Global Ag News for Feb 28.23
North Korea’s Kim calls for agriculture reform amid food shortage woes
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un called for an agricultural production reform during a meeting on Monday with ruling party officials, state media reported on Tuesday, amid fears that the country’s food shortage is worsening.
Kim said hitting grain production targets this year was a top priority and emphasized the importance of stable agriculture production during the second day of the seventh enlarged plenary meeting of the 8th Central Committee of the Workers’ Party of Korea, according to state news agency KCNA.
His remark comes amid growing food shortage woes in the country.
Earlier this month, South Korea’s Unification Ministry said the food situation in the North “seemed to have deteriorated.”
The ministry said at that time that it was rare for North Korea to announce a special meeting on agriculture strategy which was slated for late February.
In his address at Monday’s meeting, KCNA said Kim mentioned the “importance of the growth of the agricultural productive forces” in ensuring socialist construction.
North Korea is under strict international sanctions over its nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programmes.
FUTURES & WEATHER
Wheat prices overnight are up 1/4 in SRW, down 1 3/4 in HRW, down 1 in HRS; Corn is unchanged; Soybeans down 9 1/2; Soymeal down $0.43; Soyoil down 0.22.
For the week so far wheat prices are down 7 3/4 in SRW, down 17 1/4 in HRW, down 14 1/4 in HRS; Corn is down 3; Soybeans down 11 3/4; Soymeal down $0.09; Soyoil down 1.02.
For the month to date wheat prices are down 60 1/4 in SRW, down 56 1/2 in HRW, down 48 in HRS; Corn is down 34; Soybeans down 27; Soymeal up $9.00; Soyoil down 2.37.
Year-To-Date nearby futures are down 11.7% in SRW, down 7.3% in HRW, down 7.4% in HRS; Corn is down 5.0%; Soybeans down 0.3%; Soymeal up 3.4%; Soyoil down 6.1%.
Chinese Ag futures (MAY 23) Soybeans down 1 yuan; Soymeal down 31; Soyoil down 42; Palm oil down 48; Corn down 7 — Malaysian palm oil prices overnight were down 83 ringgit (-1.96%) at 4142.
There were changes in registrations (50 Oats, 352 Corn, 110 Soybeans, 200 HRW Wheat). Registration total: 2,587 SRW Wheat contracts; 50 Oats; 352 Corn; 412 Soybeans; 467 Soyoil; 0 Soymeal; 352 HRW Wheat.
Preliminary changes in futures Open Interest as of February 27 were: SRW Wheat down 2,000 contracts, HRW Wheat up 732, Corn down 20,724, Soybeans down 12,614, Soymeal down 7,593, Soyoil down 2,738.
Brazil Grains & Oilseeds Forecast: Rio Grande do Sul and Parana: Scattered showers north through Thursday. Scattered showers Friday. Temperatures near normal through Friday. Mato Grosso, MGDS and southern Goias: Scattered showers through Friday. Temperatures near normal through Friday.
Argentina Grains & Oilseeds Forecast: Cordoba, Santa Fe, Northern Buenos Aires: Mostly dry Tuesday. Isolated showers Wednesday. Mostly dry Thursday-Friday. Temperatures above normal Tuesday-Friday. La Pampa, Southern Buenos Aires: Mostly dry Tuesday. Isolated showers Wednesday. Mostly dry Thursday-Friday. Temperatures above normal Tuesday-Friday.
Northern Plains Forecast: Scattered showers Tuesday-Wednesday. Mostly dry Thursday-Friday. Temperatures near to below normal Tuesday-Friday. Outlook: Mostly dry Saturday. Isolated to scattered showers Sunday-Wednesday. Temperatures near to below normal Saturday-Monday, below to well below normal Tuesday-Wednesday.
