Global Ag News for Apr 21.23


French soft wheat crop rating slips, maize sowing behind usual pace

The condition of French soft wheat declined slightly in the week to April 17, while spring sowing of maize was lagging the pace of recent years, farm office FranceAgriMer said on Friday.

An estimated 93% of soft wheat was rated good or excellent, down from 94% the previous week but above the 91% registered a year earlier, FranceAgriMer said in a cereal crop report.

Heavy rain in March helped maintain favourable growing conditions in France, the European Union’s biggest grain producer, following a dry winter.

However, analysts warn drought could return as parched conditions last year left water reserves low .

Sowing of grain maize was 20% complete compared with 12% the previous week, FranceAgriMer said. That was below year-earlier progress of 29% and an average 31% for the past five years.

Cool temperatures and showers have slowed field work this month in parts of France.


Wheat prices overnight are up 2 1/4 in SRW, down 1/4 in HRW, up 1 1/2 in HRS; Corn is unchanged; Soybeans down 7 3/4; Soymeal down $0.22; Soyoil down 0.07.

For the week so far wheat prices are down 12 in SRW, down 40 3/4 in HRW, down 18 3/4 in HRS; Corn is down 11 1/4; Soybeans down 7 3/4; Soymeal down $1.04; Soyoil up 0.64.

For the month to date wheat prices are down 22 1/4 in SRW, down 35 1/4 in HRW, down 40 1/2 in HRS; Corn is down 10; Soybeans down 14 3/4; Soymeal down $14.80; Soyoil down 1.08.

Year-To-Date nearby futures are down 15.8% in SRW, down 6.0% in HRW, down 9.0% in HRS; Corn is down 2.3%; Soybeans down 1.8%; Soymeal down 6.2%; Soyoil down 15.0%.

Chinese Ag futures (JUL 23) Soybeans down 111 yuan; Soymeal down 14; Soyoil down 172; Palm oil down 138; Corn down 22 –Malaysian markets are close for Holiday.

There were no changes in registrations. Registration total: 2,463 SRW Wheat contracts; 23 Oats; 11 Corn; 0 Soybeans; 613 Soyoil; 1 Soymeal; 1 HRW Wheat.

Preliminary changes in futures Open Interest as of April 20 were: SRW Wheat down 2,261 contracts, HRW Wheat down 471, Corn down 4,521, Soybeans up 1,696, Soymeal up 6,132, Soyoil down 4,471.

Northern Plains Forecast: A system moving through the Northern Plains and Canadian Prairies continues to bring snow to the region. Temperatures are well-below normal and likely to remain there for the rest of the month, which is unfavorable for fieldwork and planting. It will still be warm enough to continue melting the remaining snowpack, but be slow enough to reduce the impact of flooding, which is becoming a major issue in the Red River Valley.

Central/Southern Plains Forecast: A system moves through the Central and Southern Plains the next couple of days with a few bursts of showers, but little for the southwestern drought areas. Some snow is not out of the question in the northwest as colder air fills in behind the system throughout the week. Additional frosts may be more widespread over the weekend, which may have some impact on wheat. Colder temperatures will be unfavorable for corn and soybean planting. Next week, the pattern remains active and models are producing plenty of rain chances in the drought areas, but the potential for precipitation there is questionable, and more likely farther east.

Midwest Forecast: A system is moving through the Midwest with several rounds of showers through the weekend, including potential for more snow. Another burst of cold air will move through as well, which is more likely to lead to widespread frosts and freezes that could be troublesome for winter wheat, and be unfavorable for corn and soybean planting. The cold should stick around through the end of April. The active pattern continues next week with several more days of rain chances.

Delta Forecast: A front moving through the Delta will produce widespread precipitation Thursday and Friday and more is expected next week. Many areas of the region are wet, limiting spring planting. Some areas that have been able to plant will find good conditions for germination and early growth, though temperatures will be on the cooler end of normal.

Argentina Grains & Oilseeds Forecast: Outside of a few showers at times, it will be drier across Argentina for the next couple of weeks. Overall, conditions are good for harvesting a damaged corn and soybean crop. Soil moisture is still sub-optimal for winter wheat planting and a drier stretch will not be helpful once planting starts at the end of the month. More rainfall is needed.

