Global Ag News for July 31.23
Strategie Grains cuts EU oilseed crop estimates after dry weather
Crop consultancy Strategie Grains lowered its forecast for this year’s oilseed harvests in the European Union by a total of over 1 million metric tons, mainly to take account of damage caused by scorching weather in several parts the bloc.
Brutally high temperatures in many EU member states and excessive rains elsewhere over the past few months have prompted several forecasters to reduce their outlook for the bloc’s grain and oilseed crops this week.
In its latest monthly forecasts, Strategie Grains estimated the production of rapeseed, the EU’s main oilseed crop, mainly used to make biodiesel and table oil, at 19.3 million metric tons this year, down from 19.8 million tons forecast early July and 20.4 million in early June.
This now put this year’s rapeseed crop 0.7% below the 19.4 million tons harvested last year.
“Rapeseed yields are below expectations, especially in France and Germany,” the French consultancy said in a monthly report.
“In Poland, the harvest was just starting at the end of July but here too, expected yields are revised lower this month in response to persistently dry conditions across much of the country, especially the north,” it said.
Meanwhile, bad weather was disrupting harvest and affecting rapeseed yield potentials in Denmark, it said.
In sunflower, a summer crop still to be harvested, Strategie Grains cut its outlook for this year’s harvest to 10.5 million tons from 10.9 million tons earlier, still 13% above 2022.
“For soybean and sunseed, the risks of drought stress are high and have already affected crops, notably in Bulgaria, eastern Romania, Slovakia, and Italy,” it said.
The consultancy lowered its monthly soybean production forecast by 140,000 tons to 2.9 million tons, still 15.5% above 2022.
FUTURES & WEATHER
Wheat prices overnight are down 16 in SRW, down 8 3/4 in HRW, down 7 3/4 in HRS; Corn is down 9 1/4; Soybeans down 23; Soymeal down $4.70; Soyoil down 1.37.
Markets finished last week with wheat prices down 69 1/4 in SRW, down 71 in HRW, down 47 3/4 in HRS; Corn is down 47 1/4; Soybeans down 65; Soymeal down $10.50; Soyoil down 3.71.
For the month to date wheat prices are up 37 1/4 in SRW, up 47 1/2 in HRW, up 71 1/4 in HRS; Corn is up 26 1/4; Soybeans up 16 1/4; Soymeal up $3.80; Soyoil up 2.06.
Year-To-Date nearby futures are down 13.1% in SRW, down 4.6% in HRW, down 5.4% in HRS; Corn is down 24.5%; Soybeans down 3.1%; Soymeal down 6.0%; Soyoil up 2.9%.
Chinese Ag futures (SEP 23) Soybeans down 37 yuan; Soymeal down 65; Soyoil down 114; Palm oil down 118; Corn up 6 — Malaysian palm oil prices overnight were down 114 ringgit (-2.85%) at 3892.
There were changes in registrations (50 Soyoil). Registration total: 1,398 SRW Wheat contracts; 448 Oats; 0 Corn; 11 Soybeans; 219 Soyoil; 0 Soymeal; 147 HRW Wheat.
Preliminary changes in futures Open Interest as of July 28 were: SRW Wheat up 2,293 contracts, HRW Wheat up 930, Corn down 1,732, Soybeans down 9,995, Soymeal down 5,949, Soyoil down 4,721.
Northern Plains: Scattered showers and thunderstorms moved through over the weekend, producing areas of good rainfall and severe weather. Several disturbances will move through over the next week with periods of showers which may help out corn and soybeans, but it is getting too late to be of much help for wheat. Temperatures will be mostly mild, limiting stress for areas that have been missed.
Central/Southern Plains: A front settled into the region over the weekend, bringing areas of showers and thunderstorms, severe weather, and cooler temperatures to northern areas. The continued to bake in the heat. That front will remain stalled out in the same general throughout the week, with southern areas seeing significant stress for any crops or livestock while northern areas see periods of favorable rain and temperatures that will not be as hot. A system moving through this weekend will reinforce that front, though may push it a bit farther south.
Midwest: A front sagged through the region over the weekend and brought a relief to temperatures and widespread rain, but also a lot of severe weather. The front will remain stalled off to the south, but may bring additional periods of showers and thunderstorms throughout the week. Additional disturbances and a system moving through this weekend may bring some occasional showers as well. Outside of a day or two of heat, temperatures will remain mild, favorable for filling corn and pod-setting soybeans.
Delta: Heat built in over the weekend with high temperatures approaching the 100-degree mark and overnight lows in the 70s, stressful for filling soybeans and cotton. The forecast remains hot with the cold front essentially stalled over northern areas this week, though there will be some potential for precipitation with the front remaining in the area. Conditions therefore will be mixed, but very unfavorable for any areas that miss out on the rainfall.
