Global Ag News for Jan 12.23
Malaysia Might Halt Palm Oil Exports to EU to Oppose New Rule
Malaysia could stop exporting palm oil to the European Union in retaliation for the bloc’s new deforestation regulation, Minister of Plantation and Commodities Fadillah Yusof said at a briefing on Thursday.
- This is one of the options Malaysia is considering and will discuss it with Indonesia, the world’s biggest producer and exporter
- Stronger cooperation between Indonesia and Malaysia important to overcome trade barriers and negative campaigns against palm oil
- “We would have one stronger voice if we join hands with Indonesia”
- Malaysia will focus on showing that its palm oil adheres to international environmental standards
- Fadillah, who’s also Deputy Prime Minister, will visit Indonesia as early as this month following Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim’s visit
- NOTE: Indonesia and Malaysia are the world’s largest palm oil producers, accounting for more than 80% of global supply
FUTURES & WEATHER
Wheat prices overnight are up 1/2 in SRW, up 2 1/2 in HRW, up 4 in HRS; Corn is up 2 3/4; Soybeans up 10 1/2; Soymeal up $0.35; Soyoil up 0.43.
For the week so far wheat prices are down 3 in SRW, down 7 1/4 in HRW, up 1 1/2 in HRS; Corn is up 4 3/4; Soybeans up 11; Soymeal up $0.05; Soyoil down 0.63.
For the month to date wheat prices are down 51 1/2 in SRW, down 63 1/4 in HRW, down 35 1/2 in HRS; Corn is down 19 3/4; Soybeans down 20 1/2; Soymeal up $7.10; Soyoil down 1.53.
Year-To-Date nearby futures are down 6.5% in SRW, down 7.1% in HRW, down 3.8% in HRS; Corn is down 2.9%; Soybeans up 0.4%; Soymeal up 5.5%; Soyoil down 2.2%.
Chinese Ag futures (MAR 23) Soybeans down 10 yuan; Soymeal up 58; Soyoil up 22; Palm oil down 8; Corn up 8 — Malaysian palm oil prices overnight were down 3 ringgit (-0.08%) at 3908.
There were no changes in registrations. Registration total: 2,788 SRW Wheat contracts; 0 Oats; 154 Corn; 665 Soybeans; 479 Soyoil; 0 Soymeal; 280 HRW Wheat.
Preliminary changes in futures Open Interest as of January 11 were: SRW Wheat up 2,773 contracts, HRW Wheat up 1,778, Corn down 1,151, Soybeans up 3,127, Soymeal down 1,968, Soyoil up 1,780.
Brazil Grains & Oilseeds Forecast: A front will move through southern Brazil with scattered showers Thursday and Friday. Showers may linger next week, though that is more likely to be in Parana and points north, with drier conditions across Rio Grande do Sul. Showers have been disappointing across the south, which is causing concerns for reproductive to filling corn and soybeans. Otherwise, conditions over central and northern Brazil continue to be favorable for filling soybeans and for filling soils prior to corn planting.
Argentina Grains & Oilseeds Forecast: Heat and dryness in Argentina will finally be replaced by some lower temperatures behind a front moving through Wednesday and Thursday. That front will only bring isolated showers with it, unhelpful for developing corn and soybeans. Some models linger showers this weekend and next week, but that is not guaranteed to be helpful even if they occur due to recent drought and heat stress. The prospect for production is still low.
Northern Plains Forecast: The pattern remains relatively dry going into next week across the Northern Plains. The same is true in the Canadian Prairies outside of a chance for mixed precipitation this weekend. Temperatures continue to be above normal for this time of year, reducing stress and feed requirements for livestock.
Central/Southern Plains Forecast: A weak system will bring showers through the Central Plains Wednesday into early Thursday, though will likely miss the Southern Plains and drought areas in the west with any of the meaningful showers. A similar situation should occur with a system early next week, but a system that moves through mid- to late-next week at least has some potential to bring more widespread precipitation. That one will be closely monitored. Temperatures will remain warm for January outside of the snowpack across the north.
