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Global Ag News for July 24.23


Russian Drones Ruin Ukrainian Grain Storage on Danube

Russian drone attack overnight ruined hangar with grain at one of Ukraine’s Danube ports, the southern operational military command said on Facebook.

  • Drone attack targeted Danube port infrastructure in Odesa region and lasted over 4 hours
  • Ukrainian defenders shot down three drones
  • Hangar with grain was ruined, reservoirs for other types of cargo were damaged
  • Four port workers were injured


Wheat prices overnight are up 39 in SRW, up 33 1/4 in HRW, up 31 in HRS; Corn is up 24; Soybeans up 18 1/2; Soymeal up $4.60; Soyoil up 1.48.

Markets finished last week with wheat prices up 71 3/4 in SRW, up 65 1/2 in HRW, up 32 1/4 in HRS; Corn is up 42 1/2; Soybeans up 32 3/4; Soymeal up $2.70; Soyoil up 2.90.

For the month to date wheat prices are up 85 1/2 in SRW, up 93 1/2 in HRW, up 101 in HRS; Corn is up 65 1/2; Soybeans up 77; Soymeal up $15.80; Soyoil up 5.31.

Year-To-Date nearby futures are down 8.4% in SRW, down 0.8% in HRW, down 3.0% in HRS; Corn is down 20.4%; Soybeans down 0.7%; Soymeal down 6.6%; Soyoil up 10.3%.

Chinese Ag futures (SEP 23) Soybeans down 70 yuan; Soymeal up 19; Soyoil down 180; Palm oil down 182; Corn down 17 — Malaysian palm oil prices overnight were up 133 ringgit (+3.30%) at 4168.

There were no changes in registrations. Registration total: 1,398 SRW Wheat contracts; 448 Oats; 0 Corn; 11 Soybeans; 187 Soyoil; 0 Soymeal; 147 HRW Wheat.

Preliminary changes in futures Open Interest as of July 21 were: SRW Wheat up 1,751 contracts, HRW Wheat up 1,249, Corn up 2,618, Soybeans up 4,970, Soymeal down 518, Soyoil down 11,867.

Northern Plains: Spotty showers moved through over the weekend, but most areas stayed dry. Systems moving through Canada will make for some areas of showers this week, but that is still uncertain. Temperatures will be hot for the next few days, but moderate with a cold front moving through later this week. Additional rain may be possible this weekend, but that too is uncertain as well.

Central/Southern Plains: Areas of showers moved through over the weekend, along with severe weather, while temperatures increased. Heat will be in place for the next week, with many days in the 90s and some 100-degree readings, exacerbating dryness issues in parts of the region. Some showers may be possible, mostly for northern areas, but that is not guaranteed.

Midwest: Mild temperatures and areas of showers occurred over the weekend. Heat started to build in the west on Sunday and will spread through most of the region this week. Most areas will see temperatures in the 90s for at least a few days while some 100s will be possible in the southwest. Models are unsure about the precipitation forecast this week but with drought in place, any rainfall will be welcome and potentially bring down temperatures at times. Models also disagree about the forecast for the weekend into next week, but are trending toward a frontal passage bringing some more widespread rainfall for the weekend and less extreme temperatures for next week. Stress should be very high for this week, coming at a critical time for corn especially, but may relax a bit for next week.

Delta: Scattered showers moved through with a front this weekend. Models have trended drier for the region while temperatures increase well into the 90s for much of the week, causing stress to areas with more limited soil moisture.

Canadian Prairies: Spotty showers occurred over the weekend, but not in the driest areas of the southwest where temperatures also climbed over the 90-degree mark as well. A trough off the coast of British Columbia will send a storm system through the region this week, but models continue to favor northern areas with precipitation. Temperatures will fall behind a cold front moving through Tuesday and Wednesday. A secondary impulse may bring showers this weekend, but that is still uncertain. Crops across southern Alberta and Saskatchewan are begging for rain while wheat and canola are in reproductive to filling stages, but are continuing to be favored by drier conditions.

The player sheet for 7/21 had funds: net sellers of 11,000 contracts of SRW wheat, sellers of 7,500 corn, sellers of 1,000 soybeans, buyers of 2,000 soymeal, and  buyers of 2,000 soyoil.


