Corn May Advance as South Korean Feed Millers Buy U.S. Grain

Corn, trading little changed, may advance after South Korea bought U.S. grain, boosting speculation that its discount to wheat may encourage further purchases. Wheat and soybeans declined.

May-delivery corn was at $6.5425 a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade at 3:40 p.m. Singapore time, after slipping as much as 0.3 percent. The grain was 19 cents cheaper than wheat, trading at a discount for a sixth day.

Nonghyup Feed Inc., South Korea’s biggest buyer of feed grains, purchased 126,000 metric tons of U.S. corn in a tender on March 2 for delivery in July, Lee Tae Woong, deputy general manager at the foreign trade department, said today.

“Cheaper corn could encourage more buyers to buy,” Tetsu Emori, a commodity fund manager at Astmax Co. Ltd. said by phone from Tokyo today. “It’s quite attractive now against wheat.”

Nonghyup also purchased 55,000 tons of South American soybean meal for July delivery in a separate tender, Na Su Min, another deputy general manager at the foreign trade department, said today.

Corn output in Argentina and Brazil may exceed last month’s estimate by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, according to Informa Economics Inc. Argentina may harvest 22.5 million tons this year, compared with the USDA estimate of 22 million tons, Informa said March 2. Brazil’s crop may be 61.5 million tons, bigger than the USDA’s 61 million tons, Informa said.

“Weighing on corn prices was Informa’s Argentine corn crop forecast,” Luke Mathews, a commodity strategist at Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA), said in a report e-mailed today. Argentina is the second-largest shipper after the U.S., USDA data show.

Soybeans for May delivery fell 0.4 percent to $13.275 a bushel, ending a 10-day rally, the longest winning streak since July 15. Wheat for May delivery declined 0.2 percent to $6.7325 a bushel, after climbing 5.2 percent last week.

To contact the reporter on this story: Luzi Ann Javier in Singapore at ljavier@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: James Poole at jpoole4@bloomberg.net

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