Midwest Forecast: Two quick-hitting systems will bring more showers to the Midwest in rapid succession over the next few days with heavier precipitation across the east. Two more systems move through next week with more precipitation. Temperatures remain above normal for this time of year.
The player sheet for Jan. 11 had funds: net buyers of 4,000 contracts of SRW wheat, buyers of 500 corn, buyers of 3,500 soybeans, buyers of 2,000 soymeal, and sellers of 1,000 soyoil.
- SOYBEAN SALES: The U.S. Department of Agriculture confirmed private sales of 124,000 tonnes of U.S. soybeans for delivery to unknown destinations in the 2022/23 marketing year that began Sept. 1, 2022.
- CORN PURCHASE: Taiwan’s MFIG purchasing group bought about 65,000 tonnes of animal feed corn expected to be sourced from the United States in an international tender
- WHEAT PURCHASE UPDATE: Egypt’s state grains buyer, the General Authority for Supply Commodities, said it bought 120,000 tonnes of Russian wheat in a World Bank-funded international tender held on Tuesday. The purchase comprised two 60,000-tonne cargoes from supplier Aston Agro at a price of $337 per tonne on a cost and freight basis, GASC added.
- WHEAT PURCHASE: Japan’s Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF) bought a total of 89,735 tonnes of food-quality wheat from the United States and Canada in a regular tender that closed on Thursday.
- FEED WHEAT PURCHASE: South Korea’s Feed Leaders Committee (FLC) purchased up to 65,000 tonnes of animal feed wheat expected to be sourced from either the United States or Australia in a private deal without issuing an international tender.
- WHEAT TENDER: A group of South Korean flour mills issued an international tender to buy an estimated 50,000 tonnes of milling wheat sourced from the United States.
- 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).
- CORN TENDER: Leading South Korean feedmaker Nonghyup Feed Inc. (NOFI) has issued an international tender to purchase up to 138,000 tonnes of animal feed corn to be sourced from optional origins
- RICE TENDER: South Korea’s state-backed Agro-Fisheries & Food Trade Corp issued an international tender to purchase an estimated 113,460 tonnes of rice to be sourced from the United States. The deadline for submissions of price offers was Dec. 29.
- WHEAT TENDER: Turkey’s state grain board TMO issued an international tender to purchase an estimated 565,000 tonnes of milling wheat
- WHEAT TENDER: The Taiwan Flour Millers’ Association issued an international tender to purchase 45,200 tonnes of grade 1 milling wheat to be sourced from the United States.
- SUNFLOWER OIL TENDER: Turkey’s state grain board TMO issued an international tender to purchase about 24,000 tonnes of crude sunflower oil.
US Ethanol Stocks Fall 2.6% to 23.8M Bbl
According to the US Department of Energy’s weekly petroleum report.
- Analysts were expecting 24.314 mln bbl
- Plant production at 0.943m b/d, compared to survey avg of 0.959m
GRAIN EXPORT SURVEY: Corn, Soy, Wheat Sales Before USDA Report
Estimate ranges are based on a Bloomberg survey of six analysts; the USDA is scheduled to release its export sales report on Thursday for week ending Jan. 5.
- Corn est. range 350k – 1,000k tons, with avg of 540k
- Soybean est. range 500k – 1,200k tons, with avg of 830k
Extreme Drought Threatens Smallest Argentina Soy Crop Since 2009
- Harvest would be 26% smaller than preseason estimates
- Nation is world’s largest exporter of soy meal, soy oilBy Jonathan Gilbert
Extreme drought is ravaging Argentina’s soybean crop and may result in the smallest harvest in more than a decade, the Buenos Aires Grain Exchange said Wednesday.
