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Global Ag News for Oct 25.22

TOP HEADLINES

Australia Wheat Crop Upped, Quality Worries Loom: USDA FAS

Australia’s wheat crop in the 2022-23 season is seen at 34m tons amid abundant moisture, USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service said in a report.

  • That would be a third straight bumper crop and tops the agency’s latest official forecast of 33m tons
  • Export estimate raised to 26m tons, versus USDA official estimate at 25m tons
  • “With above-average rainfall forecast over the coming months, the key risk would be rainfall at harvest causing grain quality downgrades”

FUTURES & WEATHER

Wheat prices overnight are down 7 in SRW, down 8 1/4 in HRW, down 9 1/4 in HRS; Corn is down 2 1/4; Soybeans up 2 1/4; Soymeal up $0.12; Soyoil down 0.33.

For the week so far wheat prices are down 17 1/4 in SRW, down 16 1/4 in HRW, down 12 1/4 in HRS; Corn is down 4 3/4; Soybeans down 22 1/2; Soymeal down $0.89; Soyoil up 0.38.

For the month to date wheat prices are down 89 3/4 in SRW, down 61 3/4 in HRW, down 33 1/2 in HRS; Corn is up 1 3/4; Soybeans up 8; Soymeal up $6.90; Soyoil up 9.98.

Year-To-Date nearby futures are up 8% in SRW, up 16% in HRW, down -3% in HRS; Corn is up 15%; Soybeans up 3%; Soymeal down -1%; Soyoil up 28%.

Chinese Ag futures (JAN 23) Soybeans down 18 yuan; Soymeal up 1; Soyoil down 56; Palm oil up 42; Corn down 20 — Malaysian palm oil prices overnight were up 28 ringgit (+0.68%) at 4129.

There were no changes in registrations. Registration total: 3,080 SRW Wheat contracts; 0 Oats; 0 Corn; 5 Soybeans; 96 Soyoil; 296 Soymeal; 40 HRW Wheat.

Preliminary changes in futures Open Interest as of October 24 were: SRW Wheat up 3,493 contracts, HRW Wheat up 835, Corn up 8,023, Soybeans down 11,660, Soymeal up 3,749, Soyoil up 6,884.

Northern Plains Forecast: Mostly dry Tuesday-Wednesday. Isolated showers south Thursday. Mostly dry Friday. Temperatures near to below normal through Thursday, near to above normal Friday. Outlook: Mostly dry Saturday-Tuesday. Scattered showers Wednesday. Temperatures above normal Saturday-Tuesday, near to above normal Wednesday.

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

Western Midwest Forecast: Scattered showers south Tuesday. Mostly dry Wednesday-Friday. Temperatures near to above normal Tuesday-Friday.

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

The player sheet for Oct. 24 had funds: net sellers of 4,000 contracts of SRW wheat, sellers of 2,500 corn, sellers of 9,000 soybeans, sellers of 4,000 soymeal, and  buyers of 1,000 soyoil.

TENDERS

  • FEED WHEAT PURCHASE: Importers in Thailand are believed to have purchased about 60,000 tonnes of animal feed wheat expected to be sourced either from Australia or the Black Sea region in a tender which closed late last week, European traders said on Tuesday.
  • WHEAT PURCHASE: Saudi Arabia’s state grains buyer SAGO said it bought 566,000 tonnes of hard milling wheat in an international tender for shipment March-April 2023. The purchase was at an average price of $384.75 a tonne CIF, SAGO said. Origins offered were the European Union, Black Sea region, North America, South America and Australia with the seller having the option of selecting the origin supplied, SAGO said.
  • CORN TENDER: Leading South Korean feedmaker Nonghyup Feed Inc. (NOFI) has issued an international tender to purchase up to 138,000 tonnes of animal feed corn to be sourced from optional origins, European traders said on Tuesday.
  • VEGETABLE OILS TENDER: Egypt’s state grains buyer, the General Authority for Supply Commodities (GASC), said on Sunday it was seeking vegetable oils in an international purchasing tender for arrival Dec. 10-30.
  • WHEAT TENDER: Algeria’s state grains agency OAIC issued an international tender to buy soft milling wheat for shipment to two ports only
  • WHEAT TENDER UPDATE: Iraq changed the closing date of its international tender for 50,000 tonnes of wheat to Oct. 30 instead of Oct. 24
  • SUGAR TENDER: Egypt’s state grains buyer, the General Authority for Supply Commodities, is seeking 50,000 tonnes of raw sugar of any origin on behalf of the Egyptian Sugar & Integrated Industries Company.

PENDING TENDERS

  • RICE TENDER: South Korea’s Agro-Fisheries & Food Trade Corp issued an international tender to purchase an estimated 90,100 tonnes of rice sourced from the United States, Vietnam and other origins, European traders said.
  • WHEAT TENDER: Jordan’s state grain buyer issued an international tender to buy 120,000 tonnes of milling wheat
  • WHEAT TENDER: A government agency in Pakistan issued a new international tender to purchase and import 500,000 tonnes of wheat
  • BARLEY TENDER: Jordan’s state grain buyer is seeking 120,000 tonnes of barley in an international tender with the deadline set for Oct. 26, a government source said.

