Global Ag News for Dec 19.22
Mexico, US Aiming for GMO Corn Solution by End January: Ebrard
Mexico and the US are aiming to resolve their dispute over GMO corn trade by the end of January, Mexico’s Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard said Friday after meeting with US Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack in Washington.
FUTURES & WEATHER
Wheat prices overnight are up 1 in SRW, down 2 1/2 in HRW, down 1 1/4 in HRS; Corn is down 4; Soybeans down 12 1/4; Soymeal down $0.97; Soyoil up 0.45.
Markets finished last week with wheat prices down 2 3/4 in SRW, down 23 in HRW, down 9 in HRS; Corn is down 6 1/4; Soybeans up 2 1/2; Soymeal down $0.03; Soyoil up 1.34.
For the month to date wheat prices are down 41 in SRW, down 58 1/4 in HRW, down 34 3/4 in HRS; Corn is down 18; Soybeans down 4; Soymeal up $34.50; Soyoil down 7.37.
Year-To-Date nearby futures are down -2% in SRW, up 5% in HRW, down -8% in HRS; Corn is up 9%; Soybeans up 10%; Soymeal up 10%; Soyoil up 13%.
Chinese Ag futures (MAR 23) Soybeans up 14 yuan; Soymeal down 32; Soyoil down 142; Palm oil down 82; Corn down 9 — Malaysian palm oil prices overnight were up 11 ringgit (+0.28%) at 3929.
There were changes in registrations (-65 SRW Wheat, -29 Oats, -154 Corn, -5 Soymeal). Registration total: 2,795 SRW Wheat contracts; 1 Oats; 154 Corn; 91 Soybeans; 774 Soyoil; 296 Soymeal; 495 HRW Wheat.
Preliminary changes in futures Open Interest as of December 16 were: SRW Wheat down 1,035 contracts, HRW Wheat up 191, Corn down 543, Soybeans down 6,910, Soymeal up 5,068, Soyoil down 3,344.
Brazil Grains & Oilseeds Forecast: Scattered showers fell over central and northern areas over the weekend, and will continue through the week. More isolated showers fell over southern areas and dryness should return there by midweek. It may be dry in southern areas for a week before showers return, which could stress corn in pollination to some degree. Soybeans remain in mostly favorable condition, though dryness across the south is a little concerning there as well.
Argentina Grains & Oilseeds Forecast: It was mostly dry over the weekend, though temperatures were relatively mild. Showers will return to the country at the end of the week after an extended period of dryness that has continued to hurt developing corn and soybeans. Showers will continue through the weekend though models are mixed on if showers will continue next week. If it stays drier, then there will continue to be drought damage to crops. If showers continue, there could be some significant improvements.
Northern Plains Forecast: Isolated snow showers fell over the weekend as cold air settled in. Cold air continues this week with a strong push of the polar vortex moving through later this week. Some light snow will accompany the cold. Warmer air will try to move into the region next week, though it is uncertain if it will succeed.
Central/Southern Plains Forecast: It was mostly dry over the weekend as cold air filtered into northern areas behind the first push of the polar vortex. Some scattered precipitation will develop on Monday, but few areas will receive protective snow cover before a much stronger push of cold air moves in later in the week. This system may bring another round of snow, even as far south as north Texas, but also some very cold air. Any unprotected areas would be vulnerable for winter kill as a couple days of near-record cold will move in. Warmer air will try to replace the cold next week.
Midwest Forecast: Some areas of snow occurred over the weekend as a system finally left the region. Cold air pushed into northwest areas behind the first push of the polar vortex. A much stronger push will move through later in the week and cause a very strong storm system that is likely to bring blizzard conditions and areas of heavy snow. Areas that do not end up with good snow cover will be at risk of winter kill on winter wheat. Lake-effect snows are likely to continue after the system pulls away. Warmer air will try to move in after Christmas, but it is uncertain if it will succeed.
The player sheet for Dec. 16 had funds: net sellers of 1,500 contracts of SRW wheat, sellers of 1,000 corn, sellers of 3,500 soybeans, buyers of 3,000 soymeal, and sellers of 1,500 soyoil.
