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Global Ag News for Mar 20.23


ADM Restarts Oilseed Crushing Plant in Ukraine After a Year

Archer-Daniels-Midland Co. has reopened its oilseeds crushing plant in southern Ukraine in another sign that crop trading companies are feeling more optimistic about the outlook for shipments out of the country.

The Chornomorsk plant has recently resumed operations, a spokeswoman for ADM said Friday. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine forced the company to suspend its operations last year.

A United Nations-brokered deal to allow vessels to keep ships sailing via the Black Sea expires Saturday, and it’s still unclear whether it will be renewed. Terms indicate that it can be automatically extended for 120 days unless one of its parties seeks to modify or terminate it.

Russia this week proposed extending the initiative for only 60 days — half the duration of its prior two terms — but Kyiv has pushed back, saying that it contradicted the terms of the overarching agreement. As of Friday, ships were still sailing in and out of Ukrainian ports normally.

Cargill Inc., the world’s top agricultural commodities trader, said last month that rising grain exports from Ukraine were sparking optimism that the deal would be renewed, and that its shipments were flowing smoothly. The company is no longer in control of two of its sunflower crush plants in the country, it said in December.


Wheat prices overnight are down 14 in SRW, down 13 1/4 in HRW, down 6 1/2 in HRS; Corn is down 8; Soybeans down 13 1/4; Soymeal down $0.38; Soyoil down 1.29.

Markets finished last week with wheat prices up 15 1/2 in SRW, up 24 1/4 in HRW, up 19 1/4 in HRS; Corn is up 12 3/4; Soybeans down 27; Soymeal down $1.64; Soyoil up 0.47.

For the month to date wheat prices are down 9 in SRW, up 9 3/4 in HRW, down 12 1/2 in HRS; Corn is down 4; Soybeans down 15 3/4; Soymeal down $4.90; Soyoil down 3.87.

Year-To-Date nearby futures are down 11.6% in SRW, down 7.1% in HRW, down 9.3% in HRS; Corn is down 7.7%; Soybeans down 3.6%; Soymeal down 3.3%; Soyoil down 11.7%.

Chinese Ag futures (MAY 23) Soybeans up 2 yuan; Soymeal down 77; Soyoil down 6; Palm oil down 64; Corn up 14 — Malaysian palm oil prices overnight were down 133 ringgit (-3.39%) at 3787.

There were changes in registrations (-50 SRW Wheat, -46 Soybeans). Registration total: 2,537 SRW Wheat contracts; 23 Oats; 73 Corn; 210 Soybeans; 613 Soyoil; 1 Soymeal; 88 HRW Wheat.

Preliminary changes in futures Open Interest as of March 17 were: SRW Wheat down 1,658 contracts, HRW Wheat down 1,075, Corn up 7,053, Soybeans up 986, Soymeal down 1,791, Soyoil down 1,310.

Brazil Grains & Oilseeds Forecast: Scattered showers are continuing over the interior of Brazil this week, but will be spottier across southern and eastern areas. That will help to increase safrinha corn planting. Soil moisture is good for the corn in the ground. Showers will decrease later this week over central areas as the wet season is showing signs of slowing down early, not a good outlook if that continues over the next few weeks as well.

Argentina Grains & Oilseeds Forecast: A front slowly moved over southern areas of the country’s growing regions over the weekend, but brought some heavy rains. That front slides into central areas early this week and then to northern areas later in the week. Some heavier rain will continue to follow the front, but is likely too late for much of the damaged corn and soybean crops. However, stabilization will likely occur if the showers are as heavy as forecast. Temperatures will remain above normal until a cold front moves through next week.

Northern Plains Forecast: Temperatures remain well below normal for the next couple of weeks, requiring higher inputs than normal for livestock, and limiting snow melt. A system moves through on Tuesday with scattered precipitation and some areas of moderate snow but the rest of the week is likely dry as systems pass by to the south.

Central/Southern Plains Forecast: Cold temperatures over the weekend may have caused frost damage on more advanced wheat across the far south. Temperatures rise early this week but will be squashed later this week as a cold front is slowly pushed southward through the region by a few storm systems. They will produce scattered precipitation across the region with the strongest storm in the series occurring Thursday into Friday which has the best chance at bringing precipitation to the southwestern drought areas. There may be another over the weekend that could do so as well, but chances are low for meaningful precipitation outside of Kansas and Colorado’s winter wheat areas.

Midwest Forecast: A string of systems will push a cold front through the region this week, bringing widespread precipitation through the region yet again. Another may come through this weekend as well. A wet end to March is likely to lead to some delays for early fieldwork heading into April. Temperatures will be waffling to end the month as well.

