Global Ag News For Sept 8.22

HEADLINES TODAY

Wheat prices overnight are up 5 1/2 in SRW, up 6 in HRW, up 9 in HRS; Corn is unchanged; Soybeans up 1 1/4; Soymeal up $0.13; Soyoil down 0.69.

For the week so far wheat prices are up 38 3/4 in SRW, up 29 3/4 in HRW, up 19 in HRS; Corn is up 5 1/4; Soybeans down 35 3/4; Soymeal down $0.49; Soyoil down 4.84.

For the month to date wheat prices are up 18 1/4 in SRW, down 5 in HRW, down 20 1/2 in HRS; Corn is up 1/2; Soybeans down 37 3/4; Soymeal down $2.30; Soyoil down 6.07.

Year-To-Date nearby futures are up 7% in SRW, up 12% in HRW, down -10% in HRS; Corn is up 14%; Soybeans up 12%; Soymeal up 7%; Soyoil up 21%.

Chinese Ag futures (JAN 23) Soybeans up 10 yuan; Soymeal up 54; Soyoil down 176; Palm oil down 138; Corn down 4 — Malaysian palm oil prices overnight were down 148 ringgit (-4.01%) at 3542.

There were changes in registrations (26 Soymeal). Registration total: 3,084 SRW Wheat contracts; 1 Oats; 0 Corn; 0 Soybeans; 61 Soyoil; 76 Soymeal; 40 HRW Wheat.

Preliminary changes in futures Open Interest as of September 7 were: SRW Wheat up 1,917 contracts, HRW Wheat up 2,408, Corn up 8,343, Soybeans up 6,784, Soymeal down 1,327, Soyoil up 7,249.

Northern Plains Forecast: Isolated showers Thursday-Friday. Mostly dry Saturday-Sunday. Temperatures above to well above normal Thursday, near to below normal Friday-Sunday. Outlook: Mostly dry Monday-Tuesday. Isolated showers Wednesday-Friday. Temperatures near to above normal Monday-Tuesday, above normal Wednesday-Friday.

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

Western Midwest Forecast: Mostly dry Thursday. Scattered showers Friday-Sunday. Temperatures above normal through Friday, near to above normal Saturday, near to below normal Sunday.

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

The player sheet for Sept. 7 had funds: net buyers of 10,000 contracts of SRW wheat, sellers of 3,250 corn, buyers of 5,000 soybeans, buyers of 2,000 soymeal, and  sellers of 1,500 soyoil.

TENDERS

  • CORN SALES: The U.S. Department of Agriculture confirmed private sales of 257,400 tonnes of U.S. corn to Mexico, including 226,920 tonnes for delivery in the 2022/23 marketing year that began Sept. 1 and 30,480 tonnes for delivery in 2023/24.
  • CORN PURCHASE: South Korean animal feed maker Nonghyup Feed Inc. (NOFI) bought an estimated 68,000 tonnes of animal feed corn in an international tender which closed on Wednesday
  • FEED WHEAT PURCHASE: South Korea’s animal feed maker Nonghyup Feed Inc. (NOFI) purchased around 55,000 tonnes of animal feed wheat expected to be sourced from Australia in a private deal on Tuesday without issuing an international tender
  • WHEAT PURCHASE: The Taiwan Flour Millers’ Association purchased an estimated 55,375 tonnes of milling wheat to be sourced from the United States in a tender that closed on Thursday
  • BARLEY TENDER PASSED: Jordan’s state buyer made no purchase in a tender for 120,000 tonnes of feed barley that closed on Wednesday. At least three companies were believed to have made offers, traders said.
  • BARLEY TENDER: Jordan’s state buyer issued a new international tender for 120,000 tonnes of barley, a government source said. The deadline for offers is Sept. 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 Dec. 31 and arrive in Japan by Feb. 24, 2023, via a simultaneous buy and sell (SBS) auction that will be held on Sept. 14.

