FOB Gulf Grain-Corn offers firm as CIF climbs, futures drop
May 31 (Reuters) - Export premiums for corn shipped by barge to the U.S. Gulf climbed on Thursday in tandem with rising CIF basis values amid signs of rising demand after a recent drop in prices, traders said. * Spot corn futures on the Chicago Board of Trade hit a 1-1/2 year low this week. New-crop December futures hovered just above 1-1/2 year lows hit two weeks ago. * Regular importers, including Mexico and China, inquired about prices on Thursday, although no fresh sales were confirmed. The improved interest followed several days of quiet demand. * Nearby FOB basis offers for corn at the Gulf bounced from one-month lows, with June and July offers up about 5 cents a bushel on Thursday. Nearby CIF basis bids were about 4 cents higher. * Demand for mid-summer shipments of U.S. corn to many Asian buyers restricted by aggressive South American prices, with Brazilian and Argentine grain offered at least $20 per tonne cheaper. U.S. corn more competitive from September and beyond. * However, Chinese buyers remain focused almost exclusively on U.S. corn due to worries about unapproved GMO strains in South America. U.S. corn also favored by neighboring Mexico due to proximity. WHEAT, SOYBEANS * Wheat export premiums at the U.S. Gulf held mostly steady, capped by rising supplies due to an advancing harvest and routine export demand. * Iraqi wheat tender, announced Wednesday, expected to favor U.S. wheat as Canadian offers should be scarce amid the pending end of single-desk marketing at its Wheat Board. Australian offers may not be aggressive due to limited capacity, while European offers may also be scarce. * Soybean export premiums at the U.S. Gulf were mostly steady on light to moderate demand, with poor crush margins and adequate port stocks limiting purchases by top importer China, traders said. * Estimates ahead of the release of Friday's USDA weekly export sales report: wheat sales at 350,000-500,000 tonnes, corn at 450,000-650,000 tonnes, soybeans at 450,000-700,000 tonnes. To check displays of FOB basis, click on following: U.S. FOB Gulf corn U.S. FOB Gulf soybeans U.S. FOB Gulf SRW wheat U.S. FOB Gulf HRW wheat LINKS * FOB U.S. Gulf Grain * U.S. grain export summary * Brazil soybean export prices * Brazil corn export prices * Argentine grain prices * Russian grain prices (Reporting by Karl Plume in Chicago; Editing by David Gregorio)
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