LONDON (Commodity Online): CBOT grain prices continued to edge lower yesterday as economic woes dominated market sentiment, while weather in the US continues to remain favourable for the harvest and winter wheat planting. CBOT corn prices gave up 0.8% falling to the lowest level since December 2010, while soybeans and wheat dropped 1.5% and 2.5%, respectively.
Meanwhile, on a more positive note on demand, the US Grains Council recently estimated that China's 2011-12 corn production could be below the current USDA forecast of 178mn tonnes. The council expects China to import 5-10mn tonnes of corn in the fiscal year, which is far more than the current USDA estimate of 2mn tonnes (Reuters).
We also believe that the current USDA estimate of Chinese corn imports is quite conservative and our expectation for Chinese corn imports is twice of the USDA level for 2011-12. In other news, Egypt - the world's largest wheat importer has announced that it will import 1.9mn tonnes of wheat from now until December 2011, which should last the country through Mar 2012.
Since the start of the 2011-12 fiscal year, Egypt did not import any wheat from the US with the majority of wheat imported from Russia. The country has said that it intends to double the amount of corn in subsidized bread to lower costs (Reuters). Soft commodities prices mostly pushed higher on the day except for sugar. ICE cocoa and coffee inched up 0.66% and 1.39%, respectively. NYBOT coffee surged 3.24% while sugar dropped 0.64%.