Asian mills hold back corn purchases to pounce on Argentine exports
Naveen Thukral/Reuters SINGAPORE - Feed mills in Asia are holding back corn purchases in expectation prices may fall on a predicted rise in exports from top supplier Argentina. Buyers in Malaysia, Vietnam, Indonesia and other importers across Asi...
SINGAPORE - Feed mills in Asia are holding back corn purchases in expectation prices may fall on a predicted rise in exports from top supplier Argentina.
Buyers in Malaysia, Vietnam, Indonesia and other importers across Asia expect corn prices to fall as Argentina's new government plans to reduce taxes on farm product exports, encouragingfarmers to liquidate stockpiles and boost production. Argentina is the world's fourth-largest exporter of corn after Ukraine, U.S. Department of Agriculture data shows.
"It has become really quiet in the corn market as buyers are looking at more supplies early next year," said one Singapore-based trading manager at an international trading company.
"First, they were bearish because of near record U.S. corn production and now they have new ammunition, Argentina's election result."
Additional supply from Argentina will increase competition in the global feed grain market, building pressure on the prices of corn exports from Brazil <C-CIFSAO-C1> and the United States <2YC-USG-C1>, the world's second-largest and largest exporters respectively of the grain.
U.S. corn futures eased 0.2 percent to $3.73 a bushel by 0851 GMT on Wednesday. The market hit a contract low of $3.64-1/4 a bushel on November 16.
Argentina's incoming government will abolish export taxes on corn and wheat the day after it assumes office and reduce the export tax on soybeans by 5 percent, designated Agriculture Minister Ricardo Buryaile has said.
President-elect Mauricio Macri won the election on November 22 on a platform of wholesale change. He has vowed to end interventionist measures that have hobbled growth in Latin America's third-largest economy.
Farmers in Argentina are sitting on large supplies of soybeans, corn and wheat to avoid paying the export taxes. Some of these supplies may hit the market in the early part of 2016, traders said. Additionally, Argentine farmers are planting more corn in anticipation of the tax change, sowing 10 percent more acreage than previous estimates.
By the end of Macri's first four-year term, Argentina will have doubled wheat shipments and surpassed Russia and Brazil as a corn exporter, by some estimates, as abandonment of trade restraints unleashes the full potential of the country's vast Pampas farm belt.
"Earlier we had just U.S. and Brazil supplying corn but now we will have one more exporter who will be aggressively positioning itself," said a second trader in Singapore. "It is very good for feed millers in Asia."
Asian importers such as Malaysia, Vietnam and Indonesia mainly buy from Brazil, while Japan and South Korea take largely U.S. and Brazilian cargoes. China, which earlier bought mostly from the United States, has shifted to Ukrainian shipments.