Global Ag News for Sept 14.23

TOP HEADLINES

NOPA August US soybean crush seen at 167.802 million bushels

The U.S. soybean crush in August likely increased from the same month last year, although scattered seasonal maintenance downtime continued to limit the processing pace, analysts said ahead of a monthly National Oilseed Processors Association (NOPA) report due on Friday.

NOPA members, which handle about 95% of all soybeans processed in the United States, were estimated to have crushed 167.802 million bushels last month, according to the average of estimates from 10 analysts.

If realized, the August crush would be down 3.2% from the 173.303 million bushels processed in July but up 1.4% from the August 2022 crush of 165.538 million bushels. It would also be the second-largest August crush on record, behind only 2019, when NOPA members processed 168.085 million bushels.

The estimate implies a daily crush rate of 5.593 million bushels, which would be up slightly from 5.590 million bushels a day in July.

The crush is typically near its lowest point of the year in August as processors idle plants for seasonal maintenance ahead of the autumn harvest and as supplies of soybeans from the prior season’s harvest are drawn down.

Estimates for the August 2023 crush ranged from 161.280 million to 171.000 million bushels, with a median of 167.968 million bushels.

The monthly NOPA report is scheduled for release at 11 a.m. CDT (1600 GMT) on Friday. NOPA issues crush data on the 15th of each month, or the next business day.

Soyoil supplies held by NOPA members as of Aug. 30 were forecast at 1.483 billion pounds, based on estimates from eight analysts.

Soyoil stocks at the end of July totaled 1.527 billion pounds, while stocks at the end of August 2022 were 1.565 billion pounds.

Soyoil stocks estimates ranged from 1.425 billion to 1.525 billion pounds, with a median of 1.489 billion pounds.

raw soybeans

FUTURES & WEATHER

Wheat prices overnight are down 5 3/4 in SRW, down 7 in HRW, down 3 1/2 in HRS; Corn is down 1; Soybeans up 1; Soymeal up $1.40; Soyoil down 0.30.

For the week so far wheat prices are down 2 3/4 in SRW, up 6 1/2 in HRW, up 12 1/4 in HRS; Corn is down 2 3/4; Soybeans down 13 3/4; Soymeal down $5.60; Soyoil up 1.07.

For the month to date wheat prices are down 10 1/2 in SRW, up 10 1/2 in HRW, up 17 1/4 in HRS; Corn is up 3; Soybeans down 18; Soymeal down $7.80; Soyoil down 1.06.

Year-To-Date nearby futures are down 28.2% in SRW, down 17.0% in HRW, down 20.8% in HRS; Corn is down 31.6%; Soybeans down 12.1%; Soymeal down 16.0%; Soyoil up 1.0%.

Chinese Ag futures (NOV 23) Soybeans down 63 yuan; Soymeal down 22; Soyoil down 16; Palm oil up 16; Corn up 15 — Malaysian Palm is up 36. Malaysian palm oil prices overnight were up 36 ringgit (+0.97%) at 3762.

There were no changes in registrations. Registration total: 3,005 SRW Wheat contracts; 741 Oats; 0 Corn; 0 Soybeans; 67 Soyoil; 85 Soymeal; 402 HRW Wheat.

Preliminary changes in futures Open Interest as of September 13 were: SRW Wheat up 5,049 contracts, HRW Wheat up 1,204, Corn down 4,485, Soybeans up 1,099, Soymeal up 3,330, Soyoil up 231.

Northern Plains: Isolated showers Thursday. Mostly dry Friday-Sunday. Temperatures near to above normal through Sunday. Outlook: Mostly dry Monday. Scattered showers Tuesday-Thursday. Mostly dry Friday. Temperatures near to above normal Monday-Friday.

Central/Southern Plains: Scattered showers through Saturday. Mostly dry Sunday. Temperatures near to below normal through Sunday. Outlook: Isolated to scattered showers Monday-Friday. Temperatures near to above normal Monday-Friday.

Western Midwest: Mostly dry Thursday. Isolated showers Friday-Saturday. Mostly dry Sunday. Temperatures near normal through Sunday.

Eastern Midwest: Mostly dry Thursday-Friday. Isolated showers Saturday-Sunday. Temperatures near to below normal through Friday, near normal Saturday-Sunday. Outlook: Mostly dry Monday-Wednesday. Scattered showers Thursday-Friday. Temperatures near normal Monday, near to above normal Tuesday-Friday

Brazil: Rio Grande do Sul and Parana:  Scattered showers Thursday. Mostly dry Friday-Sunday. Temperatures near to below normal Thursday-Friday, near to above normal Saturday, above normal Sunday. Mato Grosso, MGDS and southern Goias:  Isolated showers through Friday. Mostly dry Saturday-Sunday. Temperatures near to below normal Thursday-Saturday, near to above normal Sunday.

Argentina: Cordoba, Santa Fe, Northern Buenos Aires:  Mostly dry through Sunday. Temperatures near to below normal Thursday, above normal Friday-Sunday. La Pampa, Southern Buenos Aires:  Mostly dry through Sunday. Temperatures near to below normal Thursday, above normal Friday-Sunday.