Central/Southern Plains Forecast: Isolated showers north Tuesday, southeast Wednesday. Scattered showers Thursday, northwest Friday. Temperatures near to above normal Tuesday, near to below normal northwest and above normal southeast Wednesday, near to below normal Thursday-Friday. Outlook: Mostly dry Saturday-Monday. Isolated to scattered showers Tuesday-Wednesday. Temperatures near to below normal Saturday, near to above normal Sunday-Monday, below to well below normal Tuesday-Wednesday.
Western Midwest Forecast: Isolated showers Tuesday-Wednesday. Scattered showers south Thursday night-Friday. Temperatures above normal through Wednesday, near to below normal Thursday-Friday.
Eastern Midwest Forecast: Scattered showers through Wednesday. Mostly dry Thursday. Scattered showers Friday. Temperatures above normal through Thursday, near normal Friday. Outlook: Mostly dry Saturday-Sunday. Isolated to scattered showers Monday-Wednesday. Temperatures near to above normal Saturday-Monday, near to below normal Tuesday-Wednesday.
The player sheet for Feb. 27 had funds: net sellers of 8,500 contracts of SRW wheat, sellers of 7,500 corn, sellers of 5,500 soybeans, buyers of 2,000 soymeal, and sellers of 3,500 soyoil.
- WHEAT TENDER: A group of South Korean flour mills issued a tender to purchase around 85,000 tonnes of milling wheat to be sourced from the United States and Canada.
- WHEAT TENDER: Japan’s Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF) is seeking to buy a total of 70,065 tonnes of food-quality wheat from the United States and Canada in a regular tender that will close on Thursday.
- CORN TENDER: South Korea’s Major Feedmill Group (MFG) has issued an international tender to purchase up to 70,000 tonnes of animal feed corn
- CORN TENDER: The Korea Feed Association (KFA) has issued an international tender to purchase up to 68,000 tonnes of animal feed corn to be sourced from optional origins
- CORN TENDER: Leading South Korean feedmaker Nonghyup Feed Inc. (NOFI) has issued an international tender to purchase up to 69,000 tonnes of animal feed corn to be sourced from optional origins
- SUNFLOWER OIL TENDER CANCELLED: Turkey’s state grain board TMO has cancelled a provisional purchase of about 48,000 tonnes of crude sunflower oil in a tender which closed on Friday
- WHEAT TENDER: Turkey’s state grain board TMO issued an international tender to purchase an estimated 790,000 tonnes of milling wheat
- WHEAT TENDER: Jordan’s state grain buyer issued an international tender to buy up to 120,000 tonnes of milling wheat which can be sourced from optional origins
- WHEAT TENDER: The Taiwan Flour Millers’ Association issued an international tender to purchase an estimated 48,975 tonnes of grade 1 milling wheat to be sourced from the United States
- BARLEY TENDER: Jordan’s state grains buyer issued an international tender to purchase up to 120,000 tonnes of animal feed barley.
- BARLEY TENDER: Turkey’s state grain board TMO issued an international tender to purchase an estimated 440,000 tonnes of animal feed barley.
US Inspected 573k Tons of Corn for Export, 691k of Soybean
In week ending Feb. 23, according to the USDA’s weekly inspections report.
- Soybeans: 691k tons vs 1,584k the previous wk, 739k a yr ago
- Wheat: 592k tons vs 374k the previous wk, 430k a yr ago
- Corn: 573k tons vs 624k the previous wk, 1,555k a yr ago
US Corn, Soybean, Wheat Inspections by Country: Feb. 23
Following is a summary of USDA inspections for week ending Feb. 23 of corn, soybeans and wheat for export, from the Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration, known as GIPSA.
- Soybeans for China-bound shipments made up 370k tons of the 691k total inspected
- Mexico was the top destination for corn inspections, Iraq led in wheat
Brazil’s Mato Grosso to sow 20% of 2022/2023 second corn outside ideal climate window – Imea
Brazil’s biggest grain state Mato Grosso is expected to sow around 20% of its 2022/2023 second corn crop outside the ideal climate window, farmer group Imea said on Monday.