- RICE TENDER: South Korea’s state-backed Agro-Fisheries & Food Trade Corp has issued an international tender to purchase an estimated 83,672 tonnes of rice to be sourced from the United States
- SUNFLOWER OIL TENDER: Turkey’s state grain board TMO has issued an international tender to purchase about 24,000 tonnes of crude sunflower oil.
- MEXICO-U.S. CORN DEBATE UPDATE: Mexico and the United States aim to reach an agreement in January over a dispute concerning corn, the Mexican foreign ministry said on Friday, after officials from the two countries held talks in Washington. In a statement, the ministry said talks would continue in the meantime as the two sides worked to reach a deal.
- WHEAT TENDER: Iraq’s state grains buyer has issued a tender to buy a nominal 50,000 tonnes of milling wheat
- CORN TENDER: South Korea’s state-backed Agro-Fisheries & Food Trade Corp issued new international tenders to purchase around 25,000 tonnes of food-quality soybeans free of genetically modified organisms (GMOs).
- RICE TENDERS: Bangladesh’s state grains buyer issued an international tender to purchase 50,000 tonnes of rice.
Ukraine Harvested 70% of Corn Area as of Dec. 16: Ministry
Ukrainian farmers have harvested corn from 70% of planted areas as of Dec. 16, the Agriculture Ministry says on website.
- 18.4m tons of corn was harvested across 2.9m hectares
- Corn harvest totaled 17.2m tons on Dec. 13
Ukraine’s 2023 Grain Area May Fall 22%, Harvest Down 37%: Club
Ukraine’s grain area for the 2023 season is pegged at 8.7m hectares, down 22% from 2022 and 45% below the pre-war level of 2021, the Ukrainian Agribusiness Club said Friday on its website.
- Farmers are significantly cutting back on fertilizer use and lack financing in the midst of the war, likely curbing yields by 10%-30% versus the average
- The 2023 grain harvest is estimated at 34m tons, down 37% y/y and 60% below 2021
- Oilseed plantings are estimated at 9.7m hectares, up 32% y/y and topping the grain area for the first time
- Harvest pegged at 19.3m tons, up 13% y/y
Four Wheat Vessels Left Ukrainian Black Sea Ports in Two Days
Four vessels with 145,000 tons of wheat destined for Asia left Ukrainian Black Sea ports, Ukrainian Sea Ports Administration said in a Facebook post on Saturday.
- The ports of Odesa, Pivdenniy and Chornomorsk, involved in the UN grain initiative, are operating at half capacity
- By now, 23 ships are being processed in the ports, loading 734,000 tons of Ukrainian agricultural products
- “Our team is working under the constant threat of rocket attacks, in blackout conditions,” Oleksiy Vostrikov, Sea Ports administration chief, said according to Agency’s facebook statement
- Since Aug. 1, 558 ships have left Ukrainian Black Sea ports, exporting 14 million tons of Ukrainian food to Asia, Europe and Africa
- Russia targeted Odesa early Saturday with two “Oniks” missiles, but both were shot down by Air defense systems, local authorities said on Telegram
China Agricultural Imports
General Administration of Customs says on website.