The crop could shrink to 35.5 million metric tons if the dryness doesn’t abate by the harvest in the second quarter, the bourse said. That would tie for the smallest crop the bourse has recorded since the drought-hit 2009 season. It would also be 26% smaller than the exchange’s preseason estimate of 48 million tons.
“The dry weather continues to paint an uncertain picture for soy, corn and sunflowers,” bourse analysts wrote in the report.
The soybean crop in Argentina, the world’s biggest exporter of soy meal and soy oil, may be 41 million tons in a moderate scenario, the analysts said. The final number will depend on how quickly La Nina fades and how much rain falls at the end of January and the start of February, when the plants have the most need for water.
Corn plants may yield as little as 37.8 million tons, with the potential for 44.5 million if the weather improves. The bourse’s preseason estimate was 50 million tons. Argentina is the third-biggest corn exporter.
India to Stop Duty-Free Import of Crude Soybean Oil From April 1
Last date for duty-free imports of crude soybean oil will be March 31, India’s Directorate General of Foreign Trade says in a notification.
- The nation will, however, continue to allow duty-free imports of sunflower oil in the 2023-24 financial year, according to the notice
- NOTE: India currently allows duty-free imports of 2 million tons each of crude soybean and sunflower oils per year for 2022-23 and 2023-24 fiscal years; infrastructure and social welfare levies are applicable when the govt quota is not availed
Brazil 2022/2023 Corn Crop Seen At 125 Million Tns – Agresource
- BRAZIL 2022/2023 SOYBEAN CROP SEEN AT 152.96 MILLION TNS — AGRESOURCE
- BRAZIL 2022/2023 CORN CROP SEEN AT 125 MILLION TNS – AGRESOURCE
Brazil’s Soy Crop Seen Jumping 19% to 153.4m Tons: Agroconsult
Soybean planted area rose 3.9% in the 2022-23 season to 43.2m ha, Andre Debastiani, a partner at Agroconsult, says in a virtual press conference.
- Avg yield seen at 59.2 bags/ha, up from 51.8 bags/ha past season
- Crops are doing well in most of producing regions even after below-average precipitation caused by La Nina in the past months
- Irregular rain in Rio Grande do Sul state, in the far south, have curbed yield potential, but crop conditions are “much better” compared with a year earlier as rains have been more spread
- Avg yield seen at 51.5 bags/ha vs 27 bags in 2021-22
- In Mato Grosso, top growing state, avg yield seen at 60 bags/ha, down from the record of 61.2 bags/ha past season
- Total corn crop seen at 130.9m tons, up from 118.3m tons
- Winter corn production may reach 101.3m tons
- NOTE: Bag weighs 60 kg
Satellites Suggest Argentine Soy Crop Will Be Lowest Since 2018
- Vancouver firm bases bold prediction on satellite imagery
- If La Nina gives way to rains, soybean output could be saved
With many crop traders focusing on Argentina’s drought, one forecaster has tapped satellite imagery to make the bold prediction that nation’s upcoming soybean harvest may plunge to a five-year low.
Mickael Attia, a crop analyst with EarthDaily Analytics, sees the soy harvest in the second quarter shrinking to 36.9 million metric tons. That’s well below the Buenos Aires Grain Exchange’s estimate of 48 million tons, and would be at a level not seen by the bourse since 2018. Argentina is the biggest exporter of soy meal and soy oil.
“It’s a little bit aggressive, especially if there’s a change in the weather pattern in February, but right now it makes sense given the frighteningly low moisture levels,” Attia said in an interview.
His Vancouver-based firm is part of a mushrooming satellite-analytics industry that is increasingly being drawn into crop forecasting, usually in conjunction with on-the-field accounts since images and algorithms alone can’t tell the whole story. Argentine crops are in a tough spot after La Nina caused drought to farmlands, ravaged wheat and forced growers to delay soy and corn planting.
