China Talks Down Need For Corn Imports

March 6, 2012 12:17 AM

What Traders are Talking About:

* China talks down need for corn imports. The head of China's State Grain Administration, which manages the storage and distribution of the country's grain supplies and drafts relevant grain-related policies, says there are ample stockpiles of corn and therefore large tonnages imports are not needed this year despite rising corn needs. Along those same lines, the head of China's state-run grain trading firm COFCO says feed grain imports will fall slightly this year and China will only buy corn if economics are favorable (read that: prices fall).

The long and short of it: China talking down the need for corn likely signals the country will be a buyer of U.S. corn, especially if prices fall. China rarely gives the market the whole truth in public statements from state officials.

* Outside markets drawing more attention. The euro fell, causing the U.S. dollar index to spike overnight on concerns about a Greek debt swap deal with private bond holders and amid worries about the general health of the euro-zone. Greece has until Thursday to reach a deal with private debt holders on voluntary write downs. There are some reports Greece is seeking an extension of that deadline. Meanwhile, Eurostat, the European Union's statistics office, confirmed an earlier forecast that euro-zone fourth quarter economic growth declined by 0.3%, triggering concerns of recession.

The long and short of it: Grain and soy futures, especially soybeans and soymeal, were due for a correction. The building macro-economic headwinds this week are a perfect reason for traders to take some money off the table.

* India bans cotton exports, but ag minister wants ban ended. News Monday India banned cotton exports for an indefinite period triggered sharp to limit-up gains in cotton futures. But the country's ag minister is already calling for an end to the ban. He says supplies are ample and prices are falling. India's textile secretary says a government panel will meet on the issue Friday.

The long and short of it: The cotton market needs news like the Indian export ban to rally. If the ban is revoked, it's likely to spark a fresh wave of selling.


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