Global Ag News for Apr 28.23
Biden EPA to Allow Summer Sales of Higher-Ethanol E15 Gasoline
- Move comes after weeks of lobbying by Midwest US advocates
- EPA postponed a more permanent change until next year
Biden administration officials have decided to issue an emergency waiver that will allow widespread sales of higher-ethanol E15 gasoline this summer, following a strategy used last year to help tamp down high pump prices.
The waiver, set to be announced by the Environmental Protection Agency on Friday, will temporarily exempt the 15% ethanol fuel blend from volatility requirements that effectively block sales from June 1 to Sept. 15 throughout much of the country. The planned move was described by people familiar with the matter who asked not to be named because the decision isn’t public.
The waiver comes after weeks of lobbying by ethanol advocates, including elected officials from corn-producing Midwest states, who were frustrated by a separate Biden administration decision to delay another policy action that aimed to expand summertime E15 sales until next year.
To justify the emergency move, the EPA is set to cite similar conditions that provided the foundation for a series of the temporary waivers last year, the people said. At the time, the EPA argued that the fuel volatility waiver for E15 was in the public interest and needed to address “fuel supply circumstances” spurred by the war in Ukraine.
Oil industry advocates have questioned the legality of the emergency approach, raising the specter of a court challenge.
Spokespeople for the EPA did not immediately respond to requests for comment after normal business hours.
Conventional E10 gasoline, which is widely sold across the US, has a partial waiver from the same fuel volatility limits already — an exemption Midwestern governors have asked the EPA to abolish.
An analysis conducted for the pro-ethanol group Growth Energy said that when summertime E15 sales were greenlighted last year, the blend cost nearly $1-per-gallon less than conventional E10 in some areas.
FUTURES & WEATHER
Wheat prices overnight are up 1 1/4 in SRW, up 3 in HRW, up 4 in HRS; Corn is down 2 3/4; Soybeans up 6; Soymeal up $1.90; Soyoil down 0.12.
For the week so far wheat prices are down 43 1/2 in SRW, down 58 1/4 in HRW, down 58 in HRS; Corn is down 37 1/4; Soybeans down 38 1/2; Soymeal down $14.10; Soyoil down 2.73.
For the month to date wheat prices are down 74 in SRW, down 93 1/2 in HRW, down 108 1/4 in HRS; Corn is down 57 1/4; Soybeans down 65 3/4; Soymeal down $32.00; Soyoil down 4.91.
Year-To-Date nearby futures are down 22.8% in SRW, down 12.1% in HRW, down 18.1% in HRS; Corn is down 7.8%; Soybeans down 5.4%; Soymeal down 10.3%; Soyoil down 21.2%.
Chinese Ag futures (JUL 23) Soybeans down 56 yuan; Soymeal up 21; Soyoil down 88; Palm oil down 118; Corn down 30 — Malaysian palm oil prices overnight were down 110 ringgit (-3.18%) at 3345.
There were changes in registrations (31 Oats). Registration total: 2,389 SRW Wheat contracts; 54 Oats; 11 Corn; 0 Soybeans; 598 Soyoil; 1 Soymeal; 1 HRW Wheat.
Preliminary changes in futures Open Interest as of April 27 were: SRW Wheat down 1,441 contracts, HRW Wheat up 403, Corn down 12,517, Soybeans down 6,909, Soymeal down 9,004, Soyoil down 1,338.
Northern Plains Weather: A system will bring scattered showers to the Northern Plains over the next few days, mostly in the form of rain despite cooler temperatures. Rain should not be heavy enough to increase pressure on the ongoing flooding across the Red River by too much, but the colder temperatures will slow the drying process, limiting fieldwork and planting. Temperatures will start rising in the west this weekend and should get closer to normal for eastern areas next week, being more favorable for fieldwork.
Central/Southern Plains Weather: A system brought widespread showers to the drought areas in the Central and Southern Plains over the last couple of days, being substantial in some areas. That will help to reduce the impact of the drought but should not make much of a dent in it. Additional showers could be possible Friday with a cold front sliding south through the region. Wheat may not benefit from the rain too much due to poor conditions, but the increased soil moisture would favor forages and corn and soybean planting and establishment.
Midwest Weather: Cold air has produced frosts and freezes in the eastern Midwest over the last few mornings. The cold air may cause damage to more-developed wheat and emergent corn and soybeans. A system will come through late week and weekend with widespread showers, mostly in the form of rain. Cooler temperatures will generally be in place for eastern areas well into May, unfavorable for planting and supportive for additional frosts.
Delta Weather: Scattered showers will move through the Delta with a couple of systems through Saturday before becoming much drier. Many areas of the region are wet, limiting spring planting. 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 through the end of the month. Northern areas may catch a frost early next week.
Canadian Prairies Weather: Below-normal temperatures continue to limit melting of the snowpack across the eastern Canadian Prairies. Western areas with less snow cover should see higher temperatures. The overall cooler nature will continue to limit or prohibit fieldwork and seeding across the east, but western areas may see a window opening. Some showers will move through with a system this week, being a mix of rain and snow, but should dry out afterward. Warmer temperatures will spread across more of the region next week.
Argentina Weather: Most of the agricultural areas in Argentina have missed out on recent rainfall and conditions are favorable for harvesting a severely damaged crop. Winter wheat areas are in need of more moisture as the crop will start to be planted in the next week or two. A system moving through Sunday may provide some moisture, but more will be needed.
The player sheet for 4/27 had funds: net sellers of 4,000 contracts of SRW wheat, sellers of 18,000 corn, sellers of 5,000 soybeans, sellers of 0 soymeal, and sellers of 7,500 soyoil.
