September 3, 2011


Thai mills seek US wheat, soy



A group of Thai mills are negotiating to buy 60,000 tonnes of soy for October export, whereas flour millers are eyeing at 50,000 tonnes of US wheat for November arrival, traders said Friday (Sept 2).


Australian new-crop wheat exports remained slow this week, with lack of interest in bulk cargoes although exporters have been flooded with enquiries for high-protein Australian prime hard wheat.


Thai mills are likely to sign a deal later on Friday for soy shipment at around US$595 to US$600 a tonne, including cost and freight, traders said.


"They are negotiating with a few parties and they are close to signing a deal," said one trader with an international trading company in Singapore.


A group of flour millers in Thailand were also seeking some 50,000 tonnes of US wheat, which includes white, hard red winter and spring varieties of wheat for November arrival.


Thailand has been active in the market in recent weeks as global grain and oilseed prices climb, raising concerns over food inflation. Last week it bought up to 150,000 tonnes of soymeal for shipment early next year.


Chicago Board of trade front-month corn gained nearly 14% last month, the biggest since rallying 18.7% in December, while wheat climbed more than 10%. Soy futures rose 6.9%.


US white wheat was quoted around US$330 a tonne, C&F, hard red winter wheat at US$405 a tonne and spring wheat close to US$460 a tonne.


Separately, Taiwan Flour Millers' Association this week purchased 53,170 tonnes of US-origin wheat in a tender. It is for shipment in the first half of October.


The Taichung division of Taiwan's Breakfast Soybean Procurement Association bought 58,000 tonnes of Brazilian-origin soy in a tender which closed on Friday.


Traders said Australia's new-crop wheat sales were slow this week even though buyers were showing a lot of interest in prime hard wheat, given the expectations of tight global supplies of high-protein wheat.


"Not that much interest as far as bulk business is concerned, there have been deals done in containers," said one Sydney-based trader. "It seems to be that most of the export enquiries are for high quality wheat and it is not surprising because supplies of that quality of wheat are the tightest."


Australia prime wheat was being offered close to US$330 a tonne in Southeast Asia, while Australia prime hard wheat was quoted around US$400 a tonne. Australian standard wheat was priced between US$310 and US$325 a tonne.


Australia, one of the world's top ranking wheat exporters, is set to reap a higher quality harvest in 2011/12 than the previous season, although yields will be lower, analysts said on Tuesday.


On average, 13 analysts, trading firms and government agencies, expect Australia's wheat production at around 24 million tonnes in the marketing year to September 2012, as the harvest cranks up in November.


Asian buyers will closely watch the US corn and soy crop progress report next week, which will provide direction to benchmark Chicago prices.


The USDA's weekly crop progress report issued after the market closed on Monday showed that the corn was rated 54% good to excellent as of August 28, down three percentage points from a week earlier.


US soy were rated 57% good to excellent, below the average analyst forecast of 58%.

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