- Nov. Corn Imports 740,000 Tons, -5.8% Y/y
- YTD corn imports fell 26.9% y/y to 19.75m tons
- Nov. wheat imports 1.01m tons, +35.4% y/y
- YTD wheat imports rose 0.6% y/y to 8.88m tons
- Nov. sugar imports 730,000 tons, +17% y/y
- YTD sugar imports fell 9.8% y/y to 4.75m tons
- Nov. cotton imports 180,000 tons, +85% y/y
- YTD cotton imports fell 12.2% y/y to 1.77m tons
- Nov. edible palm oil imports 700,000 tons, +61.6% y/y
- YTD edible palm oil imports fell 29.3% y/y to 2.97m tons
- Nov. rice imports 330,000 tons, -33% y/y
- YTD rice imports rose 31.8% y/y to 5.78m tons
- Nov. barley imports 530,000 tons, -65.2% y/y
- YTD barley imports fell 53.9% y/y to 5.28m tons
- Nov. sorghum imports 500,000 tons, -5.7% y/y
- YTD sorghum imports rose 15.2% y/y to 10.04m tons
- Nov. pork imports 180,000 tons, -11.1% y/y
- YTD pork imports fell 56% y/y to 1.56m tons
- Nov. beef imports 250,000 tons, +39% y/y
- YTD beef imports rose 15.1% y/y to 2.45m tons
CORN/CEPEA: International demand resumes raising corn prices in Brazil
Corn prices have been firm in most Brazilian regions surveyed by Cepea. The boost comes from the high exports’ performance and the possible increase in the international demand for the Brazilian cereal – bombings in Ukrainian ports and concerns about the drought in Argentina lead importers to Brazil.
In the first seven working days of December, Brazil exported 1.51 million tons of corn, which accounts for 44% of the volume shipped in December 2021, according to data from Secex. Aware of that scenario, valuations at CME Group (Chicago) and the dollar appreciation, sellers have been asking higher prices in the interior of Brazil.
PRICES – Between December 8th and 15th, the prices for the corn delivered to the ports of Paranaguá (PR) and Santos (SP) rose 3.5% and 3.9%, respectively, to BRL 88.03 per 60-kilo bag and BRL 90.59/bag on Thursday, 15. The US dollar increased 2.1%, to BRL 5.322 on Thursday.
In the same period, on the average of the regions surveyed by Cepea, prices rose by 1.3% in the over-the-counter market (paid to farmers) and by 0.5% in the wholesale market (deals between processors). In Campinas (SP), the ESALQ/BM&FBovespa Index for corn rose a slight 0.01%, to BRL 85.91 (USD 16.14) per 60-kilo bag on Thursday. In this case, liquidity was low, since the purchasers in SP seem to have corn stocked for the coming weeks and that those with urgent needs are buying the cereal in central-western Brazil.
CROPS – Agents are monitoring crops development in Brazil, concerned about the lack of rains in Rio Grande do Sul and in Argentina. According to data from Conab, 76.6% of the summer crop of corn had been sown in Brazil by Dec. 10th.
SOYBEAN/CEPEA: High demand underpins upward trend of prices for soybean meal in BR
Firm demand in Brazil and from abroad are keeping both the prices and export premiums for soybean meal on the rise. Low supply in Argentina in the 2021/22 season and uncertainties about the volume to be produced in the country in the 2022/23 crop, due to unfavorable weather, are helping to raise quotations. It is important to mention that Argentina is the top world supplier of soybean meal.
Thus, China is expected to import soybean meal from Brazil. According to a report from the USDA, China may import 235.24 thousand tons of the product in the 2022/23 season, the highest volume since 2010/11 and four-fold the amount imported in 21/22. World trades of soybean meal are estimated to set a record, totaling 70.08 million tons. Of this total, 37.9% are expected to be exported by Argentina; 27.9%, by Brazil; and 17.7%, by the United States.
In this scenario, on the average of the regions surveyed by Cepea, the prices for soybean meal rose 3% in the last seven days. At the port of Paranaguá (PR), the export premium for meal with shipment scheduled for Jan/23 had bids at USD 35/ton and asks at USD 40/ton, higher than the asks and bids from last Thursday (USD 27/ton and USD 33/ton).
SOYBEAN – The quotations for soybean increased in the Brazilian market in the last days, influenced by the dollar appreciation against the Real, by 2.1% between Dec. 8th-15th, to BRL 5.322. However, valuations were constrained by the cautiousness of Brazilian consumers, who prefer to wait for the arrival of the new crop to then buy some volumes.
On the average of the regions surveyed by Cepea, prices rose by 1% in the over-the-counter market (paid to farmers) and by 1.3% in the wholesale market (deals between processors) in the last seven days. The ESALQ/BM&FBovespa Paranaguá (PR) Index rose by 0.2%, to BRL 183.22 (USD 34.43) per 60-kilo bag on Thursday, 15th. On the other hand, the CEPEA/ESALQ Paraná Index decreased by 0.6%, closing at BRL 178.24 (USD 33.49) per 60-kilo bag.