The player sheet for 4/20 had funds: net sellers of 4,500 contracts of SRW wheat, sellers of 7,000 corn, sellers of 5,500 soybeans, sellers of 1,500 soymeal, and  sellers of 2,000 soyoil.


  • WHEAT PURCHASE: A group of South Korean flour mills bought around 50,000 tonnes of wheat of different types to be sourced from Australia.
  • WHEAT PURCHASE: Japan’s Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF) bought a total of 66,377 tonnes of food-quality wheat from the United States and Australia in a regular tender that closed on Thursday.
  • FEED WHEAT AND CORN PURCHASE: An importer group in the Philippines is believed to have bought around 60,000 tonnes of animal feed wheat expected to be sourced from Australia and 50,000 tonnes of feed corn likely to come from South America in an international tender issued last week, European traders said. The corn was believed to have been bought in the low $300s a tonne c&f and the feed wheat in the low $290s a tonne c&f, they said. The grains were said to be both for July shipment.
  • BARLEY TENDER: Jordan’s state grains buyer issued an international tender to purchase up to 120,000 tonnes of animal feed barley.
  • 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 43,500 tonnes of rice.
  • MILLING WHEAT TENDER: Jordan’s state grain buyer issued an international tender to buy up to 120,000 tonnes of milling wheat that can be sourced from optional origins.



Argentina Soy Production Outlook Cut to 22.5m Tons on Low Yields

The Buenos Aires Grain Exchange cut its soy production estimate to 22.5m metric tons from the previous week’s 25m due to lower-than-expected yields, according to a weekly report.

  • Soy harvest is 16.7% complete
  • Corn forecast kept at 36m tons, harvest 14.7% complete

US Export Sales of Pork and Beef by Country

The following shows US export sales of pork and beef product by biggest net buyers for week ending April 13, according to data on the USDA’s website.

  • Mexico bought 13.1k tons of the 36.1k tons of pork sold in the week
  • South Korea led in beef purchases

China’s March soybean imports from US jump; corn from US, Ukraine drops

China’s soybean imports from the United States rose 43% in March, data showed on Friday, as delays in harvesting in top supplier Brazil prompted buyers to seek more U.S. beans.

The world’s top buyer of soybeans imported 4.83 million tonnes of the oilseed from the U.S., versus 3.37 million tonnes a year earlier, General Administration of Customs data showed.

Imports from Brazil fell 42% from the year before to 1.67 million tonnes.

Rain delayed the harvest in key growing regions in Brazil earlier this year.

China’s total soybean imports in March came to 6.85 million tonnes, data showed this month, 8% higher than a year earlier.

For corn, arrivals from the U.S. fell to 494,903 tonnes, down 52% on the year, while Brazil’s volumes reached 68,605 tonnes.

Chinese customs authorities updated a list of approved Brazilian corn exporters at the end of 2022, which jump-started its grain sales to the world’s top buyer.

Arrivals from Ukraine reached 909,345 tonnes, 33% lower than March 2022.

EU Wheat Production to Rise by 3.5m Tons in 2023-24: USDA FAS

Wheat production in the EU could rise to 137.8m tons in the season that starts in July, up from 134.3m tons in the current season, the USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service says in a report.

  • That could boost exports to 35.4m tons, from 33.3m tons
  • NOTE: Latest official USDA estimate for the 2022-23 season is 35m tons
  • “Favorable initial crop development conditions are reported across the EU, although spring rains in the EU’s southwest will be critical to replenish soil moisture”
  • Corn production seen rebounding to 64.4m tons, from last year’s drought-stricken harvest of 52m tons

Argentina Soy Production Outlook Cut to 22.5m Tons on Low Yields

The Buenos Aires Grain Exchange cut its soy production estimate to 22.5m metric tons from the previous week’s 25m due to lower-than-expected yields, according to a weekly report.

  • Soy harvest is 16.7% complete
  • Corn forecast kept at 36m tons, harvest 14.7% complete

Argentine Soybean, Corn Estimates April 20: Exchange

The Buenos Aires Grain Exchange releases weekly report on website.

  • 2022-23 soybean production estimate lowered to 22.5m tons vs 25m the previous week
  • Corn harvest is 14.7% complete, while soybeans advanced to 16.7% harvested

SOYBEAN/CEPEA: Export premium for soybean in BR is the lowest in 19 years

This week, the export premiums for soybean have dropped to the lowest levels since 2004, reflecting the record output in Brazil and low sales. Thus, the FOB prices for soybean at the port of Paranaguá (PR) is currently below USD 500/ton, the lowest since Nov/21.