Black Sea Forecast: It was dry and warm over the weekend, which will continue for most of this week before a front brings more showers through the region this weekend and into next week. Soil moisture is mostly good in the region and the warmth will help winter wheat to develop this week. The wheat crop is in good shape overall where not affected by war.

Delta Forecast: Cold temperatures over the weekend would be more concerning for advanced winter wheat, but little of that is at risk. Temperatures will be more on the upside for this week. A series of storms will push a cold front through the region later this week with several chances for additional precipitation that will keep area rivers high and fieldwork slow.

The player sheet for 3/17 had funds: net buyers of 4,500 contracts of SRW wheat, buyers of 1,000 corn, buyers of 6,000 soybeans, sellers of 6,000 soymeal, and  sellers of 1,000 soyoil.


  • CORN PURCHASE: The U.S. Department of Agriculture confirmed private sales of 191,000 tonnes of U.S. corn to China for shipment in the 2022/23 marketing year.
  • FAILED BARLEY TENDER: An importer group in Thailand is believed to have made no purchase in a tender seeking 21,000 tonnes of animal feed barley which closed on Wednesday.


  • 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
  • RICE TENDER: South Korea’s Agro-Fisheries & Food Trade Corp has issued an international tender to purchase an estimated 121,800 tonnes of rice.
  • BARLEY TENDER: Jordan’s state grains buyer has issued an international tender to purchase up to 120,000 tonnes of animal feed barley.

Grain storage bins


China’s US soy, corn imports jump in Jan-Feb

China’s soybean imports from the U.S. rose 15.4% in the first two months of this year, data showed on Monday, as delays in harvesting in top supplier Brazil prompted buyers to seek more U.S. beans.

The world’s top buyer of soybeans, China bought 11.59 million tonnes of the oilseed from the United States, up from 10.04 million tonnes a year ago, data from the General Administration of Customs showed.

Imports from Brazil, meanwhile, fell 36% to 2.24 million tonnes.

Rain delayed the harvest in key growing regions in Brazil and has also slowed the movement of soybeans to ports, according to some analysts.

Total imports in the period reached a record 16.2 million tonnes, data showed earlier this month, as buyers stocked up in anticipation of healthy demand this year.

For corn imports too, the U.S. was China’s top supplier, with 2.35 million tonnes arriving in the two-month period, up 22% on the same period last year.

Arrivals from Ukraine reached 1.18 million tonnes, dropping 56% from a year ago.

Brazil supplied 1.48 million tonnes, the first imports since China authorised a new batch of exporters last year.

Brazil Farmers Harvest 63.1% Of Soybean Area Versus 71.68% At This Time Last Year – Patria Agronegocios


CORN/CEPEA: Quotations continue to drop in BR but are boosted by demand in the USA

Cepea, March 17 – The harvesting of the summer crop of corn and sowing of the second crop are in progress in Brazil, favored by the better weather conditions in the last days. Thus, purchasers have not been closing deals in the national spot market, expecting values to drop. In that scenario, corn prices are fading in the domestic market.

On the other hand, abroad, the increase in the corn exports from the United States to China is raising prices. Besides, uncertainties related to the agreement about grains exports through the Black Sea and lower production in Argentina have been concerning agents and underpinning international corn prices.

PRICES – This week, the ESALQ/BM&FBovespa Index for corn has ranged between BRL 85 and BRL 86 per 60-kg bag, closing at BRL 85.37 (USD 16.28) per 60-kilo bag on Thursday, 16, 0.1% lower than that on the previous Thursday, 9.

On the average of the regions surveyed by Cepea, prices increased 0.5% in the over-the-counter market (paid to farmers) but remained stable in the wholesale market (deals between processors). This month, values have dropped 0.8% and 0.5%, respectively.

CROPS – Despite being late compared to that last season, crop activities advanced in the last days in all the Brazilian regions that produce corn. According to Conab, by March 11th, over 26% of the summer crop of corn had been harvested in Brazil, a weekly progress of 3.7 percentage points but still 7.4 p.p. behind that in the same period of the 2021/22. As for the second crop, by March 11th, 72.5% of the national crop had been sown, according to data from Conab.

SOYBEAN/CEPEA: Harvesting advances in BR and is about to end in MT

Cepea, March 17 – With the lower rainfall observed in the last days, the harvesting of soybean crops advanced in Brazil – in Mato Grosso State (the top producer in BR), activities are about to end. Cepea collaborators reported that both the productivity and the quality of the 2022/23 crop are excellent in most Brazilian regions, raising expectations for a record output.

