May 27 Two bulk shipments of Brazilian soybeans
arrived at the U.S. ports of Wilmington, North Carolina, and
Norfolk, Virginia, over the weekend, the first large South
American shipments to hit the U.S. East Coast this season,
Reuters shipping data showed.
They were the latest shipments since two cargoes arrived at
the U.S. Gulf Coast early last month, starting the country's
biggest wave of soy imports in history, with about 2 million
tonnes expected to reach U.S. shores over the next two months.
The United States, the world's biggest soybean producer and
second largest exporter, is expected to import a record 2.45
million tonnes of soybeans in the year ended Aug. 31 to
alleviate the tightest supplies in a decade, according to the
U.S. Department of Agriculture.
The Maia, which was loaded with 66,000 tonnes of soybeans at
Brazil's Sao Francisco do Sul port in early May, reached
Wilmington on Saturday. The smaller CS Chara, loaded with 30,000
tonnes at Vila do Conde port in northern Brazil in mid-May,
arrived in Norfolk late on Sunday.
(Vessel map: link.reuters.com/cuk69v)
About 130,000 tonnes in two shipments were unloaded by a
Bunge North America terminal along the Mississippi River in the
first half of April.
At least seven shipments containing roughly 342,000 tonnes
more are either currently loading, waiting to load or sailing
for U.S. shores, shipping data showed.
Further cargoes are already sold for June and July loading,
according to traders.
The traders could not confirm widespread rumors on Tuesday
that two cargoes initially sold to China were canceled and at
least five were being resold due to Chinese financing problems
tied to poor crush margins.
"Chinese crush margins improved a little bit but they are
still very negative in old-crop positions," said Dan Basse,
president of Chicago-based consultancy AgResource Co.
"Last week we started to hear that seven or eight cargoes
were being held up for LC (letter of credit) problems. Now we
hear that two have been washed out and there's another five
being reoffered into the market and there may be more working."
Importers in China defaulted on at least 500,000 tonnes of
soybean cargoes last month, the most in a decade, amid poor
processing margins and abundant stocks at ports. Although pork
and poultry prices are now rising, suggesting better feed
demand, the unprofitable crushing margins could linger for
Benchmark Chicago Board of Trade July soybean futures
tumbled 26-3/4 cents on Tuesday to $14.88-3/4 a bushel. The 1.9
percent decline was the steepest in nearly a month.
(Reporting by Karl Plume in Chicago; Editing by David Gregorio)