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W9: Weekly Maize (Corn) Update

Updated Mar 8, 2023
Tridge's global market analysts and country representatives analyze what happened in W9 in the global Maize (Corn) market. In summary, corn export sales have declined, while wheat and beans increased due to U.S. export concerns, technical selling, and Russia's invasion of Ukraine. Corn futures prices fluctuated in the range between USD 16.95 and USD 17.17. Mato Grosso do Sul has a harvest forecast of 11MT of safrinha corn, with an area of 2.32Mha, 5.4% larger than the previous cycle. The Secretary of State, Environment, Science, Technology, and Innovation (Semadesc) highlighted the expansion of poultry and pig farming, with direct incentives. Corn quotes fell due to sluggish exports and USDA forecasts for more planted acreage. Mexico's plan to limit imports of genetically modified corn is not a compromise, and the US is disappointed. Negative Fundamentals Return to the Market and Corn Opens on March 2, 2023, in Brazil due to pessimism about the Black Sea Agreement. Rainfall delays corn harvest and sowing in the Center-West region, raising concerns about weather difficulties. Thailand's corn imports in 2022/23 were down 13% YoY. Lastly, the fall armyworm plague is posing a serious threat to Zimbabwe's major staple food crop, maize, with potential losses of up to 17.7MMT and up to USD 5B a year.

United States

Corn Exports Fell in the US (Feb 27)

Corn export sales have declined, while wheat and beans increased, according to US Department of Agriculture (USDA) data. Corn sales in W8 were 823.2KMT, down 20% from the W8 and 30% from the four-week average. Japan was the main buyer with 312KT, followed by Mexico with 289.6KT and Taiwan with 77.5KT.

Corn and Wheat Hit Multi-Week Lows on U.S. Export Concerns (Feb 27)

The Chicago Board of Trade corn futures set a six-week low on February 24, 2023. Technical selling helped fuel the sell-off, along with prospects for robust 2023 corn production in the United States and broader economic worries. On the first anniversary of Russia's invasion of major grains producer Ukraine, traders largely expect an extension of the Black Sea grain deal that facilitated the flow of Ukrainian crops to world buyers. Russian President Vladimir Putin spoke to his Turkish counterpart Tayyip Erdogan about the deal. Compared with the day before Russia's invasion in 2022, corn futures are down about 5%.

It Is Nearly Impossible to Predict the Corn Trend in Brazil (Feb 27)

According to TF Agroeconomia, Chicago corn prices for the March 2023 and May 2023 contracts decreased by just 0.40 and 0.11%, respectively, from USD 267.90/T to USD 266.82/T and from USD 267.01/T to USD 266.72/T, following the corn business week. Corn experienced a week with few shocks and with components that failed to solidify a trend. The increased planting agility in Brazil, inflation, and oil prices are some of the negative aspects. Conab conducted a survey of the Safrinha planting process at the start of the W9, which accounts for more than 20% of the anticipated area and just over 76% of the entire supply of the Brazilian crop, compared to 10.7% in W8 and 35.1% at the same time.

Corn Futures Move a Little on Monday Morning (Feb 27)

On February 27, 2023, corn futures prices on the Brazilian Stock Exchange (B3) fluctuated in the range between USD 16.95 (BRL 87.20) and USD 17.17 (BRL 88.34) at around 10:14 AM (Brasília time). The March/23 maturity was quoted at BRL 87.75 with a drop of 0.17%, the May/23 was worth USD 17.05 (BRL 88.34) with a 0.05% increase, July/23 was traded for USD 16.91 (BRL 87), USD 7.97 (BRL 41) with a gain of 0.01% and the September/23 had a value of USD 16.75 (BRL 86.20)with an increase of 0.06%. The Chicago Stock Exchange (CBOT) also started the first day of the week with movements very close to stability for international corn futures prices, which were still in a positive field around 10:05 AM. The maturity on March/23 was quoted at USD 6.50 with a rise of 0.25 points, the May/17 was negotiated for USD 5.92 with an appreciation of 2.00 points. Concerns about crop losses after the drought in Argentina are propping up corn and soybeans today, but the market is still pessimistic due to the weight of the record Brazilian soybean crop.

