Corn: Russia Offers the Highest CFR Prices for Japan and Congo
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In Russia, Corn is the 4th most important commodity in terms of production volume, after wheat, barley, and sunflower. Generally, according to the USDA, Russian Corn output has been showing a zig-zag trend, while Soybean output was showing a steady upward trend in the 2013/2014 – 2022/2023 season. In 2022, the area sown with Corn for grain decreased by 3% compared to 2021, to 101 thousand hectares in Russia. However, this year, the area under Corn has been increased.
According to statistics, in 2023, there was both an expansion in production volumes and an increase in exports. Last year, Russia managed to harvest a record Corn harvest: 15.8 million tons, which is the maximum value for the entire period since 1990. Compared to 2021, the 2022 harvest was 4% larger.
As per 2022 data, Corn seed imports increased by 25%. Most of the supply comes from France, Romania, Hungary, and Serbia. At the same time, the last two countries are “conditionally friendly” to the Russian Federation, so there is hope that imports from there will continue. By the way, in 2023, import supplies decrease noticeably.
The lion’s share of the harvest falls on Krasnodar (3,368,000 tons), Stavropolsky (932,000 tons), Voronezh (518,000 tons), Belgorod (747,000 tons), Kursk (529,000 tons), Rostovsky (632,000 tons) and several other regions.
In 2000, the Corn yield was about 24 centners per hectare; in 2010 – it was about 36 centners; in 2020 – 51 centners; in 2022, a record was set – 60 centners. There are many reasons to believe that this upward trend will continue in the future. This season, total Corn yield is estimated at a record 60 c/ha, 14% higher than in the 2021/22 season. The total harvested area is estimated roughly at 2.6 million hectares.
If we compare 2022 with the previous year, the export of this crop from Russia decreased by 4%. Such data are provided without considering supplies to several countries, including Iran and the EAEU. As for 2023, we see that exports have increased significantly: an increase of 2.8 times. This is mainly due to the effect of last year’s low base. Turkey, Iran, China, Korea, Libya and Latvia are the leading importers of Russian Corn.
At the same time, 2023 for Russian farmers was the year of a significant increase in export duties on Corn, which resulted from a sharp rise in the volume of exports of this crop from the country.
This crop has never been in great demand in Russia, but in recent years, we have also noted an increase in consumption. Today, it is about 1.1 million tons per year. For comparison, five years ago, there were 900 thousand tons, ten years ago – 800 thousand tons.
At the same time, the consumption of Corn as feed is also growing: in 2022, this figure amounted to 10.6 million tons, double the growth over the past ten years. The increase in Corn consumption for feed purposes is associated with the dynamic development of the livestock industry (primarily poultry and pig farming), as well as with the partial reorientation of these industries from the consumption of oats, rye, barley, and some other grains to the consumption of Corn.
Corn Trade Pattern
In 2021, Russia exported Corn worth $708 million, making it the 11th largest exporter of Corn in the world. In the same year, Corn was Russia’s 66th most shipped product. The leading destination of Corn exports from Russia are Turkey ($262 million), South Korea ($150 million), Latvia ($39.6 million), Greece ($37.6 million), and Italy ($28.2 million).
According to AgFlow data, Russia exported 1 million tons of Corn to Turkey in Jan – Aug 2023, followed by Iran (0.6 million tons), Libya (46,484 tons), Israel (44,777 tons), Egypt (42,688 tons) and China (36,960 tons). Total exports hit 1.9 million tons in Jan – Aug 2023. During the period, 48 shipments were recorded, and the average shipment volume was 41,200 tons.
In 2021, Russia imported Corn worth $123 million, becoming the world’s 56th largest importer of Corn. In the same year, Corn was Russia’s 390th most imported product. Russia imports Corn primarily from Hungary ($51.3 million), France ($34.4M), Romania ($8.82 million), Austria ($7.73 million), and Serbia ($7.09 million).
Corn Price Trends
In the second half of the year, amid the new harvest and weakening world prices, Corn prices in Russia went down. By January 2023, they reached their lowest levels in recent months.
In February-March 2023, prices increased slightly; in April, they adjusted downwards again. In general, in January-April 2023, prices were significantly lower than in the same period a year earlier.
As for forecasts, in 2023-2024, when compared with values for 2022, Russian experts expect some weakening in world prices for Corn. However, prices will not return to the values noted in 2020-2021. At the end of 2023, average world prices will decrease by 15.3%; in 2024, compared to 2023, the decrease will be 11.1%.
Corn price at the elevator in port (without VAT) was 14,300 ruble per ton in the Rostov region (USD150/ton) and 16,200 ruble (USD170/ton) in the Astrakhan region in August 2023. It was purchasing prices (per ton) of processing and grain trading organizations. A Standard VAT rate of 20% applies to most goods and services in Russia.
Russia’s Corn CFR average prices for China and Indonesia were almost the same and showed a similar trend in February – May 2023. These prices were higher compared with CFR average prices for Egypt and Israel. Regarding price trends, Russia showed the same for Egypt and Israel.
Russia quoted Japan the highest CFR price, USD 274 on average in Jan – Sep 2023. The following countries were Congo (USD 273), China (USD 269), Indonesia (USD 264), Kenya (USD 263), Bangladesh (USD 263), Saudi Arabia (USD 256), Mexico (USD 254), Jordan (USD 251), Morocco (USD 250), Turkey (USD 243), Israel (USD 242) and Egypt (241). Turkey certainly benefits from high-volume, low-price trade relations with Russia.
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