Corn prices have been on the up in recent weeks as a supply deficit forms despite a record global harvest.
Irish farmers have seen the effects of low-priced maize on barley prices at home in the past, so will watch with interest as Chicago Board of Trade corn for March sits above 480c/bu.
On 30 December Argentina suspended corn exports from the country until the end of February. As maize is a major ingredient in animal feed in the country and a significant cost of production, the decision to suspend exports was reported to be taken to ensure ample domestic food supplies and to control food price inflation and support low-income families currently struggling during the pandemic.
Argentina is one of the biggest maize producers in the world
Maize exports from the country are to move again on 1 March.
The December World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) report from the USDA forecast a reduction in corn production in the EU, Canada and Argentina. Argentina is one of the biggest maize producers in the world. A La Niña weather pattern has been causing dryness in the southern hemisphere in recent months affecting planting and crop growth on the continent.
Argentina is not the first country in recent times to curb exports. In late 2020, Russia announced it plans to impose an export tax on wheat from February to June, while also imposing a grain export quota.
There are also reports that China plans to increase the area of corn planted as supplies tighten.