Corn imports for animal feed could rise 16%

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Corn imports for animal feed could rise 16%

Korea’s imports of corn for animal feed may rise 16 percent this year as millers seek a cheaper alternative to wheat and some U.S. cargoes are diverted from China, an industry executive said.

Inbound shipments may total 7.9 million metric tons compared with 6.8 million tons last year, Kim Chi-young, a director at Seoul-based Korea Feed Association, said Tuesday by telephone. Wheat purchases will drop by 23 percent to 1.3 million tons, he said.

Higher demand from the second-biggest buyer in Asia may support futures in Chicago, which slumped 15 percent last quarter on forecasts for rising global supplies and as China curbed U.S. purchases over a genetically modified corn variety. It costs about 9 percent less to import corn versus wheat, according to Kim at the nation’s biggest grain-buying group.

“Expensive feed-wheat prices have made domestic feed makers use less of the grain this year, increasing corn purchases instead,” he said.

Total corn imports, including for food, will climb to 9.5 million tons in the 12 months ending Oct. 31, from 8.2 million the previous period, the U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates. The U.S. is the world’s largest corn supplier, followed by Brazil and Argentina, according to the USDA.

Corn for December delivery on the Chicago Board of Trade was unchanged at $4.275 a bushel by 10:29 a.m. in Tokyo after touching $4.17 yesterday, the lowest price since Jan. 10. Wheat for September delivery traded at $5.7425 a bushel.


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