Weekly export sales reported Thursday morning were a net reduction of 315,600 mts of old crop corn. It has been more than 20 years since weekly corn sales were a net reduction in May. The market knew China had cancelled about 570,000 mt of corn purchases two weeks ago, but the expectation was other buyers would offset the cancellations to get at least a net positive sale for the reporting week ending a week ago Thursday. None-the-less, corn futures were smartly higher Thursday and Friday.
For the first time ever, China did buy a shipload of South African corn. The good news is China is still (as expected) buying corn. China cancelled a previous US purchase and got the result they wanted: sharply lower corn prices. South Africa does not have nearly enough corn to meet China’s demand. For crying out loud, South Africa does not have enough corn to meet the African demand, but selling corn for money is profitable and giving it to starving Africans is not profitable. The 70-year drought in the Horn of Africa continues as the civil war in Sudan has turned very nasty. US citizens were told to leave early this week.
Turkey hosted a negotiation session on Thursday at Ankara to discuss extending the Ukraine Grain Export Corridor after May 18th. The Russian delegate's secretary, Valery Stavitskiy, snatched away a Ukraine flag that was being held up for a photo op, and the Ukraine delegate (Marikovski) grabbed it back, punched Stavitskiy and things went downhill from there. Both sides confirm the fist fight did occur.