The player sheet for Sept. 13 had funds: net buyers of 5,500 contracts of SRW wheat, buyers of 2,000 corn, buyers of 2,000 soybeans, sellers of 3,000 soymeal, and  buyers of 5,000 soyoil.

TENDERS

  • WHEAT PURCHASE: Iranian state agency the Government Trading Corporation is believed to have purchased about 240,000 metric tons of milling wheat, expected to be sourced from Russia, in the past few weeks.
  • WHEAT PURCHASE: Japan will import 201 metric tons of feed-quality wheat for livestock use via a simultaneous buy and sell auction, the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries said. The ministry had sought 60,000 tons of feed wheat and 20,000 tons of feed barley.
  • CORN, BARLEY TENDER: Algerian state agency ONAB has issued international tenders to purchase up to 80,000 metric tons of animal feed corn and 30,000 metric tons of feed barley. The deadline for submission of price offers in the tenders is Sept. 14.
  • CORN TENDER UPDATE: South Korea’s largest animal feed maker Nonghyup Feed Inc. is believed to have made no purchase in an international tender which closed on Wednesday to buy up to 138,000 metric tons of animal feed corn.

PENDING TENDERS

  • RICE TENDER: South Korea’s state-backed Agro-Fisheries & Food Trade Corp issued an international tender to purchase an estimated 21,700 metric tonnes of rice all to be sourced from China, European traders said. The deadline for submissions of price offers in the tender was Sept. 12.
  • FEED WHEAT AND BARLEY TENDER: Japan’s Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF) said it will seek 60,000 metric tons of feed wheat and 20,000 tons of feed barley to be loaded by Dec. 31, and arrive in Japan by Feb. 29, via an auction to be held on Sept. 13.
  • SOYMEAL TENDER: Iranian state-owned animal feed importer SLAL issued a tender to purchase up to 120,000 metric tons of soymeal from Brazil, Argentina or India. The deadline for submission of price offers is Sept. 13
  • CORN TENDER: Iranian state-owned animal feed importer SLAL issued a tender to purchase up to 180,000 metric tons of animal feed corn from Brazil, Europe, the Black Sea region, Russia or Ukraine. The deadline for submission of price offers is Sept. 13.
  • WHEAT TENDER: Japan’s Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries is seeking to buy a total of 118,490 metric tons of food-quality wheat from the United States, Canada and Australia in a regular tender that will close on Sept. 14.

TODAY

DOE: US Ethanol Stocks Fall 2.1% to 21.171M Bbl

According to the US Department of Energy’s weekly petroleum report.

  • Analysts were expecting 21.485 mln bbl
  • Plant production at 1.039m b/d, compared to survey avg of 1.015m

GRAIN EXPORT SURVEY: Corn, Soy, Wheat Sales Before USDA Report

Estimate ranges are based on a Bloomberg survey of six analysts; the USDA is scheduled to release its export sales report on Thursday for week ending Sept. 7.

  • Corn est. range 500k – 1,100k tons, with avg of 793k
  • Soybean est. range 600k – 1,450k tons, with avg of 1,055k

Lack of U.S. soybean arrivals cut China imports outlook, although Brazilian imports remain strong

Refinitiv trade flows tracked 8.10 million metric tons (MMT) of China soybean imports in August, primarily from Brazil (7.96 MMT), 6.9% below the 5-year average for the month. This month, China soybean imports continue to decline. A total of 4.96 MMT of soybeans are projected to arrive in China in September, down 39% month-on-month and 14.4% below the September 5-year average.

The decreases in soybean imports are primarily due to lack of U.S. soybean arrivals. September and October U.S. soybean imports are projected at 16 thousand metric tons (KMT) and 389 KMT, respectively, the lowest since 2018. The U.S. export sales data show that China purchased 6.37 MMT of U.S. new crop soybeans as of 31 August, compared to 12.73 MMT for 2022, confirming weak demand from China after the country imported record high Brazilian soybeans and rebuilt its stocks during March-August.

According to Refinitiv trade flows, Brazil shipped 52.1 MMT of soybeans to China during February-August (based on departure date), up 31% year-on-year. In September, Brazil soybean exports to China remain strong with 2.04 MMT departed from Brazilian ports as of 12 September. These Brazilian soybeans arrived or will arrive in China in the coming couple of months.  In total, China imported 44.17 MMT of Brazilian soybeans during March-August (based on arrival date), up 25.6% year-on-year. In September, although soybean imports from Brazil are expected to decline by 39% to 4.85 MMT, the figure is near record high September Brazilian soybean imports. In October, Brazilian soybean imports are expected to increase to 5.54 MMT.

Despite the recent overall slow imports pace, total soybean imports during January-September are 17.8% higher than last year’s same period. After U.S. new crop soybeans come to the market, U.S. soybeans usually dominate the China soybean import market during October-March while Brazilian soybeans gradually fade out during the period. This year, however, high inventories in China and slow soybean sales in the U.S. indicate that China soybean imports may remain weaker than usual, particularly the U.S. soybean imports.

