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Brazil corn exports soar as Ukrainian supplies blocked - port authority

FILE PHOTO: A corn crop is seen at Cercado Grande farm in Itajai, Sao Paulo state, Brazil April 1, 2018. Picture taken April 1, 2018. REUTERS/Marcelo Rodrigues Teixeira

SAO PAULO (Reuters) - Brazilian corn exports via the Southern port of Paranagua rose an atypical 161% in the first five months of the year partly driven by a lack of product from Ukraine, according to a statement on Tuesday from the local port authority.

The volume of bulk corn exported between January and May via Paranagua reached 1.546 million tonnes, up from 591,538 tonnes in the same months of the previous year, the statement said.

The data shows how the conflict in Ukraine is making corn buyers search for supplies from alternative origins.

Brazil is not a major corn exporter at this time of the year, according to Helder Catarino, general manager of Interalli, which operates at the port. He said after the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the country has been unable to ship corn through the Black Sea as is customary.

“Brazil is exporting corn because it still had it in stock, with good margins and prices. In other words, supply and demand were there,” Catarino was quoted as saying in the port authority’s statement.

Making room for Brazil’s second corn in warehouses also drove corn exports in the first weeks of the year, the port authority said referring to Brazil’s incoming second corn crop.

Brazil’s second corn crop, which will account for about 75% of national production this season, is being reaped from fields now and is gradually arriving at Paranagua port silos since the beginning of June.

Farmers in Parana, Mato Grosso and Mato Grosso do Sul supplied most of the corn being shipped through Paranagua, the statement said.

Egypt, Iran, Spain, South Korea and Portugal were key destinations.

Reporting by Ana Mano; Editing by Marguerita Choy

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