Global Ag News for Nov 7.22

TOP HEADLINES

USDA attaché keeps China 2022/23 soybean import forecast at 96.5 mln T

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

“China’s marketing year (MY) 2022/23 soybean production is forecast to reach a near-record 19 million metric tons (MMT) on higher yields. Post maintains forecasted MY 22/23 soybean imports at 96.5 MMT on higher demand for soybean meal (SBM) for swine and poultry and vegetable oil demand for food sector use. Import growth is forecast to be partially constrained by higher domestic soybean production, ongoing sales of state reserve soybeans, and ongoing uncertainty regarding People’s Republic of China (PRC) COVID restrictions. MY 21/22 soybean imports were 91.6 MMT, 8.1 MMT lower than the previous year, on weak demand for SBM and vegetable oil.”

FUTURES & WEATHER

Wheat prices overnight are down 6 3/4 in SRW, down 5 in HRW, down 4 3/4 in HRS; Corn is down 2; Soybeans down 2 3/4; Soymeal down $0.11; Soyoil up 0.35.

Markets finished last week with wheat prices down 40 in SRW, down 30 1/2 in HRW, down 32 1/4 in HRS; Corn is down 13 1/2; Soybeans up 37 1/2; Soymeal down $0.85; Soyoil up 3.88.

For the month to date wheat prices are down 41 1/4 in SRW, down 30 1/2 in HRW; Corn is down 12 1/2; Soybeans up 40; Soymeal down $8.80; Soyoil up 4.31.

Year-To-Date nearby futures are up 9% in SRW, up 18% in HRW, down -3% in HRS; Corn is up 14%; Soybeans up 9%; Soymeal up 2%; Soyoil up 38%.

Chinese Ag futures (JAN 23) Soybeans down 30 yuan; Soymeal up 9; Soyoil up 30; Palm oil down 2; Corn up 20 –Malaysian palm oil prices overnight were up 66 ringgit (+1.51%) at 4433.

There were changes in registrations (-44 Soybeans). Registration total: 3,077 SRW Wheat contracts; 0 Oats; 0 Corn; 401 Soybeans; 39 Soyoil; 278 Soymeal; 5 HRW Wheat.

Preliminary changes in futures Open Interest as of November 4 were: SRW Wheat up 2,645 contracts, HRW Wheat down 802, Corn up 7,316, Soybeans up 7,777, Soymeal up 4,631, Soyoil up 5,826.

Northern Plains Forecast: Isolated showers moved through the region over the weekend. A low-pressure system is developing on Monday, but most of the precipitation will be in Canada. A stronger low center will develop Wednesday night which will bring much more widespread and heavier precipitation through the region. With strong winds developing, blizzard conditions will be possible on Thursday. Very cold air will follow behind the system, lasting through next week with another reinforcing shot of air.

Central/Southern Plains Forecast: Scattered showers moved through eastern areas on Friday, skipping over western areas that are in desperate need for rain before wheat goes dormant. The region will see some isolated showers early this week but a stronger system will develop Wednesday night. Most of the precipitation will occur north of the region, but there could be a couple of lines of stronger storms developing for eastern areas on Thursday. Strong winds will develop with the system as well, which continues to dry out soils. Much colder air follows the system, with colder air lasting through most of next week. A system will develop over Texas sometime early next week. There is some limited potential for precipitation over southwestern areas, but this will likely leave this region dry, damaging for winter wheat.

Midwest Forecast: Scattered showers went through the middle of the region over the weekend, with moderate to heavy rain for Missouri up through Wisconsin and northwestern Michigan. Showers dried out as they moved eastward. A system may bring some isolated showers to northwestern areas early this week, but a stronger system will push through Thursday and Friday with strong winds and potential for heavier showers across the north and a push of colder air. Some snow will be possible in Minnesota. The colder air will last into next week.

Brazil Grains & Oilseeds Forecast: It was dry over the weekend for most of the country’s growing regions. Isolated showers will start to return to central areas in the middle of the week while it will take until the end of the week to get into southern areas. The showers will not last long over southern areas as another front clears out the area Sunday into Monday. If showers disappoint, soil moisture in southern areas will start a decline that will start to impact corn and to a lesser extent, soybeans.

