Iranian Uncertainties

The latest data from Chinese Customs shows that imports of copper concentrate fell 4.8% YoY and 11.5% MoM to 1.92mt in April. However, imports during the first four months were up 4.4% YoY, to total of 7.9mt. Among other metals, China’s imports of unwrought aluminum and aluminum products rose 165% YoY and 36% MoM to 281kt in April, whilst YTD imports jumped 131% to 943kt. For steel, imports rose 16.6% YoY last month to 1.2mt, while cumulative imports over the first four months of the year grew by 17% YoY to a total of 4.89mt.

Agriculture

CBOT corn managed to settle slightly higher yesterday, with the USDA reporting another sale of around 1.36mt of corn to China for 2021/22 delivery, taking total sales in the month so far to around 8.1mt for the next marketing year. Chinese buyers appear to be taking advantage of the recent downward price correction in CBOT corn to book additional cargoes. Meanwhile, data from China’s Customs showed that corn imports into the country increased 109% YoY to 1.85mt in April, while YTD imports increased by 301% YoY to 8.58mt.

Turning to sugar and Brazil’s CONAB estimates sugar production in the country will fall 5.7% YoY to 38.9mt in 2021/22 on lower acreage and dry weather. Stronger soybean and corn prices have been prompting farmers to switch to grains on improved profitability. CONAB estimates sugar acreage to drop 2.2% YoY in 2021/22, leading to lower sugar cane crushing. Meanwhile, sugar production in Europe could recover in 2021/22 on better weather and improved yields. The International Sugar Organization expects sugar production in the EU to recover by around 0.8mt in 2021/22, with production rising to 14.7mt. Similarly, the Eurasian Sugar Association estimates Russian beet-sugar production will also increase by around 0.8mt in 2021/22 with total supplies of around 6mt for the year.

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Disclaimer: This publication has been prepared by the Economic and Financial Analysis Division of ING Bank N.V. (“ING”) solely for information purposes without regard to any ...

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