Singapore — Buying consortiums in South Korea have completed importing about 90% of their requirements for 2019 at around 9 million mt, industry sources said late Wednesday.
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South Korean buying groups are currently looking out for December offers, after procuring cargoes at much lower prices month on month over the last few months. August arrival cargoes were concluded at an average of around $196/mt CFR South Korea, September cargoes averaged $194/mt CFR, and tenders concluded in the past two weeks for November cargoes were awarded at $187-$188/mt CFR.
South Korea last year tendered for December delivery six months ahead in June, S&P Global Platts data in 2018 showed.
"The market has a record net short on futures and the delayed plantings are bullish factors," one trader said.
Weakness in CBOT futures spurred the buying spree in South Korea, sources said. The front-month CBOT futures price started the year firm at $3.83/bushel on January 4, but fell to a year-to-date low of $3.52/bu on March 11. The front-month CBOT contract settled at $3.58/bu on Wednesday.