Argentina Grains & Oilseeds Forecast: It was dry over the weekend. Isolated showers will move into the country on Wednesday, but will be cleared out of the country on Saturday. A long period of dryness has had a significant effect on filling wheat as well as corn and soybean planting and establishment. If showers disappoint this week, the drought will likely start to damage corn and soybeans, as well as push back planting even further.

The player sheet for Nov. 4 had funds: net buyers of 2,000 contracts of SRW wheat, buyers of 2,000 corn, buyers of 8,500 soybeans, buyers of 2,500 soymeal, and  buyers of 5,500 soyoil.

TENDERS

  • WHEAT PURCHASE: Iraq’s state grains buyer purchased about 150,000 tonnes of hard wheat expected to be sourced from Canada, Lithuania and Australia in an international tender.
  • NO PURCHASE IN SOYMEAL TENDER: Leading South Korean animal feed maker Nonghyup Feed Inc is believed to have rejected all offers and made no purchase in a tender to purchase up to 60,000 tonnes of soymeal.

PENDING TENDERS

  • RICE TENDER: South Korea’s Agro-Fisheries & Food Trade Corp issued an international tender to purchase an estimated 50,500 tonnes of rice to be sourced from the United States
  • MILLING WHEAT TENDER: Jordan’s state grain buyer has issued an international tender to buy 120,000 tonnes of milling wheat that can be sourced from optional origins
  • BARLEY TENDER: Jordan’s state grains buyer issued a new international tender to purchase 120,000 tonnes of animal feed barley

Planet Earth

TODAY

China October Imports: Customs

  • Soybean Imports 4.136m Tons
    • Soybean imports YTD fell 7.4% y/y to 73.177m tons
  • Edible vegetable oil imports in Oct. 743,000 tons
    • Edible vegetable oil imports YTD fell 50.2% y/y to 4.428m tons
  • Meat (including offal) imports in Oct. 628,000 tons
    • Meat (including offal) imports YTD fell 25% y/y to 6.034m tons
  • Fertilizer exports in Oct. 2.931m tons
    • Fertilizer exports YTD fell 31.1% y/y to 20.193m tons

Sales of Brazil’s new soy crop well below last year -consultancy

Forward sales of Brazilian soybeans are well below last year and the historical average as farmers hold on to crops in the hope of fetching better prices, according to an agribusiness consultancy on Friday.

Safras & Mercado said in a statement that volumes of pre-sold soy advanced little from last month to just below 21% of the expected output in Brazil, the world’s biggest supplier.

Many farmers are still planting their grains while others may have to replant soy seeds because of difficult weather, particularly in southern Brazil.

At the same time in 2021, forward soy sales were at 30.6% of the projected total production while the historical average for this period in the season is 34.2%, Safras noted.

Taking into account an estimated output of 151.497 million tonnes, Safras calculates committed sales amounting to 31.2 million tonnes of Brazil’s new soy crop.

In recent months, Safras data has suggested new-crop sales were lagging, with growers waiting for better prices to close more deals.

In relation to the 2021/2022 soy crop, an estimated 89.2% of production has been sold.

A year ago, sales of same-year crop were at 92% as Chinese demand was stronger. The five-year average for this time in the season is sales of 94% of the crop, Safras said.

SOYBEAN/CEPEA: Scenario abroad and highway blockades in BR reduce domestic sales

Liquidity has been low this week in the Brazilian markets of soybean and by-products, due to the blockades of national highways, higher interest rates in the United States and uncertainties related to grains exports from the Black Sea.

Still, the demand from abroad for the Brazilian products continues firm. Logistic issues in the US – because of the low level of Mississippi River – drove international purchasers to Brazil. Thus, according to data from Secex, Brazil exported 3.23 million tons of soybean to China in October, 25% up from the volume shipped to the country in September and 22.7% more than that from the same period last year. Considering exports to all destinations, Brazil shipped 4.06 million tons of soybean last month, 23.41% up from that in Oct/21.

