Global Ag News for Mar 2.23
BASF says it is halting hybrid wheat seed development in North America
Global chemicals and crop seeds company BASF SE BASFn.DE is halting development of hybrid wheat in North America after results of seed trials failed to reach development goals, the company told Reuters on Wednesday.
BASF will instead focus development of the new type of wheat in European markets, aiming to launch the technology there “toward the end of the decade,” the company said.
FUTURES & WEATHER
Wheat prices overnight are up 5 in SRW, up 3 1/4 in HRW, up 2 1/2 in HRS; Corn is up 3 1/4; Soybeans up 1; Soymeal up $0.08; Soyoil down 0.17.
For the week so far wheat prices are down 12 in SRW, down 20 3/4 in HRW, down 18 in HRS; Corn is down 10 1/2; Soybeans down 22 1/4; Soymeal down $0.93; Soyoil down 0.27.
For the month to date wheat prices are up 9 1/2 in SRW, up 6 3/4 in HRW, down 3/4 in HRS; Corn is up 8 3/4; Soybeans up 16 1/4; Soymeal up $4.00; Soyoil up 0.62.
Year-To-Date nearby futures are down 12.0% in SRW, down 7.5% in HRW, down 8.6% in HRS; Corn is down 5.2%; Soybeans down 0.9%; Soymeal up 2.4%; Soyoil down 5.1%.
Chinese Ag futures (MAY 23) Soybeans up 3 yuan; Soymeal down 18; Soyoil up 40; Palm oil up 118; Corn down 2 — Malaysian palm oil prices overnight were up 111 ringgit (+2.65%) at 4293.
There were changes in registrations (350 Soyoil). Registration total: 2,587 SRW Wheat contracts; 67 Oats; 352 Corn; 412 Soybeans; 817 Soyoil; 0 Soymeal; 352 HRW Wheat.
Preliminary changes in futures Open Interest as of March 1 were: SRW Wheat up 6,915 contracts, HRW Wheat down 695, Corn up 12,392, Soybeans up 4,028, Soymeal up 1,253, Soyoil up 2,056.
Brazil Grains & Oilseeds Forecast: Scattered showers continue for much of Brazil’s growing regions for the next week outside of Minas Gerais, where showers will be more limited. Despite recent rains, many areas have made significant progress with regard to soybean harvest and corn planting. However, some areas are behind, somewhat significantly, and will expose more of the corn crop to the dry season, which will start up in April. Corn already in the ground will benefit from good soil moisture.
Argentina Grains & Oilseeds Forecast: Dry conditions continue to be a concern for immature corn and soybeans moving forward. Any showers will be limited for at least the front half of March, though isolated showers may move through at times. Another burst of heat this week continues into next week. The heat and dryness are keeping stresses high for both crops in various stages of growth.
Northern Plains Forecast: Temperatures will remain near to below normal in the Northern Plains and Canadian Prairies through the weekend. Snow that moved in on Tuesday will end Wednesday, with some heavy amounts along the North Dakota-South Dakota border. Another system will move through Sunday and Monday with scattered snows but will pull in much colder air into the region.
Central/Southern Plains Forecast: Another storm system will move through the Central and Southern Plains Thursday. This system has potential for widespread precipitation, including some snow, strong winds, and severe weather, especially for the south. While any precipitation will be welcome, amounts are not expected to be very heavy across the southwestern drought areas. A front will go through the region next week, bringing in another round of very cold air, but also some more chances for precipitation.
Midwest Forecast: The Midwest will stay active into early next week. A weak piece of energy brings mixed precipitation through Wednesday. A third system late Thursday through Friday will be another strong storm with widespread precipitation including a band of moderate to heavy snow from Missouri to Michigan. The last of the active storms moves through Sunday to Tuesday. This system will be weak with only scattered showers, but will push a strong cold front through the region with much colder air settling in for the remainder of the week.
Lower Mississippi River Levels: Water levels on the Mississippi River remain high for the foreseeable future due to a very active weather pattern across the watershed for at least the next couple of weeks.
The player sheet for 3/1 had funds: net buyers of 3,500 contracts of SRW wheat, buyers of 2,000 corn, buyers of 6,000 soybeans, buyers of 1,500 soymeal, and buyers of 1,500 soyoil.
- WHEAT PURCHASE: The Taiwan Flour Millers’ Association purchased an estimated 48,975 tonnes of milling wheat to be sourced from the United States in a tender
- FEED BARLEY PURCHASE: Jordan’s state grain buyer purchased about 100,000 tonnes of animal feed barley to be sourced from optional origins in an international tender
- FEED WHEAT PURCHASE: An importer group Thailand on Friday purchased about 30,000 tonnes of animal feed wheat expected to be sourced from Australia
- 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 June 30 and arrive in Japan by Aug. 31, via a simultaneous buy and sell (SBS) auction that will be held on March 8.
