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Global Ag News for Mar 1.23


Australian 23/24 wheat crop faces El Nino weather risk – consultancy

Australia’s wheat crop is likely to face risks from dry weather due to El Nino weather pattern in the second half of 2023 after three years of record production, a consultancy said on Wednesday.

“The La Nina pattern continues to ease as Ocean temperatures in the tropical Pacific rise,” Christopher Whitwell, managing director of Basis Commodities said at a grains industry conference in Singapore.

“Models indicate a neutral pattern by March-May. There is increased risk of El Nino developing in the mid to late 2023 which is associated with below average rainfall.”

Australia’s La Nina wet weather system, which caused record rainfall, is fading, the Bureau of Meteorology said on this week.

With La Nina, sea surface temperatures in the eastern Pacific Ocean are cooler than normal while waters in the western tropical Pacific are warmer than normal, generating moisture that brings rain to eastern and central Australia.

As of now, there was ample soil moisture in most growing parts of the country for the wheat crop for which planting will start next month.

“We are in pretty good shape. We have had a pretty cool summer,” he said.


Wheat prices overnight are up 3 in SRW, up 2 1/2 in HRW, down 1 1/2 in HRS; Corn is up 3/4; Soybeans up 10 1/4; Soymeal up $0.12; Soyoil up 0.60.

For the week so far wheat prices are down 13 1/4 in SRW, down 20 in HRW, down 17 1/4 in HRS; Corn is down 18 1/2; Soybeans down 30 1/4; Soymeal down $1.16; Soyoil down 0.62.

Year-To-Date nearby futures are down 12.7% in SRW, down 8.1% in HRW, down 7.2% in HRS; Corn is down 6.7%; Soybeans down 1.6%; Soymeal up 1.9%; Soyoil down 5.2%.

Chinese Ag futures (MAY 23) Soybeans down 25 yuan; Soymeal down 47; Soyoil down 26; Palm oil down 22; Corn up 7 — Malaysian palm oil prices overnight were up 40 ringgit (+0.97%) at 4182.

There were changes in registrations (17 Oats). Registration total: 2,587 SRW Wheat contracts; 67 Oats; 352 Corn; 412 Soybeans; 467 Soyoil; 0 Soymeal; 352 HRW Wheat.

Preliminary changes in futures Open Interest as of February 28 were: SRW Wheat up 9,092 contracts, HRW Wheat up 485, Corn up 7,911, Soybeans up 2,108, Soymeal down 4,710, Soyoil up 3,891.

Brazil Grains & Oilseeds Forecast: Rio Grande do Sul and Parana… Summary: Isolated showers north. Temperatures near normal. Forecast: Scattered showers through Saturday. Temperatures near normal through Saturday. Mato Grosso, MGDS and southern Goias… Summary: Scattered showers. Temperatures near normal. Forecast: Scattered showers through Saturday. Temperatures near normal through Saturday.

Argentina Grains & Oilseeds Forecast: Cordoba, Santa Fe, Northern Buenos Aires… Summary: Mostly dry. Temperatures near to above normal. Forecast: Mostly dry Tuesday. Isolated showers Wednesday. Mostly dry Thursday-Friday. Isolated showers east Saturday. Temperatures above to well above normal through Saturday. La Pampa, Southern Buenos Aires… Summary: Mostly dry. Temperatures near to above normal. Forecast: Mostly dry Tuesday. Isolated showers Wednesday. Mostly dry Thursday-Friday. Isolated showers east Saturday. Temperatures above to well above normal through Saturday.

Northern Plains Forecast: Scattered showers Tuesday-Wednesday. Mostly dry Thursday-Saturday. Temperatures near to below normal through Saturday. 6 to 10 day outlook: Isolated to scattered showers Sunday-Thursday. Temperatures near to below normal Sunday-Monday, below to well below normal Tuesday-Thursday.

Central/Southern Plains Forecast: Isolated showers north Tuesday, southeast Wednesday. Scattered showers Thursday, northwest Friday. Mostly dry Saturday. Temperatures near to above normal Tuesday, near to below normal northwest and above normal southeast Wednesday, near to below normal Thursday-Saturday. 6 to 10 day outlook: Mostly dry Sunday. Isolated to scattered showers Monday-Thursday. Temperatures near to above normal Sunday-Monday, below to well below normal Tuesday-Thursday.

 Western Midwest Forecast: Scattered showers north Tuesday-Wednesday. Scattered showers south Thursday night-Friday. Mostly dry Saturday. Temperatures above normal through Thursday, near to below normal Friday-Saturday.

Eastern Midwest Forecast: Scattered showers through Wednesday. Mostly dry Thursday. Scattered showers Friday-Saturday. Temperatures above normal through Friday, near normal Saturday. 6 to 10 day outlook: Mostly dry Sunday. Isolated to scattered showers Monday-Tuesday. Mostly dry Wednesday-Thursday. Temperatures near to above normal Sunday-Tuesday, near to below normal Wednesday-Thursday.

