The CBOT corn futures MAR-23 contract price was at Usc 676.2 bushel at the time of writing (16th February 2023), down 0.32% w-o-w. Corn prices continued to trade in a narrow range this week.
The bumper Brazilian corn crop continues to cap any major price gains in corn markets. A trader told Mintec, “everything is set to have a very good year for Brazilian corn. This summer, we will produce a record crop. The estimate is around 123.7 million mt, of course, if the weather helps.” Brazilian corn sales are lagging from the previous years, because there is an expectation from the farmers that corn prices will go up. A source told Mintec, “if I were a farmer, I would sell 30-40% of my production right now, I think the Chicago price is quite good. If I sell right now, I can cash that, and the interest rate is also quite high, so I can gain some money with interest, or I can buy inputs for the next season. I can sell corn/soybeans in exchange for fertilisers or agrichemicals with a discount. Then I would guarantee the next season. Fertilisers and agrochemical prices have dropped a lot, so this is an opportunity for the farmers to cash that, but it seems that they are not willing to do that.”
This week, the US corn market was down on technical selling and a stronger dollar. In the February USDA report, US corn ending stocks increased by 2% month-on-month (m-o-m) as per market players’ expectations, although the reduction came mainly from ethanol production and not exports. A Mintec source noted, “US corn exports and sales are still slow.”
In Ukraine, corn prices were quite steady this week. A Mintec source noted, “I think the market activity is somewhat weak, and now there is this pressure with the grain corridor continuity. It seems that the majority of the traders have covered their needs and not making any new contracts until there is some clarity on the grain corridor deal.” On another note, market players said that there are efforts to decrease the downtime at the vessel inspection. A traded added, “they want to increase the tonnage of the vessels from 20,000 tonnes to 25,000 tonnes.”