Second corn, which represents about 75% of overall national corn output, is planted after soybeans are harvested in the same areas. Delays in the soy harvesting, however, are pushing back corn planting, according to Imea.
Winter Wheat Conditions Slip in Kansas, Improve in Okla.: USDA
The following table shows the most current winter wheat conditions for selected states as of Feb. 26, according to the USDA’s state crop progress and conditions reports.
- Kansas crop conditions fell to 19% good/excellent in the week ending Feb. 26 vs 21% in the week ending Jan. 29
- Oklahoma conditions rose to 36% good/excellent vs 17%
- In Texas, where conditions have been reported weekly in February, crops rated good/excellent rose by 5 percentage points from the previous week
Ukraine’s Black Sea Crop Exports Fall 31% in Week to Feb. 26
The volume of crops departing Ukrainian ports under the Black Sea Grain Initiative totaled about 525,688 tons in the week to Feb. 26, according to data posted by the Joint Coordination Centre.
- That compares with about 760,189 tons in the prior week
- TOTAL TONNAGE: About 22.5m tons of crops have been shipped since the initiative was agreed on in late July
WHEAT/CEPEA: Carnival recess reduces wheat sales in BR
Wheat sales, which have been low since early 2023, decreased even more last week, which was shorter because of the carnival in Brazil (Feb. 18-22).
The agents from some mills reported to have wheat stocked, while others claimed that the current demand for wheat by-products is low, reducing their interest in the raw material. As for sellers, many of them are making batches available in the national spot market, due to the need of room in warehouses to receive the summer crop. Thus, supply has been higher than demand, pressing down wheat prices in some of the regions surveyed by Cepea.
Between February 17-24, the prices paid to wheat farmers (over-the-counter market) rose 0.94% in Paraná and 0.54% in Santa Catarina but dropped 0.23% in Rio Grande do Sul. In the wholesale market (deals between processors), values decreased 1.18% in SC, 0.98% in PR and 0.2% in São Paulo but increased 0.71% in RS. In the same period, the US dollar rose 0.9%, to BRL 5.206 on February 24.
In general, agents from national processors stocked wheat, concerned about the harvest in Argentina, which had significant losses in the 2022 season and, thus, lower volume available for exports. In Brazil, the 2022 harvest was a record, surpassing 10.5 million tons, which raised the domestic availability of wheat to over 17 million tons – if imports stay around six million tons.
As for the demand for wheat by-products, it has decreased. According to data from the IBGE (Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics), wheat processing and the production of by-products decreased 0.9% between 2021 and 2022.
USDA January soybean crush seen at 189.6 million bushels
U.S. soybean crushings likely increased in January to 5.687 million short tons, or 189.6 million bushels, according to the average forecast of eight analysts surveyed by Reuters ahead of a monthly U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) report.
If the estimate is realized, the crush would be up from the 187.4 million bushels that USDA reported as processed in December and the largest monthly crush since October. But it would also be down from the January 2022 crush of 194.3 million bushels.
Crush estimates ranged from 188.4 million bushels to 191.0 million bushels, with a median of 189.3 million bushels.
The USDA is scheduled to release its monthly fats and oils report at 2 p.m. CST (2000 GMT) on Wednesday, March 1.
U.S. soyoil stocks as of Jan. 31 likely rose to 2.368 billion lbs, based on the average of estimates from six analysts.
If realized, the supply would be up from 2.306 billion lbs at the end of December and the largest end-of-month oil stocks since May. But it would be below stocks totaling 2.500 billion lbs at the end of January 2022.
Estimates for soyoil stocks ranged from 2.349 billion to 2.450 billion lbs, with a median of 2.350 billion lbs.