- U.S. CORN SALE CANCELLATION: The U.S. Department of Agriculture said Thursday that private exporters canceled sales of 233,000 tonnes of U.S. old-crop corn to China.
- TENDER FOR U.S. WHEAT: The Taiwan Flour Millers’ Association has issued an international tender to purchase an estimated 51,925 tonnes of grade 1 milling wheat to be sourced from the United States
- WHEAT PURCHASE: Iraq’s state grains buyer is believed to have purchased about 150,000 tonnes of wheat expected to be sourced from Australia in an international tender restricted to a limited number of participants which closed on April 26.
- MILLING WHEAT PURCHASE: Algeria’s state grains agency OAIC is believed to have bought milling wheat in an international tender on Thursday which sought limited shipment to two ports only.
- 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
- 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.
- BARLEY TENDER: Jordan’s state grains buyer issued an international tender to purchase up to 120,000 tonnes of animal feed barley.
Argentine Soybean, Corn Estimates April 27: Exchange
The Buenos Aires Grain Exchange releases weekly report on website.
- 2022-23 soybean and corn production estimates both maintained
- Soybean harvest advanced to 28% complete from 17% 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 20, according to data on the USDA’s website.
- Mexico bought 32.4k tons of the 54k tons of pork sold in the week
- Japan led in beef purchases
Canada Canola Processing Rose 24.7% Y/y in March: StatCan
Canola processing rose 24.7% in March from a year ago, according to Statistics Canada data released Thursday on agency’s website.
- Oil production totaled 385k tons, and meal output at 546k tons
- Aug.-March crushings up 13.8% from year ago to 6.626m tons
- NOTE: Canada is the world’s top canola grower
EU Trims Soft-Wheat Crop Outlook; Cuts Barley Output Estimate
The EU’s soft-wheat production in the 2023-24 season is now seen at 130.2m tons, versus a March estimate of 130.9m tons, the European Commission said in a report.
- Exports estimate unchanged at 32m tons
- Barley production seen at 52.2m tons, down from previous estimate of 54.2m tons
- Corn production seen at 64.4m tons, versus 65m tons
French Soft-Wheat Conditions Improve Slightly: AgriMer
The amount of France’s soft-wheat crop rated in good or very good condition rose to 94% during the week ended April 24, FranceAgriMer data showed on Friday.
- Corn planting was 44% complete, versus 20% the prior week
- Compares with 56% at this time last year
Indian wheat procurement gains pace, jumps above last year’s buying
The Indian state has procured more wheat so far in the current marketing year than total purchases made in the previous year, two government officials said on Friday.
Higher procurement will help the world’s second biggest wheat producer bring down wheat prices, which jumped to a record high earlier this year and lifted food inflation.
Wheat procurement jumped to 19.5 million tonnes as of April 26th, above the more than 18.8 million tonnes procured last year, said a senior government official who declined to be named.
“Procurement has gained momentum in the last few days,” the official said.
Rain and hail in March and April damaged India’s wheat crop just before harvesting, forcing the government to ease procurement norms to rebuild stocks and help farmers, who were getting lower prices on the open market for the damaged crop.
In all, India plans to buy 34.15 million tonnes of new-season wheat from local farmers.
In the first half of April procurement gained momentum in central state of Madhya Pradesh, while in the second half of this month northern states of Punjab and Haryana contributed significantly, said another government official.
Farmers have been selling damaged wheat to state-run procurement agencies and their good quality crop to private players, said a New-Delhi based dealer with a global trade house.
“It seems at the current pace, government procurement can reach 30 million tonnes. That would be enough for the government to run welfare schemes but won’t allow it to lift a ban on the exports,” the dealer said.
India, also the world’s second-biggest consumer of wheat, banned wheat exports in May 2022 after a sharp, sudden rise in temperatures clipped output, even as export demand picked up to meet the global shortfall triggered by the Russia-Ukraine conflict.
Flooding Stymies Mississippi River Grain Shipments
Flooding in the upper portion of the Mississippi River has closed multiple locks of the river well into May, says American Commercial Barge Line in a note. ACBL says that two locks are expected to be closed until May 4-5, while another lock is not expected to reopen until at least May 14. These closures have impacted barge freight rates, sending them 10% to 16% lower than this time last year, according to data from the USDA. The agency says that the lower rates may cause some companies to cut the amount of barges they have in service.
Bayer’s FieldView Adoption Rose 14% in Brazil in 2023: Executive
Bayer’s FieldView platform — a tool for precision agriculture — was adopted on 25 million hectares in Brazil at the beginning of 2023, an area equivalent to about half of the nation’s soybean planted area, Jeremy Williams, head of Climate Corp. and digital farming for Bayer Crop Science, says in interview.
- Mapped area rose from 22m ha in the end of 2021
- The area covered includes soy, corn, cotton, sugar-cane farms
- 89m ha are mapped on FieldView platform globally, which makes Brazil the second largest market behind the US, where 46m ha are covered
- “We are advancing very significantly in Brazil and that’s one of our major priorities,” Williams says
- “We need our FieldView footprint to keep growing to reach the goal of having 100% of our sales digitally enabled in 10 years”
- Bayer is increasing efforts to use its precision agriculture platform to offer “tailored” solutions and help farmers run more sustainable operations at scale, he says
US Miss. River Grain Shipments Fall, Barge Rates Decline: USDA
Barge shipments down the Mississippi river declined to 657k tons in the week ending April 22 from 756k tons the previous week, according to the USDA’s weekly grain transportation report.
- Barge shipments of corn little changed from the previous week
- Soybean shipments down 34% w/w
- St. Louis barge rates were $12.28 per short ton, a decline of $1.48 from the previous week
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