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Global Ag News for Nov 16.22

TOP HEADLINES

Russia wants no disruption of global food security efforts, official says

Russia wants no disruption of global food security efforts, Russia’s deputy foreign minister said in an interview with the Izvestia daily, signalling that a deal allowing Ukraine to export grain via the Black Sea could be rolled over smoothly.

The deal is due to roll over on Nov. 19 unless there are objections. Moscow has said its agreement depends on provisions to ensure it can export its own grain and fertiliser despite the obstacles created by Western sanctions.

“We are people for whom the humanitarian dimension of the issue is not an empty word,” Sergei Vershinin was quoted as saying in the interview released by Izvestia early on Wednesday.

Both Ukraine and Russia are major global grain exporters. Russia is the world’s largest wheat exporter and a major supplier of fertilisers, crop and soil nutrients, to global markets.

If Western statements about exemptions from sanctions for Russia’s food exports are put into practice, “everything would continue on normal terms” for the Black Sea grain deal, he said.

When asked if Russia would support Turkey’s recent proposal to remove a time-frame from the deal, he said that the current duration period – 120-days – seems “justified.”

Vershinin also said that the state lender Rosselkhozbank, which has been a main part of Russia’s demands in the topic, was ready to provide guarantees for dealing with food and fertiliser transactions only if its access to the international SWIFT bank payments system was restored, Izvestia said.

FUTURES & WEATHER

Wheat prices overnight are down 18 3/4 in SRW, down 14 in HRW, down 11 1/2 in HRS; Corn is down 5 3/4; Soybeans down 10 1/4; Soymeal down $0.20; Soyoil down 0.47.

For the week so far wheat prices are down 6 in SRW, up 1 1/2 in HRW, up 12 3/4 in HRS; Corn is up 1/2; Soybeans down 3; Soymeal up $0.14; Soyoil down 0.34.

For the month to date wheat prices are down 70 in SRW, down 33 3/4 in HRW, down 18 3/4 in HRS; Corn is down 33 1/4; Soybeans up 27 1/2; Soymeal down $14.10; Soyoil up 3.59.

Year-To-Date nearby futures are up 5% in SRW, up 18% in HRW, down -2% in HRS; Corn is up 12%; Soybeans up 9%; Soymeal down -1%; Soyoil up 36%.

Chinese Ag futures (JAN 23) Soybeans up 6 yuan; Soymeal down 1; Soyoil up 78; Palm oil down 52; Corn down 13 –Malaysian palm oil prices overnight were down 45 ringgit (-1.12%) at 3988.

There were changes in registrations (-115 Soybeans). Registration total: 3,056 SRW Wheat contracts; 0 Oats; 0 Corn; 176 Soybeans; 39 Soyoil; 278 Soymeal; 5 HRW Wheat.

Preliminary changes in futures Open Interest as of November 15 were: SRW Wheat up 1,231 contracts, HRW Wheat down 1,476, Corn down 14,680, Soybeans up 724, Soymeal down 4,291, Soyoil up 2,538.

Brazil Grains & Oilseeds Forecast: Rio Grande do Sul and Parana: Mostly dry through Saturday. Temperatures near to below normal through Friday, near to above normal Saturday. Mato Grosso, MGDS and southern Goias: Isolated to scattered showers north through Saturday. Temperatures near normal through Saturday.

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

Northern Plains Forecast: Isolated snow through Saturday. Temperatures below to well below normal through Saturday. Outlook: Mostly dry Sunday-Thursday. Temperatures below to well below normal Sunday-Monday, near to below normal Tuesday-Wednesday, near to above normal Thursday.

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

Western Midwest Forecast: Isolated to scattered snow showers through Saturday. Temperatures below to well below normal through Saturday.

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

The player sheet for Nov. 15 had funds: net buyers of 4,000 contracts of SRW wheat, buyers of 5,000 corn, buyers of 8,000 soybeans, buyers of 2,500 soymeal, and  buyers of 2,500 soyoil.

TENDERS

  • SOYBEAN SALES: The U.S. Department of Agriculture confirmed on Tuesday private U.S. soybean sales totaling 261,272 tonnes to Mexico for shipment in the 2022/23 marketing year.
  • CORN SALES: The U.S. Department of Agriculture confirmed on Tuesday private U.S. corn sales totaling 230,185 tonnes to Mexico for shipment in the 2022/23 marketing year.
  • FOOD WHEAT TENDER: Japan’s Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF) is seeking to buy a total of 94,687 tonnes of food-quality wheat from the United States and Canada in regular tenders that will close on Thursday.
  • FAILED WHEAT TENDER: 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.

