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China Said to Contract First Corn Shipments From U.S. This Year

Feb. 22 (Bloomberg) -- China’s feed mills bought at least 120,000 metric tons of corn from the U.S. this week, the first purchases this year as prices retreat, two industry executives with direct knowledge of the matter said.

Two cargoes, each weighing 60,000 tons, are for delivery in September and October, and are priced between $290 a ton and $300 a ton, said the executives, who asked not to be identified as the deals are private. More sales may have taken place, the executives said, citing conversations with other traders.

Corn futures have tumbled 19 percent in Chicago since reaching a record $8.49 a bushel in August on speculation that global supplies may increase as the U.S. recovers from a drought. Futures have lost 7.1 percent this month and traded at $6.8775 a bushel at 4:36 p.m. in Singapore.

China bought a record of 5.23 million tons of corn in the marketing year ended Sept. 30, and shipments this year are forecast to fall to 2.5 million tons, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

To contact Bloomberg News staff for this story: William Bi in Beijing at wbi@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Brett Miller at bmiller30@bloomberg.net

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