PENDING TENDERS

  • RICE TENDER UPDATE: Bangladesh’s state grains buyer on Tuesday received a lowest price offer of $439.11 a tonne CIF liner out in an international tender to import 50,000 tonnes of rice, officials from the grain purchasing agency and traders said. Trading house Bagadiya Brothers submitted the lowest offer in the first tender for rice this year issued by the Directorate General of Food. The other offers were $444.56, $458.53, $458.91 and $489.99 per tonne CIF liner out.
  • SOYBEAN TENDER: South Korea’s state-backed Agro-Fisheries & Food Trade Corp issued international tenders to purchase around 30,000 tonnes of soybeans free of genetically modified organisms
  • CORN TENDER: Taiwan’s MFIG purchasing group issued an international tender to buy up to 65,000 tonnes of animal feed corn which can be sourced from the United States, Brazil, Argentina or South Africa
  • WHEAT TENDER: Jordan opened a tender for 120,000 tonnes of wheat to be shipped in March and April. That tender closes on Sept. 13.
  • WHEAT TENDER: Bangladesh’s state grains buying agency postponed the deadline for submission of price offers in its international tender to purchase 50,000 tonnes of wheat from Sept. 1 to Sept. 18

CROP SURVEY: Cotton Production, Inventories Before USDA WASDE

World 2022-23 production seen half a million bales lower than USDA’s previous estimate, according to the avg in a Bloomberg survey of eight analysts.

  • Avg est. at 116.5m bales, ranging from 116m to 117m bales
  • Global ending stocks seen 215,000 bales lower
  • US production seen 199,000 bales higher than last month’s est. at 12.8m bales
  • US ending stocks seen 56,000 bales higher

ETHANOL: US Weekly Production Survey Before EIA Report

Output and stockpile projections for the week ending Sept. 2 are based on six analyst estimates compiled by Bloomberg.

  • Production seen lower than last week at 965k b/d
    • Would be the lowest weekly output since April
  • Stockpile avg est. 23.326m bbl vs 23.533m a week ago

Canada July 31 Wheat Stocks Fell to 3.67M Tons: StatsCan

Statistics Canada in Ottawa releases prinicpal field crops report for stocks as of July 31.

  • Total wheat stocks fell by 38% y/y
  • Durum wheat fell to 0.57m tons vs 0.81m
  • Canola fell to 0.88m tons vs 1.78m in the same period last year

High Fertilizer Prices Threaten Global Food Access: FAO’s Torero

High fertilizer prices are predicted to rein in global grain production by 40% in the next planting season, Maximo Torero, chief economist of the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization, said in an interview on Bloomberg TV.

  • The July agreement to free up shipments via the Black Sea should take some pressure off food prices, but poor countries will continue to struggle with food access
  • High crop prices and currency devaluations mean those countries are facing a combined increase in food imports of $24.5b
  • High fertilizer prices will particularly affect rice production, which poses a risk to importers in Sub-Saharan Africa
  • The Black Sea agreement needs to be complemented with a finance facility to help the poorest 1.7b people
  • FAO also wants to facilitate the flow of fertilizers to improve affordability for farmers, as well as encourage more efficient application

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Argentina Farmers to Boost Late-Corn Planting to Tackle Drought

Farmers in the “zona nucleo,” a key segment of the Pampas crop belt, will sow 830,000 hectares (~2m acres) of late corn in 2022-23, nearly six times last season’s 140,000 ha, as a strategy to mitigate the impact of an ongoing drought, the Rosario Board of Trade says in a report.

  • Late corn would account for 50% of zona nucleo corn plantings vs ~10% normally
  • “The lack of soil moisture means defensive strategies are gaining ground”
  • A third consecutive La Nina is seen extending the dryness through at least November
  • Dryness would affect corn/soy planting strategy in the coming months as well as negatively impact the current wheat harvest, according to the report

Argentina’s Ciara-Cec Chamber Entered $1b With FX Incentive

Argentina’s Ciara-Cec, the country’s crushing and export chamber, said on Twitter that 72 hours after the start of the decree setting a temporary exchange rate of 200 pesos per US dollar, foreign exchange income totaled $1,075 million, exceeding the goal set last Sunday

  • Foreign exchange income between January and August totaled $25.7b, Ciara-Cec said on Twitter
  • Producers sold 99% of wheat, 72% of corn, 71% of sunflower and 41% of soy in the 2021-2022 harvest
  • Foreign exchange income for August 2022 is the highest for the same month in the last 20 years, the chamber added on Twitter

Argentina Soy Exporters Sell $464m to Central Bank at New FX

Argentina’s central bank on Wednesday bought $464m from soy exporters at the special, temporary exchange rate of 200 pesos a US dollar, according to data provided by Gustavo Quintana, a currency trader at PR Corredores de Cambio in Buenos Aires.

