EU Corn Imports Plummet

EU corn imports for 2014/15 are forecast to drop over 50 percent (9 million tons) from last year because of a record corn crop and abundant supplies of other feed grains. Feed use of wheat is projected to surge as a larger-than-normal proportion of the record crop is feed-quality, displacing coarse grains in feed rations and further reducing the need for corn imports.

This follows an upward trend in EU corn imports for most of the last 6 years. Elevated global corn prices spurred production, particularly in Ukraine and Brazil, and also triggered a zero EU import duty. Combined with a strong Euro and greater wheat exports, the EU became the world’s largest corn importer in 2013/14.

This year, reduced EU corn imports will drive global trade lower. This in turn will mean intensified competition for exporters. Ukraine, with a freight advantage and nonbiotech corn supplies, has been the EU’s largest supplier in recent years with trade in 2013/14 likely to reach 10 million tons. A second consecutive record U.S. crop will struggle to find export demand, and stocks will build yet again. With abundant supplies in most exporting countries, there will be continued pressure on prices.



Global production for 2014/15 remains a record as larger crops in the EU, Pakistan, and Ukraine more than offset smaller crops in Algeria, Argentina, Australia, Canada, and Kazakhstan. Global trade is up slightly. Forecast exports for Canada, EU, Mexico, and the United States are raised, more than offsetting decreases in Argentina, Australia, and Kazakhstan. The season-average farm price is unchanged.

EU wheat production is projected at a record, with French, German, and United Kingdom crops much higher than last year. Since France and Germany are the primary exporting countries in the EU, their abundant supplies are pressuring prices. The French crop has quality issues and the industry wants to move it into export channels as quickly as possible to create space for a bumper corn crop. However, German wheat is higher-quality; therefore, demand from some traditional French markets in North Africa is expected to provide impetus for strong exports. German prices are currently below Russian prices, making it more competitive into Middle Eastern markets as well. Since August 1, French and German prices plunged $35/ton and $29/ton, respectively, versus a minor drop of $9/ton for Russian wheat.


Prices for most wheat classes were down in September, pressured by large global supplies of both wheat and corn. Hard Red Spring (HRS) dropped the most, plunging $23/ton to $369. Hard Red Winter (HRW) is up $1/ton at $282. Soft Red Winter (SRW) fell $5/ton to $240, while Soft White Wheat (SWW) dipped $8 to $255.


Selected Exporters

• Argentina is lowered 300,000 tons to 6.0 million on a smaller crop.

• Australia is down 500,000 tons to 19.0 million based on lower production.

• Canada is up 500,000 tons to 22.5 million on the export pace of old-crop supplies and improving logistics.

• EU is boosted 2.0 million tons to 28.0 million with a record crop and improved competitiveness.

• Kazakhstan is cut 1.0 million tons to 5.5 million on a smaller crop.

• Mexico is raised 500,000 tons to 1.5 million based on strong demand for high-quality durum.

• United States is up 500,000 tons to 25.5 million with growing opportunities to export to Latin American markets based on reduced competition from Argentina and stronger demand in Mexico.

Selected Importers

• Algeria is up 500,000 tons to 7.5 million based on a smaller crop.

• EU is lowered 500,000 tons to 5.0 million based on record production and abundant supplies of feed-quality wheat.

• Mexico is raised 500,000 tons to 4.3 million on the strong early pace of imports.

• Pakistan is down 500,000 tons to 1.0 million with a bigger crop.



Global production for 2014/15 is down from last month, primarily driven by reduced crops in India, Sri Lanka, and Pakistan, and is no longer a record. Global consumption and trade are nearly unchanged, while stocks are lowered. U.S. production is forecast slightly higher on yield, while trade is unchanged.

The gap between quotes for U.S. #2/4 and Thai 100B has narrowed in recent months. For the United States, expected large supplies are causing quotes to slide, now at $550 per ton, the lowest since May 2012. In comparison, Thai quotes have rebounded when the government put a hold on sales of stocks, while inspections were underway. Since then, sales of stocks have been limited. With the approaching harvest of a bumper main-season crop, it is unknown if the government will increase the pace of sales in order to minimize the impact on domestic prices.


• Brazil’s 2014 exports are down 110,000 tons to 840,000 on trade trends.

• Sri Lanka’s imports for 2015 are up 180,000 tons to 200,000 due to a reduced crop.



World corn production in 2014/15 remains a record as larger crop forecasts for the United States, the European Union, and Tanzania more than offset smaller production in Ukraine, Russia, and Belarus. Global trade is down slightly as ample domestic feed grain supplies in the EU displace corn imports. The U.S. season-average farm price is projected slightly lower this month.

For 2013/14, global trade is boosted on higher Egyptian and Iranian imports and strong lateseason shipments from the United States.


Since the release of the September WASDE report, U.S. corn export quotes remain largely unchanged at $181/ton, although $13 below the August average. Despite a higher-than-expected September 1 stocks estimate and expectations for a huge crop, U.S. export prices are underpinned by a late harvest, high barge rates, and other logistical problems. The premium of U.S. quotes over South American has remained largely unchanged. Argentine and Brazilian quotes are now $15/ton and $12/ton below U.S., respectively. Black Sea quotes are nearly unchanged at $8/ton below U.S.


Selected Exporters

• Canadian corn is halved to 500,000 tons because of a sharply lower carryin as ending stocks data implied higher feed disappearance. (Imports are boosted 200,000 tons to 700,000.)

• Russian corn is down 500,000 tons to 3.0 million on a smaller crop.

• Australian barley is cut 400,000 tons to 4.3 million because of reduced exportable supplies.

• EU barley is raised 500,000 tons to 6.5 million based on a larger crop and recent purchases by China.

• Indian barley is tripled to 300,000 tons based on recent trade data and strong global demand. (2013/14 is up 300,000 tons to 500,000.)

• Russian barley is up 500,000 tons to 4.3 million because of greater exportable supplies and strong demand.

• Ukrainian barley is raised 200,000 tons to 2.7 million because of a larger crop and strong demand. (2013/14 is up 800,000 tons to 3.5 million.)

• U.S. sorghum is boosted 300,000 tons to 5.3 million on continued strong purchases from China.

Selected Importers

• EU corn is slashed 3.0 million tons to 7.0 million due to sharply larger domestic supplies of feed grains.

• Egyptian corn is up by 1.0 million tons to 7.5 million on strong demand for feed grains. (2013/14 is up 500,000 tons to 8.5 million.)

• Iranian corn is raised 500,000 tons to 5.3 million as a high level of imports is expected to continue. (2013/14 is up 500,000 tons to 5.5 million.)

• Japanese corn is cut 200,000 tons to 15.5 million because of sluggish growth in feed demand as implied by recent trade data. (2013/14 is down 300,000 tons to 15.2 million.)

• Chinese barley is raised by 1.0 million tons to 4.0 million because of strong demand for imported feedstuffs.

• Chinese sorghum is boosted 400,000 tons to 4.3 million because of continued purchases from the United States. (2013/14 is lowered 200,000 tons to 4.3 million.)


Selected Exporters- based on trade data

• U.S. corn is up 1.0 million tons to 50.5 million.

• EU corn is raised 200,000 tons to 2.4 million.

• Indian corn is boosted 200,000 tons to 3.9 million.

Selected Importers- based on trade data

• Iranian barley is up 400,000 tons to 900,000.

• Saudi barley is raised 500,000 tons to 8.0 million