Cepea surveys show that the export premiums for shipment in May/23 at the port of Paranaguá had bids at USD -2.00/bushel on Wednesday, 19. Considering first contracts, the current premium is the lowest in the series of Cepea, which began in June/2004. As for sellers’ asks, they are at – USD 1.70/bushel, the lowest since July/2004, when they were at – USD 2.00/bushel.

Still based at the port of Paranaguá, FOB prices hit USD 495.05/ton on Tuesday, 18, the lowest since Nov. 9th, 2021. This is also the lowest FOB price for soybean for this period since 2020.

Thus, on Monday (17), the ESALQ/BM&FBovespa Paranaguá (PR) Index and the CEPEA/ESALQ Paraná Index for soybean hit the lowest levels since mid-September/20, in nominal terms.

However, on the following days, devaluations were limited by the dollar appreciation (+3%) against the Real, to BRL 5.076 on Wednesday – this scenario favored deals in Brazil.

Thus, between April 13-19, the ESALQ/BM&FBovespa Paranaguá (PR) Index for soybean dropped 1.2%, to BRL 143.99 (USD 28.37) per 60-kg bag on Wednesday (19). The CEPEA/ESALQ Paraná Index decreased 1.5%, to BRL 137.91 (USD 27.17) per 60-kg bag Wednesday. On the average of the regions surveyed by Cepea, soybean prices dropped 2.1% in the over-the-counter market (paid to farmers) and 1.3% in the wholesale market (deals between processors).

CROPS – According to Conab, by April 15th, 85% of the 2022/23 crop of corn (estimated at 153.63 million tons) had been harvested, slightly down from the 87.1% in the same period last year.

CORN/CEPEA: With purchasers away, quotations drop more steeply

Corn devaluations have become steeper in Brazil this week. Lower demand, the faster pace of the summer crop harvesting (which raises supply in all regions) and the good development of the second crop are putting pressure on quotations.

In many regions, majorly in central-western and southern Brazil, although farmers are prioritizing the harvesting of soybean crops, the lack of room to stock soybean (whose output is forecast to set a record) and corn is leading sellers to raise the volumes supplied.

On the other hand, purchasers have been away from the market, aware of the current high supply and expecting prices to decrease more steeply, majorly in the second semester, when the harvesting of the second crop begins. This scenario is limiting liquidity.

Thus, not even the recent concerns about the crop in the United States and in Argentina were able to limit devaluations in Brazil. In the US, high moisture and the possibility of snow may halt sowing, while in Argentina, Bolsa de Cereales has revised down the production estimates for the 2022/23 season, by 16 million tons, to a slight 36 million tons total.

PRICES – Between April 13-19, the ESALQ/BM&FBovespa Index for corn (Campinas, SP) decreased 5.4%, to BRL 72.76 (USD 14.33) per 60-kg bag on Wednesday, 19 – the lowest nominal level since Oct. 19th, 2020 (BRL 71.49/bag). On the average of the regions surveyed by Cepea, quotations decreased 8% in the wholesale market (deals between processors) and 7% in the over-the-counter market (paid to farmers).

PORTS – Despite the corn valuations abroad and the dollar appreciation this week, prices faded at Brazilian ports. Between Tuesday and Thursday, purchasers were slightly more interested in closing deals for delivery in May.

CROPS – While the farmers in the US are concerned about the effects of the weather on crops, in Brazil, intermittent rains are favoring the de development of the second crop and the end of the summer crop harvesting.

According to Conab, by April 15th, 99.8% of the second crop had been sown, with only some areas in São Paulo State left. As for the summer crop, the harvesting has been slow. According to Conab, 54.8% of the national summer crop of corn had been harvested by April 15th.

IGC Raises 2023-24 Global Grain Production, Edges Stocks Higher

Global grains production in the 2023-24 season is now seen at 2.291b tons, up from a March estimate for 2.283b tons, the International Grains Council says in a report.

