South America Calling
Alastair Stewart South America Correspondent

Thursday 11/01/12

Brazil Corn Shipments Hit New Record in October

Brazil posted record corn exports for a third successive month in October, strengthening ideas that the South American farm giant will ship as much as 18 to 19 million metric tons (mmt) in 2012-13 (Feb-Jan).

Corn exports totaled 3.66 million metric tons (mmt) last month, outstripping the 3.15 mmt registered in September, the Trade, Development and Industry Ministry said Thursday.

As a result, shipments have already surpassed the 2010-11 corn export record of 10.9 mmt, reaching 12.2 mmt in just nine months.

And there is little sign that the export pace is relenting. Around 2 mmt has already been booked for shipment in November and there is also a carryover from the 4 mmt booked for October, said Paulo Molinari, a corn analyst at Safras e Mercado, a local farm consultancy.

As a result, he sees November shipments reaching 3 million, which added to December and January shipments of over 1 mmt, takes exports beyond 17 mmt.

Brazil harvested a bumper corn crop of over 70 mmt in 2012-13, up 30% on the year before, which has allowed it to step into the gap in the export market left by crop losses in the Argentina and the U.S.

Bottlenecks at ports led many to wonder whether Brazil would manage to export any more than 12-13 mmt this year. But once soybean shipments subsided and strikes of port workers and health inspectors ended from August, shipments have just grown and grown.

With Argentina effectively out of the market, the U.S. and Brazil are the only two major market options until March, opening the possibility that Brazil could ship in February, when some new-crop product becomes available.

Posted at 2:22PM CDT 11/01/12 by Alastair Stewart
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