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US CORN’S PRICE JUMP ON WEATHER, DEMAND MAY CONTINUE AS BRAZIL NEEDS GRAIN


A couple of months ago corn futures were low and analysts were saying it would take some sort of so-called Black Swan event to change the price outlook.

While it wasn’t a single event that caused prices to jump, a confluence of weather and increased demand has led to an increase of 25% since the beginning of April. Hot, dry weather has formed in the U.S., causing concern among growers and investors alike that crops could suffer if no rain falls during the summer months.

Add in an unlikely buyer of U.S. corn, and it’s probable that futures will remain underpinned.

Brazil is facing a shortage of corn as growers in the South American country are more willing to export than sell to domestic buyers. Pig and poultry producers have been unable to get their hands on corn from Brazilian growers, meaning they’ve been seeking supplies from beyond their borders.

Naturally, Argentina is a big shipper of corn to Brazil, but crops in both countries have been hurt by adverse weather conditions, meaning supplies are low and prices are high. The next best alternative is, of course, the U.S.

Demand for U.S. inventories has increased in recent months. Overseas buyers have written contracts to buy 44.7 million metric tons of U.S. corn since the start of the marketing year on Sept. 1, up 2% from the same timeframe a year earlier, according to the Department of Agriculture. That’s a lofty number considering a couple months ago that number trailed the year-ago pace.

In Brazil, the price of domestic corn has doubled since January for pig producers, making production unprofitable.

“It is a desperate situation,” said Losivanio Luiz de Lorenzi, president of the Pig Raisers´ Association of Santa Catarina.

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