Corn Crop Should Grow 5.4% With the Challenge of Improving Logistics and Increasing Grain Processing Within Mato Grosso Do Sul, Brazil (Feb 27)

Mato Grosso do Sul has a harvest forecast of 11MT of Safrinha corn, with the expectation that the area destined for corn 2nd crop 2022/23 will be 2.32Mha, 5.4% larger than the previous cycle. The estimated productivity is 80.33 bags/ha, with a total production of 11.2MMT. The Secretary of State, Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation (Semadesc), Jaime Verruck, highlighted the expansion of poultry and pig farming, with direct incentives, and the forecast is that both will absorb 30% of the harvest. The strategy is to increase the level of processing of the product within the State and to attract the corn ethanol industry to MS.

Corn Prices in Chicago Fell 5.8% For TW9 Amid Weak Demand and Forecasts of More Planted Acreage (Feb 28)

Corn quotes in Chicago fell 5.8% due to sluggish exports and USDA forecasts for more planted acreage in 2023. Exports decreased 9% to 572.6KT, 62% less than in 2022, and Argentina lowered its forecast for the harvest. Purchase prices increased to USD 198-200/T. Ukraine is increasing its exports and speeding up the inspection of courts.

Little Room for Compromise in US-Mexico Corn Dispute (Feb 28)

Mexico's plan to limit imports of genetically modified corn is not a compromise, and the US is disappointed. The U.S. Trade Representative will begin a process "very soon" to facilitate talks. If talks do not lead to a resolution, the next step would be a formal process under the USMCA. Mexico's economy ministry did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Pessimism About the Black Sea Agreement Takes Hold of the Market and Corn Opens on March 2, 2023, Rising in the Stock Exchanges (Mar 2)

Corn futures prices on the Brazilian Stock Exchange (B3) and the Chicago Stock Exchange (CBOT) rose on February 24, 2023, supported by bargains and doubts over the renewal of a Black Sea grain export deal. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov accused the West of "shamelessly burying" the deal.


Negative Fundamentals Return to the Fore and Corn Starts to Retreat in the Stock Exchanges on February 27, 2023, in Brazil (Feb 27)

Corn futures prices on the Brazilian Stock Exchange (B3) fluctuated in the range between USD 16.90 (BRL 86.97) and USD 17.09 (BRL 87.94) at around 1:07 PM (Brasília time). External market negative movements also reappeared for international corn futures prices, which lost strength on the Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT). Farm Futures analyst Jacqueline Holland highlights the additional pressure due to concerns about another heat wave that should harm Argentina's corn crops.

Delays in the Corn Harvest in Brazil Worry Agents (Feb 27)

Rainfall has delayed the corn harvest of the summer crop and the sowing of the next crop in the Center-West region, raising concerns about weather difficulties. Negotiations are focused on field conditions and the national spot market, keeping liquidity low and prices stable.

Market Unchanged for Corn in the South of Brazil (Feb 27)

The corn market in Rio Grande do Sul ended the week unchanged, with trading companies closing ships and prices unchanged for March 2023. In Santa Catarina, buyer prices dropped slightly, with sellers absent. Taxed corn for small buyers was between USD 13.41-17.49/bag (BRL 69-90/bag) depending on shipping or USD 17.68 (BRL 91) for 30 days. Exportation prices were below USD 17.49 (BRL 90) at the port, with counter prices unchanged at USD 16.32 (BRL 84/bag) in Campos Novos.

Corn Closes Down on B3, Brazil (Feb 27)

The São Paulo Commodity Exchange (B3) closed in a new fall due to the rise in the dollar and the 1.55% drop in corn prices in Chicago. Domestic market buyers tried to stock up on local markets, with buyers in Paraná being the main buyers.

