According to the USDA's latest "Grains: World Markets and Trade" report, EU corn imports are up sharply in 2012/13 as exports of wheat reduce domestic grain supplies.

EU wheat exports are up nearly 20 percent, despite lower production. Ending stocks are also the tightest since Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) reform which effectively eliminated government (intervention) stocks.

The vacuum created by the absence of exportable supplies from Russia and Ukraine is pulling wheat out of the European Union to fill demand in North Africa and the Middle East. Although French and German exports are expanding, eastern European countries, such as Bulgaria, Latvia, Lithuania, and Romania are benefitting the most from the reduced competition.

Meanwhile, a tight EU domestic feed - quality wheat situation and a nearly 20 percent drop in corn production has stimulated a surge in corn imports. Import licenses have more than doubled year-over-year with demand for corn coming mostly from southern European countries.

This year, Ukraine has abundant corn supplies and limited feed - quality wheat resulting in a nearly tripling of corn exports to the EU (Oct - Dec). Brazil has also become a significant supplier.

EU wheat exports boost demand for corn