Global Ag News for Feb 3.23
US Miss. River Grain Shipments Fall, Barge Rates Increase: USDA
Barge shipments down the Mississippi river declined to 627k tons in the week ending Jan. 28 from 669k tons the previous week, according to the USDA’s weekly grain transportation report.
- Barge shipments of corn fell 48% from the previous week
- Soybean shipments up 22% w/w
- St. Louis barge rates were $18.78 per short ton, an increase of $0.95 from the previous week
Wheat prices overnight are down 4 in SRW, down 7 1/2 in HRW, down 5 3/4 in HRS; Corn is down 3 1/4; Soybeans up 2 1/2; Soymeal up $0.11; Soyoil up 0.15.
For the week so far wheat prices are up 7 in SRW, up 4 in HRW, down 2 1/2 in HRS; Corn is down 11; Soybeans up 27 1/4; Soymeal up $1.94; Soyoil up 0.46.
For the month to date wheat prices are down 4 1/4 in SRW, down 5 1/2 in HRW, down 3 1/4 in HRS; Corn is down 7 3/4; Soybeans down 1 1/4; Soymeal up $8.70; Soyoil down 1.21.
Year-To-Date nearby futures are down 4.4% in SRW, down 1.7% in HRW, down 2.1% in HRS; Corn is down 1.0%; Soybeans up 1.2%; Soymeal up 3.0%; Soyoil down 4.3%.
Chinese Ag futures (MAR 23) Soybeans down 6 yuan; Soymeal down 11; Soyoil down 62; Palm oil down 24; Corn up 1 — Malaysian palm oil prices overnight were up 97 ringgit (+2.59%) at 3848.
There were changes in registrations (-154 Corn, -15 Soymeal). Registration total: 2,728 SRW Wheat contracts; 0 Oats; 0 Corn; 797 Soybeans; 479 Soyoil; 37 Soymeal; 192 HRW Wheat.
Preliminary changes in futures Open Interest as of February 2 were: SRW Wheat up 2,675 contracts, HRW Wheat up 1,950, Corn up 11,249, Soybeans up 7,899, Soymeal up 5,624, Soyoil up 5,957.
The player sheet for Feb. 2 had funds: net buyers of 500 contracts of SRW wheat, sellers of 4,500 corn, buyers of 6,000 soybeans, buyers of 3,500 soymeal, and buyers of 1,000 soyoil.
- WHEAT PURCHASE: Egypt’s state grains buyer the General Authority for Supply Commodities (GASC) has provisionally bought about 535,000 tonnes of wheat in an international tender on Thursday, GASC said, confirming earlier reports from traders.
- FEED WHEAT PURCHASE: South Korea’s Major Feedmill Group (MFG) purchased about 60,000 tonnes of animal feed wheat in a private deal on Wednesday without issuing an international tender
- CORN PURCHASE: Algerian state agency ONAB is believed to have bought about 30,000 tonnes of animal feed corn expected to be sourced from Argentina in a purchase made late last week.
- WHEAT TENDER: Jordan’s state grain buyer has issued an international tender to buy up to 120,000 tonnes of milling wheat which can be sourced from optional origins.
- SOYBEAN TENDER: South Korea’s state-backed Agro-Fisheries & Food Trade Corp issued international tenders to purchase around 19,000 tonnes of food-quality soybeans free of genetically-modified organisms (GMOs).
- RICE TENDER: South Korea’s state-backed Agro-Fisheries & Food Trade Corp has issued an international tender to purchase an estimated 79,439 tonnes of rice.
Brazil Grains & Oilseeds Forecast: Rio Grande do Sul and Parana: Scattered showers Friday, north Saturday. Mostly dry Sunday-Monday. Temperatures near to above normal through Monday. Mato Grosso, MGDS and southern Goias: Isolated to scattered showers through Monday. Temperatures near normal through Monday.
Argentina Grains & Oilseeds Forecast: Cordoba, Santa Fe, Northern Buenos Aires: Mostly dry Friday-Sunday. Isolated showers east Monday. Temperatures near to below normal through Sunday, near to above normal Monday. La Pampa, Southern Buenos Aires: Mostly dry through Sunday. Isolated showers east Monday. Temperatures near to below normal through Sunday, near to above normal Monday.
Northern Plains Forecast: Mostly dry through Monday. Temperatures above normal west and below normal east Friday, above normal Saturday-Monday. Outlook: Mostly dry Tuesday-Saturday. Temperatures above normal Tuesday-Saturday.
