October 27, 2011


Asian grain demand to limit downside



Tough Asian grain demand might limit any downside even if the EU summit's outcome dims global economic outlook, traders said.


Okato Shoji, deputy general manager at Kaname Gokon said corn prices will find support, as there is demand from China, Korea and Taiwan, even though many spot buyers are now waiting for prices to come off before purchasing.


China will likely purchase about five million tonnes of corn in the crop year that started October 1, analysts said Tuesday, citing the China National Grain and Oils Information Centre.


Corn for December delivery on the Chicago Board of Trade, dropped US$0.25 to US$6.51 a bushel Tuesday.


Tokyo-based Gokon tipped the contract to trade as high as US$6.80-7.00/bushel in the next few weeks, particularly as China may step up purchases through the Lunar New Year in January.


Soy prices will likely move in range, with the CBOT November contract trading around US$12-13/bushel, Gokon said, citing technical factors. The contract settled US$0.0125 lower at US$12.2550 a bushel Tuesday.


The Taiwan Flour Mills Association, whose import prices for high-quality milling wheat are considered a benchmark in Asian grain trade, Tuesday bought 43,950 tonnes of US wheat from Cargill and Columbia Grain International in a tender. On a delivered basis, TFMA's prices were 2.85% higher for Hard Red Winter wheat with 13% protein--at US$367.44/tonne, free on board and US$406.53/tonne, cost and freight--and 5.38% lower for Dark Northern Spring with 14.5% protein from Cargill--at US$392.63/tonne, FOB--compared with deals it made in an October 12 tender.


Prices have softened in recent months due to the ongoing US harvest of spring wheat, but may rally again as overall output will decline this year and winter wheat plantings may be hit by drought.


The USDA has forecast Hard Spring wheat output in the marketing year that began June 1 to fall 29% to 405 million bushels, which may drag down exports by 35% to 220 million bushels. Hard Winter wheat output and exports may fall 23% and 30%, respectively.


Meanwhile, Vietnamese animal feed miller Proconco has purchased a cargo of 10,000 tonnes of optional-origin feed wheat at $276-277 a tonne, C&F, for shipment in December to Phu My port, trading executives said Tuesday.


Australian wheat may be supplied in the deal, as it is among the cheapest available, they said.


Vietnam's purchases come after China and South Korea bought several cargoes of Australian feed wheat last week.

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