March 21, 2011 / 6:01 PM / 9 years ago

Japan grain shipments arriving at ports: sources

LONDON/HAMBURG (Reuters) - Grain cargoes are reaching Japanese ports after disruptions at terminals last week due to an earthquake and tsunami that held up shipments, shipping and trade sources said on Monday. Sources said vessels were using other ports that had not been affected to discharge cargoes.

“The grain shipments seem to be being transferred to southern Japanese ports without difficulties,” a European grain trader said.

Some compound feed manufacturers in northern Japan are believed to have suffered damage and may be cancelling or reselling feed grain import shipments, another trader said.

“But I do not expect significant delays to grain shipments already underway, which are still wanted,” the second trader said.

Sources said last week at least nine vessels carrying grain were at anchorage in Japanese waters or were slowing down their expected arrival time as they could not offload their cargoes which included grains from the United States and soybeans from South America.

Corn and wheat futures prices have been volatile since the March 11 disaster due to prospects of a temporary reduction in purchases by Japan, the world’s biggest importer of corn, third-largest of soybeans, and fourth-biggest wheat buyer.

Jeffrey Landsberg, managing director of dry bulk consultancy Commodore Research, said grains shipments were reaching Japan.

“Grain cargoes, in particular, are being diverted to southern Japanese ports — but some thermal coal cargoes are being diverted to regional Asian buyers,” he said.

“Ensuring an adequate supply of food and water ... is more of a priority to the government now than ending the rolling (power) blackouts.”

Global anxiety has rise over radiation from Japan’s earthquake damaged nuclear plant even as engineers had some success in the battle to avert disaster from the world’s worst atomic crisis since Chernobyl.

Reporting by Jonathan Saul and Michael Hogan, writing by Jonathan Saul; Editing by Alison Birrane and Jane Baird

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