  • The central bank has bought $785m from soy exporters in the two working days since the FX measure was announced: Quintana
  • The bank’s net balance of dollar purchases on Wednesday was +$300m, Quintana
  • That implies that it sold $164m on the official FX market

Argentina Traded 2.1m Tons of Soy in Two Days After FX Measure

Farmers made new sales to exporters and crushers for ~1.3m metric tons of soybeans on Monday and Tuesday, and completed transactions on old delayed-price contracts for another ~800,000 tons, according to the Rosario Board of Trade.

Soybean Fields in Louisiana Damaged by Extensive Rainfall: LSU

An estimated 300,000 to 400,000 acres of soybeans were damaged by extensive rains late last month in Louisiana, David Mosely, assistant professor and soybean specialist at the Louisiana State University AgCenter, says Wednesday by phone.

  • Rains that lasted between six and 10 days caused nearly mature soybeans to sprout inside pods
  • Some sprouts grew as long as 2 inches (5 cm)
    • “I have people who have been doing this for 20 years and have not seen a sprout grow that big”
  • Some grain elevators were accepting damaged soybeans but paying as little as $4 to $5 a bushel, compared to the Chicago futures price of nearly $14
  • Rain delays to harvest were also delaying sugarcane planting for some farmers who practice so-called double-cropping
  • NOTE: Louisiana is not a major US soy-producing state but its beans typically are among the first supplies to reach world markets via ports in New Orleans

Malaysian Palm Oil Output to Drop for Third Year on Labor Crunch

  • Country’s main growers group cuts forecast to 18 million tons
  • Foreign workers returning at ‘snail pace,’ says group head

Malaysian palm oil production is set to decline for a third year as a worker shortage in plantations continues to hamper harvesting, according to the nation’s largest group of growers.

Total crude palm oil output for 2022 from the world’s second-largest grower will be 18 million tons, said Joseph Tek, the new chief executive of the Malaysian Palm Oil Association, which represents 40% of planted palm by area in the country.

Malaysia’s palm oil industry is reliant on overseas workers and authorities are struggling to bring in people fast enough since pandemic restrictions eased. Without enough boots on the ground, many planters are having to cut harvesting and leave ripened fruit rotting on trees.

Under its previous leadership, the association had forecast production of 18.5 million to 18.7 million tons for 2022. Output was 18.1 million tons last year, and 19.1 million in 2020. There are crop losses ranging from 15% to 25% or even higher due to the labor crunch, according to Tek.

“The above scenario is set against the backdrop of the snail pace return of foreign workers,” he said. It’s now the peak cropping time of the year with “the ugly monsoon season just around the corner,” said Tek, who became chief executive in mid-August.

The ubiquitous tropical oil has seen wild swings this year. Futures surged to a record in late April on global vegetable oil supply shortages following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, but have since plummeted as Indonesia, the biggest grower, ramped up exports and on expectations for increased production from Malaysia.

The association is forecasting 1.70 million tons of output in August, which is higher than July but flat compared with a year earlier, Tek said. Production for the first eight months of the year is estimated at 11.54 million tons compared with 11.60 million tons for the same period in 2021.

The labor shortage has worsened to around 120,000 workers, Tek said. Although some applications for foreign worker quotas have been approved by the government, there are still administrative and procedural glitches, which means any incoming workers may miss the peak production season, he said. August through October is generally the busiest harvest period.