CROPS – Recent rains in southern Brazil and in Argentina reduced agents’ concerns. In Rio Grande do Sul, although sowing has advanced, activities are still halted in some locations, where farmers are waiting for higher soil moisture to resume sowing. According to Conab, 95.9% of 43.4 million hectares have been sown in Brazil.
In this month’s report from the USDA, the world soybean output in the 2022/23 season is estimated at 391.16 million tons. For Brazil, the output is forecast to hit 152 million tons; in the USA, 118.2 million tons; and in Argentina, 49.5 million tons.
India Nov. Oilmeals Exports Rise to 407,193 Tons
India’s oilmeals exports rose to 407,193 tons in November from 213,154 tons in October, according to the Solvent Extractors’ Association of India.
- Rapeseed meal exports rose to 134,952 tons from 98,571 tons in October
- Soymeal exports rose to 164,075 tons from 40,196 tons in October
- Rice-bran extract exports rose to 55,888 tons from 34,305 tons in October
- Castorseed meal exports rose to 45,424 tons from 35,484 tons in October
Indonesia’s November Palm Oil Exports Fall 13.5% M/m: Intertek
Exports fell to 2.7 million tons in Nov. from 3.1 million tons shipped in the previous month, cargo surveyor Intertek Testing Services says in an emailed statement.
- Nov. shipment by grade:
- 434,564 tons of crude palm oil
- 1.08m tons of RBD palm olein
- 432,871 tons of RBD palm oil
- Nov. vs Oct. sales by destination:
- India and subcontinent 900,873 tons vs 853,517 tons
- China 604,962 tons vs 699,698 tons
- European Union 456,674 tons vs 579,418 tons
Mistry Predicts a Jump in Palm Oil on Indonesian Biofuel Mandate
- Palm may hover between 3,500-5,000 ringgit a ton until end-May
- Indonesia’s new biofuel plan to keep palm stockpiles tight
Indonesia’s mandate to use more palm oil for producing biofuels and lower reserves in Malaysia will continue to support the tropical oil in the coming months, according to veteran trader Dorab Mistry.
The most-consumed cooking oil may trade between 3,500 ringgit ($791) and 5,000 ringgit a ton between now and the end of May, unless the war in Ukraine ends, said Mistry, who has been trading palm for about four decades.
“The war has cast a huge unexpected shadow on the world economy,” he said in slides prepared for an industry conference in Goa.
The latest prediction by Mistry, who’s a director at Godrej International Ltd., compared with his November forecast of prices reaching as high as 4,500 ringgit a ton through the end of March 2023.
Mistry Boosts Palm Oil Forecasts as War in Ukraine Continues
Palm oil futures, which recently hit a two-month low, closed 1% higher at 3,918 ringgit on Friday. The vegetable oil had slumped to 3,336 ringgit in late September, it lowest since early 2021.
Mistry said that higher demand from the biofuel industry would continue to support palm prices. His comments followed an announcement by Indonesia, the world’s biggest palm oil producer, on Friday to raise its biofuel blending ratio from January.
The new mandate, known as the B35, will require the country’s biodiesel to contain 35% palm oil from next year, compared with the current 30% mix. The move has the potential to cut palm exports from the country, which accounts for about a third of global edible oil trade.
More details from Mistry’s presentation:
- Second-biggest grower Malaysia will produce close to 19 million tons of palm oil next year as labor shortages ease. Indonesia will produce only about 1.5 million tons more than this year.
- Indonesia may increase its biodiesel use to 40%. The South East Asian country’s B35 rule may keep palm stockpiles tight in the first half of 2023.
- Malaysian palm oil stockpiles will continue to drop until May 2023, and slip below 2 million tons.
- India’s total edible oil imports may total 14.4 million tons in 2022-23, compared with 14.2 million a year earlier. Palm oil purchases will likely climb to about 8.3 million tons from 7.93 million.