- 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 March 2.
- FEED BARLEY TENDER: Jordan’s state grains buyer has issued a new 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 Soybean Crushings at 191M Bushels in January: USDA
USDA releases monthly oilseed report on website.
- Crushing 1.6% lower than same period last year
- Crude oil production 1.1% lower than same period last year
- Crude and once-refined oil stocks down 5.7% y/y
US Corn Used for Ethanol at 443.6M Bu in January
The following table is a summary of US corn consumption for fuel and other products, according to the USDA.
- Corn for ethanol was 4.3% lower than in January 2022
- DDGS production fell to 1.714m tons
GRAIN EXPORT SURVEY: Corn, Soy, Wheat Sales Before USDA Report
Estimate ranges are based on a Bloomberg survey of six analysts; the USDA is scheduled to release its export sales report on Thursday for week ending Feb. 23.
- Corn est. range 500k – 1,200k tons, with avg of 788k
- Soybean est. range 300k – 975k tons, with avg of 635k
Brazil 2022/2023 Total Corn Crop Seen At 128.5 Million Tns, Up 8,6% From Last Season – Agroconsult
- BRAZIL 2022/2023 COTTON OUTPUT SEEN AT 3.04 MILLION TNS (LINT) – AGROCONSULT
- BRAZIL 2022/2023 SOYBEAN CROP SEEN AT 153 MILLION TNS VERSUS 153 MILLION TNS IN PREVIOUS FORECAST – AGROCONSULT
- BRAZIL 2022/2023 FIRST CORN CROP SEEN AT 29.4 MILLION TNS – AGROCONSULT
- BRAZIL 2022/2023 SECOND CORN CROP SEEN AT 99.1 MILLION TNS – AGROCONSULT
- BRAZIL 2022/2023 TOTAL CORN CROP SEEN AT 128.5 MILLION TNS, UP 8,6% FROM LAST SEASON – AGROCONSULT
Brazil 2022/2023 Second Corn Crop Forecast At 102.91 Million Tns, Up 7.8% From Last Season -Datagro
- DATAGRO CUTS BRAZIL 2022/2023 SOYBEAN PRODUCTIONS FORECAST TO 150.81 MILLION TNS
- BRAZIL 2022/2023 SECOND CORN CROP FORECAST AT 102.91 MILLION TNS, UP 7.8% FROM LAST SEASON -DATAGRO
Continued first crop harvest/second crop sowing delays lower Brazil corn production – Refinitiv Commodities Research
2022/23 BRAZIL CORN PRODUCTION: 125.2 [115.9–136.3] MILLION TONS, DOWN <1% FROM LAST UPDATE
2022/23 Brazil corn production is fractionally decreased to 125.2 [115.9–136.3] million tons, as second crop Safrinha corn sowing delays continue amid unfavorable wet conditions across key areas of the Central-West and Southeast. Our current median estimate is now 0.2 million tons above the USDA’s World Agricultural Outlook Board (WAOB)’s 125 million tons, which assumes total corn sowings at 22.7 million hectares and national level yield of 5.51 tons per hectare (tph) (vs. Refinitiv Ag Research’s 22.1 million hectares and 5.65 tph, respectively). Brazil’s agriculture state agency (CONAB) has lately pegged corn production and area at 123.7 million tons and 22 million hectares, respectively.
While the past week featured dryness in most of the northern portions of the Central-West and Southeast, rainfall throughout the rest of the key southern regionscontinued to make a catch-up for soybean harvests and second crop corn sowings difficult. Temperatures remained above average in most of the country, with the exception of the far South and Northeast where temperatures dropped to nearly 3°C below average. As of 25 February, Brazil’s first corn was 16.7% harvested and second corn 48.7% planted nationally according to the latest CONAB crop progress report (27 February), both well behind last year’s pace of 23.3% and 59.6% respectively. Continued delays to soybean harvests could leave a significant portion of the second crop to be sown outside the favorable window not only in the Central-West and northern South/southern Southeast, but also in some producers in minor crop areas as well. These delays frequently translate to diminished yield potential, which in turn sometimes mean reduced sown area as farmers seek to avoid risks of crop failure during critical reproductive periods.
Argentina crop export dollars tumble 74% in February due to drought
Argentina’s crops brought in 74% fewer export dollars in February, from a year earlier, an industry group said on Wednesday, as lagging grains sales put pressure on the country’s strained foreign currency reserves.
Last month, the value of dollars from farm exports reached $664.9 million, down 30.5% from January, according to the combined oilseed industry and grains export chambers CIARA-CEC.
Farmers in Argentina, the world’s top exporter of processed soy and No. 3 corn exporter, have struggled with the worst drought in six decades, which has cut outputs and delayed planting.
