China, Brazil sign corn-supply deal

April 8, 2014

Chuin-Wei Yap, Wall Street Journal, 4/8/2014

China said Tuesday it will allow sizable imports of Brazilian corn, marking another step in the Asian giant’s moves to lessen its dependence on the U.S. for the vital grain.

The U.S. supplies more than 90% of China’s corn, but its share of the world’s fastest-growing corn market has been pared down as Beijing has sought in the last two years to broaden its supply.

China’s shift to a protein-rich diet and its rising industrialization are changing global trade flows. China’s demand for corn rose 39-fold in volume between last year and 2009, though imports so far represent only about 2% of China’s total corn consumption.

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Brazil Soy, Corn Crops Seen at Record on Planting, Rain

February 7, 2013

Mario Sergio Lima – Bloomberg, 02/07/2013

Soybean output in Brazil, set to surpass the U.S. as the largest grower, will rise more than previously estimated to a record as growers expand planting, the government said. The corn forecast was also raised to a record.

Growers will harvest 83.4 million metric tons in the 2012-2013 crop year that started Sept. 1, more than the 82.7 million tons estimated last month, the Agriculture Ministry’s crop-forecasting agency, known as Conab, said in a report today. Production will climb from 66.4 million tons collected in the past season.

Rising soybean prices are encouraging growers to expand planting, while regular showers on corn crops are helping boost yields after dry weather hurt output in the past season, Conab said. Soybean futures have risen 21 percent in New York in the last 12 months.

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US buyers turn to Brazil for cheap corn

July 23, 2012

Gregory Meyer and Samantha Pearson – Financial Times, 07/22/2012

The US is turning to Brazil for help with corn supplies as low stocks and the worst drought in half a century haunt the world’s leading grain exporter.

Meat companies including top pork producer Smithfield Foods have arranged to ship Brazilian corn to the US east coast as it has become cheaper than rations from the US corn belt, according to people familiar with the transactions.

The situation – analogous to Saudi Arabia importing oil – underscores how anxious buyers of corn, particularly the livestock, poultry and ethanol industries, have become, as 88 per cent of the domestic crop struggles in drought-hit regions.

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RPT-Brazil expects clearance soon to export corn to China

June 6, 2012

Reese Ewing – Reuters, 06/06/2012

SAO PAULO, June 6 (Reuters) – Brazil should soon secure clearance to ship corn to China, which is expected to become one of the world’s biggest importers of the grain, Brazil’s agriculture ministry said.

Lino Colsera, the ministry’s head of foreign affairs, said he was awaiting the paperwork from his Chinese counterparts that could solidify Brazil’s recent emergence as a leading corn exporter, according to a transcription of Colsera’s comments at a conference on Tuesday.

A mission of Chinese technicians visited Brazil in March to assess the phyto-sanitary risks of Brazilian corn, a protocol required to open trade channels in a food commodity. Typically, pest and disease risks from imports are documented and some restrictions on origin of the commodity may be imposed.

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Brazil’s corn crop expected stronger

April 12, 2012

Dan Piller -DesMoines Register, 04/11/2012

While much attention has focused on Brazil’s drought and heat-related problems with its soybean crop, the South American nation is expected to see a 13 percent increase in its winter corn crop to about 2.5 million bushels.

That would be in contrast to the woes of Brazil’s soybeans, which are expected to come in 13 percent lower. Brazil’s agricultural reporting service, Conab, said “favorable weather in central-western states such as Mato Grosso should allow for growers to make the most out of record planting.”

By contrast, the soybean-intensive states of Rio Grande do Sul and Parana were hit harder by the heat and drought during the recent South American summer and soybeans suffered accordingly.


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Brazil corn to hit record despite drought -Celeres

March 6, 2012

Roberto Samora & Peter Murphy – Reuters, 03/05/2012

Brazil’s 2011/12 corn harvest should turn out 60.4 million tonnes, local analyst Celeres said on Monday, trimming its view slightly from the 60.58 million tonnes it forecast in February.

Analyst estimates for corn had been slashed recently after a harsh dry spell destroyed some of the corn in top producer Parana state. Many forecasts then swung higher on expectations the winter crop, one of two annual harvests, would be bigger than previously thought.

Celeres estimates that Brazil produced 53.74 million tonnes from both summer and winter crops last season. The summer crop runs roughly from September to April with the planting of the winter crop coming straight after.

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Brazilian police say thieves greased train tracks, stole 50 tons of corn from moving train

December 12, 2011

AP/Washington Post, 12/11/2011

 Police in Brazil’s southeastern Sao Paulo state are investigating the theft of 50 metric tons (55 U.S. tons) of corn from a moving train.A police report says the thieves greased the train tracks, making the wheels of the 54-wagon locomotive skid and slow down before they used a tow truck with a hook to remove the corn-filled containers.

The report says the theft occurred as the train traveled through a rural area about 180 miles (300 kilometers) north of the capital. The train was headed to the southeastern port of Santos with 60 metric tons (66 U.S. tons) of corn and sugar.

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Brazil 2011-12 soy crop seen down

October 7, 2011

Paul Kiernan – Marketwatch, 10/06/2011

Brazil’s soy production is expected to decline in 2011-12, as the excellent weather that contributed to the previous year’s bumper crop won’t likely repeat itself, while good prices attract farmers into cotton and corn.

Government crop-supply agency Conab said Thursday it estimates Brazil’s 2011-12 soy production at between 72.19 million and 73.3 million metric tons, down from last year’s output of 75.32 million tons.

The expected drop in soy output reflects lower productivity, as planted area is set to increase 2% to 3.5% from the 24.18 million hectares sown in 2010-11. Conab said some farmers will want to plant corn rather than soy due to demand for feed from the local poultry and pork industries, as well as crop-rotation needs.

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