Ukraine sees surge in Asian corn buyers
Malaysia, which has traditionally bought corn from South America and the US, has started sourcing for its corn supply from Ukraine, a move mirrored by buyers from Japan, South Korea and Taiwan.
A consortium of Malaysian animal feed millers has bought a cargo of up to 45,000 tonnes of Ukrainian corn for shipment in October for around US$239/tonne, including basic cost and freight, said trading executives. Malaysia produces around five million tonnes of animal feed annually and buys four to five cargoes totaling 250,000 tonnes of corn every month.
Concerns over the corn leaf blight fungal disease and delays in shipments from Brazil due to congestion at ports have resulted in Malaysia turning to Ukraine to source its needs, said a Singapore-based executive with a global commodities trading company.
Cheaper availability from Ukraine has also prompted many buyers in Japan, South Korea and Taiwan to make a shift in sourcing their supply. South Korean millers recently bought optional origin corn, likely to be sourced from Ukraine, for around US$233/tonne, in January.
Ukraine's corn, on a delivered basis, is around US$25/tonne cheaper than US corn shipment in October this year and US$10/tonne cheaper for shipment in January, traders said.
Ukraine's corn output and exports in the current marketing year, which started July 1, will rise almost 15% to 24 million tonnes and 15.5 million tonnes, respectively, according to the latest forecast of the London-based International Grains Council.