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Global Ag News for Nov 1.22

TOP HEADLINES

Ukraine Grain Flows to Port Freeze Up After Russia’s Provocation

Deliveries of Ukrainian crops to ports are grinding to a halt, as the agricultural sector becomes more circumspect in the face of further Russian disruption, according to the Ukrainian Agribusiness Club.

Cargoes flowing from inland largely stopped as of Monday morning, said Kateryna Rybachenko, its vice chair. That includes a train loaded Sunday by Agro-Region — a farming company where she is a board member — with 3,500 tons of corn destined for delivery at port to a trader.

“We don’t have a clear situation and a clear view what will happen in the next days,” Roman Slaston, chief executive of the club. “The grain operators and the grain port-terminal operators see this uncertainty. The flow of grain to the seaports – it’s slowed down definitely.”

The standstill comes after Russia over the weekend said it would no longer support the Ukraine crop-export deal that was agreed in July, and has revived the country’s seaborne trade. Grain vessels are still sailing from the country on Monday, but it’s uncertain how long that will last, with a Kremlin spokesman warning further shipments will be “much riskier.”

The industry wants to verify that ships can continue to move and routes remain protected, Rybachenko said. Farmers can deliver grain for export over the border with the European Union, although the routes are longer and costlier.

“It is working at the moment without the Russian side,” Ukraine deputy agriculture minister Markiyan Dmytrasevych said Monday at an International Grains Council event. “But we cannot rely on this corridor being permanent, because any missile strike or any accident can stop it at any moment.”

FUTURES & WEATHER

Wheat prices overnight are down 8 3/4 in SRW, down 7 1/2 in HRW, down 9 1/2 in HRS; Corn is down 1 1/4; Soybeans up 12 1/2; Soymeal up $0.15; Soyoil up 0.53.

For the week so far wheat prices are up 43 in SRW, up 45 1/4 in HRW, up 26 3/4 in HRS; Corn is up 9 1/2; Soybeans up 31 3/4; Soymeal up $0.42; Soyoil up 1.95.

Year-To-Date nearby futures are up 13% in SRW, up 21% in HRW, down -1% in HRS; Corn is up 16%; Soybeans up 7%; Soymeal up 4%; Soyoil up 31%.

Chinese Ag futures (JAN 23) Soybeans down 17 yuan; Soymeal up 116; Soyoil up 70; Palm oil up 210; Corn up 4 — Malaysian palm oil prices overnight were up 174 ringgit (+4.29%) at 4228.

There were no changes in registrations. Registration total: 3,077 SRW Wheat contracts; 0 Oats; 0 Corn; 445 Soybeans; 39 Soyoil; 288 Soymeal; 5 HRW Wheat.

Preliminary changes in futures Open Interest as of October 31 were: SRW Wheat down 3,596 contracts, HRW Wheat down 379, Corn up 621, Soybeans up 4,400, Soymeal down 903, Soyoil up 5,792.

Northern Plains Forecast: Mostly dry through Wednesday. Isolated showers Thursday-Friday. Temperatures above to well above normal through Wednesday, below normal west and above normal east Thursday, near to below normal Friday. Outlook: Isolated showers Saturday-Wednesday. Temperatures near to below normal Saturday, below to well below normal Sunday-Wednesday.

Central/Southern Plains Forecast: Mostly dry through Wednesday. Scattered showers Thursday-Friday. Temperatures above to well above normal Tuesday-Thursday, near to below normal west and above normal east Friday. Outlook: Scattered showers Saturday-Sunday. Mostly dry Monday-Wednesday. Temperatures near to above normal Saturday-Sunday, near to below normal Monday-Wednesday.

Western Midwest Forecast: Mostly dry through Wednesday. Isolated to scattered showers Thursday-Friday. Temperatures above to well above normal through Friday.

Eastern Midwest Forecast: Mostly dry Tuesday-Friday. Temperatures above to well above normal through Friday. Outlook: Scattered showers Saturday-Monday. Mostly dry Tuesday-Wednesday. Temperatures above to well above normal Saturday-Sunday, near to below normal Monday-Wednesday.