Central/Southern Plains Forecast: Mostly dry Friday-Sunday. Isolated showers Monday. Temperatures near to below normal Friday, near to above normal Saturday, above normal Sunday-Monday. Outlook: Isolated to scattered showers Tuesday-Wednesday. Mostly dry Thursday-Saturday. Temperatures near to above normal Tuesday-Saturday
Western Midwest Forecast: Mostly dry through Sunday. Scattered showers Monday. Temperatures below to well below normal Friday, above normal Saturday-Monday.
Eastern Midwest Forecast: Lake-effect snow Friday. Mostly dry Saturday-Monday. Temperatures below to well below normal Friday, near to above normal Saturday, above normal Sunday-Monday. Outlook: Isolated to scattered showers Tuesday-Thursday. Mostly dry Friday-Saturday. Temperatures above normal Tuesday-Saturday.
US Export Sales of Soybeans, Corn and Wheat by Country
The following table shows US export sales of soybeans, corn and wheat by biggest net buyers for week ending Jan. 26, according to data on the USDA’s website.
- China bought 842k tons of the 928k tons of soybeans sold in the week
- Mexico was the top buyer of corn and Egypt led in wheat
World Wheat Reserves Outlook Raised, Corn and Soy Cut: FAO-AMIS
World wheat stockpiles in the 2022-23 season are now seen at 305.4m tons, up from a December outlook for 300.1m tons, the Agricultural Market Information System said in a report on Thursday.
- That’s largely due to bigger production, with crop estimates revised up for Russia and Australia
- Corn stockpiles cut to 283.5m tons, from 286m tons
- EU, US and Russian crops are smaller than previously expected
- Soybean stockpiles cut to 48.6m tons, from 49.7m tons, on lower harvests in Argentina and the US
Wheat Area Seen Rising in North America, Down in Black Sea: FAO
Most of the winter-wheat crop for the 2023 harvest has been sown across the Northern Hemisphere and high prices likely boosted plantings in several key growers, the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization says in a Friday report.
- In North America, US winter plantings likely rose to 8-year high and Canada’s wheat area is expected to rise 2% y/y in 2023
- EU plantings will likely hold near 2022’s level; India’s acreage may be a record
- Meanwhile, Russian plantings could fall slightly due to ample domestic supply and low local prices
- Ukraine winter plantings likely fell 40% y/y due to “severe financial constraints, infrastructure damage and obstructed access to fields in part of the country” amid the war
- Fertilizer usage may still drop, as prices remain historically high despite a recent downturn
- Outlook for world grain stockpiles in the 2022-23 season increased to 844m tons, up 5m tons from a December estimate
IKAR Cuts 2023 Russian Wheat-Harvest Estimate to 84m Tons: IFX
Consultant IKAR cut its 2023 Russian wheat harvest estimate to 84m tons from 87m tons, Interfax reports, citing director Dmitry Rylko.
- This is due to the icy conditions around the Moscow region, temperatures of -30C in several regions which impacted crops, and dryness in the south of Russia
- IKAR estimates the total grains harvest at 128.5m tons
- Separately, analytical center Rusagrotrans estimates the wheat harvest at 81.5m tons, Interfax reported
Argentine Soy Sees Improvement, Though More Rains Needed: Bourse
Rains over the last week have “put the breaks on deterioration of soy plants in most of the growing area,” the Buenos Aires Grain Exchange said in a weekly report.
- 46% of soybeans are in a poor or very poor condition vs. 54% last week, according to a separate bourse report
- Nevertheless, the drought in Dec. and first half of Jan. reduced yield potential and the exchange will probably cut its production forecast of 41m metric tons
- “More rains are needed to avoid additional losses”
- Rains also mean the late corn crop has potential to yield well after the early crop was ruined by dryness
- NOTE: Bourse analysts already said they’d slash estimates to 35.5m for soy and 37.8m for corn if growing conditions didn’t pick up
Argentine Soy, Corn, Wheat Estimates Feb. 2: Exchange
The Buenos Aires Grain Exchange releases weekly report on website.
- 2022-23 soybean and corn area estimates both are unchanged from the previous week
- Corn planting 96.5% complete, soybean planting 100% complete
Palm Oil Stockpiles in Malaysia Set to Rise as Shipments Plunge
- January reserves may rise for first time in 3 months: survey
- Biggest drop in output since 2016 offset by weak export demand
Palm oil stockpiles in Malaysia advanced in January as plunging exports from the world’s second-biggest producer countered the biggest slump in production in seven years.
Inventories rose 1.8% from a month earlier to 2.23 million tons, according to the median of 13 estimates in a Bloomberg survey of analysts, traders and plantation executives. That’s the first monthly rise since October, and a jump of 44% from a year earlier.