PENDING TENDERS

  • RICE TENDER: South Korea’s Agro-Fisheries & Food Trade Corp issued an international tender to purchase an estimated 50,500 tonnes of rice to be sourced from the United States, European traders said. The deadline for submissions was Nov. 9.
  • FEED WHEAT, BARLEY TENDER: Japan’s Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF) said on Wednesday it will seek 70,000 tonnes of feed wheat and 40,000 tonnes of feed barley via a simultaneous buy and sell (SBS) auction that will be held on Nov. 16.
  • BARLEY TENDER: Jordan’s state grains buyer issued a new international tender to purchase 120,000 tonnes of animal feed barley, traders said. The deadline for submission of price offers in the tender is Nov. 16.

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TODAY

SLUGGISH ETHANOL CONSUMPTION AND LOW CORN EXPORTS BOOST FEED AND RESIDUAL CORN USE – Refinitiv Commodities Research

2022/23  U.S. CORN CONSUMPTION FOR FEED AND RESIDUAL USE: 5,363.35 MILLION BUSHELS, UP 1.6%  FROM LAST UPDATE

On November 2, Refinitiv raised 2022/23 U.S. corn production to 13.9 [13.7–14.1] billion bushels due to good weather conditions and rapid harvest pace in the Corn Belt. With corn consumption for ethanol below trend and corn exports at a 6-year low, the feed and residual corn use is the only category taking advantage of the increased U.S. corn supply.

The beef industry is on high demand in the U.S. On November 15, the CME feeder cattle index, which indicates the feeder cattle demand, was at $175.23. This represents 5.98% over YTD and 5-year high levels. In addition, the accumulated U.S. beef exports reached 806.9 thousand metric tons (M.T.) for the third week of November. Japan and Korea continued to be the primary buyers of U.S. beef. In November, the USDA set the Grain Consuming Animal Units (GCAU) at 99.24, only 0.75% below the previous season.

The livestock inventories are recovering, and the prices are increasing with the raised demand. Besides, corn prices have decreased with a clearer supply picture, resulting in better profits for the sector. Refinitiv increases 2022/23 Feed & Residual Corn Use to 5,363.35 MBU, a 1.6% increase from the last update, and 63.35 MBU above USDA November’s projection.

Argentina soybean sales stall near 72% of current harvest

Argentine farmers’ soybean sales inched up last week, reaching 72.2% of the 2021/22 harvest of the crop, data from the Agriculture Ministry showed on Tuesday, slightly behind the 74.2% sold at the same point last year.

Argentina is the world’s top exporter of processed soy meal and soybean oil, an important input for animal feed. It is also the No. 3 corn exporter globally and an important producer of wheat despite a drought that has hammered the crop.

Farmers sold about 249,300 tonnes of soy from Nov. 3-9, down by nearly half compared with the same week during the previous season, the data showed. Argentina’s 2021/22 soy harvest is estimated at 44 million tonnes.

Soybean sales had surged in September to 13.3 million tonnes, around three times the monthly average, after the government issued a preferential exchange rate to spur producers to offload inventory and bring in much-needed foreign currency.

Argentina’s 2022/2023 soybean planting season, severely delayed by drought, is expected to pick up speed thanks to rains over the weekend, although the rainfall fell short of what was needed in three-quarters of the Pampas region, the Rosario grains exchange said in a report.

Argentine farmers have also sold 70.4% of the 59 million-tonne 2021/2022 corn crop, according to the ministry, about 2 percentage points down from sales notched during the same period in the previous season.

Planting of 2022/2023 corn, which kicked off in September, was delayed by drought which forced farmers to cut the area planted with corn to its lowest level in six years, according to data from the Rosario grains exchange.

The exchange recently lowered its wheat production forecast to 11.8 million tonnes due to drought and frost. On Thursday, the government will share its first estimate for the 2022/2023 wheat harvest.

UK 2023 Wheat Area Seen Steady, Fertilizer Could Dent Crop: AHDB

The UK is likely to plant 1.803m hectares of wheat in the 2023 season, down just 0.1% from the current year, according to results of an annual farmer survey posted by the Agriculture & Horticulture Development Board.

  • High fertilizer prices could hamper the quality or quantity of the next harvest, if farmers curb use
  • Barley area seen at 1.089m hectares, down 1.7% y/y
  • Rapeseed area seen at 415k hectares, up 13% y/y

EU Soft-Wheat Exports Up 9.5% Y/y; Corn Imports More Than Double

EU soft-wheat exports during the season that began July 1 reached 13.35m tons as of Nov. 13, compared with 12.19m tons in a similar period a year earlier, the European Commission said on its website.

