Corn: EU supplies under threat

September 9, 2022 at 11:34 AM , Der AUDITOR
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PARIS. EU corn imports have recently surged showing that the US Department of Agriculture’s forecast that the EU will step up imports to 19 million mt may very well ring true. Russia’s sharp criticism of the implementation of the grain export deal with Ukraine may, however, cut off the bloc from urgently needed supplies.

Threats impact market

Drought and excessive heat have reduced production in France, Italy and Germany and Poland. EU production estimates range at 60 million mt, which is roughly 15% down on the 71 million mt produced last year according to EU Commission data. EU imports have, therefore, risen sharply by 48% to 4.47 million mt this marketing year so far as opposed to the 3.03 million mt imported last year. While the USDA expects the EU to step up buying by 3 million mt to 19 million mt, the EU Commission reckons that 20 million mt will need to be imported.

Russia’s president Vladimir Putin has threatened to limit the deal for shipping grains and oilseed brokered with Ukraine to only a few countries, which would effectively impede the EU from obtaining Black Sea supplies as of November. Ukrainian corn exports enabled by the deal rose to 763,000 mt in August and are expected to climb further. The EU may, therefore, switch to the US or Brazil for supplies - GMO may, however, be an issue here. Brazil’s monthly exports surged by 71% to 7.55 million mt in August as opposed to the same month last year. China will also have to step up imports due to drought.

Prices up in Europe

Ethanol is trading lower and uncompetitive prices have rendered corn unattractive for the feed industry. Russia’s threat to limit the grain corridor has, however, driven up prices by EUR 2-7/mt in Europe in the last few days.

EU grain maize, yellow, 98% purity



Diff. EUR/mt

Bordeaux, France, FOB



South Holland, CIF



Brake, Germany, FOT



Upper Rhine, France & Germany, FOB



Trade sources, weekly comparison

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price chart, corn, yellow, 99.5% purity, Matif
price chart, corn, CBOT

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