1. China's lower corn price may slow feed imports
In a move to reduce it massive supplies of corn, China lowered the price of domestic corn by 10% to spur its use for livestock feed. The resulting increase in corn for feed may reduce China's imports of other feed ingredients such as sorghum, USDA's attache said in a recent report.
The attache now expects 2015/2016 (Oct-Sept) sorghum imports at 7 million metric tons, compared with 10 million the previous year. Corn imports (Oct-Sept) are seen at 3 million, versus 5.7 million the previous year.
Despite the reduced support price, corn remains an attractive option for most growers when compared to other crops. Corn, wheat, and rice acreage are all expected to stay relatively stable this planting season.
2. Saudi Arabia to privatize flour mills
Saudi Arabia this month approved a plan to combine the country's nine flour mills into four milling companies and then sell the companies to the private sector, USDA attache office said.
The country also ordered the restructuring of the government's the Grain Silos and Flour Mills Organization (GSFMO) under a new name, the General Organization for Grains.
Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund will group the flour mills into the four companies that will be sold to interested buyers via competitive bidding. Foreign investors will be allowed to compete with the Saudi investors to own and operate these flour mills.
The new milling companies will serve as clients of the GOG to process and distribute wheat flour to government approved customers at agreed subsidized prices. The new mills would be allowed to import their own wheat for the processing of non-subsidized flour. The nine flour mills have a combined daily milling capacity of 12,630 metric tons (MT) of wheat and process about 3.3 million MT of wheat annually.
3. Soy planting accelerates in Mato Grosso - Reuters
Soybean planting in Brazil's top soy state Mato Grosso made rapid progress this past week after rain in much of the areas. Planting is now in line with the previous year, the state's agricultural institute Imea said in a Reuters story.
Planting in the state responsible for nearly a third of Brazil's soybean output was 83.7 % complete, up 23 percentage points in the past week Imea said.
Nationwide, planting was 60% complete, up from 47% the previous week and still behind the 71% five-year average, analyst AgRural said in a report.
There is some concern that the earliest planted soy may have to be re-sown in Mato Grosso, after dry weather in much of October.