- US EPA’s announcement on biofuel mandates was a “damp squib.” The scale of the resulting sell-off surprised most of the market and soyoil’s premium to palm narrowed.
Russia Regions Ask Putin to Limit Foreigners in Grain Trade: RBC
Governors of Russia’s major grain producing regions wrote to President Vladimir Putin proposing a limit on the participation of foreign companies in grain export, RBC reported, citing a documentary film on Rossiya 1 state TV.
The proposal is to allow non-residents to own no more than 20% in agriculture companies, including grain exporters, according to the letter. Owners of Russian agriculture companies should move their headquarters to a Russian jurisdiction from overseas. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov didn’t immediately respond to RBC’s request for comment.
Earlier this month, major Russian fertilizer supplier UralChem informed Putin that it was willing to buy the local assets of grain traders Cargill and Viterra, according to Kommersant. Uralchem CEO Dmitry Konyaev argued that Cargill and Viterra intend to cease operations in Russia in 2023, while their grain trading activities overlap with Uralchem’s business.
Canadian Agriculture Agency Raises Canola Stocks Projection, Despite Smaller Crop
Canadian canola ending stocks for 2022-23 were revised higher by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada in its latest supply/demand estimates, released Friday.
The larger carryout projection came despite a downward revision to production, as both exports and domestic usage were also down from the November report.
The government agency now sees canola carryout of 800,000 metric tons for the current marketing year, which would be up from the November forecast of 500,000 tons and in line with the 2021-22 ending stocks of 875,000 tons.
Updated production estimates from Statistics Canada included in the latest AAFC report lowered canola production to 18.2 million tons from an earlier estimate of 19.1 million tons.
Meanwhile, projected canola exports of 8.6 million tons would be down by 700,000 tons from the November estimate. Domestic usage was lowered by roughly one-half million tons from November at 9.7 million tons.
Wheat ending stocks for the year were forecast at 5.0 million tons, which would be down from the November estimate of 6.0 million but still above the 3.7 million-ton wheat carryout from the previous year. Projected exports and domestic usage for wheat only saw minor adjustments on the month.
December estimates for Canadian major crops supply and demand in million metric tons.
High Yields Spur Record Western Australia Wheat Crop, Group Says
Grain yields in Western Australia are outperforming across most growing regions, further boosting the outlook for what is already expected to be a record harvest this season, according to the Grain Industry Association of Western Australia.
- Wheat output is expected to rise to 13 million tons in 2022, compared with previous forecast of 12.6m tons and 11.9m tons in 2021
- “It is clear that this year will be another record,” report says, adding that all regions are set to equal or exceed last year’s tonnage
- Still, the harvest is delayed by several weeks, leading to some uncertainty over the final production figures, which won’t be known until mid-Jan. 2023
- Southern Albany and Esperance port zones may not meet expectations due to the likely impact of lodged crops and head loss on final harvested yields
- Wheat quality has been “very good with very low screenings and very high grain weight” even as very high yields dilute protein content
- Canola crops “have been exceptional” and are yielding whole-paddock averages at all-time highs in most cases
- Barley yields and quality have “been good” in all areas except southern regions due to leaf diseases and weather events
- 2022 crop estimates in Dec. forecast:
- Wheat: 13m tons, +3.2% from Nov.
- Barley: 6.25m tons, +1.6%
- Canola: 4.2m tons, +6%
- Oats: 565,000 tons, no change
Russia’s Wheat-Export Tax to Rise to 3,334 Rubles/Ton: Interfax
Russia’s wheat-export duty will rise next week to 3,334 rubles ($51.60) a ton from 3,143 rubles, Interfax reported, citing the agriculture ministry.
- NOTE: Russia started calculating the export tax in rubles in July; previously, it was calculated in dollars, and the amount was markedly higher
Indian Farmers Boost Planting of Winter-Sown Wheat and Pulses
Farmers in India, the world’s second-biggest wheat grower, planted the crop in 28.65 million hectares (70.8 million acres) of land as of Dec. 16, up about 3% from a year earlier, according to the farm ministry.
