October 7, 2011


US corn export sales surge amid falling prices



Both declining prices and rapid purchases of corn cargoes by regular importers cause net export sales of US corn last week to soar to a 12-week high, USDA data on Thursday (Oct 6) revealed.


Sales in the week ended September 29 totalled nearly 1.3 million tonnes, up 59% from the prior week and topping trade estimates for 750,000 to one million tonnes, USDA data showed.


Nearly 90% of the week's sales were to Japan, Mexico and South Korea, the top three markets for US corn. Chinese purchases totalled 57,800 tonnes, all of it switched from previously reported sales to unknown destinations.


Benchmark corn futures <Cc1> on CBOT hit a two-month low during the reporting period and later fell to the lowest point since December after USDA raised its quarterly US corn stocks forecast by more than expected.


Corn futures have fallen more than 20% from late August highs as worries about the global economy amid a deepening debt crisis in Europe fueled broad-based liquidation.


The price drop has attracted renewed buying interest from regular importers of US corn in Asia and Latin America, many of which had moved to the sidelines when prices were soaring throughout the summer.


Net sales of US soy last week eased 28% from the prior week to 741,800 tonnes but were near the high end of trade forecasts for 550,000-750,000 tonnes and the second highest single-week sales since early February, according to USDA data.


The top buyer in the week was China with 354,100 tonnes in purchases, followed by Mexico with 102,000 tonnes purchased for 2011/12 delivery and 40,000 tonnes for delivery in 2012/13.


Net export sales of all varieties of US wheat last week totalled 431,200 tonnes last week, about steady with the previous week and within the range of trade forecasts for 350,000-500,000 tonnes.


Mexico was the top buyer for the week, with purchases of 115,500 tonnes of hard and soft red winter wheat and white wheat.