Vietnam rejected three small cargoes of corn and soymeal from India over fumigation issues and was expected to turn to more expensive South American supplies, traders from both countries said on Tuesday.
Two ships were carrying 21,000 tonnes of corn each, while a third ship was carrying 13,000 tonnes of the grain and 8,000 tonnes of soymeal, traders in India said on condition of anonymity.
"The first cargo was rejected in early January. Now, Vietnan will have to pay over $40 a tonne extra for the South American corn and meal," said a Mumbai-based trader, who did not wish to be identified.
Another trader said Indian corn was currently available at about $290-$300 per tonne, while soymeal was priced at around $480 per tonne.
Indian traders said their government had taken up the issue with Vietnam. Officials at the trade ministry were not immediately available for comment.
"Other than Vietnam, we have not received any complaint at all about Indian corn or meal. It is not a quality issue even. Vietnam differs with us on (the process of) fumigation," the Mumbai-based trader said.
India's share in the estimated 90-million-tonne global corn trade is small, but Southeast Asian countries such as Malaysia, Indonesia and Vietnam often seek prompt shipments for feed use from South Asian nations.
Demand for soymeal from Vietnam, along with that from Japan, South Korea and the European Union, helped push India's oilmeal exports up 67 per cent last month, data from a leading trade body in India showed. A trader in Vietnam had earlier said the country had rejected 21,300 tonnes of corn and soymeal from India.
The cargo, including 16,300 tonnes of corn and 5,000 tonnes of soymeal delivered by the same vessel, was rejected at Ho Chi Minh City port on Sunday because insects were found in it, the Vietnamese trader said without elaborating.
Vietnam's feed demand this year could reach 20.6 million tonnes, of which 7.7 million tonnes would be imported, a state-run newspaper cited industry projections last month as saying.
Vietnam spent an estimated $200 million to import feed and raw material such as corn and soymeal for feed production in January, up 24.2 per cent from the same month last year, government data show.
In 2010, Vietnam's imports of feed and the materials that go into feed rose 22.4 per cent in value from the previous year to $2.16 billion.