Canadian Prairies: Scattered showers moved through over the weekend, including over southern areas that have been very dry. A system moving through early this week will provide more scattered showers, and another looks to move through later this week. Any precipitation will be beneficial, but is unlikely to be very widespread.
The player sheet for 7/28 had funds: net sellers of 4,500 contracts of SRW wheat, sellers of 9,500 corn, sellers of 7,500 soybeans, sellers of 6,000 soymeal, and unchanged soyoil.
- SOYBEAN SALES: The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) confirmed private sales of 325,000 metric tons of U.S. soybeans to China, 171,460 tons to Mexico and 413,000 tons to unknown destinations, all for shipment in the 2023/24 marketing year.
- CORN PURCHASE: Leading South Korean animal feed maker Nonghyup Feed Inc. (NOFI) bought an estimated 68,000 metric tons of animal feed corn in an international tender for up to 138,000 metric tons on Friday, traders said. The corn was expected to be sourced from either South America or South Africa.
- FAILED CORN, SOYMEAL TENDER: Iranian state-owned animal feed importer SLAL is believed to have rejected all offers and made no purchase in an international tender on Wednesday for 120,000 metric tons of animal feed corn and 120,000 metric tons of soymeal, European traders said on Friday.
- WHEAT TENDER: Algeria’s state grains agency OAIC has issued an international tender to buy soft milling wheat to be sourced from optional origins
- WHEAT TENDER: Bangladesh’s state grains buyer issued an international tender to purchase 50,000 metric tons of milling wheat.
- WHEAT TENDER: Bangladesh’s state grains buyer has issued another international tender to purchase 50,000 metric tons of milling wheat.
SOYBEAN/CEPEA: Higher demand in BR and from abroad raises quotations
There has been a fierce competition between Brazilian and international purchasers for the national soybean this week, which has raised domestic prices. Processors in Brazil are showing higher needs for the raw material in the spot market because of the high domestic demand for by-products and expectations for higher demand from abroad, due to the Russia-Ukraine war (which may lead soy oil importers to Brazil) and lower supply in Argentina.
Besides, irregular weather conditions in the Northern Hemisphere have influenced the deals for the Brazilian soybean for mid and long terms, and sales for delivery in October have begun – purchasers interest in shipment if October began later in the past six years. Until last week, international purchasers were cautious when buying soybean for the last quarter of the year.
Brazilian soybean farmers have not been selling large batches. Some of them preferred to keep the remaining from the 2022/23 crop in silos rather than trading it in the spot market – it is important to mention that this type of warehousing is not common for soybean as it may raise grains moisture.
Between July 20-27, the ESALQ/BM&FBovespa Paranaguá (PR) Index increased 1.3%, to BRL 151.40/bag (USD 31.92) per 60-kg bag on Thursday, 27. Considering monthly averages, in July, prices have been a staggering 7.4% higher, currently at BRL 146.51 per 60-kg bag, the highest monthly average since March/23, in real terms (based on the IGP-DI from Jun/23).
The CEPEA/ESALQ Index Paraná rose a staggering 1.6% in the last seven days, to BRL 142.01 (USD 29.94) per 60-kg bag on July 27th. In the monthly comparison, quotations have increased a staggering 6.7%, to BRL 137.01/bag in July, also the highest since March/23, in real terms. On the average of the regions surveyed by Cepea, soybean prices rose 1.4% in the over-the-counter market (paid to farmers) and 1.5% in the wholesale market (deals between processors). Considering the monthly averages, prices have increased 8% and 6.2%, respectively.
CORN/CEPEA: Harvesting advances in BR and keeps pressure on corn prices
Corn prices are still fading in the Brazilian market, reflecting higher supply – as the harvesting is in progress – and the recent devaluations abroad. This week, the steepest price drops have been observed in central-western Brazil, where activities have most advanced. In Maracaju (MS) and in Sorriso (MT), for instance, quotations decreased 11% and 5% in the wholesale market between July 20-27, to BRL 40.05/60-kg bag and BRL 35.55/bag, respectively, on July 27th.
Sellers have cautious when trading corn, expecting the demand from abroad for the Brazilian cereal to rise, due to the recent conflicts between Russia and Ukraine. Besides, some famers are showing preference for barter operation (exchanging corn for inputs) rather than selling the cereal in the spot market.
On the other hand, many purchasers are receiving the corn from central-western Brazil, which was bought through contracts in previous week. Therefore, these agents have no need for new batches for the short term. The recent dollar depreciation against the Real and lower corn prices abroad are helping to put pressure on the export parity value and, consequently, on domestic quotations.
