August 18, 2003



Asia Wheat Outlook: Wheat To Gain On Flour Millers' Demand


In the Asia wheat market this week, demand from flour millers in Taiwan, South Korea and Japan will lift prices, as will some suppliers' unwillingness to offer wheat due to market volatility, said traders.


Some Taiwan flour milling companies will seek to buy 43,000 tons of U.S. wheat in a tender Tuesday, for shipment dates Sept. 20 to Oct. 5 to Taichung.


Last week, South Korea's CJ Corp. and Dongah Flour Mills Co. passed on one wheat tender due to high prices and will likely retender this week, for September shipment, said traders.


Daehan Flour Mills Co., on the other hand, is ready to seek wheat for October shipment sometime this week, said a company official.


Japan returns to the market this week with a buy tender Thursday, after skipping one last week on the summer break.


"At first, people thought the market would come down due to the good U.S. crop. But now, the market keeps getting higher because of crop problems in the European Union," said a second trader in Tokyo.


"Buyers need wheat, but some shippers want to wait and see where the market is going. Many people hesitate to take short positions," he said.


September-shipment U.S. hard red winter (minimum 11.5% protein) was offered at US$165/ton, while dark northern spring (minimum 14% protein) was offered at US$178/ton, FOB.


Last week, HRW was sold in a tender to South Korea around US$160/ton and DNS around US$172/ton, FOB.