  • Leading destinations include Algeria (1.88m tons), Morocco (1.73m tons) and Egypt (1.5m tons)
  • EU barley exports were at 2.69m tons, compared with 4.38m tons a year earlier
  • EU corn imports at 10.85m tons, against 4.77m tons a year earlier

India Soybean Output May Rise 1.3% to 12M Tons in 2022-23: Group

Soybean production in the year that began on Oct. 1 may climb from 11.9m tons in 2021-22, according to the Soybean Processors Association of India.

  • Opening stockpiles estimated at 2.52m tons vs 183,000 tons a year earlier
  • Imports seen at 200,000 tons vs 555,000 tons
  • Soybean meal exports in 2022-23 likely at 1.4m tons vs 644,000 tons a year ago

USDA to consult exporters in early 2023 on new sales reporting system

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has no time frame for re-launching upgrades to its weekly export sales reports after a failed roll-out in August, and will spend the first quarter working with exporters to address any problems, a USDA official said on Tuesday.

Exporters are required by law to report sales of U.S. agricultural commodities to the USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service, which reports weekly export sales each Thursday. The reports are closely watched by grain and livestock traders.

Technical problems forced the USDA to retract its first export sales report on the new system on Aug. 25, sending traders scrambling. The agency then withheld further reports for three weeks, until Sept. 15, when the government resumed releasing reports through its legacy system.

In early 2023, the USDA plans to hold training webinars with exporters and collect feedback about the government’s new 2.0 export sales reporting system, and resolve any issues before the government attempts another roll-out.

“We have yet to develop a time frame for another launch attempt for the 2.0 system, but we hope that much of the engagement with industry will occur in the first quarter of the next calendar year,” Patrick Packnett, a deputy administrator with the Foreign Agricultural Service, said in an online USDA data meeting on Tuesday.

“We understand how important this data is to our agricultural stakeholders and we truly regret the lapse in data availability that resulted from the unsuccessful launch of the system,” Packnett said.

The USDA plans to survey data users and test its new system with exporters before assessing when to schedule another launch, he said.

The government is also working on a way to offer a preview of the new export sales system, Packnett said. He described the existing legacy system as “antiquated.”

Food Security ‘Way More Complicated’ Than Energy: Gro’s Menker

Food security is about tens of thousands of products, with different rules that govern how they grow, and climate change is constantly disrupting those flows, Gro Intelligence CEO Sara Menker said in a Bloomberg TV interview.

  • Covid Zero policy has reduced China’s demand for vegetable oils by 25-30% over the past year; restaurant demand is down substantially
  • Asked about the impact of China’s reopening on global agricultural markets, she said “timing is everything”
  • It will depend on where producing regions are at the time of reopening and the level of inventories
  • NOTE: Gro Intelligence is a company that uses data and AI to make predictions about climate change and food security

Food Prices Will Likely Be Lower Next Year, Cargill CEO Says

  • Still, just one bad crop would be enough to send prices higher
  • Crop demand for food and fuel can be met with higher ouput

Food prices will probably decline next year, even as global crop stockpiles stay very tight, especially for oilseeds, said David MacLennan, chief executive officer of Cargill Inc., America’s largest private company.

“All it takes is one really bad crop, let’s say in North America or South America, to really send prices higher,” he said at the Bloomberg New Economy Forum in Singapore on Wednesday.

World food costs jumped to a record in March after the Russian invasion of Ukraine choked off supplies from one of the world’s top exporters. Prices have since declined after a UN-brokered deal to allow ships with Ukrainian grain to pass safely through the Black Sea. Talks are currently taking place to renew that agreement, which expires on Nov. 19.

MacLennan said the solution to the food-versus-fuel debate is to boost global crop production. “We don’t think it’s going to be an either/or dynamic,” he said. “It can be food and fuel.” Regenerative agricultural practices, greater yields and more use of technology can increase output so that it can meet demand from both sectors, he said.

USDA to move corn, soy acreage adjustments to Sept report permanently

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will permanently include updated acreage estimates for corn, soybeans, sorghum and sugarbeets in its monthly U.S. crop production reports every September, a month earlier than in most prior years, an official with the agency’s statistical arm said on Tuesday.

Before 2021, the USDA published acreage updates for those crops in its October reports. But for the last two years, the government said its data was “sufficiently complete” to include in its September editions.

The USDA will continue with the September acreage revisions going forward, Lance Honig with the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service said in an online USDA data meeting on Tuesday.

The USDA will not release acreage adjustments for those crops in October or November, unless unusual circumstances, such as a weather event, require revisions, Honig said.

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