Cargill Inc next week is likely to load 50,000 tonnes of Brazilian corn bound for the United States, shipping data showed on Wednesday, in what is expected to be the first of several bulk vessels of South American grain that will be imported here this year.
Hog and poultry producers in the Southeastern United States purchased two vessels of corn from South America for arrival in August and September while at least one other vessel was likely to arrive by March, three U.S. corn export traders said.
Cargill was the listed shipper for the Nord Voyager vessel, which was due to load the 50,000 tonnes of corn at the Brazilian port of Santarem, according to Williams Shipping Agency data. A spokesman for Cargill, which has a port terminal in Santarem, declined to comment.
"A vessel is slated to arrive at a Brazilian load port on July 18, which would put it into Wilmington in early- to mid-August for discharge," one of the U.S. traders said.
The United States is the world's No. 1 corn producer but most of the grain is grown in the central, or Midwestern, part of the country - far away from the Southeastern states, where hogs and chickens consume massive amounts of corn and soybean meal every day.
Animal feeders have imported small amounts of South American corn, soybeans and soymeal every year since 2012, when a severe drought in the Midwest reduced production.
Another trader was skeptical of the deal, however, saying that importing Brazilian corn to the Southeastern United States was 60 to 80 cents per bushel more expensive than hauling railcars of corn from the Midwest.
"It is just miles and miles away from calculating," the trader said.
Chicago Board of Trade corn for September delivery was up 1-1/4 cents at $4.25 per bushel as of 12:35 p.m. CDT (1735 GMT).
(By Michael Hirtzer; Editing by Matthew Lewis)