The Brazilian exports of soybean meal have been high too, totaling 1.79 million tons last month, the highest volume ever registered in October. This year, Brazil has exported 17.75 million tons of the product, a record, according to Secex. As for soy oil, 200.28 thousand tons were exported in October, the highest volume for the month since 2003. This year, Brazil has shipped 1.99 million tons of soy oil recuaram 0,8% no mercado de balcão (pago ao produtor) e 1,2% no de lotes (negociações entre empresas). Essa queda se deve à desvalorização de 3,5% do dólar frente ao Real, que fechou a R$ 5,113 na quinta.

PRICES – Between October 27 and November 3, the ESALQ/BM&FBovespa Paranaguá (PR) Index rose by a slight 0.5%, closing at BRL 187.43 (USD 36.66) per 60-kilo bag on Thursday, 3. On the other hand, the CEPEA/ESALQ Paraná Index dropped by 0.3% in the same period, to BRL 182.69 (USD 35.73)/bag on Nov. 3rd. On the average of the regions surveyed by Cepea, prices decreased by 0.8% in the over-the-counter market (paid to farmers) and by 1.2% in the wholesale market (deals between processors). These devaluations were linked to the 3.5%-dollar depreciation against the Real – on Nov. 3, the America currency closed at BRL 5.113.

2022/23 SEASON – Sales of the 22/23 crop of soybean have been lower than that in the same period of previous seasons. However, liquidity began to increase in the last days, majorly for shipment in the first quarter of 2023.

CROPS – According to Conab, 47.6% of the national crops of soybean had been sown by October 29th, down from the 53.5% in the same period last season.

CORN/CEPEA: Highway blockades in BR and price drops in the US limit domestic liquidity

Cepea, November 4th, 2022 – Corn prices have resumed fading in the Brazilian market this week, influenced by low liquidity. The blockades of national highways hampered transportation, leading consumers to work with the product stocked. Besides, international corn prices, which had been underpinning values at Brazilian ports, decreased too, influenced by the resume of exports from the Black Sea. This scenario put even more pressure on quotations in Brazil.

Despite the concerns about delivery time because of the highway blockades, ending stocks are high, and sellers have some room to negotiate. This context and the nearness of the summer crop may result in steeper price drops.

PRICES – In the typical corn-consuming region of Campinas (SP), the ESALQ/BM&FBovespa dropped by 0.7% between October 27 and November 3, to BRL 84.76 (USD 16.58) per 60-kilo bag on Thursday, 3. On the average of the regions surveyed by Cepea, quotations dropped by 0.4% in the wholesale market (deals between processors) and by 1.1% in the over-the-counter market (paid to farmers). Prices also dropped in the wholesale market of corn-producing regions, majorly in Paraná and central-western Brazil.

PORTS – At Brazilian ports, exports are on the rise, reflecting the deals previously closed. This week, the access to posts was limited until Thursday.

In October, Brazil exported 7.19 million tons of corn, 300% more than the volume shipped in Oct/21 and the highest monthly volume of 2022. Since the beginning of the season, in Feb/22, Brazil has exported 28.8 million tons. On the other hand, imports decreased by 30% between Oct/21 and Oct/22. This year, Brazil has imported 350 thousand tons of corn.

CROPS – Rains interleaved with hot days early last week allowed sowing activities to advance in some of the regions that produce the summer crop, which, by Oct. 29, had reached 39.9% of the national area, according to Conab.

Argentina Soybean Planting Delayed by Most in 12 Years: Rosario

Just 250,000 hectares (618,000 acres), or 5% of fields, have been seeded in the most productive region of the Pampas crop belt, known as the zona nucleo, the Rosario Board of Trade says in a report.