With fieldwork still getting finished and the possibility of rain in a few weeks, other prognosticators have yet to revise preseason estimates. The US Department of Agriculture estimated the soy harvest at 49.5 million tons, though it is set to update its outlook Thursday. The Rosario Board of Trade, whose forecasts tend to lead other institutions, is scheduled to publish its monthly report Wednesday. Rosario and the Buenos Aires Grain Exchange use farmer surveys.
While many soy plants are in bad shape, La Nina is fading. That should in theory make way for rainfall at the end of January and early February — during yield-defining growth stages — that could save the crop.
EarthDaily Analytics also predicts an Argentine corn crop of 45.4 million tons, compared to a 50 million estimate from the Buenos Aires exchange and the USDA’s 55 million forecast. Argentina is the world’s third-biggest corn exporter.
Argentina soybean production down again as dryness returns to eastern Pampas
2022/23 ARGENTINA SOYBEAN PRODUCTION: 46.7 [43.7–49.8] MILLION TONS, DOWN 2% FROM LAST UPDATE
Insufficient rainfall across key producing areas of the eastern Pampas once again cuts 2022/23 Argentina soybean production by 2% to 46.7 [43.7–49.8] million tons, despite a recent pickup in planting after historic delays during November/December. Our current estimate puts planted area at 16.9 million hectares, slightly above 16.7 million hectares reported by Bolsa de Cereales in Buenos Aires, but below the Bolsa de Comercio in Rosario’s 17.1 million hectares. In December’s WASDE (09 December), USDA placed Argentina soybean production at 49.5 million tons, unchanged from last update. Bolsa de Cereales in Buenos Aires and Bolsa de Comercio in Rosario both currently forecast production at 48 million tons.
Argentina’s main Pampas region benefited from long awaited rains during December and early January, after an extreme drought period that lasted more than 5 months since May. The pampas-wide amount of precipitation over the past 30 days totaled 50-120 mm, providing a much needed relief to the dry soils. It was far from sufficient, however, still largely below normal. Northern Buenos Aires, western Córdoba and southern Santa Fe, in particular – where more than half of the country’s total soybeans are grown – received once again well below normal rainfall over the past two weeks, with deficits reaching up to 60 mm. This pattern coincides with that of current soil moisture throughout the main Pampas, where the worst conditions remain centered around the three core crop areas. The dire soil moisture conditions in those areas will likely get worse as there appears to be no end in sight to dryness following the short period of wetness in December.
Soy planting is reported to be 90% complete so far nationally according to the Ministry of Agriculture, now almost in line with the 5-year average, but the yield damage from early season delays could still be felt later in the season with a potential growth curve shift as crops miss their ideal growing windows. Vegetation densities derived from satellite imagery continue to remain at record low levels, supporting the yield concerns.
Sales of Argentine soybeans, corn slightly lag last season’s pace
Sales for two of Argentina’s top grains crops, soybeans and corn, stand slightly behind the previous cycle’s pace, according to agriculture ministry data published Wednesday.
Soybean sales as of last week from the 2021/2022 harvest covered 80.4% of the crop, just below the 81% sold from the previous season at the same time, the data showed.
Argentina is the world’s largest exporter of processed soybean oil and meal, making it an especially important cash crop for the South American country since exports bring in much-needed hard currency to state coffers.
But in one of the lowest weekly figures in recent months, farmers sold only 142,500 tonnes of soybeans between Dec. 29 and Jan. 4.
Meanwhile, Argentina’s corn farmers have sold 75.9% of the 59 million-tonne 2021/2022 crop as of last week, according to the ministry, down from 78.1% during the same period of the previous cycle.
Corn planting for the 2022/23 cycle kicked off in September amid the driest conditions in over three decades, according to the Rosario Grains Exchange, dimming prospects for the harvest.
Agricultural powerhouse Argentina is the world’s No. 3 corn exporter, as well as a major wheat producer.
Wheat sales for the 2022/23 cycle reached 6.7 million tonnes last week, amounting to half of the expected production.
But due to the dry conditions, the 2022/2023 wheat harvest is estimated at only 13.4 million tonnes.