Brazil Grains & Oilseeds Forecast: Rio Grande do Sul and Parana: Mostly dry Tuesday-Friday. Temperatures below to well below normal through Friday. Mato Grosso, MGDS and southern Goias: Scattered showers Tuesday, north Wednesday. Mostly dry Thursday-Friday. Temperatures below to well below normal Tuesday-Friday.

Argentina Grains & Oilseeds Forecast: Cordoba, Santa Fe, Northern Buenos Aires: Dry through Friday. Temperatures below to well below normal Tuesday, near to below normal Wednesday, near to above normal Thursday-Friday. La Pampa, Southern Buenos Aires: Dry through Friday. Temperatures below to well below normal Tuesday, near to below normal Wednesday, near to above normal Thursday-Friday.

The player sheet for Oct. 31 had funds: net buyers of 20,000 contracts of SRW wheat, buyers of 7,000 corn, buyers of 8,500 soybeans, buyers of 2,000 soymeal, and  buyers of 5,000 soyoil.

TENDERS

  • CORN PURCHASE: The Korea Feed Association (KFA) in South Korea purchased about 65,000 tonnes of animal feed corn in a private deal late last week without issuing an international tender
  • WHEAT PURCHASE: Pakistan’s government approved a plan to buy 300,000 metric tonnes of wheat from Russia, the finance ministry said in a statement.
  • WHEAT TENDER PARTICIPANTS: Eleven participants were believed to be taking part in Iraq’s tender for 50,000 tonnes of wheat, traders said, adding that no purchase was yet made.
  • WHEAT DONATION: Russia will donate 25,000 tonnes of wheat to crisis-hit Lebanon, the public works minister said.
  • SUGAR PURCHASE: Egypt’s state grains buyer, the General Authority for Supply Commodities, contracted to buy 150,000 tonnes of sugar to strengthen strategic reserves.

PENDING TENDERS

  • FEED WHEAT TENDER: Leading South Korean feedmaker Nonghyup Feed Inc. (NOFI) has issued an international tender to purchase up to 65,000 tonnes of animal feed
  • SOYMEAL TENDER: South Korea’s Major Feedmill Group (MFG) has issued an international tender to purchase up to 58,000 tonnes of animal feed corn and 8,000 tonnes of soymeal
  • WHEAT TENDER: Jordan’s state grain buyer issued an international tender to buy 120,000 tonnes of milling wheat
  • BARLEY TENDER: Jordan’s state grains buyer issued an international tender to purchase 120,000 tonnes of animal feed barley

Globe with candlestick charting

TODAY

US Inspected 422k Tons of Corn for Export, 2.574m of Soybean

In week ending Oct. 27, according to the USDA’s weekly inspections report.

  • Soybeans: 2,574k tons vs 2,919k the previous wk, 2,675k a yr ago
  • Corn: 422k tons vs 473k the previous wk, 671k a yr ago
  • Wheat: 137k tons vs 133k the previous wk, 131k a yr ago

US Corn, Soybean, Wheat Inspections by Country: Oct. 27

Following is a summary of USDA inspections for week ending Oct. 27 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 2.08m tons of the 2.57m total inspected
  • China was the top destination for corn inspections, Somalia led in wheat

US Crop Progress and Conditions for Oct. 30: Summary 

Highlights from the report:

  • Corn harvest 76% vs 61% last week, and 73% a year ago
  • Soybeans harvested 88% vs 80% last week, and 78% a year ago
  • Winter wheat 28% G/E vs 45% a year ago
  • Winter wheat planted 87% vs 79% last week, and 86% a year ago
  • Winter wheat emerged 62% vs 49% last week, and 65% a year ago
  • Cotton harvested 55% vs 45% last week, and 44% a year ago

Russia Says It’s ‘Unacceptable’ to Move Grain Ships Via Corridor

  • Grain prices surged after Russia suspended deal involvement
  • Russia says safety ‘not guaranteed’ without clarification

Russia warned that the security of ships sailing Ukraine’s grain-export corridor cannot be guaranteed without additional conditions, increasing risks for Black Sea trade after Russia halted involvement in a key accord.