“The inflow of foreign currency in February is the reflection of a market strongly affected by the extreme drought,” the export chambers said in a statement.
Because of the drought and early frosts, the Buenos Aires grains exchange last week cut its forecasts for this season’s soybean and corn crops to 33.5 million tonnes and 41 million tonnes, respectively, down from estimates of 48 million tonnes and 50 million tonnes seen in September.
Grain exports provide crucial hard currency for the country’s cash-strapped central bank.
On Tuesday, farmers staged a protest against government taxes and currency policies near Argentina’s export hub of Rosario.
U.S. winter wheat yield potential at risk as drought in Central/Southern Plains continues
2023/24 U.S. WINTER WHEAT PRODUCTION: 37.3 [34.1–40.5] MILLION TONS, UNCHANGED FROM LAST UPDATE
Outlooks for 2023/24 U.S. winter wheat planted area and production are unchanged at 36.1 million acres and 37.3 [34.1–40.5] million tons, respectively. In Winter Wheat and Canola Seedings (12 January), USDA set its initial estimate of 2022/23 plantings at 36.95 million acres, up 11% from last season. This prediction is directionally in line with what we have been calling for (first released on 14 September 2022), which suggested an upward shift in winter wheat plantings from last season’s 33.27 million acres.
As the winter wheat crop begins to green up and moves into booting/heading stages in coming weeks, potential cold weather outbreaks may lower yield potential and will thus need to be monitored closely. Forecasted temperature anomalies in the Plains and Upper Midwest for March (from Refinitiv Weather Research) are expected to be generally warmer than normal across much of the HRW regions through the eastern SRW belt, though the warmth could momentarily give way to widespread cold weather during mid-March. If a warm early March was followed by sudden cold temperatures, spring freeze risk on the winter wheat crop could be elevated due to crops being pulled out of dormancy earlier than expected. Any wheat at this time of the year reaching the jointing stage could be at risk if overnight temperatures were to drop below 24 °F for two hours or more. The result could be moderate to severe freeze damage as the growing point of the crop emerges from the soil exposing it to cold temperatures.
USDA’s latest monthly crop progress (28 February) and many local reports continue to discuss the risks of low soil moisture in the Central and Southern Plains. Kansas’ topsoil moisture supplies are reported to be 60% short or very short, and nearly 80% of the whole Oklahoma region is currently in the severe/extreme drought category. The similar goes for the key crop areas of northern Texas (where over 70% of the state’s total wheat is grown), which has barely received any rain since the beginning of the planting season. Most eastern U.S. regions are expected to pick up some degree of rainfall later this week and next week, but the western portion of the Central/Southern Plains will likely continue to miss out on precipitation, warranting close attention.
SovEcon Cuts 2023 Russia Wheat-Crop Estimate on Dry, Icy Weather
Russia’s 2023 wheat harvest is now seen at 85.3m tons, down from an earlier forecast for 86m tons, researcher SovEcon said in an emailed note.
- Outlook cut is due to low precipitation in the South region and ice crusts forming on fields in the Center region
- “Currently, the south is getting very timely precipitation that should help the winter-wheat vegetation, which is starting shortly”
- NOTE: SovEcon says its outlook is based on area Russia controlled at start of 2022
- NOTE: Rosstat pegged Russia’s 2022 harvest at 104.4m tons, according to SovEcon
- USDA estimates the 2022 crop at 92m tons
Russia’s Lavrov Discusses Black Sea Grain Deal Renewal W/ Turkey
Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov discussed the Black Sea grain deal with Turkish counterpart Mevlut Cavusoglu, Russia’s foreign ministry said in a statement on its website.
- Russia stressed that an extension of the deal is only possible “If the interests of Russian producers of agricultural products and fertilizers are taken into account in terms of unhindered access to world markets,” statement says
- NOTE: Russian wheat exports are expected to be a record high in the February-June period
- NOTE: The current agreement that allow secure access to Ukrainian ports for grain export runs through mid-March; in tandem with the original agreement, the UN pledged to help ensure unimpeded exports of Russian food and fertilizers
Wheat Stockpile Forecasts Edge Higher; Corn, Soy Lowered: AMIS
World wheat stockpiles in the 2022-23 season are now seen at 305.7m tons, up slightly from a February outlook for 305.4m tons, the Agricultural Market Information System said in a report.