In a bright spot, the prolonged drought that has parched fields and slashed production across some of the country’s top farmland is likely to break in coming months, the Buenos Aires Grain Exchange (BdeC) reported on Tuesday.
The exchange added that better rainfall is expected over the remainder of the southern hemisphere’s summer.
But dry soils will likely only fully replenish moisture reserves by the end of March, according to a BdeC forecast.
Indonesia palm oil association sees B35 biodiesel boosting CPO consumption
Indonesia’s programme to use biodiesel with a 35% blend of palm oil-based fuel, known as B35, will add between 2.5 million to 3 million tonnes of crude palm oil demand domestically, the Indonesian Palm Oil Association (GAPKI) said on Thursday.
Indonesia’s palm oil output is expected to dip to 50.82 million tonnes this year, from 51.33 million tonnes last year, GAPKI official Fadhil Hasan said in a seminar.
India wheat output likely to cross 112 million tonnes in 2022-23: govt source
India’s wheat output in 2022-23 is likely to cross 112 million tonnes, a top government source said on Thursday.
“We’ve reviewed the crop situation and the current cold wave condition is quite favourable for the wheat crop,” the source, who didn’t wish to be identified in line with official rules, said.
Reuters reported earlier this week that the country’s wheat production is set to jump to a record after all-time high prices prompted farmers to expand planting areas with high-yielding varieties and good weather conditions.
Malaysia Palm Oil Production Set to Climb in 2023, Minister Says
Output is likely to increase as the government takes steps to facilitate the entry of foreign workers, easing a labor crunch, Malaysia’s Minister of Plantation and Commodities Fadillah Yusof said at a conference.
- Repening of Malaysian borders and measures to facilitate the entry of foreign workers have improved the critical labor situation
- Malaysia and Indonesia are committed to strengthen cooperation and collaboration through the Council of Palm Oil Producing Countries
- This means the two countries will be more coordinated in their response to issues that undermine their efforts in promoting sustainable palm oil, particularly from EU and the US, he said
- EU’s deforestation regulation will be a barrier for palm oil imports
- Palm will be subject to due diligence which is anticipated to increase administrative and production costs
- Traceability requirements may also impact smallholders if they are excluded under the legislation
Palm Oil to Trade at 4,000-4,200 Ringgit a Ton in 2023: MPOB
Malaysia crude palm oil prices are likely to trade between 4,000 and 4,200 ringgit a ton this year, Ahmad Parveez Ghulam Kadir, director-general of the Malaysian Palm Oil Board, said at a conference Thursday.
- NOTE: This is higher than his previous forecast for prices to average 3,800 ringgit in 2023; compares with 2022 average of 5,088 ringgit
- Key drivers influencing prices are persistent labor shortages in Malaysia, higher Indonesia biofuel mandate, uncertainty over Indonesia palm oil production and its tightened export policy
- Demand for Malaysian palm oil is expected to rise, which will eventually assist in reducing domestic stockpiles
- Concerns over soybean supply due to dry weather in Argentina and lower sunflower seed production from Ukraine will support prices
- MPOB sees Malaysia CPO output rising 3% y/y to 19m tons in 2023
- Malaysia palm oil exports to climb 3.7% to 16.3m tons, while end-2023 stockpiles may drop 8.7% to 2m tons
- Total oil palm planted area shrank 1.1% to 5.67m hectares last year
Palm Oil to Hold Firm in Next Six Months on Balanced Market: LMC
Prices will remain firm in the next six months at 3,800 to 4,000 ringgit a ton as the market is “finely balanced,” Julian Conway McGill, head of Southeast Asia at LMC International, said at a conference on Thursday.