However, estimates were mixed, with six out of 14 respondents predicting a fall in inventories from December. That highlighted the market’s concerns about poor demand from major importers such as China, India and Pakistan, as well as the impact of recent Malaysian floods on plantations.
“A lackluster Lunar New Year festival demand in China due to Covid-related uncertainty and record high edible oil stocks in India kept palm shipments to the respective countries noticeably lower in January,” said Sathia Varqa, owner of Palm Oil Analytics in Singapore. A large reduction in exports to all destinations — except the Middle East, which is restocking ahead of festivals — will weigh on overall exports, he said.
Shipments from Malaysia tumbled 22% from a month earlier to 1.15 million tons in January, the survey showed, the biggest drop in two years. Crude palm oil production, meanwhile, slumped 16% to 1.36 million tons, the lowest level in almost a year and the worst monthly fall since January 2016.
Benchmark futures rallied on Friday to trade 2% higher at 3,824 ringgit a ton by the midday break after the US Customs cleared forced labor allegations on Malaysian palm oil planter Sime Darby Plantation Bhd.
More details from the survey:
- Stockpile estimates ranged from 2.11 million to 2.40 million tons
- Production numbers were between 1.31 million and 1.46 million tons, while export forecasts were from 1.03 million to 1.22 million tons
- Imports seen steady at 50,000 tons, compared with 47,114 tons a month earlier
- Local consumption estimates ranged from 250,000 tons to 310,000 tons
Argentina’s agricultural exports rise 8.5% in 2022
Agricultural exports from Argentina, one of the world’s biggest food suppliers, increased 8.5% in 2022 from a year earlier to $49.58 billion, the South American nation said on Thursday.
Soybean exports rose 2.5% to $22.28 billion, while corn exports climbed 2.7% to $9.54 billion, the country’s agriculture ministry said.
Meat and dairy exports grew 20.7% to $5.51 billion, wheat shipments were up 35.4% at $4.72 billion, while combined sunflower, barley and sorghum exports grew 41.4% to $3.56 billion.
Argentina is the world’s leading exporter of soybean meal and oil and the third-biggest corn exporter.
Brazil ends ethanol import tax exemption, U.S. disappointed
The Brazilian government has ended a tax exemption on imports of fuel ethanol, with immediate effect, according to the country’s agriculture ministry, a move that would mostly hurt the United States ethanol industry.
Ethanol imports will now have to pay a tax of 16% to enter Brazil until the end of the year. That levy will rise to 18% in 2024, the agriculture ministry said in a statement late on Wednesday.
The United States is a regular supplier of ethanol to Brazil’s Northeast region and the tax change could impact that trade.
“We were disappointed by Brazil’s decision to restore a high tariff rate on U.S. ethanol imports,” Geoff Cooper, president and chief executive of RFA (Renewable Fuels Association) said on Thursday.
“As the world’s two largest ethanol producers and consumers, the U.S. and Brazil should be setting an example of cooperation and open markets – not protectionism and market interference,” he said.
Brazil’s former administration of right-wing President Jair Bolsonaro had suspended the ethanol import tax last March as part of other measures to reduce fuel costs, that included scrapping federal taxes on local sales of all fuels.
The decision by the new administration of leftist President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva to end the exemption on ethanol imports comes only days before he travels to the United States to meet President Joe Biden – the first meeting between the two since Lula took the post early in January.
Brazil Agriculture Minister Carlos Favaro said the tax exemption was hurting the local sugar and ethanol industry and had to end.
The ministry said Brazil mills have the capability to supply ethanol to the whole country without the risk of prices going up.
IKAR cuts Russia’s 2023 wheat harvest forecast to 84 mln tonnes
Agriculture consultancy IKAR has cut its forecast for Russia’s 2023 wheat harvest to 84 million tonnes from 87 million tonnes previously, its head Dmitry Rylko told Reuters.
Analysts started lowering their estimates for the 2023 crop this week due to poorer weather conditions. Grain transport firm Rusagrotrans lowered its forecast for 2023 by 1 million tonnes to 81.5 million tonnes due to the state of the winter crop.
According to preliminary data from the agricultural ministry, Russia may harvest 80-85 million tonnes of wheat in 2023 compared with 104.4 million tonnes of wheat in 2022.
Cargill Ceases Operations at Indiana Terminal on Lake Michigan
Cargill Inc., one of the world’s biggest crop shippers, didn’t renew its lease at a terminal in Burns Harbor, Indiana, due in part to the “projected market environment,” a company spokesperson says Thursday in an emailed statement.
- Company notified its customers of the change in September
- “Cargill’s other local operations in the area continue, as do the larger network of grain and oilseeds facilities around the US”
- Cargill was retaining Burns Harbor employees through duration of operations and helping find opportunities at other locations
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