Global Ag News for Apr 11.23
Argentina’s latest ‘soy dollar’ scheme sees few takers on first day
The latest government incentive to grow Argentina’s processed soybean exports recorded few takers on Monday, according to traders and analysts, on the first day for the scheme that offers farmers and shippers a preferential exchange rate.
Would-be participants in the “soy dollar” program need more details, several told Reuters.
The program provides access to an exchange rate of 300 Argentine pesos per U.S. dollar for all sales of soybean derivatives, or 40% more than the tightly-controlled official rate of some 213 pesos per greenback.
The government of embattled President Alberto Fernandez, struggling to contain triple-digit inflation ahead of elections this year, aims to encourage exports of the key commodity in a bid to attract more hard currency to dwindling foreign reserves needed in particular to pay debt.
Spot market transactions under the latest version of the policy, which initially kicked off last year, showed no movements on Monday, according to traders.
Argentina is a top global exporter of processed soy oil and flour.
“The market is still waiting for regulatory details,” said Ariel Tejera, head of the market analysis at brokerage Grassi, who confirmed some futures transactions under the policy but at only small volumes.
He added that it remains unclear what documentation is needed, among other concerns.
“It started quite calmly with few offers from factories in a very cautious market waiting for more information,” said Eugenio Irazuegui, a researcher with brokerage Enrique Zeni y CIA.
The Rosario stock exchange typically publishes a daily report on transactions, but no report has been released so far on Monday.
Others echoed concern over the program’s lackluster start.
“Almost nothing was sold, everything is dead,” said one market participant who asked not to be named.
Only about 17.5% of the 2021/22 soybean crop of some 44 million tonnes remains in local storage, according to official data at the end of March.
Meanwhile, about 5.5 million tonnes of soybeans from the current 2022/23 harvest, which has only just begun, have been sold, official data showed, compared to about 12 million tonnes at the same time during the year-ago period.
Fertilizer Pricing Mixed as Spring Planting Season Kicks Off
Ammonia prices remain weak in the US as spring demand cranks up in the Midwest, but tightening supply gave a boost to urea and phosphates in some locations. Corn Belt ammonia fell 25% last week to $500 a short ton on increasing supply. India settled a long-term potash contract at $422 a metric ton cost and freight, but China — which normally purchases in line with India — remains absent as buyers defer demand.
FUTURES & WEATHER
Wheat prices overnight are down 1 3/4 in SRW, up 1/4 in HRW, up 1 in HRS; Corn is down 1/4; Soybeans up 9 1/2; Soymeal up $0.50; Soyoil up 0.04.
For the week so far wheat prices are up 1 1/4 in SRW, up 11 3/4 in HRW, up 4 in HRS; Corn is up 10 1/4; Soybeans up 4 1/4; Soymeal up $0.34; Soyoil up 0.03.
For the month to date wheat prices are down 15 1/2 in SRW, down 1 1/2 in HRW, down 19 3/4 in HRS; Corn is down 6 3/4; Soybeans down 8 3/4; Soymeal down $8.20; Soyoil down 0.85.
Year-To-Date nearby futures are down 14.6% in SRW, down 1.3% in HRW, down 6.7% in HRS; Corn is down 3.6%; Soybeans down 1.5%; Soymeal down 4.8%; Soyoil down 14.6%.
Chinese Ag futures (JUL 23) Soybeans down 47 yuan; Soymeal down 2; Soyoil unchanged; Palm oil up 134; Corn up 18 — Malaysian palm oil prices overnight were up 58 ringgit (+1.51%) at 3895.
There were no changes in registrations. Registration total: 2,537 SRW Wheat contracts; 23 Oats; 22 Corn; 55 Soybeans; 613 Soyoil; 1 Soymeal; 1 HRW Wheat.
Preliminary changes in futures Open Interest as of April 10 were: SRW Wheat down 6,643 contracts, HRW Wheat down 1,176, Corn down 9,500, Soybeans down 8,110, Soymeal up 378, Soyoil down 5,331.
Northern Plains Forecast: Mostly dry through Wednesday. Isolated to scattered showers Thursday-Friday. Temperatures near to well above normal through Wednesday, near to below normal Thursday, below normal Friday. Outlook: Isolated showers Saturday-Sunday. Mostly dry Monday-Wednesday. Temperatures below normal Saturday-Sunday, near to below normal Monday-Wednesday.
Central/Southern Plains Forecast: Mostly dry Tuesday-Wednesday. Isolated showers west Thursday. Isolated to scattered showers Friday. Temperatures above to well above normal through Thursday, near to below normal northwest and well above normal southeast Friday. Outlook: Isolated to scattered showers Saturday. Mostly dry Sunday-Wednesday. Temperatures below normal northwest and above normal southeast Saturday, near to below normal Sunday-Monday, near to above normal Tuesday-Wednesday.
Western Midwest Forecast: Mostly dry Tuesday-Thursday. Scattered showers Friday. Temperatures above to well above normal through Friday.