According to Conab (Brazil’s National Company for Food Supply), by March 11th, 53.4% of the 151.41 million tons forecast for the 2022/23 season had been harvested, less than the 63.1% harvested in the same period last year. In Mato Grosso, 94.7% have been harvested, against 95.4% last season.

In Argentina, a water deficit damaged soybean crops too, which are estimated by Bolsa de Cereales to total 25 million tons, a steep 42.2% down from that last season and the lowest output since 2008/09.

SALES – The progress of the harvesting pressed down the export premiums for soybean and, consequently, the domestic prices in Brazil. In the national spot market, the CEPEA/ESALQ Paraná Index for soybean dropped 0.5% between March 9 and 16, to BRL 159.90 (USD 30.31) per 60-kg bag on Thursday (16), the lowest daily level since Nov. 12th, 2021. The ESALQ/BM&FBovespa Paranaguá (PR) Index dropped 1.1%, to BRL 165.33 (USD 31.53)/bag on Thursday, the lowest since Dec. 9th, 2021.

On the average of the regions surveyed by Cepea, soybean prices dropped 1.2% in the over-the-counter market (paid to farmers) and 0.8% in the wholesale market (deals between processors). On the other hand, the US dollar rose 2.1% in the last seven days, to BRL 5.243 on Thursday. It is important to mention that the dollar appreciations against the Real limited steeper devaluations and encouraged sales in Brazil.

Ukraine’s Black Sea Crop Exports Rise 65% in Week to March 19

The volume of crops departing Ukrainian ports under the Black Sea Grain Initiative totaled about 1.08m tons in the week to March 19, according to data posted by the Joint Coordination Centre.

  • That compares with about 654k tons in the prior week
  • Corn cargoes to China comprised about a quarter of the volume in the latest week
  • TOTAL TONNAGE: More than 25m tons of crops have been shipped since the initiative was agreed on in late July
  • NOTE: The initiative was renewed over the weekend; Russia said the extension is for 60 days, while Ukraine said it is for 120 days

Ukrainian Regions Start Early on Sowing Spring Wheat and Barley

Ten Ukrainian regions started the Spring sowing campaign, earlier then last year, and already planted 82,700 hectares, the Ukrainian Agrarian Ministry said on its website.

  • That includes 26,000 hectares of spring wheat, 44,200 hectares of spring barley, 12,000 hectares of peas and 500 hectares of oats, the ministry said
  • The southern region of Odesa planted more then a third of the total, at 34,300 hectares
  • NOTE: According to preliminary estimates of the Ukrainian agrarian business club, the country’s farmers may sow 8.7m hectares of grain crops this year; that’s more than 20% down on the previous year

India likely to harvest record 11.5 mln tonnes rapeseed this year -industry body

Rapeseed output in India, the world’s biggest importer of vegetable oils, is likely to rise 7.5% this year due to a record planting of the winter-sown oilseed, a leading trade body said on Monday.

Farmers are likely to harvest a record 11.5 million tonnes in the crop year to June 2023, the Solvent Extractors’ Association of India (SEA) told a news conference in the north-western state of Rajasthan, producer of more than half of India’s rapeseed.

Last year, the country produced 10.7 million tonnes of rapeseed, which has the highest oil content among India’s nine main oilseeds.

“Rapeseed production would have been even higher, but unfavourable weather in January affected yields,” said B.V. Mehta, executive director of the Mumbai-based industry body, releasing a field survey.

Although farmers planted rapeseed across a record area this year, frost and heat-wave hit crop yields. (Full Story)

Rapeseed planting touched an all-time high of 9.8 million hectares this year, 7.4% higher than the previous year. Based on the higher area, the government has forecast a record rapeseed production of 12.8 million tonnes.

Higher rapeseed output will help India cut back expensive imports of vegetable oil.

India meets more than 70% of its cooking oil demand through imports.

New Delhi buys tropical palm oil mainly from Indonesia and Malaysia and soft oils, such as soyoil, from Argentina and Brazil, to make up for a shortfall in soybean, rapeseed and peanut output.

The country also imports sunflower oil from Ukraine and Russia and canola oil from Canada.

India’s consumption of vegetable oils, including palm oil and soyoil, has trebled over the last two decades as the population grew and incomes rose, while output swelled by less than a third.

In the fiscal year to March 31, 2022, New Delhi spent a record $18.99 billion to import vegetable oils, prompting Prime Minister Narendra Modi to voice concerns about India’s rising vegetable oil import bill.

