Corn export premiums at the US Gulf Coast held mostly steady on Friday amid tight supplies of grain left over from last year’s harvest and limited demand from overseas buyers, traders said. FOB basis offers for soyabeans at the Gulf also held steady as demand for near term shipments has shifted almost entirely to South America and as thin US old-crop supplies raised prices to uncompetitive levels.
Several Gulf exporters were not offering corn and soyabean shipments until at least June because they were unsure if they could secure enough barge- or rail-delivered supplies to fill an ocean-going vessel. Strong demand from US domestic users was keeping corn and soyabeans from entering the river market, which kept basis values at the Gulf inverted. But exporters were not overly aggressive bidders amid a lack of fresh export demand for either commodity.
Traders could not confirm widespread talk this week of South American soyabean imports into the United States. Imports were probable at some point ahead of the US autumn harvest, traders said. Some US users have imported South American corn this season, but there have been no fresh sales in recent weeks as Brazilian ports are busy shipping soyabeans and as higher corn prices in Argentina have erased import margins. China has stockpiled more corn than expected in state reserves so demand from the state importer was expected to be slow, a government think-tank said. But the stockpiling has raised domestic corn prices so demand from private importers could rise.