The area under winter-sown pulses increased 4.2% from a year ago to 13.97 million hectares, while the planting of oilseeds rose to about 9.8 million hectares from 9.05 million hectares, the ministry said on Friday. Sowing operations are still continuing in some parts of the country.
China’s largest soybean-producing province sets new records
Heilongjiang, China’s largest soybean-producing province, set new records in 2022 in terms of soybean output and planting area, statistics from the National Bureau of Statistics show.
Heilongjiang yielded 9.54 billion kilograms of soybeans this year, up 32.6 percent year on year and accounting for 47 percent of the country’s total soybean output. The sown soybean area in the province hit 73.98 million mu (4.93 million hectares), up 26.9 percent year on year.
Liu Mingkun, head of the Yongsheng Agricultural Machinery Cooperative in Jixian County, Heilongjiang, is filled with joy and excitement.
“This year, our cooperative planted more than 20,000 mu of soybeans, with an average yield per mu exceeding 200 kilograms,” Liu said. “We have set a new record.”
To ensure national food security, Heilongjiang has been increasing its soybean yield through a string of measures such as improving varieties and field management techniques.
US Beef Production Falls 3.6% This Week, Pork Rises: USDA
US federally inspected beef production falls to 526m pounds for the week ending Dec. 17 from 546m in the previous week, according to USDA estimates published on the agency’s website.
- Cattle slaughter down 3.5% from a week ago to 629m head
- Pork production up 1.3% from a week ago, hog slaughter rises 1%
- For the year, beef production is 1.2% above last year’s level at this time, and pork is 2.4% below
Brazil Fertilizer Demand Heating Up as Buyers Belatedly Show
Brazil’s fertilizer market became more active as buyers finally stepped up purchases, both for prompt safrinha business and forward demand for the 2023-24 soybean season. Urea, potash and ammonium sulfate prices remained under pressure, while phosphates rebounded. Sellers with inventory were offering discounts for 1Q deliveries.
Brazil Urea, Potash Prices Fall; Phosphate Rebound Continues
Even as grain prices have fallen, Brazil’s farmers were stepping back into the market as urea and potash prices continue to drop. Urea slipped to $500-$505 a metric ton (mt) vs. $510-$530 last week, reaching its lowest level since September 2021. The potash market fell $20/mt vs. last week, to $500-$520, touching its lowest point since June 2021. Ammonium sulfate dropped to $265/mt vs. $270 last week, with buyers pressuring the market to break the 2022 low and fall to June 2021 levels. Phosphate prices, by contrast, rose to $630-$640/mt vs. last week’s $600-$630, with reports of limited phosphate and ammonium sulfate inventories in some inland markets.
US Fertilizer Prices Fall as Traders Look to Spring Needs
Nitrogen, phosphate and potash prices continue to fall in the US as the fall application season ends and new pricing programs are launched for winter and spring shipments. Price declines this week were led by spring prepay ammonia offers from major producers and winter fill programs for potash, while urea and phosphates remained under pressure at New Orleans (NOLA) and inland.
Winter Reset Pushes US Fertilizer Prices Lower
The winter reset on US fertilizer prices accelerated this week, driving prices lower for ammonia, urea, urea ammonium nitrate (UAN), phosphates and potash. Ammonia spring prepay programs were launched on Dec. 13 at $875-$950 a short ton (st) in Oklahoma, $1,060-$1,110/st in the Corn Belt, and $1,110-$1,160/st in the Northern Plains, well below the last prompt fall offers at $1,100-$1,300 in those regions. New Orleans (NOLA) urea was down $20-$25/st vs. last week, while Corn Belt prices dropped to $525-$500/st vs. last week’s $540-$580. NOLA phosphates were mixed, but inland phosphate prices plunged as much as $50-$100/st as the fall application season ends. Fueled by lower fill pricing from Mosaic at midweek, potash prices dropped $40-$50/st at many inland locations, with NOLA potash barges falling $10/st vs. last week
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