India Aug. Vegetable Oil Imports Rise to 1.87m Tons: SEA

India’s vegetable oil imports rose to 1.87m tons in August from 1.77m tons in July, according to the Solvent Extractors’ Association of India.

  • Palm oil imports were 1.13m tons
  • Soybean oil imports rose to 357,890 tons from 342,270 tons in July
  • Sunflower oil imports rose to 365,870 tons from 327,259 tons in July

Argentina Wheat Crop Estimate Cut 0.6M Tons on Dryness: Rosario

Argentina’s 2023-24 wheat harvest is now seen at 15m tons, below an August estimate for 15.6m tons, the Rosario Board of Trade said.

  • While central and eastern areas received some rains in September, there has been sustained drought elsewhere, it said in a report
  • More than 1.7m hectares — or about a third of the planted area — are in fair to poor condition
  • Corn and soybean production estimates were left unchanged at 56m tons and 48m tons respectively; assumes normal conditions

EU Grain Crop Outlook Raised, Quality ‘Disappointing’: Strategie

This year’s European grain harvest is now seen at 266m tons, 1.6m tons above the prior estimate, analysis firm Strategie Grains said in a report.

  • Total soft-wheat production estimate raised to 125m tons, but still seen slightly lower than in 2022
  • “Grain quality is also disappointing overall, either because of excessively wet conditions at harvest time, or through rationing of fertilizer inputs during the growth cycle”
  • READ, Aug. 11: War and Soggy Fields Leave World Short of Top-Quality Wheat
  • Sees EU soft-wheat exports lower in 2023-24 than in 2022-23 due to a sluggish start because EU origins uncompetitive with Russian wheat

Slovakia Ready to Extend Ban on Ukraine Grain Imports: Minister

Slovakia’s government is ready to impose unilateral ban on Ukrainian grain imports, unless the European Commission extends the current ban, Slovak Agriculture Minister Jozef Bires said in Bratislava on Wednesday after the cabinet’s session. The extraordinary session to approve the grain imports ban could be held on Thursday or Friday, he said

UN: Talks on Black Sea Deal W/ Ukraine, Turkey, Russia Next Week

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said he will discuss the Black Sea grain deal when he holds meetings next week with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.

  • Guterres commented during a Wednesday press conference ahead of the UN general assembly
  • The Black Sea Grain Initiative “will be on the table of our discussions,” he said, according to a transcript
    • NOTE: Russia exited the deal in mid-July
  • “I’m not going to say whether I am optimistic or pessimistic. The only thing you can be sure is that I remain determined”
    • “I remain determined to do everything possible, to re-establish the Black Sea Initiative, the exports of Ukraine foodstuffs and also to go on, on our work in relation to the facilitation within the sanctions regime of the Russian foods and fertilizer products”

Russia’s Delo Seeks to Buy Cargill’s Grain Terminal Stake: IFX

Russia’s Delo Group may buy grain trader Cargill’s stake (25% plus one share) in KSK grain terminal at the Black Sea port of Novorossiysk, Interfax reports.

  • Russian governmental commission is reviewing the deal, news service says, citing Sergey Shishkarev, chairman of Delo Group’s board of directors
  • Shishkarev declined to comment on details of proposed deal, though says it’s a “cash deal”

Cargill denies sale of stake in Russian grain terminal

U.S.-based commodities trader Cargill on Wednesday denied it had sold its stake in a Russian grain terminal to Russia’s Delo Group.

Russian media reported that Delo, a transport and logistics group, was buying out Cargill’s stake of 25% plus one share in the KSK grain terminal in the Black Sea port of Novorossiysk.

“I can confirm this is not true,” a Cargill spokesperson said in an email.

The spokesperson did not immediately respond when further asked if Cargill was in talks with Delo or anyone else to sell the stake. No comment was immediately available from Delo.

Many Western companies have pulled out of Russia since its February 2022 invasion of Ukraine, often taking heavy losses on the sale of their local businesses.

Brazil watchdog approves Cargill’s acquisition of Granol’s three soy crushers

Brazil’s antitrust watchdog CADE approved U.S. grain trader Cargill’s acquisition of Brazilian soy crusher Granol’s three soy crushing plants on Wednesday.

The U.S. company last month announced a binding offer to buy the soy crushing plants as it looks to boost biodiesel production and expand operations in the world’s biggest soy producer.

The approval, published in the country’s official gazette on Wednesday afternoon, also allows Cargill’s acquisition of biodiesel plants at Granol’s industrial complexes located in the cities of Anapolis, Porto Nacional and Cachoeira do Sul.

With the approval, the U.S. company will have nine Brazilian soy crushing plants, equaling Bunge BG.N, according to data from oilseed lobby Abiove.

Cargill did not immediately comment on the matter. Information on the value of the deal was not disclosed.

Granol is maintaining two soybean processing plants in the state of Sao Paulo that produce soybean oil and meal.

 

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