Imea Updates Corn Production Cost in MT and Points to Planting at 72.6% In the State of Brazil (Feb 28)

The IMEA (Mato-Grossense Institute of Agricultural Economics) released a report pointing out updates on the 2023 corn crop. The cost of the crop for the 2023/24 season was USD 675.33/ha (BRL 3,475.11/ha), an increase of 14.11% compared to the 2022/23 cycle. It was due to the update of the modal production cost panels and the appreciation of the price of corn in the last few years. The Breakeven Point for corn in Mato Grosso increased by 15.40%, requiring a producer to sell their bag of corn at least USD 8.84/sc (BRL 45.47/sc) to cover their expenses. Technicians also updated the progress of the planting.

Corn Closes in New Fall on B3 in Brazil (Feb 28)

On the São Paulo Commodity Exchange, corn futures prices closed in a new fall due to the rise in the dollar and the 1.11% drop in corn prices in Chicago. Domestic market buyers tried to stock up on local markets, and the purchasers of goods in Paraná were the buyers of goods in the Midwest. In Chicago, March 2023 prices closed down 1.11%.

Brazilian Corn Export Have Only Occasional Purchases to Complete Shipments (Feb 28)

The Brazilian export market has seen only occasional purchases to complete shipments, with premiums remaining at USD 0.103/bushel for July 23 and retreating to USD 110 for September 2023. Trading companies are ending the previous season's purchases and turning only to soybeans, while some ethanol and corn milling industries are buying the 2023 harvest. The weather has not been favorable, with temperatures in the range of 33-36°C.

Brazilian Corn Retreats in Chicago on February 28, 2023, in the US and Accumulates up to 7.3% Of Devaluation Throughout February 2023 (Feb 28)

In the monthly comparison, Brazilian cereal contracts accumulated losses of 1.82% for March/23 and 1.89% for May/23, in addition to increases of 0.06% for July/23 and 0.06% for September/23 throughout February 2023 compared to the closing date of January 31, 2023. Corn retreats in Chicago and accumulates up to 7.3% of devaluation throughout February 2023.

Prices Remain Unchanged in the Brazilian Corn Market (Feb 28)

The corn market in the state of Rio Grande do Sul has remained unchanged, with prices for March (industry post) USD (BRL 87) Great Santa Rosa, USD 17.85 (BRL 91.50) Marau region, USD (BRL 92.50)Lajeado region, and USD 16.77 (BRL 86) interior. Buyer prices in Santa Catarina have slightly retreated, with sellers absent and taxed corn for small buyers between USD 13.46-17.55/bag (BRL 69-90/bag) depending on shipping or USD 17.75 (BRL 91) for 30 days. Counter prices were unchanged in Campos Novos, dropped to USD 15.70 (BRL 80.5) in Chapecó, and fell to USD 16 (BRL 82) in Paraná.

Brazilian Corn Market Should Have Weak Movement in Business (Feb 28)

The Brazilian corn market recorded stable prices on February 27, 2023, with producers focusing on the harvest and sale of soybeans. In the Port of Santos, the price ranged from USD 17.23/18.01 (BRL 89/93) (purchase) to USD 18.01/17.62 (BRL 93/91) (sale) per bag (CIF). In Rio Grande do Sul, the price was USD 17.62/17.91/bag (BRL 91/92.5/bag) in Erechim, USD 15.10/15.49/15.49/bag (BRL 78/80/80/bag in Uberlândia, Goiás, Mato Grosso, and Rondonópolis.

Brazilian Farmers Are Slow Sellers of Their 2022/23 Corn Production (Feb 28)

Farmers in Mato Grosso have been slow sellers of their anticipated 2022/23 corn production due to questions about the overall crop and lower prices compared to 2022. According to the Mato Grosso Institute of Agricultural Economics (Imea), farmers in the state have sold 25% of their anticipated 2022/23 safrinha corn production. It represents an advance of 2% compared to the prior month.

Greater Corn Production Raises Exports to 47MMT in Brazil (Mar 1)

StoneX expects Brazil to reach a record production of 130.6M tons of corn in 2022/23, with an export estimate of 47M tons and closing stocks of 14.09M tons.

