Global Ag News for Feb 15.23

TOP HEADLINES

Wheat and Rice Output Set to Climb to Record in India: Ministry

Food grain production in India, the world’s second-biggest grower of rice and wheat, is likely to increase to record 323.55m tons in 2022-23, from 315.62m tons a year earlier, according to a statement by the farm ministry Tuesday.

  • Wheat output seen rising to all-time high of 112.18m tons in 2022-23 from 107.74m tons a year earlier, according to the ministry’s second advance estimates
    • Rice output may rise to record 130.84m tons from 129.47m tons
    • Pulses production seen at record 27.81m tons, compared with 27.3m tons
    • Corn output may climb to an all-time high of 34.61m tons from 33.73m tons
  • Sugar cane harvest will likely be a record at 468.79m tons, compared with 439.43m tons
  • Cotton production is seen advancing to 33.72m bales of 170kg each from 31.12m bales
  • Production of oilseeds may rise to record 40m tons from 37.96m tons
    • Rapeseed output may climb to an all-time high 12.82m tons from 11.96m tons
    • Soybean harvest seen at 13.98m tons, compared with 12.99m tons
    • Peanut production seen at 10.06m tons vs 10.14m tons

FUTURES & WEATHER

Wheat prices overnight are down 3/4 in SRW, down 2 in HRW, down 1/4 in HRS; Corn is down 3 3/4; Soybeans down 9 3/4; Soymeal down $0.42; Soyoil down 0.30.

For the week so far wheat prices are up 1/4 in SRW, down 3 1/2 in HRW, up 1 1/2 in HRS; Corn is down 2 1/4; Soybeans down 13 1/4; Soymeal down $0.19; Soyoil down 0.43.

For the month to date wheat prices are up 25 1/2 in SRW, up 21 1/2 in HRW, up 9 1/2 in HRS; Corn is down 1 1/2; Soybeans down 10; Soymeal up $9.80; Soyoil down 2.26.

Year-To-Date nearby futures are down 0.9% in SRW, up 1.8% in HRW, down 0.7% in HRS; Corn is up 0.0%; Soybeans up 0.6%; Soymeal up 3.9%; Soyoil down 5.9%.

Chinese Ag futures (MAY 23) Soybeans up 71 yuan; Soymeal down 20; Soyoil down 38; Palm oil up 28; Corn up 12 — Malaysian palm oil prices overnight were down 20 ringgit (-0.51%) at 3936.

There were changes in registrations (-73 SRW Wheat). Registration total: 2,587 SRW Wheat contracts; 0 Oats; 0 Corn; 577 Soybeans; 467 Soyoil; 0 Soymeal; 192 HRW Wheat.

Preliminary changes in futures Open Interest as of February 14 were: SRW Wheat up 5,756 contracts, HRW Wheat down 3,069, Corn down 2,827, Soybeans up 4,554, Soymeal up 3,478, Soyoil down 1,735.

Brazil Grains & Oilseeds Forecast: Showers will continue through the end of the week, but drier conditions return for the weekend. Below-normal temperatures will also make a return to the area after the middle of the week and persist through early next week.

Argentina Grains & Oilseeds Forecast: Scattered rain will continue Tuesday and again Thursday, but most of the rainfall will miss the major crop-production areas. Dry conditions are expected across much of the region for the upcoming weekend. Additionally, below-normal temperatures will move in for the second half of the week and persist through early next week.

Northern Plains Forecast: A system across the central U.S. Tuesday will continue to lift north throughout the day and provide snow across the region. Drier conditions return for the second half of the week. Below-normal temperatures are expected to return Wednesday through Thursday. However, above-normal temperatures return for this weekend.

Central/Southern Plains Forecast: While one low-pressure system exits the area Tuesday another system will enter the region Wednesday into Thursday. The system on Wednesday and Thursday will bring measurable snowfall to the Central Plains and more rain to the Southern Plains. Below-normal temperatures are also expected behind the second system later this week. The cold will not last long as warmer temperatures return through the upcoming weekend.

Midwest Forecast: A low-pressure system continues to move into the area Tuesday, which will provide rain and some areas of snow. Another system will provide snow to the area Wednesday into Thursday. Above-normal temperatures continue through Wednesday before a cooler airmass from the west briefly moves into the region for the end of the week, providing below-normal temperatures. Warmer temperatures return for the upcoming weekend.

The player sheet for Feb. 14 had funds: net sellers of 3,000 contracts of SRW wheat, sellers of 2,000 corn, sellers of 4,000 soybeans, sellers of 2,000 soymeal, and  buyers of 1,000 soyoil.

