India to import corn after 5-year break

16-11-2006 | |

The country may import corn for the first time in five years as demand from poultry farmers and starch makers outpaces production, which is likely to boost prices that reached a decade high last week in Chicago, according to locally published press reports.

There may be a shortage of at least 1 million mt in
India as output is expected to decline 15% from a year earlier to 12.8 mt,
explained Amol Sheth, president of All India Starch Association. Dry weather in Uttar Pradesh,
and floods in Andhra and Karnataka, reduced yields, Sheth added.
Lured by
high world prices, the domestic traders have contracted to export almost 100,000
mt of corn at US$165 to US$185 per mt to Southeast Asian countries. As much as
90% of local corn output is used to make animal feed and starch. India allows
import of 400,000 mt of corn at 15% duty. Additional purchases are charged at
60%, according to a pact with the WTO rules.
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