July 9, 2008

 

Thailand's corn exports to double after India halts trade

 
 

Corn exports of Thailand this year are projected to double to 1 million tonnes due to unabated foreign demand, especially after India halted exports last week, traders said Tuesday (June 8).

 

Observers also pointed out that with exporters rushing to find corn sales abroad, the local feed producers may be under pressure as higher demand propels prices further.

 

India announced to ban corn export last week until October 15 to secure local supplies and rein domestic prices.

 

The Indian ban on corn export has raised Thailand's corn prices to US$350 per tonne, up from US$280 per tonne in late June, traders said.

 

From January to May, Thailand's corn exports jumped by 69 percent to 131,000 tonnes on-year. The main destinations were Malaysia, Vietnam and Indonesia.

 

Sales soared to 100,000 tonnes in the month of June, and are expected to rise further in the months ahead after the Indian ban.

 

In 2007, Thailand exported 521,000 tonnes of corn.

 

Thailand's 2008-09 corn crop is estimated at 3.7 million tonnes, up from 3.6 million tonnes last year, the Ministry of Agriculture reported.

 

On Tuesday, domestic corn prices were quoted higher at THB11.12 per kilogramme, up from THB9 per kg last month, traders said.

 

Prices were expected to ease slightly in August, when 90 percent of the 2008-09 crop will be harvested.

 

Corn prices should remain high for the rest of the year and the local feed industry will have to carry the higher costs, a trader forecasts.

 

Recently, feed producers have requested permission from the Commerce Ministry to raise their selling price by 20 percent to help offset the higher cost of corn.

 

US$1 = THB33.735 as of July 8, 2008-07-09

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