August 4, 2003



Asia Corn Outlook: Corn Down, But Nearby Demand To Help Limit Losses


In the Asian corn market, prices will be pressured by buyers holding out for lower levels. But buyers seeking to cover immediate needs will help limit the losses, said traders.


Some South Korean feed companies bought 40,000 tons of U.S. corn from Cargill Friday, at US$124.65/ton, C&F for expected arrival Nov. 5.


Traders said the Cargill price was attractive and buyers will want to work from that level to ask for lower prices this week.


U.S. farmers are also expected to sell more of their old stocks to make way for the new harvest coming soon, and this should create more room for the downside, said traders.


But a firm freight market will keep C&F offers steady, said a second trader in Tokyo, adding that routine buying will be seen from Japanese companies who are buying September shipments.


Chinese prices remained steady in the past week, despite expectations of a decline following a weaker U.S. market.


Many Asian buyers still prefer Chinese corn because it is cheaper and shipment periods are shorter, and this is probably helping the corn maintain its price strength.


The Philippines is in the market for some 150,000-200,000 tons of corn or more, probably Chinese, said traders, after a typhoon wrecked domestic crops.


Chinese corn for feed use was offered at US$115/ton FOB, or lower, for October shipment.