Brazil demand for Argentine corn seen as short-term
By Reese Ewing, Roberto Samora and Hugh Bronstein
SAO PAULO/BUENOS AIRES, March 29 (Reuters) - After surprising grain markets this week with its biggest purchase of Argentine corn in over 15 years, traders said Brazil's import needs were not likely to persist beyond the start of winter harvest due onstream in the second half of 2016.
For the coming few months, however, Brazil's demand should help support corn futures prices, which have gained 5.6 percent in March to close up at $3.73 a bushel on Tuesday.
The highest corn prices since 2008 in Brazil prompted local poultry processor GTFoods to order 90,000 tonnes of Argentine corn for feed, as reported by Reuters on Monday.
This comes after a Parana state-based trader in Brazil said last week that 250,000 tonnes of Argentine corn imports were lined up for delivery through May.
The sharp decline in the Brazilian real in late 2015 unleashed record corn exports that contributed to the tight supplies on the local market.
The relaxing of Argentine grain export restrictions, after the election of President Mauricio Macri in November, also helped lay the ground work for these deals.
"It's more of an opportunistic business than the start of a trend," a Buenos Aires-based executive at a large grains trader said, adding however, the short-term volumes may be "important".
Brazil's purchases of Argentine corn in 2016 are the largest since 2001, when it imported 321,000 tonnes of corn from its neighbor, although it is a regular buyer of smaller cargoes in the region. Continuación...