Russia’s Wheat-Export Tax to Fall to 5,328 Rubles/Ton: Interfax

Russia’s wheat-export duty will drop next week to 5,328 rubles ($69.29) a ton from 5,344 rubles this week, Interfax reported, citing the agriculture ministry.

NOTE: Russia started calculating the export tax in rubles in July; previously, it was calculated in dollars, and the amount was markedly higher

Brazil Biodiesel Mix in Diesel Raised to 12%: Energy Minister

The percentage of mandatory blending of biodiesel with diesel oil in Brazil, which was previously at 10%, will increase to 12% in April, Minister of Mines and Energy Alexandre Silveira told journalists this Friday.

  • Next year, the mixture goes to 13%; 14% in 2025; and 15% in 2026: Silveira
  • Impact on diesel price at the pump will be two cents of real
  • The decision weighed environmental and economic issues; and the govt’s environmental area was satisfied with the change

US Cattle on Feed Fell to 11.65M Head on March 1

The feedlot herd fell 4.5% from a year ago, according to the USDA’s monthly report. Analysts were expecting a drop of 4.6%

  • Placements onto feedlots down 7.2% y/y to 1.734m head
  • Cattle marketed from feedlots declined 4.9% to 1.735m head

Brazil Fertilizer Prices Remain Under Pressure as Demand Slows

Despite an expected consumption recovery in 2023, an observed slowdown in fertilizer demand in Brazil and increased competition may continue pushing prices down ahead of the 2023-24 soybean season. Fertilizer prices have been falling from historic peaks since 2H, amid oversupply and decreased consumption.

Brazil Fertilizer Prices Keep Eroding: Wednesday Whisper

Urea prices in Brazil slipped again, falling to $310-$325 a metric ton (mt) vs. last week’s $330-$335 (cost and freight) amid limited trading volume and minimal off-season demand. Ammonium sulfate also dropped, to $205-$215/mt from $215-$220, with reports of multiple Chinese producers seeking outlets for their product. Monoammonium phosphate remained at last week’s $630-$650/mt, but with strong expectations that prices will move under $600 in the near term. Potash prices in Brazil declined to $440-$470/mt from $450-$470.

Slow Off-Season Demand Pressures Brazil Fertilizer Prices

Fertilizer prices fell again in Brazil in response to sluggish demand and increased competition for limited sales. With nitrogen consumption in the off-season, urea prices will likely decline further. Phosphates and potash were also under pressure amid slow negotiations ahead of the 2023-24 soybean season.

Fertilizers Poised to Fall Ahead of Brazil Soybean Season

With 81% of the corn now planted, fertilizer prices continued to weaken in Brazil in response to slow off-season demand and increased competition from suppliers. A smaller-than-expected India tender pushed Brazil urea prices lower again this week, with additional declines anticipated amid delayed spring demand in the US.

Potash declined as well due to competition for limited business, with Russian product now offered at a discount of $30 a metric ton (mt) to Canadian potash. Phosphates remained relatively stable, but with 1Q inventories building and China expected to return to the export market in the coming months, new offers will likely be pressured in the weeks ahead.

Cold Weather Stalls Spring Fieldwork; US Fertilizer Prices Slide

Most nitrogen prices remain weak in the US as buyers delay spring purchases, with ammonia prices dropping again to spur sales. Application is underway in the South, while the Corn Belt awaits warmer weather. China is spending more on agricultural policy to get more, and fertilizer is key. Domestic stockpiles and urea production rates are rising as the world’s marginal producer pins hopes on a big crop.

Phosphates Flat, Nitrogen and Potash Continue to Fall

Ammonia prices remained under pressure globally. News sales showed a $45-$50 a metric ton (mt) drop in Middle East pricing, which also pushed import costs significantly lower in Europe and India. Plentiful supply and low natural gas prices suggest another decline in Tampa ammonia for April, while weather-related fieldwork delays in the Corn Belt continued to pressure inland ammonia in the US. New spring prices from Interoceanic on March 16 also pushed ammonium sulfate lower in the Midwest. Urea was up slightly at New Orleans but flat-to-lower inland, with Brazil urea also falling $10-$15/mt amid low demand. Phosphates were largely unchanged inland and steady-to-higher at NOLA. Potash continued to fall at NOLA and inland on delayed spring demand.

US Weekly Beef and Pork Production Estimates: USDA

US federally inspected beef production falls to 519m pounds for the week ending March 18 from 522m in the previous week, according to USDA estimates published on the agency’s website.

  • Cattle slaughter down 0.5% from a week ago to 631m head
  • Pork production unchanged from a week ago, hog slaughter falls 0.2%
  • For the year, beef production is 4.2% below last year’s level at this time, and pork is 0.9% above

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