Japan may purchase less corn, more wheat to cut costs

Wheat imports at highest levels since 2001

Japan’s livestock producers may purchase less corn as feed-wheat imports quadruple to the highest levels since 2001 on prices $50 per ton cheaper than U.S. corn, according to reports.

Wheat imports may reach 430,000 metric tons, from 112,000 metric tons in the year ended March 31, according to Ikuho Tomita, deputy director at the agriculture ministry’s feed supply and demand planning office. Imports were at 473,000 metric tons in 2001. “Increased purchases of feed wheat means Japan’s corn imports will decline, as overall demand for feed grains isn’t growing,” said Tomita. Japan’s feed makers “are taking advantage of an expanded gap in purchasing costs between corn and wheat.”

Japan imported 169,318 metric tons of feed wheat in the nine months ending September 30, according to finance ministry data.