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Global Ag News Headlines 4/15 - Grains Trading Weather

commentary by ADMIS Research Team

Wheat prices overnight are down roughly 3 cents in the SRW Wheat, down 3 in HRW, and up 3 for HRS; Corn is up 2 cents; Soybeans up 3; Soymeal up $1.50, and; Soyoil down 10 points. 

For the week, Winter Wheat prices are down roughly 1 cent for Soft Red Winter, up 3 in the Hard Red Winter, and up 5 for Hard Red Spring; Corn is down 2 cents; Soybeans down 4; Soymeal unchanged, and; Soyoil down 20 points (crushing margins are unchanged at $0.98, oil-share is unchanged at 32%). 

Chinese Ag futures (September) settled up 15 yuan in Soybeans, up 19 in Corn, up 12 in Soymeal, up 16 in Soyoil, and up 4 in Palm Oil. 

The Malaysian Palm Oil market was down 6 ringgit at 2,160 (basis June) weakened by lower crude oil prices but finding support on April 1-15 export estimates versus a month ago. 

The U.S. Midwest weather forecast has an active pattern moving over the Midwest for the next 7 to 10 days; one system finishes up today before another arrives Wednesday and finishing up on Friday; most of the weekend is quiet before another system develops later Sunday into the first half of next week----temps over the next week to ten days will be running below average. 

The U.S. Plains forecast is quiet for the first half of the week before a system moves in bringing rains to the region Wednesday into Thursday; things are quiet Friday and most of the weekend before another system arrives the first half of the week with models differing on where precip may fall---temps will be below average for most of the week warming to average to above for the weekend and first half of next week. 

The U.S. Delta and the Southeast have been drying out but there is a return of some precip to the region Thursday night into Friday. 

The player sheet had funds net buyers of 4,000 contracts of SRW Wheat; net bought 4,000 Corn; net sold 2,000 contracts of Soybeans; net bought 3,000 lots of Soymeal, and; net sold 2,000 Soyoil. 

We estimate Managed Money net short 49,000 contracts of SRW Wheat; net short 268,000 Corn; net short 75,000 contracts of Soybeans; short 8,000 lots of Soymeal, and; net short 34,000 Soyoil.  

Preliminary Open Interest saw SRW Wheat futures down roughly 3,000 contracts; HRW Wheat up 770; Corn up 15,600; Soybeans down 3,800 contracts; Soymeal down 1,500 lots, and; Soyoil up 610 lots. 

There were changes in registrations (Soymeal down 114)---Registrations total 170 contracts for SRW Wheat; 13 Oats; Corn 1,533; Soybeans 1,079; Soyoil 3,547 lots; Soymeal 201; Rice 132; HRW Wheat 2, and; HRS Wheat 938 contracts. 

TODAY-----EXPORT INSPECTIONS---NOPA CRUSH---CROP PROGRESS/CONDITION REPORTS--- 

In tender activity---Egypt bought 240,000t wheat consisting of 60,000t Ukrainian and 180,000t Romanian; Egypt accepts French wheat cargo after re-testing---Turkey seeks 300,000t optional-origin corn--- 

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Saturday the U.S. and China are continuing to make progress on trade talks and "getting close to the final round of concluding issues"; Mr. Mnuchin said he and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer would have two telephone calls this coming week with their Chinese counterparts to work on a narrowing set of issues; he added that the officials are "discussing whether more in-person meetings are necessary." 

European Union countries gave final clearance on Monday to start formal trade talks with the United States after months of delay due to resistance from France; the Commission wants to start negotiations on two tracks -- one to cut tariffs on industrial goods, the other to make it easier for companies to show products meet EU or U.S. standards. 

NOPA March U.S. Soybean Crush (today at 11 a.m. CDT)

---Rising overseas competition for soymeal exports led to a slowdown in the pace of U.S. soybean crushing during March 

NOPA members likely crushed 168.028 million bushels of soybeans in March

---ranged from 155.000 million to 171.400 million bushels with a median of 170.350 million
---totaled 154.498 million bushels a month ago
---171.858 million bushels a year ago 

Soyoil supplies projected at 1.783 billion pounds

---ranged from 1.702 billion to 1.872 billion lbs with a median estimate of 1.780 billion
---up 1.8 percent from the 1.752 billion pounds a month ago
---down 8.4 percent from 1.946 billion pounds a year ago 

Wire story report speculators established yet another record bearish position in Chicago-traded corn last week, but any short-covering rally in futures that might result is likely to be lackluster.

USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue steps up his defense of glyphosate, the embattled and ubiquitous farm herbicide marketed under Bayer's Roundup brand; reacting to Vietnam's announced plan to ban glyphosate, Perdue says the move skirts World Trade Organization notification obligations, and ignores US government safety assessments that the USDA has shared with Vietnam's agricultural ministry. 

