The lesson from the overnight session would appear to be: $6 corn looks pretty good to the world’s importers (including China rumored to buy 400-500k tonnes) for summer needs; the trade is anxiously looking forward to this morning’s export sales for further confirmation/ammunition.
South Korea bought 50,000 tonnes of South American corn at $298.75/ ton, for arrival by August 25; last month they had purchased a cargo for $318/ton.
Traders are expecting Japanese feed manufacturers to finalize prices shortly on another 1.6 MMT of corn for May-June shipment, as they have yet to lock in the remainder of their 2012 Q2 purchases (which total around 3.2 MMT). Japan did buy 139k tonnes of milling wheat as expected in their regular weekly tender, including 89k tonnes from the U.S., 21k from Canada, and 30k from Australia, with shipment dates ranging from May through July.
Argentine industry leaders and officials are considering increasing the country’s corn export quota by 3-4 million tonnes—the current level is 7.5 MMT—to help reduce restrictions on farmers and aid domestic production.
A USDA attaché in Mexico estimated the country’s 2012/13 corn production at 21 million tonnes, compared to 18.6 MMT in the current year; an attaché in the European Union pegged the bloc’s 2012/13 total grain output at 284 MMT, in line with 2011/12 production and keeping stocks levels tight. And finally, an attaché in Indonesia pegged 2011/12 wheat imports there at 7.4 million tonnes, up 12% from last year’s 6.6 MMT figure.
The United Nations estimated Iraq’s cereal import requirements at 5.1 MMT for 2011/12, a record high due to lower domestic production and higher demand; that amount includes 3.7 MMT of wheat and 1.3 MMT of rice.
India’s Farm Ministry officials raised their 2011/12 food grain production forecast by another 2+ MMT this month to a record 252.56 MMT, up from 244.78 MMT last season.