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Corn Exports From India Seen Climbing to Record on Bigger Crop

Corn exports from India may reach a record this year as farmers boost planting after monsoon rains covered the nation a month earlier, an industry group said.

Shipments may top 5 million metric tons in the 12 months from April 1, compared with 4.8 million tons a year earlier, Sain Dass, president of the Indian Maize Development Association, said in an interview in New Delhi today. The harvest may rise about 6 percent to 23 million tons in the season beginning July 1 from a year earlier, he said.

Rising supplies from India may add to a global glut and pressure futures in Chicago, which entered a bear market this year. Corn production is forecast to rise about 12 percent to 962.6 million tons in 2013-2014, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. India exports corn mostly to animal-feed makers in Malaysia, Indonesia, Vietnam and Thailand.

“Prices in India are likely to ease from August onwards as global supply increases, making Indian exports unviable due to higher export prices,” Raju Choksi, vice president at Anil Nutrients Ltd., a food processor, said in an e-mailed statement. “Prices are also likely to be pressured by expectations of higher production on normal monsoon forecast.”

Indian corn will be cheaper than supplies from the U.S., Argentina and Brazil for buyers in Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Pakistan and in Southeast Asia, Dass said.

Futures rallied 25 percent in May on the National Commodity & Derivatives Exchange Ltd. in Mumbai, a monthly record, compared with a 12 percent decline in prices in Chicago.

Production in Karnataka and Maharashtra states, the biggest growers, will rebound this year after a drought cut output in 2012-2013, Dass said. The monsoon, which accounts for more than 70 percent of India’s annual rainfall, was 54 percent above a 50-year average since June 1, the India Meteorological Department said yesterday.

More than 235 million farmers in India, the world’s second-largest producer of cotton, rice and sugar cane, depend on rain for irrigating crops. The monsoon usually makes landfall in the south in June and covers all of India by July 15.

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