Between July 20-27, the ESALQ/BM&FBovespa Index for corn (Campinas, SP) remained stable (+0.1%), closing at BRL 54.71 (USD 11.53)/bag on Thursday, 27. In SP, the harvesting is still beginning. On the average of the regions surveyed by Cepea, corn prices dropped 0.1% in both the over-the-counter market (paid to farmers) and the wholesale market (deals between processors).
CROPS – Despite the occasional rainfall in southern Brazil, the harvesting advanced in the last days. According to Conab, 47.9% of the national crop of corn had been harvested by July 22nd, with activities most advanced in Mato Grosso, Tocantins and Maranhão.
Brazil 2024 Soybean Meal Production To Reach 42.3 Million Tns, 3% Above Previous Year -Safras & Mercado
- BRAZIL 2024 SOY EXPORTS SEEN AT 99 MILLION TNS VERSUS 95 MILLION TNS IN 2023 – SAFRAS & MERCADO
- BRAZIL 2024 SOY CRUSHING SEEN AT 55 MILLION TNS AND 53.4 MILLION TNS IN 2023 -SAFRAS & MERCADO
- BRAZIL 2024 TOTAL SOY SUPPLY EXPECTED TO INCREASE 7% TO 171.531 MILLION TNS -SAFRAS & MERCADO
- BRAZIL 2024 SOYBEAN MEAL PRODUCTION TO REACH 42.3 MILLION TNS, 3% ABOVE PREVIOUS YEAR -SAFRAS & MERCADO
Ukraine’s Grain Harvest Is Down 5% Y/Y So Far This Season
Ukrainian farmers have harvested 11.2m tons of grain so far this season, 5% less than the year-earlier period, according to the Agrarian Ministry data, published on Government website.
- The new crop was harvested in an area of 2.7m hectares, with a yield of 4.22 tons/hectare;
- The total includes:
- 2.9m tons of barley, vs 3.5m tons a year earlier
- 8m tons of wheat, the same as a year earlier
- Southern Odesa region is the leader of this harvesting campaign and has already threshed 1.8m tons of grain.
- NOTE: Ukraine’s monthly exports of agricultural products are expected to fall to 3.5m tons in July due to the breakdown of the safe-corridor deal that allowed shipments by sea
Ukraine’s Grain Exports Rise 34% Y/y in Season Through July 31
Ukraine’s grain exports in the season that began July 1 rose to 2.16m tons as of July 31, compared with 1.6m tons a year earlier, the Agriculture Ministry said on its website.
- Total includes:
- 758k tons of wheat, which is double last year’s level
- 1.1m tons of corn, little changed y/y
- 285k tons of barley, twice as high as last year
- NOTE: Ukraine’s monthly exports of agricultural products are expected to fall to 3.5m tons in July compared with 5m in June due to the breakdown of the safe-corridor deal that allowed shipments by sea, according to Agriculture Ministry
SovEcon Raises Russia Wheat-Crop Forecast to 87.1m Tons on Yield
Russia’s 2023 wheat harvest is now forecast at 87.1m tons, up from a prior projection for 86.8m tons, research firm SovEcon says in a note.
- SovEcon cites larger pre-harvest area estimate and record-high starting yield in Rostov region
- However, excessive rains lowered yield potential in Krasnodar
- “In recent weeks, rain has become a big problem for Russia’s southern regions. The harvest is lagging, and the quality has decreased. Overall, Russian wheat crop quality this year could be below average.”
- Total grain crop seen at 133.1m tons compared with 134m tons
- Corn unchanged at 14.6m tons; barley crop lowered to 18.6m tons from 19.9m tons
India Farmers Increase Planting of Monsoon-Sown Rice, Sugarcane
Farmers planted rice in 23.8m hectares as of July 28, compared with 23.3m hectares in the same period a year earlier, according to India’s farm ministry.
- Pulses were planted in 9.7m hectare vs 10.9m hectares
- Corn was almost unchanged at 6.9m hectares
- Oilseeds were sown in 17.1m hectares vs 16.8m hectares
- Peanuts were planted in 3.8m hectares vs 3.9m hectares
- Soybean in 12m hectares vs 11.6m hectares
- Sugarcane was planted in 5.6m hectares vs 5.3m hectares
- Cotton was planted in 11.7m hectares vs 11.8m hectares
Malaysia July Palm Oil Exports Rise to 1.177m Tons: AmSpec
Malaysia’s palm oil exports rose to 1.177m tons in July from 1.092m tons in June, according to AmSpec Agri.