February 2023 Ends With Corn Exports Almost 3 Times Higher Than in 2022 in Brazil (Mar 1)

Brazilian corn exports ended February 2023 with 2,276,898.3 tons of unground corn, 196.3% more than the total of 768,396.6 tons exported during February 2022. The daily average of shipments was 126,499.4 tons, an increase of 212.8% compared to 40,441.9 in February 2022.

For ANEC, Brazil Should Ship 1.949MMT of Corn in February 2023 (Mar 1)

Brazilian corn exports are expected to reach 1.949M tons in February 2023, up from 523,342 tons in February 2022

Stability Marks Corn Prices on the Brazilian Stock Exchange This Wednesday and Slightly Positive Futures in Chicago, USA (Mar 1)

March 1, 2023, begins with corn futures prices virtually unchanged and operating in the mixed field of the Brazilian Stock Exchange (B3). The main quotations fluctuated between USD 16.80 (BRL 86.76) and USD 16.92 (BRL 87.41)at around 10:14 AM (Brasília time). The March/23 maturity was quoted at USD 16.84 (BRL 86.99) with a drop of 0.40%, the May/23 was worth USD 16.92 (BRL 87.41) with a loss of 0.15%, the July/23 was traded for USD 16.84,20 (BRL 87, 20) with an increase of 0.14%, and the September/23 was valued at US$ 86.82, down 0.21%.

Digital Agriculture Can Help Brazil Achieve Record Corn Crop Projection (Mar 1)

Brazil is the third largest corn producer in the world and is expecting an increase of 12.5% in the 2022/23 harvest. Digital agriculture is the most used tool, followed by monitoring software and climate forecasting solutions, and agricultural telemetry is the least used.

Corn Prices Melt in the South of Brazil (Mar 2)

Corn prices have dropped in Brazil, with prices in Rio Grande do Sul dropping by USD 0.58/sack (BRL 3/sack) and USD 0.39/sack (BRL 2/sack) at the destination. In Santa Catarina, prices remain low, and the seller sells the minimum.

Corn Harvest Reached 57% In Rio Grande Do Sul, Brazil (Mar 2)

The main activity in Rio Grande do Sul in W8 was the corn harvest, which reached 57% of the cultivated area. Soybean crops predominate in reproductive stages, with 30% in flowering and 54% in grain filling. The rains between February 23 and 24, 2023, irregular and in very varied volumes, benefited the smallest part of the crops. The projected area for the 2022/23 harvest is 6,568,607ha, with an initially estimated productivity of 3,131 kg/ha.

Brazilian Corn Market Should Continue With Stalled Sales (Mar 2)

The Brazilian corn market recorded stable to lower prices on March 1, 2023, with industries trying to bring down prices in the South and Southeast. Domestic supply has improved, but business is likely to continue slowly. The Chicago Commodity Exchange is on a high, and the dollar presents volatility in its quotation.

Brazilian Corn Exports Reached the Highest Volume in February 2023 Since 2016 (Mar 2)

Brazilian corn exports reached 2.28M tons in February, the highest volume since 2016, due to increased demand from China and stocks accumulated due to the record harvest of 2022.

Corn Export Brings Hope to the Brazilian Market (Mar 2)

The Brazilian corn market for export has begun to show hope, with premiums remaining at USD 0.60/bushel for July 23, USD 100 for August 23, and USD 110 for September. However, two large trading companies are studying the possibility of putting corn ships to load in Brazil, leading to an intensification of the dispute with domestic industries and possible price increases.

Corn in Brazil Follows Very Slowly (Mar 3)

The corn market in Rio Grande do Sul is slowing down due to the lack of factories covered for March 2023. Prices for April (industry post) maintained the previous day at USD (BRL 84/bag), with taxed corn for small buyers between USD 13.36-17.42/bag (BRL 69-90/bag) depending on shipping or USD 17.62 (BRL 91) for 30 days. In Santa Catarina, prices remain low, and the seller sells the minimum. In Paraná, the market remains static or slow, with producers focused on soy. Vendors are asking for USD 16.65 (BRL 86/bag) in Maringá, USD 16.84(BRL 87) in Ponta Grossa and Londrina, and USD 16.65 (BRL 86) in the West and Southwest.