  • WHEAT TENDER: The Taiwan Flour Millers’ Association has issued an international tender to purchase an estimated 108,000 metric tons of grade 1 milling wheat to be sourced from the United States.


  • RICE TENDER: South Korea’s state-backed Agro-Fisheries & Food Trade Corp issued an international tender to purchase an estimated 43,000 metric tons of rice. The deadline for submissions of price offers in the tender was July 10.
  • VEGETABLE OILS TENDER: Egypt’s state grains buyer, the General Authority for Supply Commodities (GASC), set an international purchasing tender for vegetable oils with a July 26 deadline for offers. GASC is seeking an unspecified quantity of sunflower oil and soyoil for arrival between Aug. 20 and Sept. 5 and/or Sept. 6-20, with a requested for offers to be made at sight.
  • WHEAT TENDER: Bangladesh’s state grains buyer issued an international tender to purchase 50,000 metric tons of milling wheat.

Map of Eastern Europe


US Cattle on Feed Fell to 11.2M Head on July 1

  • Placements onto feedlots up 2.7% to 1.678m head
  • First y/y increase since Aug. 2022
  • Cattle marketed from feedlots declined 5% to 1.957m head

LIVESTOCK: US Cattle Herd Falls to 95.9 Million Head

The US July 1 herd fell 2.7% from the same time a year ago, according to the USDA’s semi-annual cattle inventory report.

  • Analysts in a Bloomberg survey were expecting a 2.3% decline
  • Number of cows and heifers that have calved fell by 2% y/y
  • Beef cows down 2.6% y/y and milk cows were unchanged y/y
  • Heifers 500+ pounds fell by 3.8% y/y
  • The 2023 calf crop fell by 1.9% y/y  

Ukraine’s Grain Exports Rise 19% Y/y in Season Through July 24

Ukraine’s grain exports in the season that began July 1 rose to 1.66m tons as of July 24, compared with 1.4m tons a year earlier, the Agriculture Ministry said on its website.

Total includes:

  • 563k tons of wheat, 73% higher y/y
  • 915k tons of corn, down 3% y/y
  • 184k tons of barley, 40% higher y/y
  • NOTE: Ukrainian Agriculture Minister Mykola Solskyi said Russia is trying to “make it difficult” for Ukraine to export grain via the Danube River; shipments are dropping as Moscow ended the grain export deal, which involved Ukrainian Black Sea ports

SOYBEAN/CEPEA: Prices rise and hit the highest level in more than three months

Agents from Brazilian processors raised soybean purchases in the last days, also raising the competition with international purchasers for the domestic product. In that scenario, soybean prices increased in Brazil, hitting the highest nominal levels since April.

Between July 13-20, the ESALQ/BM&FBovespa Paranaguá (PR) Index increased 3.2%, to BRL 149.47/bag (USD 31.13) per 60-kg bag on Thursday, 20, the highest nominal level since April 10th (BRL 150.71/bag). The CEPEA/ESALQ Index Paraná rose 2.7%, to BRL 139.73 (USD 29.10) per 60-kg bag on July 20th, the highest since April 13th (BRL 140/bag). On the average of the regions surveyed by Cepea, soybean prices rose 2.8% in both the over-the-counter market (paid to farmers) and the wholesale market (deals between processors).

As for exports, the daily average of soybean shipments in July (until the 14th) is 74% higher than that from the same period last year. This year, Brazil has exported 69.03 million tons, a record compared to that in the same period of previous years, according to Secex.

However, the export deals have been limited by the low number of quotas available for shipment between July and August. Thus, liquidity has been higher for the contracts with delivery scheduled for September. Besides, the export premiums for shipment in September have been more attractive to sellers than those for shipment in August.

As for the 23/24 season, liquidity was lower in the last days. It is worth to mention that higher production may limit price rises next season. According to agents consulted by Cepea, around 10% of the 23/24 crop has been sold.

