April 26, 2013 / 8:36 AM / in 4 years

Asia Grains-Indonesia buys LatAm corn, millers seek wheat cargoes

4 Min Read

* Indonesia buys 200,000 T of South American corn

* India loses corn market share on higher prices

* Asian millers seek July shipment wheat cargoes

* S.Korea buys corn; Japan takes U.S., Canadian wheat

By Naveen Thukral

SINGAPORE, April 26 (Reuters) - Indonesian millers bought about 200,000 tonnes of South American corn in recent deals, while Asian buyers were in the market seeking U.S and Australian wheat as global grain prices eased for a second consecutive week.

South American corn was sold to buyers in Indonesia at around $280 to $285 a tonne, including cost at freight (C&F), for delivery in May and June, traders said.

Indonesia had been sourcing a bulk of its corn cargoes from India which was selling the grain at around $35-$40 a tonne discount to Argentinean supplies. But India is now struggling to export corn after a slide in global prices.

"All this business would have gone to India if international prices had not declined," said one trader with a global trading firm in Singapore. "As of now, Indian prices are almost the same as South American. Indian corn is attractive only when it is at least $15 discount to Argentina."

The benchmark Chicago Board of Trade corn has dropped about 15 percent since last month's peak of $7.49 a bushel, pushing South American and U.S. cash prices lower. But Indian corn has not fallen in line with global prices.

South Korea's Korea Corn Processing Industry Association bought 55,000 tonnes of optional-origin corn from Glencore International AG via a tender this week, traders said. It paid more than $290 per tonne on a C&F basis, they said.

In the wheat market, Asian buyers are looking to buy around 300,000 tonnes for July shipment.

"There are a lot of enquiries at the moment," said a second Singapore-based trader. "We had millers checking prices from Thailand, Malaysia and Vietnam."

CBOT wheat has given up more than 2 percent in as many weeks.

In Asia's physical market, Australian prime wheat was quoted around $350 a tonne, C&F, and Australian standard wheat was being offered at $348 a tonne, with prices of both varieties largely unchanged from last week.

U.S. soft white wheat was quoted at around 320 a tonne, winter wheat with 12 percent protein at $350 a tonne and spring wheat with 14 percent protein at $370 a tonne. U.S. wheat values have fallen by around $5 a tonne since last week.

Asian buyers are rushing to cover supplies on concerns about production declines in the U.S. Plains hard red winter wheat belt due to freeze damage.

The market is looking forward to the annual Wheat Quality Council tour of Kansas wheat fields next week for a price direction. Freeze damage results from southern Kansas and also the Texas and Oklahoma Panhandle regions are expected to be reported by the tour.

Japan's farm ministry bought 95,621 tonnes of milling wheat from the United States and Canada in a regular tender that closed on Thursday. It took 22,359 tonnes of U.S. white wheat with protein content of 10.5 pct, 23,520 tonnes of hard red winter and 19,942 tonnes of dark northern spring wheat.

The ministry bought 29,800 of western red spring wheat from Canada. (Editing by Himani Sarkar)

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