2022/23 Safrinha Corn in Brazil Is 55% Planted Compared to 63% In 2022 (Mar 3)

2022/23 safrinha corn was 55% planted as of late in W8 compared to 63% in 2022. It represents an advance of 15% for W9. The planting pace is fastest in central Brazil and slowest in south-central Brazil. The safrinha corn planting is slightly behind average in Mato Grosso, but there are increasing concerns in Brazil about the delayed planting, especially in south-central Brazil.

Only Complementary Activities for Corn Export in Brazil (Mar 3)

The Brazilian market for corn for export has only complementary businesses, with premiums at USD .60/bushel for July 23, USD 100 for August 23, and USD 110 for September 2023. Price indications for Safrinha are low, leading to difficulty in originating products in the second half. Planting in Paraguay is paralyzed due to excessive rainfall.

A Plant for Deep Processing of Corn With a Capacity of 100KT Will Be Built in the Turkestan Region of Kazakhstan (Mar 3)

A plant for deep processing of corn with a capacity of 100KT of finished products per year will be built in the industrial zone of Shardara (Turkestan region of the Republic of Kazakhstan).

More Than 90 Companies in Brazil Are Authorized to Sell Corn to China (Mar 3)

In the first two months of the year alone, more than 90 companies in Brazil were authorized to export corn to China. They were authorized by the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock (Mapa) to sell grain to the Asian country during this period.


In Argentina, the Buenos Aires Stock Exchange Continues to Indicate Poor Corn Conditions and Is Already Considering New Production Reductions (Mar 2)

In Argentina, the Buenos Aires Grain Exchange (BCBA) updated its reports on the 2022/23 corn crop, noting that the greatest advances were in the Center-East of Entre Ríos and the Center-North of Santa Fe. The absence of rains and high temperatures have caused significant losses, leading to the BCBA considering reducing the estimate of corn production to 41M tons. The BCBA currently rates Argentina's corn crops with 6% as good or excellent, 38% as fair, and 56% as fair or poor. Water conditions are classified as excellent or adequate and 60% as regular or dry.

New Argentinian Popcorn Crop Set to Start in W12-W13 (Mar 3)

In Argentina, the new popcorn crop will start in W12-W13. Lower volumes are forecasted due to the lack of rain and the frosts during W8. The estimated price is USD 720-750/MT for the first batches, FOB Buenos Aires.


Ukrainian Traders Reduce Demand Prices for Corn in Deep Water Ports (Feb 27)

Uncertainty about the future of the "grain agreement" is holding back trading activity and putting pressure on purchase prices. Ukraine is focusing on expanding exports and including the Nikolaev ICC, while amendments to the state budget provide guarantees for damages.

Another 100KT of Ukrainian Corn Shipped Through the Grain Corridor (Feb 27)

Two dry cargo ships left the ports of Big Odessa on February 26, 2023, carrying 94.7KT of corn to European countries. Five more ships are heading to the ports of Ukraine, bringing the total tonnage of grain and other agricultural products exported from three Ukrainian ports to 22.328M tons. The total number of coordinated vessel movements is 1524.

Feed Corn Continues to Fall in Price in Ukraine (Mar 2)

According to APK-Inform news agency, for the third week in a row prices for feed corn have been gradually decreasing in Ukraine.

There Is No Demand for Ukrainian Corn in Deep-Sea Ports (Mar 2)

In connection with the approach of the expiration of the "grain corridor", buyers for Ukrainian corn have disappeared altogether, which is connected with the reluctance to take additional risks on the terms of FOB - the ports of Great Odesa. Prices have declined due to the approaching harvest from South America and good prospects for corn planting in the US. New crop corn is trading at USD 250-255 FOB equivalent with November-December shipment.