  • “It’s the most held-up and uncertain soy planting season in the last 12 years” in the zona nucleo
  • No rains are forecast for the region in the week ending Nov. 9
  • Many farmers are turning over area they wanted to plant with early corn to soy
  • NOTE: Argentine soy planting is just getting started, with the bulk of fieldwork in November and December

Argentina Tugboat, Inspector Strikes Affecting Crop Ports: Nabsa

Tugboat pilots, grain inspectors and other port workers rejected government-mediated talks, with the strikes affecting operations in Argentina’s two crop export hubs on the Parana River and Atlantic coast, respectively, according to shipping agency Nabsa.

  • Workers who moor and unmoor ships, members of the maritime port and naval industry union, accepted talks, so they are not on strike

Argentine Farmers Slam Brakes on Soy After Gush of Sales

Soybean farmers in Argentina have closed the tap on dealswith exporters after a temporary devaluation of the peso ended on Sept. 30. Weekly trading of the 2022 harvest plummeted to 55,000 metric tons just three weeks ago, compared with a peak of 2.3 million when the special exchange rate was in place. The policy spurred trading tocatch upwith the pace of recent seasons, but growers are unlikely to sell much of what remains until a similar measure is reinstated.

Tons of Grain Stuck on Canada’s Prairie as Storms Slow Port

  • Canadian National has parked at least a dozen grain trains
  • Congestion comes amid peak shipping season for crops

Thousands of tons of wheat and canola is stranded in Canada after rain has hampered deliveries at the country’s largest port during peak shipping season.

Grain terminals in Vancouver are having trouble loading and unloading grain amid heavy, persistent rain in British Columbia, creating a backlog of trains that are unable to deliver to the port, said David Przednowek, assistant vice president of grain for Canadian National Railway Co. At least 12 fully-loaded unit trains, carrying more than 100,000 tons, are parked on the Prairies waiting to deliver, he said.

“Nobody wants to see those trains idle,” Przednowek said Friday by phone. “Everybody wants to move it. We just can’t.”

So far this month, 2.42 centimeters (0.95 inch) have fallen in Vancouver, following 8.87 centimeters in October –all of which fell in the last 11 days of the month, according to Environment and Climate Change Canada. It’s harder to load ships during storms — grain needs to be protected to prevent it from getting wet, which can cause it to rot or sprout in transit.

“The rain in Vancouver has been impacting the terminals’ ability to load vessels lately,” Wade Sobkowich, executive director of the Western Grain Elevator Association, which represents the nation’s biggest grain exporters, said in an email. “They need to shut down the loading process and wait for a break in the weather during which time they load as much as possible.”

Transport Delays

The situation is an about-face for Canada’s largest railway, which moved record tons of grain in October and comes just as Canadian farmers have harvested one of the biggest wheat crops ever. In the US, low water levels along the Mississippi River have hampered shipments of corn and soybeans, threatening to cause a buildup of supplies. The world is looking to North America and elsewhere to replace shipments of grains and sunflower oil from the Black Sea that have been curbed after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

A year ago, an epic deluge caused flooding and landslides that cut off Vancouver, Canada’s third-largest city. The storms destroyed highways and washed out train tracks, halting the flow of grain, coal and other commodities for export.

Heavy rain across the region could drop up to 4 inches of rain, and in many areas this will be falling on snow in the mountains raising the risk of landslides, said Paul Walker, a meteorologist for commercial-forecaster AccuWeather Inc. Along with the rain, high winds have raked the area, adding to transportation troubles.

The rain should taper off late Friday in Vancouver, but another system is set to hit the area on Sunday, Walker said. This new storm could arrive further south in the US states of Washington and Oregon but it needs to be watched

China sells 40,476 tonnes of wheat from reserves on Nov. 2 – trade center

China sold 40,476 tonnes of wheat, or 100% of the total offer, at an auction of its state reserves on Nov. 2, the National Grain Trade Center said on Monday.

The average selling price of the wheat from the 2014, 2015 and 2016 crops was 2,865 yuan ($398.88) per tonne.

Egypt to Buy 1.5m Tons of Imported Wheat Through April 2023

Egypt plans to buy 1.5m tons of imported wheat through April 2023, the beginning of local wheat purchasing season, Supply Minister Aly El-Moselhy says in interview with MBC TV channel.

