* Deal signed at around $275/T FOB, April shipment
* Deal on trial basis, quarantine issues to be resolved
* Cargo from crop in Andhra Pradesh
* India sells corn to Indonesia, Vietnam
(Adds India corn sale to Indonesia, Vietnam, details)
By Naveen Thukral
SINGAPORE, March 14 Indian traders have struck a
rare deal to export 13,700 tonnes of corn to China, as the
world's second largest consumer of the grain tries to meet
rapidly increasing demand from its animal feed sector amid high
China has been snapping up U.S. corn cargoes in recent weeks
in a bid to lock in supplies amid projections that final stocks
will drop to a 17-year low in 2012/13 in the world's top
exporter, the United States.
This has underpinned Chicago Board of Trade corn prices
, which have risen more than 6 percent this year.
India's corn deal with China was signed at around $275 per
tonne, free on board, for April shipment, said a leading
New-Delhi based trader who signed the deal with a Chinese
The cargo was from crop produced in India's southern state
of Andhra Pradesh, the trader added.
"This is new-crop corn and this is the first deal we have
signed on a trial basis," the trader told Reuters on the
sidelines of a conference in Singapore on Thursday.
"This is on a trial basis as there are quarantine issues to
be resolved," the trader said. "We hope everything will be
sorted out soon."
China, which typically imports corn from the United States
as it has yet to resolve quarantine issues with grain from
elsewhere, bought more of the U.S. new corn crop due to be
harvested after September, taking total orders since February to
around 600,000 tonnes, traders said this month.
The additional cargoes were bought by private animal feed
mills, which had already bought 240,000 tonnes in late February,
with domestic prices expected to remain high.
Beijing has set a price of 2,100 to 2,140 yuan per tonne for
corn under its stockpile plan, but physical prices in the
northeast reached as high as 2,260 yuan this week.
Rapid urbanization and a rising population have fuelled
greater meat consumption in China, the world's second-largest
economy, as well as strong demand for feed corn.
The country -- which became a net importer of corn two years
ago -- signed a protocol last year allowing all derivatives of
Argentina's corn to enter its market, but traders at the
conference said there were still issues to be resolved over
genetically modified corn.
Separately, traders also reported additional business for
Indian corn, saying 100,000 tonnes of new-crop corn was sold
this week to Indonesia and Vietnam at around $290 to $294 per
tonne, cost and freight, for April and May shipment.
(Writing by Himani Sarkar; Editing by Clarence Fernandez)