Ukraine Still Continues to Harvest 2022’s Corn Crop (Mar 2)

As of March 2, 2023, grain and leguminous crops in Ukraine were threshed on 11.3Mha, 98% of the planned, with 54.28M tons of grain harvested with an average yield of 48 centners per hectare. Corn harvesting is underway, with 4.02Mha (95%) of which 26.9M tons have been threshed. The gross grain harvest was at 26.79M tons. Spring sowing for a new crop has already begun, with 3.5Kha sown in the Odessa region with barley and 2Kha with peas.


Corn Fell by Nine Euros in the European Grain and Oilseed Futures Markets (Feb 27)

In the European market, inking of corn sees how the tons that will arrive at their destination in March 2023 fall USD 9.48 (EUR 9) to stand at USD 294.48 (EUR 279.50) while those that will do so in June 2023 fall USD 2.37 (EUR 2.25) to stand at USD 292.11 (EUR 277.25).


Corn Has Not Been This Cheap Since August in the Global Market (Mar 1)

Crop prices fell further on February 28, 2023, in the commodity markets. In Chicago, the exchange rate for corn decreased by 2%. In Europe, the rates of all four priority agricultural products, mill wheat, corn, rapeseed, and fodder wheat, closed in the red.


Maize Shortage Piles Pressure on Households as Bag Hits USD 46.69 (KSE 6K) in Kenya (Mar 1)

A 90-kilo bag of maize has shot up to USD 46.44(KES 6k) on the back of a shortage and stiff competition between millers and other agencies, piling pressure on households. The price rise is due to delayed imports and the National Cereals and Produce Board (NCPB) announcement in W8 that it had increased the buying price of maize from USD 39.47 (KES 5.1k) to USD 43.34(KES 5.6k). The State has allowed traders to import 10M bags of maize duty-free between February and August 2023, but none have been able to ship in the produce. Millers have signed a memorandum of understanding stating that the imported grain will land at USD 32.51 (4.2k) to have an impact on consumers.

Maize Prices in Kenya Increased 20% Mom in March Due to Low Domestic Supply and Delayed Imports (Mar 2)

Kenya's maize prices have been increasing due to low domestic supply from farmers and delayed imports by the government due to scarcity in the global market. This import delay has seen farmers and suppliers hoard maize, in the hopes that prices will increase. In February, the price of 90kg of maize stood at US 39.37, which increased by 20% to USD 47.24 in the first week of March. Millers have also increased the price of a bale (24kgs) of maize flour by 10%, from USD 16.14 in February to USD 17.72 in March. Furthermore, the shortage has seen retail prices for 2kg maize flour rise by 5.6%.


Mexico Says Us Must Prove Corn Decree Harms Trade (Feb 28)

The US disagreement with Mexico over its plan to limit imports of GM corn is politically motivated, and the US must present evidence if it wants to take the dispute to a dispute panel.


Corn Imports to Thailand Fell by 13% (Mar 3)

Thailand's corn imports in 2022/23 were down 13% YoY, with Myanmar supplying 61%, India 24%, and Cambodia 14%. Imports from Myanmar will recover once trade returns to normal, while corn production in Thailand will remain unchanged at 5.2M tons.


Police in Mpulungu, Zambia Seize Trucks Laden With Maize for Smuggling (Mar 3)

Police in Mpulungu District have impounded eight trucks of maize suspected to have been planned for smuggling into neighboring countries. The government decided to offload the maize to milling companies to reduce mealie meal prices. Terry Milling, the company at the center of the controversy, has admitted to borrowing the maize from a milling company in Nakonde to process into mealie meals. Hodes Sikazwe, the company manager, stated that one truck of maize containing 500 by 50 kg bags had already been offloaded.


Fall Armyworm Threatens 2023 Maize Harvest in Zimbabwe (Mar 1)

Fall armyworm plague is posing a serious threat to Zimbabwe's major staple food crop, maize, with potential losses of up to 17.7MMT and up to USD 5B a year. To combat the spread, the government needs to strengthen monitoring and surveillance, enlisting the support of community-based armyworm forecasting units.

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