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COARSE GRAINS: WORLD MARKETS AND TRADE

13.02.2018 16:00 "Agro Perspectiva" (Kyiv) According to the report of the USDA «Grain: World Markets and Trade» (February 2018), there are few changes this month for 2017/18 global corn supply and use. Corn production is lower with reductions for Argentina and Ukraine. Global corn trade is marginally higher with larger imports for Turkey and the European Union. With strong foreign demand and competitive prices, U.S. corn exports are forecast higher, more than offsetting reductions for Argentina and Brazil. The U. S. season-average farm price is raised $0.05 to $3.30 per bushel at the midpoint.

Global corn prices have continued to trend upward since last months WASDE. Argentine bids rose $4/ton to $167 and Brazilian bids were up $3/ton to $168, mainly amid concerns over dryness in Argentina. Black Sea bids were up $7/ton to $175 on tightening supplies from Ukraine. U.S. quotes, reflecting ample supplies, remained unchanged from last month at $165/ton despite strong foreign demand.

The global corn market is primarily supplied by four countries — Argentina, Ukraine, Brazil, and the United States. Combined, they account for nearly 90 percent of all global exports. While these countries continue their dominance, 2017/18 prospects for each exporting country are changing, influenced by weather and, ultimately, prices.

The Argentine corn crop is forecast sharply lower this month reflecting the impact of ongoing heat and dryness. With reduced production, forecast exports are cut substantially. For Ukraine, the preliminary statistics by the State Statistical Service show much smaller production with a lower yield, leading to prospects for smaller exports. For Brazil, the shipping pace of the previous crop (2016/17) has remained slower than anticipated, impacted by heavy rains and road conditions. For 2017/18, exports will depend on the size of the second crop (safrinha) that is currently being planted, as forecast production is still highly tentative and determined largely by the outcome of the rainy season in the Center-West in April and May.

Meanwhile, sales and shipments of U.S. corn have been brisk in recent weeks as foreign buyers turn to the United States. With successive bumper crops, the United States has abundant exportable supplies and prices are expected to remain competitive on an FOB (free on board) basis until Brazils second crop comes onto the market.

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