National Oilseed Processors Association (NOPA) members, which account for about 95% of soybeans processed in the United States, crushed 179.007 million bushels of soybeans last month, up 0.8% from December but down 1.8% from January 2022. Soyoil supplies held by NOPA members as of Jan. 31 rose to a 10-month high of 1.829 billion lbs, up 2.1% from December.
Malaysia’s Feb Palm Oil Exports Seen At 1,062,057 Tonnes – Amspec Agri
MALAYSIA’S FEB PALM OIL EXPORTS SEEN AT 1,062,057 TONNES VERSUS JAN AT 1,066,287 TONNES – AMSPEC AGRI
US Egg Production Fell 6.4% in January From Year Ago: USDA
The US produced 9.06b eggs in January vs 9.68b in the same period a year ago, according to a report from the USDA.
- Output of table eggs fell 7.3% y/y to 7.76b
- Hatching eggs down 0.9% to 1.3b
Argentina’s GDM prepares launch of new GMO soy seeds in South Africa
Plant genetics company GDM has applied for registration in South Africa of 13 soy plant varieties after the country approved the use of a new GMO seed technology, according to company executives on Monday.
GDM is based in Argentina but derives most of its sales in neighboring Brazil, where that same technology has been in use since 2014.
The expectation is that three of the 13 materials be pre-launched this year, as the firm hopes to bolster its South African business and prepare incursions throughout the region.
“Our target is that by 2027 more than 50% of the area planted with soybeans in South Africa contains our genetics,” said Thiago Schwonka, the company’s Africa, Asia and Europe business leader.
GDM’s strategy reflects a recent push by African governments to tackle food insecurity by attracting plant genetics firms.
Schwonka said that while South Africa is the only African nation that recognizes intellectual property of autogamous, or self-fertilizing plants, other countries are keen to modernize their patent laws and join the International Union for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants (UPOV).
All the 13 materials GDM plans to register in South Africa feature Bayer’s BAYGn.DE INTACTA RR2 PRO GMO seed technology, designed to help soy plants resist caterpillars and the glyphosate weed-killer.
South Africa’s approval of that technology came in 2021, GDM said.
Joao Schechtel, GDM’s product placement supervisor, noted much of South Africa’s soy is used as cattle feed during the dry months of winter. He said corn remains South Africa’s main crop, but added farmers may grow soy planting in corn areas because corn production costs are rising.
GDM also plans to launch non-GMO wheat seeds in South Africa shortly. By 2027, it wants to achieve a 20% share of the wheat seed market there, the executives said.
Farmers Defer Buying as Fertilizer Prices Fall, Crop Prices Firm
Nitrogen prices remain weak in the US as buyers delay spring purchases. Producers lowered Midwest ammonia by as much as $260 a short ton in early February to spur sales, while the global market slumped 25% to $590 a metric ton cost and freight. Despite the price slide, European ammonia production remains profitable.
Mexico Says US GMO Corn Position Based on Politics, Not Trade
Mexico says the US’s disagreement with its decree regulating GMO corn “lacks trade fundamentals” and has a political motivation as recognized by Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack, the economy ministry said in a statement.
- If US wishes to take corn decree debate to a USMCA panel, it would have to show with numbers how the decree affects its imports, something it has not so far done
- Mexico Economy Minister Raquel Buenrostro, US Trade Representative Katherine Tai met virtually on Feb. 24 to discuss the decree on corn
- Mexico’s corn decree, which offers regulatory certainty, aims to ensure that tortillas continue to be made with native corn, boost production of native corn and preserve biodiversity, Buenrostro said, according to the statement
- Buenrostro said decree has no trade impact because Mexico produces plenty of corn for flour and tortillas, while US corn, of which imports have grown, is complementary and goes to industry and animal feed
- After the decree’s publication, Mexico’s health regulator approved eight of 14 GMO products of special interest for the US, while the rest require further paperwork
- Buenrostro said Mexico’s position on GMO corn is compatible with USMCA commitments, which stipulate that all health-related trade restrictions must be scientifically based
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