World corn trade boosted slightly, U.S. corn exports unchanged

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Global corn trade in 2010/11 is projected to reach 92.4 million tons, up 0.3 million this month. Imports are up 0.9 million tons to 2.0 million for Indonesia as production prospects there are cut. China’s imports are boosted 0.5 million tons to 1.5 million supported by high prices in China relative to the United States in the first half of March. These increases are partly offset by reductions for Canada, down 0.4 million tons to 1.2 million due to the slow pace of purchases, and by reductions of 0.1 million tons each for Israel and Peru.

Corn export prospects are boosted 1.0 million tons for Brazil to 11.0 million due to increased production prospects and the strong pace of exports during the first months of the 2010/11 October-September trade year. These are record-large corn exports for the trade year. Brazil’s March-February local marketing year exports are raised 1.5 million tons to 8.5 million. Paraguay’s corn export prospects are up 0.2 million tons to 1.6 million due to increased production.

Corn export prospects are reduced this month for Thailand, down 0.5 million tons to 0.2 million, the lowest in 5 years, as domestic use has been strong. South Africa’s exports are trimmed 0.3 million tons to 2.2 million as transportation costs are limiting exports despite large stocks. Rail transport is not working as well as in the past, pushing exporters to truck more corn to ports.

U.S. corn exports remain projected to reach 50.0 million tons in 2010/11 (1.95 billion bushels for the local marketing year). Census data indicate October- February shipments of 17.3 million tons, down 1 percent from a year earlier. March corn export inspections were 4.5 million tons, down 3 percent from a year ago. However, outstanding export sales as of March 31, 2011, were 13.5 million tons, up 37 percent from the previous year. Strong shipments are expected in the last half of 2010/11, but the 2010/11 outstanding sales carried over to the next year are also expected to be exceptionally large.



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