TENDERS

  • WHEAT PURCHASE: An importer in Thailand is believed to have bought about 60,000 tonnes of animal feed wheat expected to be sourced from Australia in a purchase on Tuesday
  • WHEAT TENDER: Japan’s Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF) is seeking to buy a total of 76,203 tonnes of food-quality wheat from the United States, Canada and Australia in a regular tender that will close on Feb. 16.
  • 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

PENDING TENDERS

  • RICE TENDER: South Korea’s state-backed Agro-Fisheries & Food Trade Corp issued an international tender to purchase an estimated 79,439 tonnes of rice.
  • RICE TENDER: Egypt’s state grains buyer, GASC, is seeking at least 25,000 tonnes, plus or minus 10% at the buyer’s preference, of white rice in a tender-practice on the account of the Holding Company for Food Industries. Offers should be submitted on Feb. 14.
  • FEED WHEAT AND BARLEY TENDER: Japan’s Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF) said it will seek 70,000 tonnes of feed wheat and 40,000 tonnes of feed barley to be loaded by May 31 and arrive in Japan by July 27, via a simultaneous buy and sell (SBS) auction that will be held on Feb. 15.

News of the world

TODAY

ETHANOL: US Weekly Production Survey Before EIA Report

Output and stockpile projections for the week ending Feb. 10 are based on seven analyst estimates compiled by Bloomberg.

  • Production seen higher than last week at 1.004m b/d
  • Stockpile avg est. 24.532m bbl vs 24.417m a week ago

Agroconsult Trims Brazil Soy Crop Est. to 153m Tons on Drought

Production estimate for the 2022-23 season was cut from 153.4m tons as dry conditions are seen curbing yields in the southern state of Rio Grande do Sul, Agroconsult says in report.

  • Brazil soybean crop seen rising 18.4% y/y to a fresh record
  • Avg. yield estimate declined to 58.8 bags/ha from 59.2 in January
  • In Rio Grande do Sul, yield forecast was slashed to 38 bags/ha from 51.5 bags/ha as drought has intensified in the past weeks
  • More yield losses may be seen in the state if rains continue to be irregular
  • In top-producing state Mato Grosso, yield forecast was raised to 63.5 bags/ha from 60 ha
  • NOTE: Bag weighs 60 kilograms

Argentina crop export revenues could fall 23% after drought

Argentina’s drought-stricken crops could bring in 23% fewer export dollars this season versus a year earlier, the Buenos Aires grains exchange said in a report on Tuesday.

For much of the last year, Argentina’s worst drought in sixty years has delayed planting and withered crop outlooks, making life ever harder for farmers in a country where inflation nears 100%.

The agriculture sector’s export revenues from the 2022/2023 harvest are expected to fall to $33.39 billion, the exchange said.

Argentina is the world’s top exporter of processed soy, the third exporter of corn and an important global supplier of wheat.

Recent rains brought some relief to parts of Argentina’s agricultural regions, but the risks are far from over, the exchange said, adding that the drought could trim $3.31 billion from the government’s strained tax intake.

“The impact could be even greater if rainfall does not return to normal in the remainder of the season and if the risk of early frosts becomes real, given the delays in planting progress,” the report said.

The grains exchange forecasts 2022/23 soybean and corn production, crops whose harvest begins in April, at 38 million tonnes and 44.5 million tonnes respectively.

As recently as September, the exchange had forecast the soybean crop at 48 million tonnes and corn at 50 million tonnes, a sign of the drought’s toll.

Brazil drought threatening national output potential, southern farmers say

A relentless drought in Rio Grande do Sul continues to limit Brazil’s soybean output potential this year and risks altering analyst estimates that the country will produce a historically large crop above 150 million tonnes.

In the worst case scenario, output there could fall by 40% to 12.6 million tonnes, a large drop from the state’s 21 million tonne production potential, said Decio Teixeira, vice-president of Rio Grande do Sul’s farmer group Aprosoja-RS.

He said in the previous season, the state’s output was below 10 million tonnes, as the weather was also extremely dry.

“The difference is that last year we had more than 60 days without rain. This year the rain came, but very sparsely and in homeopathic doses,” Teixeira said.

Conab, Brazil’s food supply and statistics agency, estimated that soy farmers nationally would reap 152.88 million tonnes of the grain this season, up 21.8% after last year’s drought spoiled a lot of the crop.

From Conab’s perspective, Rio Grande do Sul-based farmers would reap 18.98 million tonnes, a number above farmers’ and analysts’ forecasts.

From the town of Carazinho, farmer and director of Rio Grande do Sul’s agricultural federation Farsul said this season there are farmers who will harvest well and others who will suffer terrible losses.

In the previous cycle, performance was mostly negative for all.

“The best crops are in the regions further to the northeast of the state and north, and the worst are in parts of the northern region, towards the west,” Farsul’s Paulo Roberto Vargas said.

In his own area, corn yields are seen at between 50 and 60 bags per hectare, compared to up to 200 bags per hectare in years of full harvest.

