Asia Grains-Thailand buys feed wheat, India offers new-crop corn
* Thai mills buys 30,000 T of Indian wheat for May
* Indian wheat prices ease on weak global market
* India offers new-crop corn at $300/T
* Malaysian buyers take 60,000 T of LatAm corn
By Naveen Thukral
SINGAPORE, Feb 28 (Reuters) - Thailand bought 30,000 tonnes of Indian feed wheat for May shipment this week while Malaysian feed millers took 60,000 tonnes of corn for arrival in April.
Indian feed wheat to Thailand was sold at $320 a tonne, including cost and freight (C&F). Prices have started declining since the deal was signed earlier this week, tracking weakness in the global market.
Indian wheat was offered around $295-$300 a tonne this week, free on board, as compared with $312 quoted last week.
"Wheat prices in India have dropped because of the weakness in global market but we don't expect prices to fall further," said one Singapore-based grain trader. "We think the government might not be interested in selling from its stocks if prices fall below $300 a tonne."
Chicago Board of trade front-month wheat is down 9 percent in February, the biggest monthly loss since September 2011. The market in on track for its sixth consecutive week of decline.
Japan bought a cargo of U.S. milling wheat to feed livestock in an unusual deal as the drop in Chicago prices made imports attractive. A group of compound feed manufacturers ordered one panamax cargo or about 50,000 tonnes of U.S. soft red winter wheat from Mitsubishi for April shipment.
The Korea Feed Association in Busan bought 60,000 tonnes of feed wheat, which can be sourced from any country worldwide, in a tender for 55,000 tonnes. The seller was Glencore at $312.84 a tonne, C&F, plus $1.50 a tonne charge for the option of unloading in additional ports.
India has started offering new-crop corn at $298-$300 a tonne, C&F, for shipment to Southeast Asia in April and May, as compared with Argentine corn being quoted around $314-$315 a tonne.
"We are seeing some interest in Indian corn which will be available after April," said another Singapore-based regional grains trader. "Buyers in Southeast Asia are booking some containers as of now."
In the wheat market, Asian flour millers are closely watching snowstorms in the U.S. Plains that have provided moisture to the drought-stricken winter crop.
"No body wants to book too much in advance as buyers are looking at global prices to soften further," the second Singapore trader said. "If there is more precipitation in the Plains, prices will fall."
The Taiwan Flour Millers' Association has issued a tender to purchase 93,680 tonnes of milling wheat to be sourced from the United States. The tender deadline is March 7 and shipment in April and May was sought.
Most Asian wheat buyers, including the region's biggest buyer Indonesia, are largely covered for their wheat imports until May.
U.S. soft white wheat was quoted around $360 a tonne, C&F, to Southeast Asia while hard red winter wheat was being offered at $365 a tonne -- both varieties down $5-$10 a tonne from last week. U.S. northern spring wheat was offered around $395 a tonne, little changed from last week.
Australian prime wheat was quoted at $365 a tonne, C&F, standard wheat at $355-$360 a tonne and hard wheat with 12 percent protein at $380 a tonne. (Reporting by Naveen Thukral; Editing by Tom Hogue)
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