April 30, 2012


IGC lowers Iran's soymeal import forecast by 11%


Iran's soymeal imports' forecast in the current marketing year that ends September has been lowered by the International Grains Council Friday (Apr 27) by 11% to 1.7 million tonnes.


There has been strong market speculation recently that Iran is aggressively buying soymeal amid concerns about the latest international sanctions over its disputed nuclear programme and what may come next in its dispute with the West but IGC said the imports are likely to be unchanged from last year.


It also cut the earlier forecast for Iran's soy imports in 2011-12 by a third to 400,000 tonnes, down 43% on year.


IGC also revised lower its forecast for Iran's wheat imports in the marketing year ending June 30, by 7% to 2.8 million tonnes amid prospects of higher domestic output.


Imports were hardly 100,000 tonnes in 2010-11 but Iran has recently turned to all major wheat exporters, including the US, to secure supply and aggressively replenish its stocks.


Little fresh business relating to Iran's wheat imports is confirmed, aside from the purchases of around 50,000 tonnes of feed wheat each from the Black Sea region and Australia, IGC said.


Based on actual reported trade, Iran's wheat imports totalled around 400,000 tonnes up to the end of February, mostly from Russia, Australia, Brazil, the EU, Kazakhstan and Canada, it said.


In addition, recent unconfirmed purchases are around 1.9 million tonnes, including around 900,000 tonnes from the Black Sea region, 300,000 tonnes each from the US and Australia, and 200,000 tonnes each from the EU and Brazil, it added.


IGC said wheat production prospects in Iran remain favourable, with widespread rains giving a boost to yield prospects. Production is forecast around 7.4% higher in 2012-13 at 14.5 million tonnes, it added. This will push up grains output, which had declined in 2011-12 due to unfavourable weather.


Iran's total grains output in 2011-12 is estimated to have declined 12% to 18.3 million tonnes including a 13% fall in wheat output to 13.5 million tonnes and 17% fall in barley output to 2.9 million tonnes.


Its total grains imports in the marketing year ending June 30, 2012 are projected to jump by 76% to 7.4 million tonnes, including a more than doubling of barley imports to 900,000 tonnes and unchanged on year corn imports of 3.7 million tonnes.