The player sheet for Feb. 28 had funds: net sellers of 3,000 contracts of SRW wheat, sellers of 13,500 corn, sellers of 19,000 soybeans, sellers of 8,000 soymeal, and  sellers of 2,000 soyoil.


  • WHEAT PURCHASE: Turkey’s state grain board TMO provisionally purchased an estimated 790,000 tonnes of wheat in an international tender for the same volume on Tuesday, traders said. The tonnages purchased in TMO’s tenders are still subject to final confirmation in coming days. Traders said Russian wheat was among the purchases along with some Ukrainian and a range of other origins, especially from other Black Sea countries.
  • CORN PURCHASE: South Korean animal feed maker Nonghyup Feed Inc. (NOFI) bought an estimated 65,000 tonnes of animal feed corn expected to be sourced from either the United States or South America in an international tender on Tuesday
  • CORN PURCHASE: The Korea Feed Association (KFA) purchased some 66,000 tonnes of animal feed corn in an international tender on Tuesday
  • CORN PURCHASE: South Korea’s Major Feedmill Group (MFG) purchased an estimated 64,000 tonnes of animal feed corn to be sourced from optional origins in an international tender on Tuesday.
  • WHEAT PURCHASE: A group of South Korean flour mills bought an estimated 85,000 tonnes of milling wheat to be sourced from the United States and Canada in an international tender on Tuesday.
  • WHEAT TENDER PASSED: Jordan’s state grain buyer is believed to have made no purchase in an international tender to buy 120,000 tonnes of milling wheat which closed on Tuesday, traders said. Nine trading houses were believe to have participated.
  • 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, March 2.
  • SUNFLOWER OIL PURCHASE CANCELED: Turkey’s state grain board TMO canceled a provisional purchase of about 48,000 tonnes of crude sunflower oil in a tender which closed on Friday.


  • 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.

Globe currency


ETHANOL: US Weekly Production Survey Before EIA Report

Output and stockpile projections for the week ending Feb. 24 are based on five analyst estimates compiled by Bloomberg.

  • Production seen lower than last week at 1.024m b/d
  • Stockpile avg est. 25.776m bbl vs 25.588m a week ago

EU Soft-Wheat Exports Rise 7.2% Y/y, Corn Imports Increase 61%

The European Union’s soft-wheat exports for the season that began July 1 reached 20.5m tons by Feb. 26, compared with 19.1m tons a year earlier, the European Commission said on its website.

  • Leading destinations include Morocco with 3.07m tons, Algeria with 2.79m tons and Nigeria with 1.72m tons
  • EU barley exports were 3.65m tons, compared with 5.51m tons a year earlier
  • Corn imports were 17.9m tons versus 11.2m tons the year before
  • NOTE: Report was previously delayed on tech issue; commission says some export figures for Germany may be inaccurate due to its recent shift to a new declaration system and Italy import data is only available until Nov. 2022
  • NOTE: Soybean imports were 7.08m tons, compared with 8.97m tons the year before.

China Cancels Argentine Soybean Orders for Brazil’s Cheaper Crop

  • At least 500,000 tons replaced by orders from Brazil
  • China is predominant importer of global soybean market

China’s soybean importers are replacing Argentine supplies with crops from Brazil, where prices have fallen faster due to what’s shaping up to be a record harvest.

Purchases totaling at least 500,000 tons of Argentine soybeans were switched to Brazil, with one source pegging the volume as high as 1 million tons, according to sources familiar with the deals. By switching to cheaper Brazilian beans, China’s importers — who account for roughly two-thirds of global shipments —  can save about $50 per ton given the price differential for March delivery.

Argentina’s corn deteriorating, Brazil new top exporter and the U.S. to increase acreage in 2023/24 – Refinitiv Commodities Research


  • Argentina crop keeps deteriorating. Sowing delays affect Brazil’s second crop, but it remains estimated at an all-time high
  • Corn exports dynamics changed, Brazil to be top global corn exporter
  • All-time high ethanol margins increase corn consumption, but feed and residual corn use is reduced
  • Declining fertilizer prices to lift corn acreage for the 2023/24 season

Brazil Wheat Exports Seen Reaching Up To 548,800 Tns In February Versus 670,400 Tns Forecast In Previous Week


Ammonia Pullback Fueled by Farmer Budgets

Farmers in the US may continue to pull back on applying anhydrous ammonia this spring, slowing sales for domestic producers. US seasonal anhydrous use is a key indicator for the global market’s direction. Ammonia is trading at a premium to urea, a signal to farmers to switch to the latter. Still, declining natural gas costs widen margins for companies that produce ammonia in North America, including Nutrien, OCI, LSB and CF Industries. Excess ammonia left over from the US on-farm season will be exported in 2Q, adding to an already well-supplied market.