- While production may climb in 2023 by about 2.5m tons, led by Indonesia, the country’s higher B35 biodiesel mandate means the additional output won’t translate to much greater exports of palm oil
- Malaysia’s production will not improve dramatically despite the arrival of workers as fertilizer application in 2022 was slashed
- Palm oil’s steep discount to rival oils last year encouraged strong exports to India and China
- With those markets now well-stocked, buying will slow
- China’s consumption of major vegetable oils shrank 18% last year but palm oil imports have risen due to its relatively cheaper price
- India’s palm oil demand was remarkably strong in 2022 despite widespread fear over demand destruction
- Palm’s share of imports reached its highest level since 2013, at close to three quarters of imports
- Global soybean crushing may increase substantially this year, leading to a much higher output of soybean oil
India 2022-23 Wheat Output Likely to Cross 112M Tons: Official
India’s wheat production is seen rising on conducive weather, a government official told reporters in New Delhi, asking not to be identified citing rules.
India Dec. Vegetable Oil Imports Rise to 1.57m Tons: SEA
India’s vegetable oil imports rose to 1.57m tons in December from 1.55m tons in November, according to the Solvent Extractors’ Association of India.
- Palm oil imports fell to 1.11m tons from 1.14m tons in November
- Soybean oil imports rose to 252,525 tons from 229,373 tons in November
- Sunflower oil imports rose to 194,009 tons from 157,709 tons in November
Indonesia’s Palm Oil Consumption to Jump 16% This Year: Gapki
Indonesia’s local consumption of palm oil is likely to climb to 24.3m tons this year from about 21m tons a year earlier, according to Fadhil Hasan, an official at the Indonesian Palm Oil Association known as Gapki.
- Move to increase biodiesel mandate to B35 starting February will boost local crude palm oil consumption by 2.5m-3m tons
- Next year government plans to increase blending to 40%, which means an additional 3m tons or so will be consumed domestically
- Palm oil prices will likely decline in 2023 on weak demand as global economy may enter recessio
Ukraine’s Grain Exports Fall 29% Y/y So Far This Season
Ukraine’s grain export during the season that started on July 1 reached 24m tons as of Jan. 11, the Agriculture Ministry said on its website.
- 8.7m tons of wheat, down 46% y/y
- 1.66m tons of barley, down 69% y/y
- 13.5m tons of corn, up 14% y/y
China Keeps Anti-Dumping Tariffs on US Distiller’s Dried Grains
- Decision to extend measures for a further five years
- Distiller’s dried grains charge first imposed in 2017
China will keep anti-dumping and anti-subsidy tariffs on US distiller’s dried grains (DDGs), extending measures that were adopted in 2017 and which effectively shut off the most important market for American suppliers.
The decision, made following a review by the Chinese government after existing measures expired on Wednesday, will be effective from Thursday and last for another five years, the Ministry of Commerce said in statements on its website.
Dumping and subsidy of the DDGs imports produced in the US could continue and hurt China’s domestic sector if the tariff measures were terminated, according to the Ministry.
China launched investigations into US DDGs imports in 2016 after a request from domestic companies. It imposed anti-dumping duties of as much as 53.7% and anti-subsidy tariffs as high as 12% in 2017 for a period of five years.
DDGs are a by-product of corn ethanol production that are used in animal feed. Axing the tariffs would have allowed China, previously the biggest buyer, to resume purchases from the world’s top supplier in a trade once worth $2 billion, before dwindling to almost zero following the measures.
China’s Farm Ministry Raises Corn and Soybean Output Estimates
The nation’s agriculture ministry increased Thursday its forecast for soybean production to 20.29m tons in 2022-23 from 19.48m tons estimated a month earlier.