China’s biofuel policies wane, ethanol blending down to 1.8% -USDA

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

“China’s biofuels policies continue to wane as a priority for the People’s Republic of China (PRC) and investment in the sector has declined. Post estimates China’s 2022 ethanol blend rate at 1.8%, down from 2021 and well below the peak blend rate of 2.8% eleven years ago. Fuel ethanol consumption in 2022 is estimated at 3.8 billion liters, down 164 million liters from 2021 due to regional Covid-19 lockdowns resulting in less gasoline consumption in existing E10 pilot areas.”

“Ethanol production in 2022 is forecast to increase to 3.8 billion liters, up 383 million liters from the previous year due to a period of profitability early in the year and limited imports. China’s 2022 biodiesel production is forecast at 2.4 billion liters, up by more than 32% from 2021 due to a surge in export demand, well above previous records almost entirely to the EU. Domestic biodiesel blending rates remain limited with no mandates beyond one municipal B5 program.”

New bird flu wave in France raises fears deadly virus here to stay

The island of Rouzic’s windswept clifftops should be teeming with gannets, but an unseasonal wave of bird flu on the French Atlantic coast this summer has devastated their numbers, alarming conservationists and poultry farmers.

Thousands of seabirds have perished along France’s western shores in past weeks because of the viral infection, which usually strikes during autumn and winter months, raising fears it may have become a year-round risk and endemic to French wildlife.

That poses a danger for France’s poultry industry, the European Union’s second largest, which was forced to cull more than 19 million birds between November and May because of avian influenza, as bird flu is formally called.

“Bird flu is hitting seabirds in the spring and in the summer, which is totally new. Traditionally bird flu mainly hits waterfowls during winter,” Pascal Provost, director of the Sept-Iles archipelago bird reserve which includes the Rouzic island.

After a brief lull in farm outbreaks in May, the French government eased poultry farming curbs in June.

France’s Rouen Grain Exports More Than Halve in Week to Sept. 7

France’s Rouen grain exports totaled 111,470 tons, compared with 258,286 tons a week earlier, according to an emailed report.

USDA attaché sees China pork imports declining in 2023

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

“In 2023, imports of breeding swine and pork are expected to decline to 5,000 head and 1.85 million metric tons (MMT), respectively, due to lower domestic hog and pork prices. Consumer price sensitivity and competition among producers are expected to constrain pork and hog price increases, squeezing margins. Strong carryover stocks of beef cattle from 2022 into 2023 will support an increase in cattle and beef production to 52.575 million head and 7.4 MMT, respectively. Imports of cattle and beef are forecast to decline to 300 thousand head and 2.5 MMT, respectively, in 2023 on a less optimistic economic outlook, COVID-19 restrictions and uncertainty in the HRI sector, and tight global supplies.”

Viterra Says Net Income Reduced by $48m Due to War in Ukraine

Viterra’s net income was reduced by $48 million due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, with some of that due to damage to assets, it said in a half-year report.

  • Storage tanks in Everi terminal were partially destroyed due to war, causing $4m worth of damage
  • NOTE: Viterra’s Everi Veg Oil terminal in Mykolayiv was hit during a Russian attack in June
  • Says total revenue was $25b, 26% higher than 1H 2021 due to higher wheat, corn, rapeseed, vegoil prices
  • 2% of total group assets worth $423 million are in Russia

Fertilizer Prices Move Up Ahead of Fall Application Season

US nitrogen prices have risen dramatically after aggressive summer fill programs, fueled by a rash of nitrogen-plant outages in Europe due to surging natural gas costs. Smaller increases were seen for phosphates after several weeks of steady prices, while the potash market remained pressured at New Orleans and inland

Nitrogen Prices Remain Strong in Wednesday Whisper

Prices were robust for most nitrogen products, with ammonia, urea ammonium nitrate (UAN) and ammonium sulfate all reported to be firm-to-up. International urea prices including Brazil’s were up, with India expected to announce the results of a 1-million-metric-ton tender Sept. 9. New Orleans (NOLA) and inland US urea prices lost steam after a week-ago run-up, while phosphates in those markets were showing strength for a second week in a row. NOLA, Cornbelt and Brazil potash continued to be pressured.

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