Palm oil exports rose 7.8% m/m versus +0.63% in June
Argentine Farmers’ Corn Sales Quadruple After FX Devaluation
Corn farmers traded 2.4m metric tons between July 25 and 27 after the government devalued the peso for them, according to the Rosario Board of Trade.
- Before the FX measure, which boosts prices paid to farmers, they’d been trading 600,000-700,000 tons a week
- Trades include both new contracts and the completion of delayed-price deals
- Farmers’ sales still trail previous years
- 52% of 2022-23 supplies had been traded through July 27 vs. average of 59% in last five seasons
- Farmers have 9.8m tons of corn to sell
- They can also lock in prices for another 13.7m tons already delivered to buyers
Rhine river levels in Germany close to normal after rain – Reuters News
Repeated rainfall has raised water levels on the river Rhine in Germany, with much of it back or close to normal levels, allowing cargo vessels to sail fully loaded, commodity traders said on Monday.
Dry weather in June meant the river became too shallow for vessels to sail fully loaded and ship operators imposed surcharges on freight rates to compensate for vessels sailing partly empty, increasing costs for cargo owners.
Water levels in most southern and central sections of the river are deep enough to enable vessels to sail with full loads, including at the chokepoint of Kaub WL-KAUB, and in Duisburg in the Ruhr.
The Rhine around Cologne is still too shallow but vessels, depending on the type, can generally sail about 80% full against 50% full passing Cologne last week, they said. More rain forecast in coming days could provide further improvement.
The Rhine is an important shipping route for commodities such as grains, minerals, coal and oil products, including heating oil. German companies faced supply bottlenecks and production problems in the summer of 2022 after a drought and heat wave led to unusually low water levels on the Rhine.
German industry is finding new ways to transport cargoes from coal to chemicals as increasingly frequent low water levels on the Rhine disrupt Europe’s largest economy, major cargo shippers told Reuters.
US Pork Production Up 3.1% This Week, Beef Down: USDA
US federally inspected pork production rises to 501m pounds for the week ending July 29 from 486m in the previous week, according to USDA estimates published on the agency’s website.
- Hog slaughter up 3.3% from a week ago to 2.392m head
- Beef production down 0.7% from a week ago, cattle slaughter falls 0.8%. For the year, beef production is 4.8% below last year’s level at this time, and pork is 0.4% above
Fertilizer Prices Strengthen as Stubborn Supply Shocks Persist
Nitrogen and phosphates were up in the US and Canada as producers reset summer prices and fall prepay offers, while potash slipped in the wake of recent fill programs. New ammonia prepay offers in the Corn Belt at $450-$485 a short ton hint at a winter natural gas ceiling for European ammonia profitability. Chinese phosphate inventory is at a five-year low.
Urea, Phosphates Climb on Tight Supply, Strong Global Pricing
Tight supply and bullish international markets pushed urea and phosphates higher at New Orleans (NOLA) and the inland US. NOLA urea surged to $355-$425 a short ton (st) vs. last week’s $335-$365, with prices firming quickly after India’s latest tender call. New prompt and prepay prices for urea ammonium nitrate (UAN) fueled increases at NOLA and inland during the week, while ammonia terminal prices bumped up $35-$40/st in the Corn Belt following updated fall offers from CF and Koch. NOLA monoammonium phosphate (MAP) prices jumped $45-$55/st vs. last week, climbing to $535-$585 for new business amid reports of tight supply. Potash remained flat-to-lower in the wake of fill programs from Nutrien and Mosaic, with NOLA prices falling $25-$30/st vs. last week. Producers scheduled a $30/st potash increase after July 28, however.
Indian Urea Tender Boosts Brazil Nitrogen Prices
As demand for summer crops improves in Brazil, India’s latest urea tender sparked global supply concerns, driving prices up 8.5% week over week. Thin supply also boosted phosphate prices in Brazil, while potash edged up in the wake of Canada’s port strike.
Urea Prices Surge; Phosphates, Potash Up on Supply Concerns
After an increase of $100 a metric ton (mt) — or 26% — for Brazil urea over the past five weeks, a new India tender announcement pushed prices up another 8.5% this week, to $400-$420/mt vs. the prior period’s $370-$385. Though the tender offers have yet to be disclosed, the news added traction to a bullish global urea market hit by supply constraints, which will likely drive Brazilian farmers to delay applications on corn until the end of 3Q or start of 4Q. Phosphate prices were up 2.6% vs. last week amid tight supply, while potash prices strengthened 1.5% in Brazil as high inventories balance the impact of production curtailments in Canada and the recent port strike in Vancouver.
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