- Most of the y/y increase is concentrated in China and Russia
- Corn stockpile forecast cut to 280.2m tons from 283.5m tons a month ago
- Brazil stocks seen lower due to strong export pace
- Soybean stockpiles cut to 47.6m tons from 48.6m tons on reduced production prospects in Argentina
Corteva CEO Expects Farmers to Invest in Bigger Harvests, Offset Inflation
The CEO of seed and pesticide maker Corteva says farmers are financially healthy and expected to spend their cash on producing more corn and soybeans this year. Historically high grain prices have helped farmers shell out for higher priced agricultural products from companies such as Corteva and Bayer this past year. Corteva CEO Chuck Magro says at an investor event that he expects that trend to continue and for farmers to plant more, offsetting farmer’s increased fuel and labor costs. “They’re investing in production and crops and yields because that’s the best way that they can offset the inflationary pressures they’re seeing,” he says.
India Seeks to Boost Wheat Purchases from Farmers in 2023-24
India, the world’s second-biggest consumer of wheat, plans to buy about 34.2m tons of the grain from the 2022-23 crop for its food program, according to a food ministry statement.
- That compares with 18.79m tons procured in 2022-23
- Government also plans to purchase 10.6m tons of winter-sown rice
- NOTE: The federal government buys cereals such as rice and wheat at guaranteed prices from farmers and distributes grain to the poor for free through a chain of state-run shops across the country. The assured prices are meant to protect farmers from distress sale in the open market
Brazil Fertilizer Buys Stall as Prices Fall Despite India Tender
Brazilian fertilizer buyers have stepped out of the market as prices remain under pressure for all products. Rumors that India will purchase 2 million metric tons (mt) of urea in its latest tender spurred some sellers to consider higher prices, but buyers are unwilling to commit.
Farmers Delaying Spring Purchases as Fertilizer Prices Fall
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 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.
NOLA Urea Rebounds, Inland Slump Continues
New Orleans (NOLA) urea started the week at the high end of last week’s $310-$335 a short ton (st) but slipped to a midweek low of $315. Inland urea remained under pressure, fueled by additional declines in the Corn Belt, Northern Plains, Western US and Canada. Ammonia prices were also falling in the Southern Plains and Western US after last week’s decline of $200 a metric ton (mt) in Tampa ammonia, with California ammonia dropping as much as $270/st, to $980 delivered. Inland urea ammonium nitrate (UAN) and ammonium sulfate continued to fall as well, with significant declines for both in the Western US and Canada. Phosphate prices also slid slightly in Western Canada.
Indonesia Wants Exporters to Trade CPO at Local Bourse by June
Indonesia, the world’s biggest palm oil producer, plans to require exporters to trade crude palm oil on local exchanges before shipping it overseas by June, said Didid Noordiatmoko, head of the Commodity Futures Trading Regulatory Agency, known as Bappebti.
- Govt still discussing the plan including on tax incentives for exporters to trade at local bourse, Noordiatmoko said in a webinar on Thursday
- Exports of processed palm oil will need to buy CPO from the local exchange to get shipment permit
India Will Likely Need to Import Wheat in 2023-24: Louis Dreyfus
India will likely become a net wheat importer in 2023-24, Louis Dreyfus India Deputy CEO Garima Jain says at a conference in Singapore.
- Domestic production may not be that great due to weather impact; stockpiles are also low
- India’s rice exports need to be watched closely
- NOTE: Country has restricted some rice shipments
- Over the longer term, India’s consumption is shifting from grains to proteins as country seeks to meet nutritional deficiency
- India may become net importer of grains and proteins
- Country is heading toward general election so market is likely to see high level of intervention from government
U.S. corn crop insurance guarantee highest in 12 years
Crop insurance policies that guarantee prices for the 2023 growing season are the highest since 2011 for corn and the second-highest on record for soybeans after last year’s peak, reflecting tight global grain supplies, analysts said.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) set the guarantees, which act as a floor price below which farmers with insurance can receive payments, at $5.91 per bushel for corn and $13.76 a bushel for soybeans across most of the U.S. crop belt. The prices reflect the average settlement for Chicago Board of Trade December corn CZ3 and November soybean futures SX3 during the month of February.
The insurance guarantee for spring wheat was $8.87, down from $9.19 a year ago, based on the average price of Minneapolis Grain Exchange September MWEU3 spring wheat futures during February.
The insurance price for corn is up a penny from $5.90 in 2022 and the highest since the 2011 price projection of $6.01. The soybean price is down from last year’s record high of $14.33, but still relatively strong.
“These are very encouraging prices to try to bring out as much available acreage as possible,” said Ted Seifried, chief market strategist for the Zaner Group.
Still, the crop insurance prices seemed unlikely to shift planting expectations much from forecasts released by the USDA last week for 91 million acres of corn in 2023, up from 88.6 million acres the previous year, and 87.5 million acres of soybeans, steady with 2022.
Compared to last year’s insurance guarantees, the 2023 figures are “both profitable and close enough that economics will take a back seat to other considerations,” such as planting weather, said Bill Lapp, president of Nebraska-based Advanced Economic Solutions.
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