INTERNATIONAL MARKET – Abroad, soybean prices were boosted by expectations for higher world demand for soybean meal and oil. Besides, after Russia attacked city ports in Ukraine, the shipments from the Black Sea may be halted, due to the risk of other attacks. It is important to mention that Ukraine is the major exporter of sunflower oil in the world, which may raise the demand for soy oil

CORN/CEPEA: Harvesting begins in all Brazilian States; effects of war offset price drops

All Brazilian States that produce the second crop of corn have begun harvesting activities – São Paulo was the only State that had not begun activities by the end of last week. The progress of the harvesting – and the consequent concern about warehousing the new crop – had been pressing down quotations.

In Brazil, deals have been low, since purchasers are waiting for prices to drop more steeply as the harvesting advances. It is important to mention that high supply and the low number of anticipated deals are concerning agents, and some sellers have agreed to trade batches at lower prices.

However, two international factors have reverted the downward trend of prices this week: the end of the grains export agreement from the Black Sea – on Monday, 17, Russia confirmed it would not renew the agreement – and the Russian attacks to the port city of Odessa, in Ukraine, on Tuesday, 18, which are expected to reduce even more exports from that region. Altogether, Russia and Ukraine would be able to export 33.1 million tons in the 22/23 season and 23.7 million tons in 23/24, according to data from the USDA.

PRICES – Between July 13-20, the ESALQ/BM&FBovespa Index (Campinas, SP) rose 1.1%, to BRL 54.68 (USD 11.39) per 60-kg bag on Thursday, 20, reflecting the concerns about the scenario abroad. On the average of the regions surveyed by Cepea, between July 13-20, corn prices rose 4.6% in the over-the-counter market (paid to farmers) and 2.5% in the wholesale market (deals between processors) between the two past Thursdays.

CROPS – According to Conab, 39.3% of the national crop of corn had been harvested by July 15, with significant progress in Mato Grosso, Tocantins and Maranhão States. As for the summer crop, there are only 3% left to be harvested in the states of Rio Grande do Sul, Bahia, Maranhão and Piauí.

PORTS – At Brazilian ports, prices have increased this week, influenced by international corn valuations and expectations for an increase in demand in the coming weeks. Thus, in seven days, quotations rose 4% and 1.4% at the ports of Paranaguá (PR) and Santos (SP) between July 13-20.

Ukraine Sees Russia Trying to Hamper Grain Transit Via Danube

Russia is trying to “make it difficult” for Ukraine to export grain via Danube River, Ukrainian Agriculture Minister Mykola Solskyi tells Bloomberg TV in an interview.

  • Danube export facilities continue to function despite having “some problems”
  • “Nobody knows what they can do today or tomorrow but it’s not the reason to stop exports for us”
  • Some of terminals damaged by recent Russian missile attacks could load as much as 30,000 tons of grain per day
  • Solskyi says “a few” grain terminals destroyed in Ukraine
  • Ukraine would like to see some results on grain exports even before meeting between Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Vladimir Putin which is expected in August

Black Sea shipping traffic slowing after Russia, Ukraine warnings

The number of ships looking to pick up grain cargoes from the Black Sea area has fallen 35% this week versus the previous week with growing uncertainty over whether commercial traffic could be hit as Russia continues to pound food facilities in Ukraine.

Moscow’s direct attacks on Ukraine’s grain for four days running followed a vow by Kyiv to defy Russia’s naval blockade on its export ports following Moscow’s withdrawal earlier this week from a UN-brokered safe sea corridor agreement.

Russia said it would deem all ships heading for Ukrainian waters to be potentially carrying weapons from Thursday, in what Washington called a signal it might attack civilian shipping. Kyiv later responded by issuing a similar warning about ships headed to Russia.

“We believe the aggressive rhetoric is likely to lead to a reduction in owners willing to traffic in the region and creates further complexity with respect to insurance availability,” Jefferies analyst Omar Nokta said in a shipping note on Friday.

The number of dry bulk vessels ranging from the smaller handysize to supramax sized ships that were positioning themselves to transport grains from the Black Sea region dropped 35% this week versus the previous week, according to analysis from maritime and commodities data platform Shipfix.

The data showed that only 20 vessels were marketed for forward business for the rest of July into early August, compared with 32 vessels sought the previous week.

Many insurers have now suspended providing cover for shipments from Ukraine apart from the smaller ports along the Danube, insurance industry sources said on Friday.

“The big question is the safety of Danube ports going forward,” one source said.