US growers’ demand can fluctuate 2-4 million short tons in a year, depending on weather and crop-price ratios. The globally traded market totals about 17 million metric tons; a switch in US consumption patterns can shift the market’s size by 15-20%.

Argentine farmers protest tax, currency policies as drought weighs

Farmers in Argentina staged a protest in Santa Fe province on Tuesday to demand lower taxes and a better exchange rate for their exports, amid a prolonged economic slump and historic drought that has battered crops and agricultural output.

Farmers are asking President Alberto Fernandez’s government for less burdensome interventionist trade policies and the elimination of export taxes, as they suffer from the worst drought in 60 years.

“We’ve been warning that the situation for farmers is difficult with drought, with frost,” said Carlos Achetoni, president of farm federation FAA, in a video announcing the demonstration posted on Twitter.

Argentina’s capital controls have propelled popular informal currency markets where U.S. dollars are twice as expensive as the official, tightly controlled rate. The controls create a disincentive for farmers to export since revenues in dollars have to be converted back to the local peso currency at the lower official rate.

A major producer of soybeans, corn and wheat, Argentina is one of the world’s top grains exporters, which provides crucial hard currency for the country’s cash-strapped central bank.

Local crops could bring in nearly a quarter fewer export dollars this season versus the previous cycle, according to the Buenos Aires grains exchange.

At the protest, Achetoni called on officials to exempt farmers hit by the drought from paying some taxes, as well as suspend lawsuits against them and repossessions of their land due to some farmers’ inability to pay their debts.

He demanded respect for farmers, and pledged to organize more action on their behalf.

Last week, the exchange reduced its crop forecasts for soybeans and corn to 33.5 million tonnes and 41 million tonnes, respectively, from the 48 million tonnes and 50 million tonnes estimated in September.

The FAA protest was also backed by two other influential rural associations, CRA and Coninagro.

Argentina will hold presidential elections later this year. The looming vote presents an uphill battle for Fernandez’s ruling Peronist coalition as annual inflation hovers around 100%, one of the highest rates of surging consumer prices in the world.

Biden to Set in Motion Gasoline Policy Shift to Bolster Ethanol

  • Midwestern governors invoked law to demand change last year
  • Administration prepares change for 2024 summer driving season

The Biden administration is preparing to advance a fuel policy shift demanded by Midwest governors that would encourage filling stations to sell higher-ethanol E15 gasoline and offer it year round.

The administration is set to outline its plans to formally propose the change soon, setting the change in motion in time for next year’s summer driving season, according to people familiar with the matter who asked not to be identified before a public announcement.

While that is a year later than ethanol advocates had hoped, it’s aligned with administration expectations that refiners and pipeline operators need time to add equipment to distribute, store and produce a new fuel to adapt with the move.

Representatives of the Environmental Protection Agency did not immediately respond to an email seeking comment. Reuters previously reported elements of the plan.

Ben Hengst, deputy director of the agency’s Office of Transportation and Air Quality, is set to address the matter and other renewable fuel policy issues during a presentation Wednesday at the industry’s National Ethanol Conference in Florida.

At issue is a push by some governors from corn-producing Midwestern states to stop giving conventional E10 gasoline a partial waiver from volatility limits meant to curb air pollution. That would put E10 and E15 on the same regulatory footing in their states — and potentially encourage more sales of the higher-ethanol variety.

To meet the EPA requirements, refineries would have to churn out raw, unblended gasoline that is less volatile, essentially creating a boutique fuel for the affected Midwest states. Under the Clean Air Act, the EPA does not have latitude to deny the governors’ request — just delay it.

The Biden administration already moved to waive E15 from summer volatility requirements last year, allowing its sale in a bid to lower gasoline prices. But it’s unclear how the broader, E10 change would affect prices paid by motorists.

Analysis commissioned by a refining trade group predicts as much as 12 cents more per gallon in added industry costs to make and distribute the new fuel. However, biofuel boosters say that the shift would encourage more gas stations to offer cheaper E15 year round, and last year, it cost nearly $1-per-gallon less than conventional E10 in some areas.

MGEX Spring Wheat Stocks Down 24.8% From Year Ago: Feb. 26

Stocks of hard spring wheat stored in Minnesota and Wisconsin warehouses fell to 15.622m bushels in the week ending Feb. 26, according to the Minneapolis Grain Exchange’s weekly report.

  • Stockpiles fell by 17k bu from the previous week
  • Stockpiles in Duluth/Superior warehouses down 57k bu

China’s sow herd falls 0.5% in Jan vs prior month – farm ministry

China’s sow herd shrank by 0.5% at the end of January compared with the prior month, data from the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs showed on Wednesday.

The herd of 43.67 million sows was 1.8% higher than a year earlier.

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