  • Egypt generally bans importing wheat during the local wheat purchasing season: minister
  • Wheat inventory sufficient for 5 months, sugar 4.8 months, and vegetable oil for 5.3 months
  • Vegetable oil-subsidy budget allocation has increased by EGP4.5b in last months due to world prices
  • Egypt needs 400k tons of imported sugar to meet the gap between local production and consumption
  • With the new factory that will start operations to produce 600k/year in 2023, Egypt will achieve self-sufficiency, the minister said

Corteva CEO: US Planted Area Will Be Up Slightly Next Season

Corn will lead US plantings next season, with planted area slightly higher than 2022, Corteva Inc. CEO Chuck Magro says.

  • Farmer incomes will remain strong in 2023, Magro says on quarterly call Friday
  • Global grain and oilseed markets will need two consecutive normal crop years to stabilize supplies, executives say
    • 2022 will not be able to contribute to that
  • Currency headwinds will continue to impact company in 2023
  • Cost inflation should begin to moderate over the course of 2023, executives say

Farm Exports to Get Doubled Support for Market Access Under Bill

  • US agriculture leans heavily on China as export market
  • Funding for market access programs static since early 2000s

Top agriculture lawmakers on both sides of the aisle want to boost funding to help US farmers access more overseas markets as part of negotiations over the next farm bill.

US agricultural exports shot to a record high in fiscal 2022 and were forecast to be only slightly lower in 2023, though agricultural imports are set to outpace exports, according to a US Department of Agriculture forecast. China was the biggest market for US exports, making up $36 billion of a total $193.5 billion.

Lawmakers want to help farmers access new markets, and they also say relying too heavily on China leaves the US vulnerable to trade wars and other disruptions between the world’s two largest economies.

“The last few years have obviously demonstrated how volatile that can be” when China is US farmers’ top export destination, said Ed Gresser, vice president and director for trade and global markets at the Progressive Policy Institute think tank. “It would be healthy to think about a broader portfolio of major export markets,” Gresser said, noting a few top foreign markets, including Canada and Mexico, make up almost half of US exports.

Rep. Jim Costa (D-Calif.), the No. 2 Democrat on the House Agriculture Committee, last week introduced H.R. 9244, which would double funding for the Market Access Program and Foreign Market Development Cooperator Program, which help promote US farm products, especially commodities, in foreign destinations.

Both the bill and its Senate companion (S. 4941) have bipartisan cosponsors, including key farm state lawmakers like Sens. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Tina Smith (D-Minn.).

MAP would get $400 million per fiscal year in the bill, while FMDCP would get $69 million. Costa wants to attach the funding to next year’s farm bill, his spokesperson confirmed. But the programs have drawn criticism from some lawmakers — including the conservative Republican Study Committee — who say they’re wasteful corporate welfare.

Flat Funding

“It’s essential funding to allow us to do our work around the world,” said Jim Sutter, CEO of the US Soybean Export Council. Sutter is chair of the US Agricultural Export Development Council, a nonprofit network of commodity trade groups that works to increase demand for American farm exports.

Soybeans are the top US farm export. “We definitely credit these programs with helping us get to that No. 1 spot,” said Virginia Houston, director of government affairs for the American Soybean Association.

But the programs’ funding levels haven’t changed since the early 2000s, leaving a growing share of commodity groups tussling for a pot of money that’s shrinking in value from inflation.

The funding increase is “all the more essential now” without more new free trade agreements between the US and other countries, “which leaves our exporters with more of an uphill road to climb against competitors that do have trade deals in key markets,” Shawna Morris, senior vice president of trade policy for the US Dairy Export Council and the National Milk Producers Federation, said in a statement.

The US government is looking to regions like East Africa as potential destinations for more farm exports.

“One of the challenges that we heard while we were here was the significant drought that all of Africa is experiencing — certainly it has impacted agricultural production and the quality of feed for animals, so the animals are suffering as well,” Agriculture Deputy Secretary Jewel Bronaugh told reporters Friday from a trade mission in Tanzania and Kenya. Kenyan officials last month lifted a ban on genetically modified organisms, which the deputy secretary said could help address the food shortages.