“The movement of ships along the security corridor is unacceptable,” Russia’s Defense Ministry said in a statement Monday, repeating unsubstantiated claims that Ukraine used the corridor for military purposes. The ministry emphasized that Russia hasn’t abandoned the deal but just suspended its involvement.

The comments follow repeated criticism from Russian officials. Earlier, Ukraine said that Russia struck two civilian tugboats involved in transporting a grain barge near Ochakiv, to the east of the UN-agreed export corridor.

Grain prices surged after Russia said it was suspending its involvement in the deal. The UN said on Sunday that four vessels planned to move inbound and 12 outbound from Ukrainian ports on Monday. At least one of the inbound ships appeared to have turned back, while another did not enter the corridor.

Turkish and Russian defense officials discussed the grains corridor by phone on Monday. The deal was brokered by Turkey and the UN.

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres is engaged in “intense” talks aimed at reversing Russia’s suspension, spokesman Stephane Dujarric said. The UN team at the Joint Coordination Centre in Istanbul will hold discussions with their Russian counterparts to “try to get some clarity” on the statement from Russia’s defense ministry, he said.

Ship Bound for Odesa Under Grain Deal Appears to Turn Back

The Ocean Legend, one of four ships expected to sail to ports in greater Odesa through Ukraine’s safe corridor, turned back after sailing most of the way through the Black Sea, ship-tracking data from Sea by Maritech showed.

  • NOTE: Ocean Legend is one of four ships the UN said was expected to sail to Ukraine ports on Monday
  • Mavka, which also sailed through the corridor, is berthed in Chornomorsk port, tracking shows
  • A third ship, Esentepe, is still heading toward Odesa
  • Champion Pula, which was expected to sail for Ukraine, did not enter the corridor, according to the UN

Russia Says It Seeks to Control Dry Cargo in Black Sea: IFX

Russia will be forced to take its own measures to control ships passing without its approval in the Black Sea, Interfax reports, citing Russia’s permanent representative in the UN, Vasily Nebenzya, as saying at a meeting of the UN Security Council.

  • “Given the existing facts of abuse of the humanitarian corridor and the fact that the Black Sea remains a war zone, we can not allow the passage of ships without our inspection and we will be forced to take independent measures to control” dry-cargo ships, he said

Ukraine Tries to Use All Capacity of Odesa Ports: Official

Russia’s recent missile attacks didn’t impact Odesa region’s seaports, but might have some negative effect “in inertia,” Deputy Economy Minister Taras Kachka says in an interview with Bloomberg TV.

  • Ukraine is going to do its best to ensure freedom of navigation in the Black Sea in any circumstances to proceed with grain shipments despite Russia’s pullout of the deal
  • Russia is trying to “play several cards” creating risks of hunger and high wheat price for the world
  • Ukraine may face shortage of grain storage facilities in December, when new corn harvest will arrive, if grain exports are blocked due to Russia
  • In that case, corn will be stored in temporary storages and may be left in fields; it will definitely have negative impact on global market of corn

Dry Mississippi River Pushes Soybean Shippers to Texas

  • Shallow water makes it difficult to float barges in some areas
  • River-shipping crisis hits as farmers seek to transport crops

The shrinking Mississippi River has hobbled the most efficient channel for moving US soybeans onto world markets, prompting a pivot to alternatives from Puget Sound to Texas to the Great Lakes.

Typically, more than half of all US soybean exports traverse the Mississippi River but after weeks of scant rainfall, water depths have dwindled, raising barge costs to an all-time high. As a result, ports in places like southeast Texas that normally handle less than 5% of the nations soybean exports are being thrust into action.

“It’s in dire condition and it’s getting worse,” Mike Steenhoek, executive director of the Soy Transportation Coalition, said by phone. “People are looking for what’s their B, C and D options.”

