March 29, 2012
China purchases 360,000 tonnes US corn for May/June
Private Chinese importers have bought six cargoes, or about 360,000 tonnes, of US corn for May and June delivery from the US Pacific Northwest in the first large sale to the country since late February, according to trade sources on Wednesday (Mar 28).
The corn was purchased from multiple sellers at prices in the low US$320 per tonne, including cost and freight, they said, but declined to comment on which grain companies were involved.
The corn will be shipped to southern China, where prices for domestically produced grain were at a considerable premium to imported supplies, traders said.
China, historically self-sufficient in corn, has become a large importer in recent years, as demand has outpaced its domestic production.
Benchmark corn futures on the CBOT declined on Wednesday despite widespread talk of the large sale to China as traders were squaring positions ahead of a US government report on prospective plantings and quarterly stocks on Friday.
Rumours of Chinese buying have fuelled strong futures market rallies in the past, but traders said selling pressure on Wednesday more than offset news of the sales.