Market Perspectives – March 4, 2021

Country News

Brazil: The Instituto Mato-grossense de Economia Agropecuária (IMEA) estimated the safrinha corn planting in the state at 54.6 percent complete, versus 35.9 percent a week ago and 91.9 percent a year ago. However, 10-15 percent of it will need to be replanted due to poor seed germination. Meanwhile, AgRural says the overall Brazilian safrinha corn crop is 39 percent planted, versus 24 percent a week ago and the 67 percent pace of a year earlier. Conab reports first corn crop harvesting at 23.3 percent complete, on par with a year ago. The first corn crop, about 25 percent of total production, has failed in two southern states (Rio Grande do Sul and Santa Catarina), but is in good condition elsewhere. The safrinha corn crop remains dependent on weather conditions in the next few weeks. (Reuters; Refinitiv; Ohio’s Country Journal)

China: The pig herd is back at 86 percent of its 2018 size and feed output is rising as well. The stronger yuan is increasing the demand for imported grain. (High Plains Journal; JCI)

EU: FranceAgriMer reports that the French barley crop is in good condition. The maize milling association Euromaisiers says its members milled 1.76 MMT of maize in 2019. The EU produces a total of 60 MMT of maize but less than 2 MMT goes to dry milling. Dry milled maize goes to food with beer making the largest user but in a stagnant beer market. Snacks are the second largest user and finally cereals, which has been falling. However, the export market for gluten-free maize flour is growing. GMO-free is another growth market. Sourcing material is a larger issue than price. Maize genetics are advancing in dent corn, but maize millers use flint corn. Additionally, consumers must cover the cost of new demands such as health, environment, and sustainability. (Refinitiv; World Grain)

South Korea: During a dip in CBOT prices, Nonghyup Feed Inc. purchased 137 KMT of corn at $294.30/MT. (AgriCensus)

Taiwan: MFIG purchased 65 KMT of corn. (AgriCensus)

Ukraine: APK-Inform says the export price for corn rose $2/MT to $260-267/MT, and barley rose $2-3/MT to $256-263/MT. Exports total 13.96 MMT of corn and 3.96 MMT barley thus far in the July 2020 – June 2021 marketing year. The Deputy Minister says that this year’s crop includes 34 MMT of corn and 9.5 MMT of barley. He does not foresee the need for export restrictions. Japan just purchased 175 KMT of corn. (Reuters; Refinitiv)

Zimbabwe: Following two years of drought, good weather this year will cause maize output to triple to 2.8 MMT. (Refinitiv)