Eastern Midwest Forecast: Mostly dry through Friday. Temperatures above to well above normal Tuesday-Friday. Outlook: Scattered showers Saturday-Monday. Mostly dry Tuesday-Wednesday. Temperatures above to well above normal Saturday, near to below normal Sunday-Wednesday.
Brazil Grains & Oilseeds Forecast: Rio Grande do Sul and Parana: Mostly dry Tuesday. Isolated showers south Wednesday. Scattered showers Thursday, north Friday. Temperatures near to above normal through Thursday, near to below normal Friday. Mato Grosso, MGDS and southern Goias: Isolated showers north through Wednesday. Scattered showers Thursday-Friday. Temperatures near normal through Friday.
Argentina Grains & Oilseeds Forecast: Cordoba, Santa Fe, Northern Buenos Aires: Isolated showers Tuesday-Wednesday. Mostly dry Thursday-Friday. Temperatures above normal Tuesday, near to below normal Wednesday, below normal Thursday-Friday. La Pampa, Southern Buenos Aires: Isolated showers Tuesday. Mostly dry Wednesday-Friday. Temperatures above normal Tuesday, near to below normal Wednesday, below normal Thursday-Friday.
The player sheet for 4/10 had funds: net buyers of 1,500 contracts of SRW wheat, buyers of 7,000 corn, buyers of 2,500 soybeans, sellers of 2,000 soymeal, and sellers of 1,000 soyoil.
- CORN TENDER: Taiwan’s MFIG purchasing group has issued an international tender to buy up to 65,000 tonnes of animal feed corn which can be sourced from the United States, Brazil, Argentina or South Africa
- SOYMEAL TENDER: Leading South Korean animal feed maker Nonghyup Feed Inc. (NOFI) has issued an international tender to purchase up to 60,000 tonnes of soymeal
- 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
- WHEAT TENDER: The Taiwan Flour Millers’ Association has issued an international tender to purchase an estimated 52,850 tonnes of grade 1 milling wheat to be sourced from the United States
- WHEAT SUBSIDY NEWS: Morocco will offer this month almost the same wheat import subsidy for Black Sea shipments as for other origins, eroding an advantage held by European Union supplies, a document published by state grain agency ONICL showed.
- CORN TENDER: Algerian state agency ONAB issued an international tender to purchase up to 70,000 tonnes of animal feed corn to be sourced from Argentina or Brazil.
- WHEAT TENDER: Algeria’s state grains agency OAIC has issued an international tender to purchase a nominal 50,000 tonnes of durum wheat
- RICE TENDER: South Korea’s Agro-Fisheries & Food Trade Corp issued an international tender to purchase an estimated 121,800 tonnes of rice.
- FEED BARLEY TENDER: Jordan’s state grains buyer issued an international tender to purchase up to 120,000 tonnes of animal feed barley.
- FEED WHEAT, BARLEY TENDER: Japan’s Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF) said on Wednesday that it will seek 60,000 tonnes of feed wheat and 20,000 tonnes of feed barley to be loaded by July 31 and arrive in Japan by Sept. 28, via a simultaneous buy and sell (SBS) auction that will be held on April 12.
US Inspected 805k Tons of Corn for Export, 670k of Soybean
In week ending April 6, according to the USDA’s weekly inspections report.
- Wheat: 335k tons vs 169k the previous wk, 419k a yr ago
- Soybeans: 670k tons vs 504k the previous wk, 821k a yr ago
- Corn: 805k tons vs 1,098k the previous wk, 1,475k a yr ago
US Corn, Soybean, Wheat Inspections by Country: April 6
Following is a summary of USDA inspections for week ending April 6 of corn, soybeans and wheat for export, from the Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration, known as GIPSA.
- Soybeans for China-bound shipments made up 289k tons of the 670k total inspected
- Mexico was the top destination for corn inspections, Japan led in wheat
Brazil 2022/23 Soybean Harvest 82% Done as of April 6: AgRural
Compares with 76% a week earlier and 84% last year, according to an emailed statement from consulting firm AgRural.
Planting of corn’s second crop, known as safrinha, is all done, and crops are developing well so far
Iraq to Boost Wheat Production by 60% This Year, Official Says
- Nation to continue imports due to rainfall dependency: Nouri
- Iraq plans to buy at least 50,000 tons via tender this month
Iraq plans to boost its wheat output by almost 60% this year, even as it continues to rely on imports to satisfy domestic demand.
The country is expected to produce 3.5 million tons of wheat this year, up from about 2.2 million tons last year, according to Haider Nouri, director general of Iraq’s grain board. The nation will also seek to buy at least 50,000 tons this month via tender, he said during an interview in Baghdad.
Iraqi wheat growers have started their harvest and will officially begin marketing the staple to the trade ministry’s silos on Tuesday. The government — which runs a subsidy program that distributes 4.6 million tons of the commodity a year — buys local wheat at almost double the global price in order to encourage production by domestic farmers.
Iraq last year ordered the purchase of a million tons of wheat to make up for a production shortfall. Its output is highly dependent on rain and water flows from the Tigris and Euphrates rivers.
In recent years, the country has been purchasing wheat from three sources: the U.S., Australia and Canada. “Those are the best three origins that fit for making our Iraqi bread as they the hard and contain high gluten,” Nouri said.
