World corn trade projected higher

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Global corn trade in 2012/13 is forecast up 0.5 million tons this month to 97.5 million. EU corn imports are raised 2.0 million tons to 10.0 million, reflecting the strong pace of import licenses. The EU has been exporting wheat while using less domestically for feed and is replacing wheat in feed rations with corn. China’s corn imports are projected up 0.5 million tons to 2.5 million based on the pace of recent imports. Corn prices in China remain above internationally prices, making imports attractive for entities with access in import quotas. The pace of Jordan’s corn imports and feed use supports an increase in forecast imports for 2012/13 of 0.05 million tons to 0.45 million.

Projected corn imports are reduced this month for some countries with economic and political problems. Egypt’s corn imports are cut 1.0 million tons to 4.5 million as poultry production stumbles and port discharge and transportation is becoming problematic. Syria’s corn import forecast is cut in half by 0.7 million tons to 0.7 million as civil war disrupts commerce.

Mexico’s corn imports for 2012/13 are reduced 0.5 million tons this month to 8.5 million due to increased prospects for corn and sorghum production coupled with larger sorghum import prospects. Saudi Arabia’s corn imports are trimmed 0.2 million tons to 1.9 million as feed use is trimmed by a like amount for both 2011/12 and 2012/13.

Forecast Corn Exports Lowered
Forecast U.S. corn exports were lowered 50 million bushels this month based on the year-to-date pace of sales and shipments and stronger expected competition, particularly from Brazil. Corn production is forecast up this month for Brazil and Ukraine, and high U.S. prices have enabled those countries to usurp some markets previously supplied by the United States. This month’s 2012/13 export projection of 900 million bushels is 42 percent below last season’s 1,543 million and the lowest since 1971/72.

Projected ending stocks for 2012/13 of 632 million bushels are up 30 million from last month. The projected stocks-to-use ratio at 5.6 percent is up from 5.3 percent last month and still the lowest since 1995/96.

The projected season-average corn price for 2012/13 was lowered $0.05 per bushel on the low end of the range and $0.35 per bushel on the high end of the range to $6.75 to $7.65 per bushel. The range is lowered 20 cents at the midpoint to $7.20 per bushel. Prices were lowered based on recent market trends and the volume of corn marketed to date. This compares to the previous record of $6.22 per bushel in 2011/12.

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