Global Ag News for Apr 10.24


USDA to halt July cattle report and some crop data, citing budget levels

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is canceling its July cattle inventory report as well as county-level estimates for crops and livestock, the government said in a statement on Tuesday, citing budget constraints.

While the USDA will still release a cattle inventory report each January, the July update has been of particular interest to traders in recent years as the U.S. beef cattle herd shrank to its smallest size in decades due to drought.

“Cancelling the July inventory report is a major blow to the livestock sector, who will now be limited to a once-a-year snapshot,” said Scott Irwin, an agricultural economist at the University of Illinois.

The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA), a trade group representing cattle producers, called on the USDA to reverse its decision.

“It is disingenuous for the same agency which touts its commitment to transparency in livestock markets to arbitrarily cease publication of reports which provide just that,” Ethan Lane, NCBA’s vice president of government affairs, said in a statement.

The USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service also announced it was discontinuing its objective yield survey for cotton as well as all county estimates for crops and livestock, beginning with the 2024 production year.

“The decision to discontinue these surveys and reports was not made lightly, but was necessary, given appropriated budget levels,” the agency said in a statement.

The loss of county-level crop data will pose a challenge for commercial grain handlers who rely on the information for planning purposes. The USDA’s decision “came as a surprise,” said Bevan Everett, a risk management consultant with StoneX, a commodities brokerage.

“Our customers, which include processors and cooperatives, depend on those county yields to make business decisions for the season. Those include (grain) storage, origination, and risk strategies,” Everett said.



Wheat prices overnight are up 8 1/4 in SRW, up 11 1/2 in HRW, up 7 in HRS; Corn is up 3 1/4; Soybeans up 4 3/4; Soymeal down $0.70; Soyoil up 0.47.

For the week so far wheat prices are down 1 1/4 in SRW, up 6 1/4 in HRW, up 10 1/4 in HRS; Corn is up 1/4; Soybeans down 5 3/4; Soymeal up $1.80; Soyoil down 0.88.

For the month to date wheat prices are up 5 3/4 in SRW, up 6 in HRW, up 13 1/4 in HRS; Corn is down 7 1/2; Soybeans down 12 1/4; Soymeal down $2.80; Soyoil up 0.03.

Year-To-Date nearby futures are down 9.9% in SRW, down 8.1% in HRW, down 9.0% in HRS; Corn is down 7.8%; Soybeans down 8.8%; Soymeal down 13.2%; Soyoil up 0.3%.

Chinese Ag futures (MAY 24) Soybeans down 18 yuan; Soymeal down 6; Soyoil down 16; Palm oil up 36; Corn up 3 — Malaysian Palm is up 23.

Malaysian palm oil prices overnight were up 23 ringgit (+0.54%) at 4318.

There were no changes in registrations. Registration total: 438 SRW Wheat contracts; 0 Oats; 37 Corn; 499 Soybeans; 710 Soyoil; 26 Soymeal; 0 HRW Wheat.

Preliminary changes in futures Open Interest as of April 9 were: SRW Wheat down 8,761 contracts, HRW Wheat down 1,378, Corn down 2,156, Soybeans up 3,390, Soymeal down 2,453, Soyoil down 3,671.

Midwest/Corn Belt: A storm system currently crossing the south-central U.S. will move northeastward, reaching the eastern Corn Belt by Thursday. Significant rain will fall along and near the track of the storm, while showers and locally severe thunderstorms will occur in the vicinity of the trailing cold front. Additional rainfall should total 1 to 2 inches or more across portions of the southern Plains and in most areas east of a line from eastern Texas to Lake Michigan. Rainfall could top 4 inches in the lower Mississippi Valley and environs. In contrast, little or no precipitation will occur during the next 5 days from the Rockies to the northern and central Plains and upper Midwest.

Canadian Prairies: Precipitation this week is unlikely to be very great, although a few showers will be possible periodically. A trace to 0.25 inch of total precipitation is expected by next Monday with a few areas of slightly greater moisture. A larger storm system may impact the Prairies next week producing rain and snow.

