WORLD : Steady prices in Chicago
From 31/01 to 07/02, the March prices gained $0.9 /t Chicago to reach $151/t. Ethanol production is up by 5% compared to the previous week and stocks are down by 3%. Export figures are also up with 1.3 Mt of export sales last week. US maize is regaining competitiveness in Asia vs Ukrainian maize (about $10 /t CIF lower in Asia). Prices remain stable, pending the USDA report of 11/02. Moreover, coronavirus-related concerns are still dominating the markets. China could activate the “force majeure” clause of the trade agreement with the USA in order to postpone its purchase obligations. However, it has announced a reduction in customs duties on many American agricultural products (soybean, chicken, pork…). In Brazil, 9% of soybeans have been harvested compared to 10% on average over the last 5 years. However, this masks great disparities. The harvest in Mato Grasso is very early compared to its usual dates, whereas in the south-central and southern parts of the country, the harvest is late because of the rains. Sowings of safrinha maize are following the same dynamic, which could lead to a decrease in acreage in the south of the country. Moreover, the impact of the drought on the safra maize harvest in the south of the country is confirmed with yield reductions estimated at between -7 and -30 % depending on the state.
In Argentina, 99 % of the sowing has already been done. Growing conditions remain stable with 59% of the maize crop in “good to excellent” conditions. Last week’s rains have improved water reserves as late maize is entering the pollination phase.
EUROPE: Euronext prices down
From 31/01 to 07/02, prices on Euronext lost €1/t for the March maturity to stand at €167.5/t. The slowdown in European imports is confirmed. 13 Mt had been imported on 02/02, compared to 14 Mt on the same date in the previous crop year. Ukrainian origin accounts for 53% of these imports but is down by 10% in volume compared to the 2018/2019 crop year. Demand for Ukrainian maize is declining, especially on Asian markets, and particularly in China due to the coronavirus epidemic.