July 24, 2008


Thailand corn exports to fall on increasing Indian supply

Thailand's corn exports are expected to decline by at least 10 percent in August when Indian corn reaches the market despite India's recent ban on corn shipments, according to Thai exporters on Wednesday (July 23, 2008).


Thai exporters said Thailand's corn shipments could drop from the estimated 100,000 tonnes sold in June.


A corn trader said he expects a 10 percent drop in the best case scenario but could plunge further if India releases more corn than expected into the market.


Thai corn export prices surged to US$350 per tonne on Wednesday, up from US$280 in June. India, a major Asian corn producer, suspended its corn exports in July, forcing importers to look for alternate sources of corn. The ban, however, will only last till October 15, 2008.


Due to agreements reached before the suspension, India will be shipping at least 65,000 tonnes of corn to Thailand in August, Thai exporters said.


In addition, Thai corn prices may also be affected by the US. A global trend is set as US corn prices dipped and buyers may be waiting for Thai corn prices to fall before they attempt any purchase, the exporters said, adding that they have an increase in supply.


US corn futures for September delivery reached US$5.73 per bushel on Tuesday (July 22, 2008) due to favourable weather in the Midwest which boosted output prospects.


Thai corn prices may fall in August when about 80 percent of Thailand's annual output of 3.7 million tonnes is to be harvested, traders said. Due to increasing supply, domestic corn prices have dropped to THB10 per kg from THB12 last month, according to traders.


However, traders are not expecting prices to fall significantly but instead stay around THB10 per kg as domestic demand would offset declining exports.


Thailand's corn exports vary from one year to another. It exported 521,000 tonnes of corn in 2007, according to figures by the Commerce Ministry, but could export as much as 1 million tonnes this year due to increased supply and the Indian ban.

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