* Indian corn prices drop $15/T to $275 on supplies
* Buyers remain on sidelines, expect further decline
* Australia's wheat prices rise on dry weather
* Indonesia eyes corn shipments for June arrival
By Naveen Thukral
SINGAPORE, April 19 Indian corn prices eased
this week due to stiff competition from South American suppliers
in Asia, while buyers largely stayed on the sidelines as world
grain markets slid on concerns over slowing global growth.
Traders, though, said Indonesian feed millers are likely to
seek about 150,000 tonnes of corn for June shipment.
"Indonesians haven't covered anything much for June
shipment," said one trader with an international grains trading
company in Singapore. "We expect them to cover some supplies but
no one is in any hurry as prices are coming down."
Malaysia, which largely buys South American corn, will be
looking to cover around 120,000 tonnes for June arrival, while
the Philippines has yet to source about 50,000 tonnes of feed
wheat for July shipment, traders said.
U.S. corn futures have lost 2 percent this week as the
market gave up some of last week's strong gains in sympathy with
a broad-based selloff in commodity markets. Wheat has fallen
about 2 percent this week, losing ground after two consecutive
weeks of gains.
As a result, Indian and Argentine corn prices fell in Asia.
Indian corn is being offered around $275 a tonne, including
cost and freight (C&F), in Indonesia, down from $290 quoted last
week. Argentine corn has slid to $285 a tonne from $295 a tonne
offered earlier this month.
In the wheat market, there was some demand for Indian wheat
this week after a lull, with buyers quoting above $300 a tonne.
India's State Trading Corp has received the highest bid at
$304 per tonne from a global trader in its latest wheat export
But traders said the demand for Indian wheat was mainly
driven by buyers covering shorts.
"I don't think anyone will buy Indian wheat today at a price
above $300 a tonne for new sales," said another grains trader.
"Once traders have covered shorts the demand will decline as
Black Sea is offering wheat at much cheaper prices."
International trading companies have been sourcing new-crop
wheat directly from the local market in western Rajasthan and
Gujarat states for shipment through Kandla port, dealers said.
Black Sea-origin wheat with 11.5 percent protein content was
offered around $260 a tonne, C&F, for August shipment and feed
quality wheat at $245 a tonne.
DRYNESS IN AUSTRALIA
Still, wheat prices rose in Australia this week, supported
by dryness which is threatening to curb supplies.
A lack of soil moisture in Australia's eastern grain belt is
forcing farmers to plant grain in dry soil in New South Wales
and Victoria, parts of which have seen little rainfall over the
As a result, the price of new-crop prime wheat for January
shipment rose $15 a tonne to around $320 a tonne, free on board,
Old-crop Australian prime wheat was quoted at $318-$320 a
tonne, FOB, while standard wheat was being offered close to
$312-$315 a tonne.
The wheat market could rise next week as adverse weather is
damaging the U.S. winter crop, traders said.
Another round of freezing temperatures in the U.S. Plains at
midweek probably harmed more of the winter wheat crop, while
heavy rainfall in the Midwest again helped ease drought stress
but also stalled corn plantings.
(Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman)