December 12, 2011


Taiwanese millers' group gets 83,750 tonnes US wheat



The Taiwan Flour Millers' Association (TFMA) bought on Friday (Dec 9) two cargoes of US wheat totalling 83,750 tonnes from Hamburg-based Alfred C. Toepfer International GmbH, trading executives said.


They said one cargo of 46,500 tonnes is for shipment during the January 10-24 period at a freight cost of US$32.80/tonne and another of 37,250 tonnes during January 30-February 13 period at a freight cost of US$36.66/tonne.


The association's import prices for high-quality milling wheat are widely considered a benchmark in the Asian grain trade, despite relatively small import volumes.


TFMA bought Dark Northern Spring wheat with 14.5% protein at US$415.63 and US$417.59/tonne, cost and freight, around 4% lower than last month's purchase at US$432.67/tonne.


TFMA also purchased Hard Red Winter wheat with 13% protein at US$357.50/tonne and US$360.25/tonne, C&F, down 3.4%-4.1% from last month's purchase at US$372.96/tonne, C&F.


The association bought Western White wheat with 9% protein at US$261.64/tonne, C&F, down 20% from the previous purchase on October 25 at US$325.93/tonne.


Prices have softened due to the ongoing US harvest of spring wheat, sluggish demand and ample supply from other origins – including Russia, Ukraine and Australia – but a recovery may be seen in the next few months, as US production is forecast to fall, and dry weather may hit winter wheat plantings.


The USDA has forecast US Hard Spring wheat output in the marketing year that started June 1 to fall 30% to 398 million bushels, which may drag down export availability by 26%, to 250 million bushels. Hard Winter wheat output and exports may fall 23% and 35%, respectively.


In the first week of June, Taiwan bought Dark Northern Spring wheat with 14% protein around US$557/tonne, C&F, one of the highest prices paid for this grade by any country this year. At the time, spring wheat futures on the Minneapolis Grain Exchange were around a three-year high above US$10.60 a bushel.


The near-month December contract closed at US$8.2125 Thursday, down from around US$9.25 a bushel at the time of the November 18 tender.


At the Kansas City Board of Trade, Hard Red Winter wheat for December delivery ended at US$6.5850/bushel Thursday, down 1.2% from US$6.6650/bushel around the time of the November 18 tender.

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