The US Department of Agriculture said 2.57 million tons of American soybeans were inspected in the week ended Oct. 27, a drop of 12% from the previous week. The Mississippi River accounted for less than a third of the shipments, with supplies also leaving ports in Alabama and elsewhere, data showed on Monday.

Brazil 2022/23 Soy Planting 46% Done as of Oct. 27: AgRural

Compares with 34% a week earlier, and 52% a year before, according to an emailed report from consulting firm AgRural.

Summer corn seeding is 56% complete, vs 51% a week earlier and 63% a year before

Argentina Crop Region to See Lower-Than-Normal Rains Nov.-Dec.

The Pampas crop belt will see lower-than-normal precipitation and higher-than-normal temperatures over the next three months, according to maps in a National Weather Service report.

EU soybean imports by Oct. 30 at 3.66 mln T, rapeseed 2.28 mln T

European Union soybean imports in the 2022/23 season that started on July 1 had reached 3.66 million tonnes by Oct. 30, against 4.09 million by the same week in the previous season, data published by the European Commission showed on Monday.

EU rapeseed imports had reached 2.28 million tonnes, compared with 1.71 million tonnes a year earlier.

Soymeal imports over the same period totalled 5.34 million tonnes against 5.41 million tonnes the prior season, while palm oil imports stood at 1.16 million tonnes versus 1.95 million tonnes in 2021/22.

EU sunflower oil imports, most of which usually come from Ukraine, were at 559,487 tonnes, against 551,588 tonnes a year earlier, the data showed.

The European Commission usually releases the weekly EU grain export and import data on Tuesdays but relased them on Monday this week ahead of the Nov. 1 All Saint’s Day public holiday in Belgium, home to the EU executive’s headquarters.

EU 2022/23 soft wheat exports at 11.54 mln T by Oct 30

Soft wheat exports from the European Union in the 2022/23 season that started on July 1 had reached 11.54 million tonnes by Oct. 30, data published by the European Commission showed on Monday.

The total so far this season compared with 11.44 million tonnes by the same week in 2021/22, the data showed.

EU barley exports so far in 2022/23 totalled 2.38 million tonnes against 4.10 million a year ago, while EU maize imports were at 9.57 million tonnes, against a year-earlier 4.43 million.

The European Commission usually releases the weekly EU grain export and import data on Tuesdays but released them on Monday this week ahead of the Nov. 1 All Saint’s Day public holiday in Belgium, home to the EU executive’s headquarters.

Trucker blockades in Brazil increase in wake of Bolsonaro election defeat

Truckers who support Brazil’s outgoing President Jair Bolsonaro escalated their protests on Monday, blocking roads in 20 states in an action that could affect agricultural exports in one of the world’s top food producers and cause wider economic chaos.

Bolsonaro lost Sunday’s election to leftist former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, but has yet to concede defeat. He will not publicly address his defeat until Tuesday, a cabinet minister said on Monday evening, amid doubts over whether the far-right nationalist will accept Lula’s victory.

Video footage showed some truckers at roadblocks calling for a military coup to prevent Lula becoming president, as protests spread from Mato Grosso and Santa Catarina to Parana, Sao Paulo, Minas Gerais, Goias and Bahia.

In Brasilia, police shut off traffic access to the central government esplanade on a tip that Bolsonaro supporters were planning to occupy the square in front of the Supreme Court, which they consider has acted to favor Lula.

Brazil’s federal highway police said 236 protests had partially or fully blocked roads in 20 states. Truckers – who have benefited from Bolsonaro policies such as lowering diesel costs – are one of the president’s key constituencies, and they have been known to disrupt Brazil’s economy when they shut down highways.

The highest number of blockades was in Santa Catarina, a state where Bolsonaro has a massive support base, and Mato Grosso do Sul, an important grains-growing and cattle state, according to the highway police national branch.