Northern Plains: Limited rainfall is expected today. Light rain is expected Wednesday resulting in moisture totals varying from a trace to 0.25 inch. Mostly dry weather is expected Thursday through Sunday, although a few insignificant showers are possible in a few locations. April 15-17 rainfall will vary from 0.40 to 1.25 inches with a few amounts possibly pushing up against 2.00 inches. High temperatures will be in the 50s and 60s Wednesday before cooling to the 50s Thursday. A big warm up is expected Friday into the weekend with highs rising to the 60s and 70s with extremes over 80 in South Dakota.

Central/Southern Plains: Moisture content into early Wednesday from northern parts of West Texas into the central Panhandle and southwestern Oklahoma will be 0.75-2.50” and locally more while central parts of West Texas and the northeastern Panhandle receive 0.20-1.20” and locally more. Amounts elsewhere will be up to 0.20” and locally more with some southern and northwestern areas dry. Most dryland areas in southwestern parts of West Texas will miss out on the significant rain and much of the region will be left in need of much more rain to improve soil moisture for planting.

The player sheet for 4/9 had funds: net sellers of 4,000 contracts of SRW wheat, sellers of 3,500 corn, sellers of 3,000 soybeans, sellers of 500 soymeal, and sellers of 2,000 soyoil.


  • SOYBEAN SALE: The U.S. Department of Agriculture confirmed private sales of 124,000 metric tons of U.S. soybeans for shipment to unknown destinations in the 2023/24 marketing year.
  • WHEAT TENDER: Japan’s Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF) is seeking to buy a total of 121,485 metric tons of food-quality wheat from the United States, Canada and Australia in a regular tender that will close late on Thursday.


  • WHEAT TENDER: Jordan’s state grain buyer issued an international tender to buy up to 120,000 metric tons of milling wheat which can be sourced from optional origins.
  • FEED BARLEY TENDER: Jordan’s state grains buyer issued an international tender to purchase up to 120,000 metric tons of animal feed barley.


earth in watercolor



ETHANOL: US Weekly Production Survey Before EIA Report

Output and stockpile projections for the week ending April 5 are based on six analyst estimates compiled by Bloomberg.

  • Production seen lower than last week at 1.05m b/d
  • Stockpile avg est. 26.436m bbl vs 26.416m a week ago
  • Would be the highest since March 2022

Brazil Soy Exports Seen Reaching 12.73 Million Tns In April Versus 10.65 Million Tns Forecast In Previous Week – Anec


China’s Spurning of Farm Exports Has Retaliatory Aspect, US Says

  • China may be retaliating against farmland rules, Vilsack says
  • Chinese minister’s mention of Syngenta was “signal”: Vilsack

US Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack implied that China may be favoring Brazilian corn and soybeans partly in retaliation against recent restrictions on ownership of American farmland.

Vilsack said his counterpart in China recently brought up Arkansas’ move to force seed company Syngenta AG, which is controlled by China’s Sinochem Holdings Corp., to sell 160 acres of farmland in the state.

The action — the first enforcement taken under legislation signed into law by Republican governor Sarah Huckabee Sanders that bans prohibited foreign entities from owning Arkansas farmland — is part of the constant “ripping” of China that has prompted it to spurn US agriculture products, Vilsack said.

“We had a trade deficit of $6 billion in the first quarter of this fiscal year; China’s purchases are $6 billion less than they were a year ago,” Vilsack said in an interview Tuesday. “Why would that be? Is it just Brazil, or was there a reason why the Chinese ag minister asked me about Syngenta?”

Why was it brought up, Vilsack asked: “It was a signal.”

An email sent to the Chinese embassy in Washington on Tuesday wasn’t immediately answered.

Vilsack said the US needs to diversify by working more with other countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America. Still, he said the US would like to be able to continue doing business with China.

“What we have to have I think in this country is a bit more nuanced conversation about China, and a bit more complex conversation about China,” he said. “At the same time, we need to diversify away from over-reliance on China.”

With China buying fewer crops from the US, Brazil has overtaken America as the world’s top corn shipper after already doing so with soybeans.

