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Northeast Asia corn posts new high at $313/mt, up $10/mt on week

Singapore — CFR Northeast Asian corn rose $5/mt on the day and $10/mt on the week, to post a new historical high at $313/mt April 22, S&P Global Platts data showed.

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Chicago Board of Trade May corn futures settled more than 3% higher April 21 for a new contract close high of $6.255/bushel.

"It is a weather market now and the talk of China buying is a double whammy," one Singapore-based trader said.

Quality concerns over Brazil's safrinha crop continue to plague markets and Asian market players reported that at least 10 US corn cargoes for October-December shipments were bought by China April 21.

Freight rates also supported the surge in price.

The general upward movement in the Atlantic across all sizes was reflected in spot fixtures throughout the basin, on both Panamax and Kamsarmax sizes, as previously reported by Platts.

Corn and soybean cargoes from Brazil and Argentina into Far Eastern discharge ports dominated the spot fixture lists. The Santos-to-Qingdao, 60,000-mt grain route was assessed up $2.50 on the day at $55.75/mt.

The most competitive corn for Northeast Asia is being priced from Argentina, and the freight cost from Bahia Blanca to Qingdao for 60,000-mt cargo sizes have surged $6.50/mt on the week to be assessed at $61.75/mt April 22.

It is not a surprise then that Asian buyers have remained quiet amid the surge in prices. The last trade reported in South Korea was on April 15, when Viterra sold privately to KFA Inchon a June-delivery parcel at $293.79/mt, on a CFR basis. Since then, more discussions have been heard for Indian corn, which is still being offered on spot, at $20-$30/mt cheaper than Argentina corn.