Benchmark wheat futures on Monday rose for the first time in a week, as Russia warned of risks to the Black Sea grain deal. Still, global wheat prices are favorable, considering Russia’s war in Ukraine, Nouri said.
Iraq’s grain board is working to upgrade its grain storage silos. In the final quarter of the year, it plans to build a silo with a capacity of 60,000 tons in the southern province of Diwaniya. The facility, expected to cost as much as $27 million, will receive some funding from Saudi Arabia. Five of Iraq’s 27 silos were previously damaged during conflict with Islamic State militants.
WHEAT/CEPEA: Quotations drop in Brazil and abroad
Wheat prices are fading in the Brazilian market and abroad. In Brazil, pressure comes from low liquidity, since deals have been sporadic, being closed only when farmers need room in warehouses for the summer crop. Besides, they are focused on selling soybean and corn. As for purchasers, many mills have signaled to have the product stocked, also claiming that the demand for by-products is low. The holiday on Friday, 7 (Holy Friday), helped to lower liquidity in Brazil.
Cepea surveys show that, between March 31st and April 6th, the prices paid to wheat farmers dropped 0.55% in Santa Catarina and 0.41% in Paraná but remained stable in Rio Grande do Sul. In the wholesale market (deals between processors), values decreased 0.59% in RS, 0.18% in SC and 0.14% in São Paulo but rose 0.95% in PR. In the same period, the US dollar decreased 0.2%, to BRL 5.06 on Thursday, 6.
Abroad, devaluations were influenced by the low demand for the wheat from the United States, higher supply from Russia and corn price drops. However, crops conditions have worsened in the US, limiting devaluations.
Based on data from Conab (Brazil’s National Company for Food Supply), between March 27-31, the import parity price for the wheat from Argentina delivered to Paraná State was USD 349.69/ton. Considering the average of the US dollar in that period, at BRL 5.1512, the wheat imported was sold at BRL 1,801.36/ton, while for the Brazilian wheat traded in Paraná, the average was lower, at BRL 1,619.06/ton, according to data from Cepea. In Rio Grande do Sul, the price of the product from Argentina closed at USD 328.06/ton, which accounts for BRL 1,689.93ton – against BRL 1,459.04/ton on the average of the State calculated by Cepea.
IMPORTS AND EXPORTS – According to data from Secex, in March (23 working days), Brazil imported 428.4 thousand tons of wheat, against 521.9 thousand tons in Mar/22. Exports totaled 646.6 thousand tons, against 768.6 thousand tons in March 2022, according to Secex.
India Forecasts Normal Monsoon, Easing Concerns Over Growth
- Monsoon rainfall is likely to be 96% of long-term average: IMD
- El Nino could influence the monsoon in August and September
India, which relies on rain for the vast share of its water, forecast that the monsoon will be normal this year, potentially easing concerns over the impact on agriculture production and economic growth.
Showers during the June-September rainy season is likely to be 96% of a long-term average, according to the official India Meteorological Department. The El Nino weather condition, normally triggered by warm water in the equatorial Pacific, could influence the monsoon in the second half of the season, it said.
Hundreds of millions of farmers across Asia’s third-largest economy depend on the annual monsoon to nourish their fields. Bountiful rains may boost production of crops like rice, soybeans, corn and sugar cane, lowering food prices and aiding the government’s efforts to cool inflation.
The IMD prediction is at odds with the outlook from Skymet. The private forecaster on Monday predicted a below-average monsoon, saying the coming season is likely to bring only 94% of the rain the country usually gets from June to September.
The weather department’s forecast has a margin of error of 5%. Rainfall between 96% and 104% of the historical average is considered normal. Last year’s monsoon rains were 106% of the average, boosting foodgrain output in 2022-23.
The risk of lower rainfall remains, based on IMD’s forecast probability, said Anubhuti Sahay, the Mumbai-based South Asia chief economist at Standard Chartered Plc. Inflation is likely to hover around 5.3% in the current fiscal year and food inflation at 5.7% given reduced wheat stockpiles, rising rural wages and the likelihood of lower rainfall, she added.
The monsoon generally hits the southern state of Kerala in the first week of June, before moving north to cover most of the nation
Tight Supply Pushes Urea, Phosphate, Potash Higher
A dearth of barges in New Orleans (NOLA) helped push urea and phosphate prices higher as spring demand accelerates. NOLA urea jumped to $318-$355 a short ton (st) vs. the previous week’s $295-$312, while diammonium phosphate (DAP) barges firmed to $610-$620/st vs. $600-$615. Potash barges appeared to be up as well, with new trades reported at $360-$380/st vs. $360-$370. The firming NOLA markets also pushed up terminal prices for urea and phosphates in the Southern Plains, where demand for applications on wheat and corn stretched supply.
Despite growing demand in parts of the Corn Belt, ammonia prices fell again amid ample supply, with new offers reported at $500-$600/st vs. the previous $670-$750. International markets also saw falling ammonia prices, based on new sales into Turkey and Southeast Asia.
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