- Output of corn now expected at 277.2m tons, against the previous estimate of 275.31m tons, according to China Agricultural Supply & Demand Estimates
- Latest production forecasts are 1.7% higher from last year for corn and 23.7% more for soybeans
- NOTE: Soybean planting area has surged this year as the nation aims to cut its import dependence; although corn area is lower, yields are expected to be good
- Domestic corn prices are likely to remain high, thanks to strong demand for feed and an improvement in purchases by industries
- The logistical situation is improving after China adjusted its Covid control policies, but corn supplies are still slow due to bad weather and as some farmers hold back the crop
- Forecasts for consumption and imports of corn and soybeans stay unchanged
Green Diesel Pushes Back on EPA as Biofuel Tensions Rise Anew
- EPA hearings wrap up with biofuel makers challenging quotas
- Proposal could scrap $4.75 billion in investments, group says
Makers of climate-friendly diesel say billions of dollars in investment are at risk if the US proceeds with its latest biofuel policy plans.
That’s the message to the Biden administration this week from biofuel companies as well as handlers of soybeans and other crops used to produce fuels including biodiesel and sustainable aviation fuel.
The Environmental Protection Agency wrapped up two days of hearings Wednesday over its proposed biofuel blending mandates for 2023-25. Opponents of the plan claim the green-diesel quotas don’t reflect existing or expected industry growth. Critics say the EPA is drastically underestimating the amount of soybean oil, canola and other ingredients — also known as feedstocks — that will be able to support a surge in US production.
“There is over $4.75 billion invested in oilseed processing expansions and new construction,” said Paul Winters of Clean Fuels Alliance America. “Some of that could be delayed or possibly canceled in response to the proposal.”
The pushback comes amid a multiyear flurry of big oil companies like Chevron Corp. joining the race to make renewable diesel, which is almost chemically identical to the traditional petroleum product and therefore relatively easy for fossil fuel companies to adopt.
Producers are teaming up with agriculture firms in a bid to gain from federal and state subsidies designed to encourage production of low-emitting fuels. One example is Marathon Petroleum Corp.’s renewable diesel partnership with Archer Daniels Midland Co., which also processes crops and makes biodiesel.
ADM’s Kent Engelbrecht urged the EPA to “carefully consider” the investments made by his company and other makers of such fuel, during his Tuesday testimony.
“This proposed rule if finalized as written underestimates our ability to produce both feedstocks and finished renewable fuels,” he said.
The EPA is obligated to issue final biofuel rules by June 14.
Fertilizer Prices Under Pressure as Buying Stalls Before Spring
Nitrogen, phosphate and potash prices remain tempered in the US, as buyers review producers’ recently released winter and spring pricing programs. Falling fertilizer prices — down 34% year-over-year — could lead to some relief in consumer food-price inflation. Urea and potash fell significantly.
Urea, Potash Lead Fertilizer Markets Down
A sharp drop in New Orleans (NOLA) urea and inland US urea and potash prices led the fertilizer market down in early-week trading. NOLA urea was at its lowest since June 2021. Urea ammonium nitrate, ammonium nitrate and ammonium sulfate were also down. Corn Belt ammonia was steady, though international price ideas were soft due to lower natural gas prices in Europe. Inland potash dropped substantially following last week’s plunge of $40 a short ton at NOLA. Brazil was the exception, with prices nudging up. Phosphates remained pressured but were stable at NOLA.
Fertilizer Prices Mixed in Brazil as Soybean Demand Builds
Nitrogen prices continue to decline in Brazil as demand slows for the safrinha season. Demand for the soybean summer season is driving potash prices higher, while the phosphate market remains steady to slightly softer.
Brazil Nitrogen Prices Fall, Potash Firms
Urea prices in Brazil fell to $440-$450 a metric ton (mt) vs. last week’s $450-$475. Buyers are reportedly bidding at $420, with unconfirmed reports of new trades at $430. Ammonium sulfate declined to $245-$250/mt vs. last week’s $250-$265, with the drop attributed to lower freight rates from China and reduced interest from importers as safrinha ends. MAP fell to $650-$665/mt, down $5 at the high end, with the low for tons from Russia and China. Potash firmed to $500-$520/mt, up $10 at the high, with inland deals and Belarus tons reflecting the low. Some potash producers have rejected bids of $515 and remain on the sideline, expecting prices to rise to $525 next week.
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