OVERVIEW

For 2017/18, global corn production is up with a significant boost from the United States and Nigeria that more than offsets lower prospects for Russia and Ukraine. Major revisions and updates are made for many African countries this month. Global corn trade is revised downward with lower projected imports in Vietnam and Turkey. Prospects for slower growth in Vietnam’s feed industry and higher domestic production in Turkey are the key reasons for the projected decrease in trade. The U.S. season-average farm price is unchanged at $3.20 per bushel.

PRICES

Global corn prices were mostly unchanged from last month’s WASDE. Argentine and Black Sea bids fell $2/ton and $3/ton, settling at $149 and $161, respectively. Prices in Argentina settled lower amid a sluggish pace of new-crop shipments, competition from Brazil, and anticipated new-crop U.S. supplies. Brazilian bids were unchanged at $155/ton with steady global demand amidst record exports since May. U.S. quotes were up $4/ton to $159 on steady domestic demand, lack of early harvest supplies, and sharply higher barge rates.

South Korea: Corn Faces Competition in the Feed Market

South Korea is a price sensitive market for feed grains, basing its buying decisions on the price competitiveness of alternative feeds. South Korea is also one of the world’s largest importers of corn, driven by a consistently robust demand for feed for its poultry and swine industries. However, South Korea’s corn imports have declined after reaching a record high in 2013/14. U.S. market share also fell due to heavy competition from Black Sea and South American exporters. Even with a CY 2017 tariff-rate quota (TRQ) that allows for 10 million tons of dutyfree feed corn imports, South Korea’s 2016/17 estimate is down this month due to higher usage of other feedstuffs.

This trend is largely attributed to stiff competition from competitively-priced feed quality wheat and the use of domestic rice. The government recently approved 500,000 tons of domestic rice stocks to be used for feed in 2017, about five times more than the previous year. A nearly fivefold growth in the import of distiller’s dried grains with solubles (DDGS) over the past 10 years have also factored into the recent decline. Although South Korea has increased its usage of other substitutes, corn still makes up the majority of feed consumption and 2017/18 imports are expected up over the previous year to 10.2 million tons. Historically low corn prices are expected to drive demand in this price-sensitive market amid record global corn trade.

TRADE CHANGES IN 2017/18

Selected Exporters

  • Argentina corn is slashed 1.0 million tons to 27.0 million on expectations of lower global demand and competition from other major exporters.
  • Mexico corn is boosted 600,000 tons to 1.3 million on expectations of stronger demand for non-GM white corn, particularly in African countries.
  • Russia corn is cut 500,000 tons to 5.5 million on lower expected production.
  • Ukraine corn is down 500,000 tons to 21.5 million on lower production.

Selected Importers

  • Vietnam corn is slashed 1.0 million to 9.5 million on expectations for slower-than-expected growth in feed demand.
  • Turkey corn is down 500,000 tons to 1.0 million, offset by a larger crop.
  • Jordan corn is up 300,000 tons to 1.0 million based on expectations for greater feed use.
  • Mozambique corn is cut 200,000 tons to 300,000 on higher expected production.
  • China barley is boosted 1.0 million tons to 5.5 million and sorghum is raised 550,000 tons to 5.0 million, both on the expectation of higher demand for feed grains in the absence of imported distillers’ dried grains and on favorable import margins in grain deficit regions.
  • Saudi Arabia barley is cut 1.0 million tons to 9.0 million reflecting stronger demand for China from relatively tight global exportable supplies.
  • Mexico sorghum is down 300,000 tons to 200,000 on greater use of domestic corn.

TRADE CHANGES IN 2016/17

Selected Exporters – based on trade data

  • Argentina corn is slashed 2.5 million tons to 23.5 million.
  • Brazil corn is cut 736,000 tons to 19.8 million.
  • Mexico corn is boosted 550,000 tons to 1.3 million.
  • Russia barley is raised 350,000 tons to 3.6 million.
  • Canada barley is up 250,000 tons to 1.7 million.
  • Australia barley is boosted 200,000 tons to 9.5 million.

Selected Importers – based on trade data

  • EU corn is boosted 800,000 tons to 14.8 million.
  • Vietnam corn is down 500,000 tons to 8.5 million.
  • Algeria corn is cut 500,000 tons to 4.0 million.
  • South Korea corn is down 500,000 tons to 9.3 million.
  • Jordan corn is up 425,000 tons to 1.1 million.
  • Turkey corn is raised 400,000 tons to 1.4 million.
  • Israel corn is up 350,000 tons to 1.7 million.
  • Malaysia corn is cut 300,000 tons to 3.5 million.
  • Nigeria corn is up 250,000 tons to 600,000.
  • Chile corn is down 200,000 tons 1.6 million.
  • China barley is boosted 600,000 tons to 7.6 million.
  • China sorghum is up 200,000 tons to 5.2 million.