There were dozens of ships waiting to pass through the Danube channel on Friday including vessels bound for Romania or leaving from there, according to data from analytics company MarineTraffic.

Additional war risk insurance premiums, which are charged when entering the Black Sea area, need to be renewed every seven days.

They already cost thousands of dollars and are expected to go up, given also the risk of floating mines.

War risk cover for Russia’s Black Sea ports was still available on Friday with little change in rates for now, insurance sources said.

Russia’s defense ministry on Friday said its Black Sea fleet had practised firing rockets at “floating targets” and apprehending ships. Moscow’s ambassador to Washington denied any plan to attack ships.

Argentina Plans to Weaken Forex Rate for Corn to Boost Exports

  • At 340 pesos, rate would be about 25% weaker than currently
  • Move would unlock grower sales in cash-strapped country

Argentina is closing in on a plan to weaken the exchange rate for a fixed volume of corn in a move to bolster exports out of the cash-strapped nation, according to a senior government official.

The exchange rate would be 340 pesos a dollar, said the official who could not publicly discuss the private talks. That’s about 25% weaker than the current rate of 270. Only a limited amount of corn would qualify because Argentina, the fourth-largest corn exporter, has an export quota of 20 million metric tons, or 58% of estimated production, which is subject to change.

The move would unlock sales by growers, whose trades are tied to US dollars, because they would receive significantly more Argentine pesos for deliveries. That could impact the global corn market, potentially adding to volatility caused by the flaring of tensions in the Black Sea and hot weather in the US and Europe.

Exporters so far have locked in 14.5 million tons of corn shipments, with farmers in the midst of the harvest still having plenty on hand to sell.

A government spokesperson did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Argentina’s official exchange rate is tightly controlled by the government to try to keep inflation in check. That discourages exports because sellers know the peso is overvalued and prefer to wait for depreciation. The government has previously implemented temporary devaluations for soybeans, successfully spurring sales.

Sunflowers, barley and sorghum, a close relative to corn, would get the 340 rate as well. A range of other farm produce — from fruit and vegetables to fish and wine — which currently have a special rate of 300 pesos a dollar through August will also get the 340 rate, the official said.

The new temporary exchange rate would be part of an updated agreement still being negotiated by Argentina on its $44 billion program with the International Monetary Fund, the official said.

Talks have dragged on for months as Economy Minister Sergio Massa, who’s also a presidential candidate, attempts to get more money upfront from the fund in a bid to stave off an even sharper emergency devaluation on all transactions before a key primary vote on Aug. 13.

In return for sending more money sooner, the IMF has insisted on changes to exchange-rate policy to stop the central bank from running out of hard currency, with reserves at their lowest since 2016.

Rhine Level Below 4 Meters at Maxau; Barge Freight Flat

Rhine water levels at Maxau, a bottleneck point on Europe’s key industrial waterway, fell below 4 meters, reaching the lowest since March 8, according to Germany’s Federal Waterways and Shipping Administration.

  • Barge clearance at Maxau, a measure of water depth, was 3.99 on Friday versus 4.05 on Thursday night
  • Cost of shipping gasoil on barges to Basel, Switzerland was 74 Swiss francs/ton on July 20 vs 74 Swiss francs/ton on July 19
  • Note: Low river levels risk grounding while high waters can prevent travel under some bridges
  • Companies with industrial operations along the Rhine include:
  • Chemicals plants: BASF (Ludwigshaven); Covestro (Dormagen), Evonik (Niederkassel-Lülsdorf), Solvay (Rheinberg & Chalampe)
  • Oil refineries: Shell (Wesseling & Godorf); BP (Gelsenkirchen), MiRO (Karlsruhe)
  • Steel plants: Thyssenkrupp (Duisburg), ArcelorMittal (Duisburg)
  • Power plants: EnBW (Karlsruhe)

US Beef Production Falls 0.5% This Week, Pork Down: USDA

US federally inspected beef production falls to 509m pounds for the week ending July 22 from 512m in the previous week, according to USDA estimates published on the agency’s website.

  • Cattle slaughter down 0.8% from a week ago to 628m head
  • Pork production down 0.8% from a week ago, hog slaughter falls 0.5%
  • For the year, beef production is 4.7% below last year’s level at this time, and pork is 0.3% above


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