For soy, the current average estimate is 40 bags per hectare, versus 70 bags in a good years, Farsul’s Vargas said.

India’s soymeal exports to soar as drought trims Argentine supply

  • Indian soymeal cheaper than South American supply
  • Bangladesh, Vietnam, Nepal increase buying from India
  • Feb-March exports seen rising to 500,000 tonnes

Soymeal exports from India are increasing sharply as drought has hit output from top exporter Argentina, with 500,000 tonnes likely to be shipped from the South Asian country in February and March combined, three exporters said.

The drop in Argentina’s output has driven up the South American producer’s prices, making Indian soymeal more competitive.

India’s exports in the first four months of the 2022/23 marketing year, which began on Oct. 1, surged 65% to 631,000 tonnes, nearly matching the 644,000 tonnes exported in the whole of the previous year, according to trade body the Soybean Processors Association of India (SOPA).

“Exports have gained momentum and would remain there until at least mid-April,” Hemant Bansal, vice president, oilseed crushing and refining at Patanjali Foods Ltd PAFO.NS, told Reuters.

The revival in exports of the animal feed has boosted soybean crushing in India and the availability of soyoil, which could reduce the need for imports of soyoil and palm oil by the world’s biggest buyer in coming months, exporters said.

Bangladesh, Vietnam and Nepal are buying Indian soymeal as it is cheaper than supplies from South America, and they are also saving on freight costs, Bansal said.

Indian soymeal is being offered for around $580 to $585 per tonne on a free-on-board (FOB) basis for March shipments, compared to $598 offered by Argentina, exporters said.

“If global prices sustain at the current level, then India could easily export more than 2 million tonnes in 2022/23,” said an exporter based at Indore in the state of Madhya Pradesh.

That would be more than triple the volume exported in the 2021/22 marketing year.

Soymeal prices have risen as Argentina’s soybean production was forecast to fall to 38 million tonnes in 2022/23 due to drought, from 48 million tonnes initially estimated.

Its crop numbers are continuously being revised downward, supporting soymeal prices, said the Indore-based exporter, who declined to be named as he is not authorised to speak to media.

Oil mills have increased soybean crushing to fulfil meal export orders, which should reduce import needs in coming months, said a Mumbai-based exporter, who also declined to be named.

FranceAgriMer Trims Soft-Wheat Export Outlook by 200,000 Tons

French soft-wheat exports outside the EU are now seen at 10.45m tons in the 2022-23 season, crops office FranceAgriMer said in a report Wednesday.

  • That compares to a January estimate of 10.6m tons
  • Total exports seen at 17.16m tons, versus 17.36m tons
  • Stockpiles estimate raised to 2.46m tons, from 2.33m tons
  • That remains 11% below the prior season

BARLEY

  • Non-EU exports seen at 2.8m tons, versus 2.45m tons
  • Total exports seen at 5.93m tons, versus 5.51m tons
  • Stockpiles estimate lowered to 1.56m tons, from 1.97m tons

CORN

  • Stockpiles seen at 2.23m tons, versus 2.3m tons, on slightly higher exports to EU countries

USDA attaché sees India 2022/23 wheat crop at 100 million T

Following are selected highlights from a report issued by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) post in New Delhi:

“India’s upcoming rabi (winter sown, spring harvested) crop acreages have been boosted to record levels on adequate 2022 monsoon rains in October and generally favorable weather conditions. The Indian government will continue providing free food grains to about 813.5 million beneficiaries between January and December 2023 under the National Food Security Act (NFSA). On January 25, 2022, the government announced to offload 3 million metric tons (MMT) of wheat onto the domestic market between January and March 2023, to help control rising wheat prices. Post estimates market year (MY) 2022/2023 wheat production lower at 100 MMT, along with exports at 5.7 MMT and ending stocks coming in at 10.2 MMT.”

Farmer Delay on Fertilizer Purchases Dents US Supplier Profits

  • The Andersons sees profit plunge as crop nutrient prices fall
  • Company expects fertilizer demand to pick up in springBy Kim Chipman and Michael Hirtzer

US farmers aren’t taking any chances when it comes to fertilizer costs this season.

After rocketing to stratospheric heights last year, fertilizer prices have significantly cooled. Yet wary grain producers are waiting to see how much lower they may go before buying for the spring growing season, according to The Andersons Inc., a seller of crop nutrients.

The company, which benefited from robust margins in 2022, posted lower-than-estimated quarterly profit on Tuesday as fertilizer demand cratered. Maumee, Ohio-based Andersons expects sales to pick up over the next few months as elevated crop prices boost farmers’ incomes.

“This sets us up well for a higher-volume spring planting season, although likely at more normalized margins,” Chief Executive Pat Bowe said in a statement.

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