September 4, 2003



Thai Grains Importers Clinched Soymeal Deals as Poultry Exports Are Seen On The Rise        


Thailand's grain importers have clinched deals for soymeal from South America and India over the past week, but are not in a hurry to buy more after covering positions through to September, traders said on Sept 2.


Indian soymeal was offered on Tuesday at $228-230/tonne C&F Thailand for November shipment. It was offered at $226/tonne C&F Vietnam.


Traders said one large feedmill had bought 25,000 tons of soymeal from Brazil and Argentina through Cargill.


"The deal was clinched last Friday based on premium prices, believed to be at around $38-39 per tonne," one said.


Traders also said they had heard another grains importer, Freshmart, had bought 115 tons of Indian soymeal for arrival in September at $247/tonne C&F.


Thailand, one of Asia's major chicken exporters, imports more than a million tons of soymeal and a similar amount of beans annually, mostly for feed. Indonesia was seeking to buy Thai corn, traders said.


"Cremer Asia Trade and Toepfer trading firms are each seeking to buy 8,000 tons of Thai corn at $116/tonne FOB for September shipment," said one corn exporter. Thai corn for exports was offered steady at $118/tonne FOB. Local corn was at 4.8 baht/kg ($117/tonne), versus last week's five baht.


The local price is seen dropping further in the next few weeks as the harvest season is reaching its peak this month, traders said. The price a year ago was four baht/kg.




Vessels carrying about 200,000 tons of soymeal and beans from South America are due in Thailand over the next week, traders and shippers said.


Locally produced soymeal was quoted steady on Sept 2 at 10 baht/kg ($243/tonne). The price of locally produced soymeal was likely to decline over the next week as imported supplies increased amid slow demand from the domestic poultry industry, traders said.


The live chicken price was 30 baht/kg ($729/tonne), versus last week's 31 baht.


Chicken meat was offered at $1,800-1,900/tonne C&F for Europe, against $2,000 last month. Following a Japanese ban on Chinese poultry and the European Union's decision to ease inspections of Thai poultry, the Thai Broiler Processing Exporters Association has raised its estimate of Thai exports this year to 500,000 tons.


Thailand shipped 464,243 tons of poultry products in 2002.


The association said late last week that the heat and drought, which caused European chickens to grow slowly, could boost Thai poultry exports to that market. Between January and May, Thailand shipped 206,433 tons of poultry, 7.7 percent up from the same period last year, according to figure from the association.


During the period, the European Union imported 143,005 tons of Thai poultry, up from 100,764 tons in the same period last year.


Thailand's major markets for chicken meat are Japan and the European Union.
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