to about $300/MT C&F, which is up $20-30 from prices offered in May. In comparison, Argentine corn is being offered in Southeast Asia at between $270-280/MT.

Japan: The Japanese Agricultural Ministry has issued a tender this week for 200,000 MT of feed barley, reports Reuters.

South Africa: South African corn fell again this week, continuing a recent trend, according to Bloomberg News. White corn for July delivery fell by 2.1 percent to $229.23/MT, which is its lowest closing price in 10 days. Yellow corn for July shipment has dropped by 2.2 percent to $225.98. The rand gained 2.6 percent against the dollar on Thursday, which made imports a cheaper alternative to domestic purchases

Ukraine: Ukraine is actively looking to improve its grain exports this year and intends to do so through re-establishing trade links in Middle Eastern countries that were negatively impacted by political unrest, reports Reuters. Ukraine is expected to have a 17 percent increase in its grain output this year for a possible total of 54 MMT (28 MMT of which is corn), which could make its exports as high as 27 MMT, up from the 23 MMT exported in the 2012/13 season.