U.S. EPA allowed two-week extension to issue biofuel blending proposal

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and a biofuels trade groups have agreed to extend by two weeks a deadline the agency has to issue a proposal on 2023 biofuel blending obligations, the trade group said on Friday.

Growth Energy trade group agreed to the EPA’s request for a two-week extension on the condition that Nov. 30 be the final deadline to issue the proposal, it said in a press release. The deadline extension does not affect a deadline for finalizing the renewable fuel volume obligations by June 14.

In July, Growth Energy and the EPA submitted a consent decree agreement that required the EPA to propose 2023 renewable fuel volume requirements by Nov. 16.

The EPA is already late on a Nov. 1, 2021 deadline to finalize 2023 renewable fuel volume requirements.

Stakeholders, including biofuel producers and oil refiners, have been eagerly awaiting the proposal to understand obligations under the RFS for next year.

For years, U.S. administrations have had to deal with leaks ahead of releasing proposals for volume obligations. By delaying the proposal by two weeks, the EPA and White House are less likely to face information about the proposal being released ahead of the mid-term elections. The Biden administration has been sensitive this year to issues surrounding energy, after gasoline prices surged at one point to the highest on record.

Under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), oil refiners are required to blend billions of gallons of biofuels into the nation’s fuel mix, or buy tradeable credits from those that do. The EPA administers the law.

While Congress set out specific goals through 2022, the law expands the EPA’s authority to change the way the RFS is administered. Starting next year, the agency will have leeway to set multi-year mandates and make other changes.

The EPA did not immediately reply to a request for comment.

US Pork Production Up 1.1% This Week, Beef Unchanged: USDA

US federally inspected pork production rises to 552m pounds for the week ending Nov. 5 from 546m in the previous week, according to USDA estimates published on the agency’s website.

  • Hog slaughter up 0.8% from a week ago to 2.577m head
  • Beef production unchanged from a week ago, cattle slaughter falls 0.1%
  • For the year, beef production is 1.5% above last year’s level at this time, and pork is 2.4% below

India allows sugar exports of 6 mln T in 2022/23

India will allow the export of 6 million tonnes of sugar in 2022/23, in line with market expectations, as the country’s production is set to jump to a record high for the second straight year, the government said in on Saturday.

The south Asian country is the world’s biggest producer of sugar and the second biggest exporter of the sweetener.

New Delhi has allocated 6 million tonnes of sugar to mills based on their production in the past three years, the government said in a notification. 

Risk Warning: Investments in Equities, Contracts for Difference (CFDs) in any instrument, Futures, Options, Derivatives and Foreign Exchange can fluctuate in value. Investors should therefore be aware that they may not realise the initial amount invested and may incur additional liabilities. These investments may be subject to above average financial risk of loss. Investors should consider their financial circumstances, investment experience and if it is appropriate to invest. If necessary, seek independent financial advice.

ADM Investor Services International Limited, registered in England No. 2547805, is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority [FRN 148474] and is a member of the London Stock Exchange. Registered office: 3rd Floor, The Minster Building, 21 Mincing Lane, London EC3R 7AG.                  

A subsidiary of Archer Daniels Midland Company.

© 2021 ADM Investor Services International Limited.

Futures and options trading involve significant risk of loss and may not be suitable for everyone.  Therefore, carefully consider whether such trading is suitable for you in light of your financial condition.  The information and comments contained herein is provided by ADMIS and in no way should be construed to be information provided by ADM.  The author of this report did not have a financial interest in any of the contracts discussed in this report at the time the report was prepared.  The information provided is designed to assist in your analysis and evaluation of the futures and options markets.  However, any decisions you may make to buy, sell or hold a futures or options position on such research are entirely your own and not in any way deemed to be endorsed by or attributed to ADMIS. Copyright ADM Investor Services, Inc.

Latest News & Market Commentary

Explore the latest edition of The Ghost in the Machine

Explore Now