Total 2018-crop wheat quantity outstanding into the government's 9-month price support loan program was 45.423 million bushels, an increase of 0.120 million bushels during the week ended Apr 8, according to USDA.

---Total 2018-crop corn quantity outstanding was 680.717 million bushels, a decrease of 23.837 million bushels
---Total 2018-crop soybean quantity outstanding was 152.985 million bushels, a decrease of 4.859 million bushels 

China is reluctant to relinquish control over its domestic grain stockpiles, an issue that has been a sticking point in a broader U.S.-China trade deal, according to America’s top agricultural trade negotiator; China is unwilling to open its corn, rice and wheat markets to broader market forces that would allow for freer imports, Gregg Doud, the chief agriculture negotiator for the U.S. Trade Representative said; China subsidizes its domestic corn and rice growers, which unfairly boosts supplies and limits imports

---“From the U.S. perspective, maybe every two or three years you have to buy 5 million metric tons of corn; what I’m going to share with you this evening is his reaction -- because it shocked me; when I said that, he physically bristled; ‘I don’t know if the world can handle it if China buys 5 million tons of corn’ -- that was his answer; that was one of those salient moments that you see what the mindset really is -- they want to have control over this, they don’t want to have that exposure.” 

China's top grain producing province of Heilongjjiang will slash its 2019 subsidies for soybean growers to no more than 270 yuan ($40.28) per mu, a Chinese measure of land equal to 0.06 hectare (0.14 acre), from 320 yuan per mu last year, the provincial agriculture department said

---Subsidies for corn growers in Heilongjiang will be raised appropriately this year, but they will continue to be more than 200 yuan per mu lower than those for soybean growers; last year, subsidies for corn growers was cut to 25 yuan per mu 

China's pig herd fell 18.8 percent in March from the previous year, as African swine fever ravaged its vast herd, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs said; China's sow herd dropped 21 percent in March from the same period a year earlier; the pig herd was down 1.2 percent and the sow herd fell 2.3 percent last month from February 

Argentina's soybean farmers picked up the pace of their harvesting, with work done on 16.9% of the area planted as of Thursday, according to the Buenos Aires Grains Exchange; that's up 10.5 percentage points from a week earlier, but 6.7 percentage points less than on the same date last year.

Russia's April exports of wheat, barley and maize (corn) are estimated at 2.25 million tons, down from 2.42 million tons in March, the SovEcon agriculture consultancy said.

Ukrainian grain exports from sea ports in the week of April 6-12 fell to 777,000 tons from 968,000 tons a week earlier, the APK-Inform consultancy said; corn exports fell 26 percent to 592,000 tons, while wheat shipments declined by 9 percent to 156,000 tons

---The country has exported 34.9 million tons of wheat, corn and barley so far this season, which runs from July to June; that was up from 28.5 million tons in the same period in 2017/18 

Analyst APK-Inform cuts Ukraine's 2018/19 grain export forecast to 46.17 million tons from previous 46.45 million tons 

Ukraine has exported 3.32 million tons of sunoil so far in the 2018/19 season which runs from September to August, analyst APK-Inform said; sunoil exports totaled 3.11 million tons in the same period in 2017/18 

Corn planting is getting going in the European Union and farmers are expected to expand the crop area this year, encouraged by mild weather and the need to replace drought-hit rapeseed fields, analysts said; France, Germany corn area to rise, Poland more stable 

Farm office FranceAgriMer estimated in a weekly report on Friday that 83 percent of French soft wheat crops were in good or excellent condition by April 8, down from 84 percent the previous week; that compared with 78 percent at the same stage last year

---For corn, 16 percent of the expected area for this year's harvest had been sown, up from 8 percent a week earlier and above a year-ago level of 1 percent 

The USDA is projecting a big bounce in Australia's canola production next season as "strong domestic and international demand" is likely encouraging increased planting activity right now despite muted prices of late; for the year starting Dec. 1, the agency is forecasting output of 3.7 million tons versus this season's projected 2.2 million 

India's palm oil imports in March rose 5.5 percent from a year earlier to 802,443 tons as changes in the duty structure made imports of refined palm oil attractive for Indian buyers

---soyoil imports surged 154 percent to 292,925 tons in March
---sunflower oil imports jumped 42 percent to 297,887 tons
---in the first five months of the 2018/19 marketing year ending October, India has imported 6 million tons of edible oils, up 3.8 percent from a year ago 

Exports of Malaysian palm oil products for Apr. 1-15 rose 6.7 percent to 744,188 tons from 697,483 tons shipped during Mar. 1-15, cargo surveyor Societe Generale de Surveillance said

---Exports of Malaysian palm oil products for April 1 - 15 rose 5.1 percent to 684,190 tons from 651,319 tons shipped during March 1 - 15, cargo surveyor Intertek Testing Services said

---Malaysia's palm oil exports during April 1-15 period are estimated up 1.5% on month at 686,760 metric tons, cargo surveyor AmSpec Agri Malaysia said