  • That’s mainly due to a larger corn and barley harvest, while wheat output is kept steady at 787m tons
  • Grain stockpile outlook rises to 581m tons, versus 580m tons
  • That remains the lowest since the 2014-15 season
  • Wheat stockpiles cut to 277m tons, from 279m tons
  • Corn stockpiles raised to 264m tons, from 261m tons
  • Global grains trade seen declining for a third straight season

Ukraine’s Spring-Grain Plantings Fall Behind Last Year: Ministry

Ukrainian farmers have sown about 1m hectare of spring grains as of Friday, Agriculture Ministry says on its website.

  • This compares with 1.53m hectare planted as of April 22 a year earlier, according to the ministry’s data on website
  • Spring wheat plantings rose to 169,100 hectare from 164,400 year earlier
  • Areas under spring barley fell to 557,400 hectare from 802,200 hectare
  • Corn plantings fell to 53,400 hectare from 323,200 hectare last year

Ukraine Grain Exports Fall 11% So Far This Season to 40.6m Tons

Ukraine’s grain exports dropped by 11% to 40.6m tons since the season started in July, according to Agriculture Ministry data.

Total includes:

  • 13.9m tons of wheat, down 25% y/y
  • 2.4m tons of barley, down 57% y/y
  • 23.9m tons of corn, up 15% y/y

China’s grain production to maintain steady growth in 2023: report

China will see a steady expansion in grain production this year amid the country’s continuous efforts to ensure safe supply of grain and major farm produce, a recent report forecast.

The country’s grain output is expected to reach 694 million tonnes in 2023, with the output of rice and wheat remaining stable and that of corn and soybean increasing, according to a report released by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs on the outlook of China’s agricultural sector.

The report also forecast a substantial increase in the output of rapeseeds, peanuts, and special oil crops, expecting China’s full-year output of oil crops to grow by 5.1 percent.

The increase in urban and rural residents’ income and the upgrading of food consumption will drive up the consumption of food such as fruit and meat, the report said.

It forecast that China’s capability in ensuring a steady and safe supply of grain and major farm produce will be further enhanced in 2023, with new progress made in building a diversified food supply system.

LIVESTOCK: US Red Meat Production Fell 1.4% Y/y in March

Commercial beef and pork production fell to 4.91b pounds in March, according to the USDA’s monthly livestock slaughter report.

  • Beef production down 4.1% y/y to 2.4b pounds
  • March cattle slaughter totaled 2.94m head, a 2.6% decline from a year ago
  • Avg live weight dropped by 18 pounds from last year to 1,366 pounds
  • Pork production up 1.3% y/y to 2.49b pounds
  • Hog slaughter increased 1.9% y/y to 11,464m head
  • Avg live weight was 292 pounds vs 293 pounds a year ago

US Miss. River Grain Shipments Rise, Barge Rates Decline: USDA

Barge shipments down the Mississippi river increased to 756k tons in the week ending April 15 from 684k tons the previous week, according to the USDA’s weekly grain transportation report.

  • Barge shipments of corn rose 10% from the previous week
  • Soybean shipments up 22% w/w
  • St. Louis barge rates were $13.77 per short ton, a decline of $1.43 from the previous week

US Crops in Drought Area for Week Ending April 18: USDA

The following shows the percent of US agricultural production within an area that experienced drought for the week ending April 18, according to the USDA’s weekly drought report.

  • Corn area experiencing moderate to intense drought remained at 28%, compares with 29% at this time last year
  • Spring wheat area in drought fell 7 percentage points from last week, while durum wheat area fell 3 points

Low Off-Season Demand Limits Interest in Fertilizers

Despite firming prices for urea and ammonium sulfate, the Brazilian market remains in off-season mode with limited interest in nitrogen fertilizers. An increase in 1Q imports of phosphates and potash continues to leave those markets oversupplied, pressuring prices.

Nitrogen Price Recovery Continues in Brazil

Stronger US prices and demand continued to push Brazil urea higher as vessels initially slated for that country’s ports were diverted to New Orleans. Urea in Brazil jumped to $345-$350 a metric ton vs. last week’s $330 and the early-April low of $295-$310, with no confirmed trades reported as high as $365/mt. Ammonium sulfate firmed to $175-$190/mt vs. last week’s $160-$180, fueled by increased demand and a limited supply of vessels for prompt shipment. Phosphates slipped to $570-$600/mt vs. last week’s $580-$600/mt, with reports of more tons from China pressuring the market. Potash was flat at $400-$430/mt but under continued downward pressure.

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