Santos port, from where much of Brazil’s grains are exported, told Reuters earlier on Monday that the protests had not yet affected cargo movement. Paranagua’s port authority said one of the main roads giving access to its port was being blocked by protesters, but that there was no immediate disruption to cargo movement.

However, Normando Corral, president of farm group Famato, said the roadblocks in Mato Grosso, Brazil’s biggest farm state, could disrupt agricultural shipments if they persist.

One of the state’s main exports this time of year is Brazil’s winter corn crop, which is planted after soybeans are harvested.

“It’s too soon to say if it’s going to interfere with the flow of production, because the blockades started yesterday,” Corral said. “I don’t know how long it will last.”

Rota do Oeste, a toll road operator that administers an 850-km (530-mile) stretch of the BR 163 highway that cuts through Mato Grosso said at around 2.30pm local time there were blockages in the regions of Nova Mutum, Sorriso, Sinop, Lucas do Rio Verde and Rondonopolis.

Evandro Lermen, a member of grain cooperative Coacen in the Brazilian ‘soy capital’ Sorriso, told Reuters corn shipments were not being disrupted by the protests.

He said trucks had not been not loaded with corn over the weekend because of a Nov. 2 national holiday.

WHEAT/CEPEA: Weather reduces supply in both Paraná and Argentina

As the wheat harvesting advances in Paraná, decreases in productivity and quality have been observed in many regions. This scenario, which is being observed in Argentina too, is due to the unfavorable weather. Also, Brazilian agents are aware of the possibility of grains exports from the Black Sea, however, Russia is not expected to renew the agreement. In this case, importers would have to purchase grains from the United States and Argentina.

In Paraná, Deral/Seab’s new estimates point to a decrease of 3.57 million tons in the state’s wheat production because of the drought and, after that, frosts and high rainfall. Besides, the quality of the wheat already harvested has decreased. By Oct. 24th, 63% of the wheat crops in PR had been harvested. Of the crops still developing, 63% were in good conditions; 29%, in average conditions; and 8%, in bad conditions, which is a better scenario than that in the previous week.

On the other hand, in Rio Grande do Sul, productivity is expected to be high, according to Emater. By Oct. 27th, 7% of the crops had been harvested. And according to Conab, by Oct. 22nd, 8% had been harvested in Santa Catarina, and 35.6%, in Brazil.

In Argentina, according to information from Bolsa de Rosário, with low rains during wheat sowing and crops development, the harvest may be the lowest since the 2015/16 season, estimated at 13.7 million tons. It is important to mention that last crop was a record in Argentina, totaling 23 million tons.

PRICES – Wheat prices are still rising in Brazil, majorly in Paraná. Between October 21 and 28, the prices paid to the wheat farmers in Paraná rose by 4.54%, and in Santa Catarina, by 1.64%; while in Rio Grande do Sul, values remained stable. In the wholesale market, quotations increased by 1.59% in PR, 1.13% in SC and 0.82% in São Paulo, however, values decreased 0.92% in RS. In the same period, the US dollar rose by 3.2%, to BRL 5.314 on Friday, 28.

Indonesia to Keep Zero CPO Export Levy If Prices Under $800/Ton

Indonesia will extend its crude palm oil exports levy waiver until the end of the year providing reference prices stay under $800/ton, according to the coordinating ministry for economic affairs.

Govt set CPO reference price at $770.88/ton for Nov. 1-15

Nutrien Agrees to Buy Fertilizer Retailer to Expand in Brazil

Nutrien Ltd. agreed to acquire Safra Rica, an agriculture-inputs retailer with operations in Sao Paulo and Minas Gerais states, company says in emailed statement.

  • Deal includes nine retail outlets with access to 1,800 active clients
    • Terms not disclosed
  • With the acquisition, Nutrien is on track to become one of the largest agricultural retailers in Latin America: statement
  • Safra Rica is Nutrien’s 7th acquisition in Brazil since 2000
  • Co. expanding footprint in a region where agriculture production is on the rise
  • Acquisition requires approval from Brazil’s antitrust regulator

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