Argus Boosts Russia 2024 Wheat Crop Estimate to 92.1m Tons

Russia is forecast to harvest around 92.1m tons of wheat for the 2024-25 marketing year, according to estimates from Argus.

  • That’s 2m tons above previous estimates and would be the second-largest wheat harvest on record after the bumper crop in 2022-23
  • Expects crop of 87.5m- 96.7m tons, up from November estimate of 85.5m-94.5m tons
  • Expects Russia to enter 2024-25 marketing year with 106m tons of beginning stocks plus production, beginning a marketing year with over 100m tons for a third straight year
  • Says farmers “planted greater areas of winter wheat than previously anticipated,” but are likely to plant less spring wheat in April
    • “Production margins for wheat have fallen over recent months, causing some farmers to switch some areas to alternative spring crops.”
  • Soil has retained moisture from rains in Nov-Jan but “rain is now urgently needed over the next two to three weeks,”
  • NOTE: The estimates do not include Crimea


LSEG trade flows projected China soybean arrivals to increase in April to 9.19 million metric tons (MMT) with 6.36 MMT from Brazil and 2.83 MMT from the U.S. In April, the U.S. soybean arrivals will reach a record high of 2.83 MMT for the month, followed by no less than 1.52 MMT for May. After May, soybean imports from the U.S. are expected to drop dramatically upon the competitions of Brazilian new crop soybeans. April imports from Brazil are projected to decline slightly from last year. However, adequate supply and affordable prices of Brazilian soybeans indicate that China may continue its rapid soybean imports from the country this summer. In addition, the three-year low import prices have increased soybean crushing margins, which may facilitate rapid soybean imports in China.

On the other hand, China hog production is expected to decrease from the year ago due to low pork prices and resulting low profitability of the swine industry. Feed demand may decrease correspondingly. Also, low corn prices and huge Brazilian corn imports, as well as government’s intentions of diversifying feed rations curb demand for soybean meal. Domestic soybean meal/oil prices continue to linger at the three-year low levels, signaling less feed and food demand for soybeans.

Overall, China soybean imports may remain strong this summer, but they are unlikely to reach or exceed last year’s record high level.

Delayed Wheat Ship Left Russian Port After Egypt’s Request

  • Two ships carrying wheat for Egypt were stopped in Russia
  • The vessels are linked to Russian trader under local scrutiny

Egypt’s Foreign Ministry stepped in after a spat between Russia’s agriculture regulator and a key grain trader held up two ships carrying wheat, according to people with knowledge of the matter.

One of the vessels was allowed to sail toward Egypt’s ports on Friday after the foreign ministry in Cairo, concerned about supply shocks in the local market, reached out to its Russian counterparts, the people said, asking not to be identified discussing sensitive information.

The ships, carrying cargoes from an export partner of top Russian trader TD Rif, were not permitted to sail because local authorities said they lacked the necessary paperwork, Bloomberg earlier reported. Last month, the company had said its exports were being blocked and that it’s under pressure to sell its assets for a “negligible price.”

The dispute is the latest signal of how the Kremlin is moving to take more control of exports since Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine. It also highlights how a domestic dispute in the top wheat exporter could hinder grain deliveries abroad.

Egypt is a major wheat buyer and the vessels, Wadi Almolouk and Wadi Safaga, were meant to have left by the end of March.

Rosselkhoznadzor, the Russian agricultural agency, said it does not detain vessels and its mandate is only to check grain shipments for the “quarantine phytosanitary requirements of the destination country.” Earlier, the watchdog had said it’s stopping some exports by RIF because of “systematic inconsistencies” in grain safety and quality.

The Wadi Safaga was issued a phytosanitary certificate on April 4 after Egypt’s state buyer said it was willing to accept the cargo, Rosselkhoznadzor said on Friday. Ship-tracking data compiled by Bloomberg appeared to show the ship in the Bosphorus near Istanbul.

The Russian foreign ministry, the trading companies and the Egyptian procurement agency did not respond to emails seeking comment.



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