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TODAY

USDA CROP PROGRESS: Corn 61% Harvested, Soybeans 80% Harvested

Highlights from the report:

  • Corn harvest 61% vs 45% last week, and 64% a year ago
  • Corn mature 97% vs 94% last week, and 100% a year ago
  • Soybeans harvested 80% vs 63% last week, and 71% a year ago
  • Winter wheat planted 79% vs 69% last week, and 79% a year ago
  • Winter wheat emerged 49% vs 38% last week, and 53% a year ago
  • Cotton 30% G/E vs 31% last week, and 64% a year ago
  • Cotton harvested 45% vs 37% last week, and 34% a year ago

US Inspected 471k Tons of Corn for Export, 2.889m of Soybean

In week ending Oct. 20, according to the USDA’s weekly inspections report.

  • Soybeans: 2,889k tons vs 1,925k the previous wk, 2,568k a yr ago
  • Wheat: 126k tons vs 234k the previous wk, 197k a yr ago
  • Corn: 471k tons vs 460k the previous wk, 635k a yr ago

Indonesia’s September Palm Oil Exports Fall 36% M/m: Intertek

Exports dropped to 2.58m tons in September from 4.04m tons a month earlier, cargo surveyor Intertek Testing Services says in an emailed statement.

  • Sept. shipment by grade:
    • 407,426 tons of crude palm oil
    • 953,410 tons of RBD palm olein
    • 475,943 tons of RBD palm oil
  • Sept. vs Aug. sales by destination:
    • India and subcontinent 1.01m tons vs 1.35m tons
    • China 442,656 tons vs 630,850 tons
    • Europe 452,066 tons vs 709,558 tons

Ukraine Grain-Deal Coordinator Is Discussing How to Ease Backlog

There are currently 113 vessels registered for inspection and a further 60 vessels are waiting in Turkish territorial waters, the Joint Coordination Centre says in a notice.

  • “The JCC is discussing ways to address the backlog noting that the next harvest is approaching and silos in the Ukrainian ports covered under the initiative will be soon full again”
  • The total cargo of the 97 loaded vessels is 2,125,533 metric tons, while the potential cargo of the inbound vessels is approximately 1.9 million tons
  • The JCC has increased its inspection teams to five and is discussing ways to improve procedures and efficiencies

Ukraine expects its winter sowing area will fall by 30-40% – deputy minister

Ukraine’s winter sowing area for the 2023 harvest could fall by 30% to 40% due to the Russian invasion, Deputy Agriculture Minister Markiyan Dmytrasevych told a Ukrainian-German business conference on Monday.

Ukraine traditionally sows winter wheat which accounts for around 95% of its wheat harvest.

Dmytrasevych gave no exact acreage for the crop.

Ukraine keeps 2023 winter wheat sowing area forecast unchanged despite delays

Ukraine is keeping its forecast of the winter wheat sowing area for the 2023 harvest unchanged at 3.8 million hectares despite a delay caused by unfavourable weather, deputy agriculture minister Taras Vysotskiy told Reuters on Tuesday.

Ukraine sowed more than 6 million hectares of winter wheat for the 2022 harvest, but a large area has been occupied by Russian forces since the invasion in February and only 4.6 million hectares were harvested.

Impending Anticyclone Seen Improving Ukraine’s Crop Conditions

Weather conditions for Ukraine’s winter crops, including wheat and barley, are expected to improve in the wake of a strong anticyclone, which is approaching the war-torn country, Tetiana Adamenko, head of the agriculture department at the state-controlled Hydrometeorological Center, said by phone.

  • “There will be two more rainy days” across the country “and then a lovely anticyclone” bringing warm and dry weather
  • “This is just ideal conditions for early development of late crops”
  • If such weather persists through November, that would offset the negative consequences of late planting this year amid an extremely wet first half of Autumn
  • NOTE: September 2022 — one of the wettest in a decade — significantly delayed Ukraine’s sowing of winter crops, with only about 60% of them planted by Oct. 18, according to the latest available data

EU Cuts Corn, Sunflower Yield Outlook After Dry Summer: Mars

“As the season comes to an end, the impact of the dry summer is also becoming clearer,” the EU’s Monitoring Agricultural Resources unit said Monday in a report that further cut yield forecasts for corn, sunflower and soybean crops.

  • MARS reduced corn yield estimate to 6.34 tons per hectare, down from 6.39 tons per hectare in September
  • Sunflower yield estimate cut to 1.97 tons per hectare from 2.05 tons per hectare
  • Weather favored winter crop sowing in large parts of Europe: Mars
    • Rain deficits in eastern Romania and Bulgaria “have raised no immediate consequences for the sowing of winter cereals, which can still be performed in a suitable window during the coming weeks”
  • Rapeseed sowing faced challenges due to weather in some producers, but France had a good start to the season

WHEAT/CEPEA: Harvesting advances in BR; agents monitor crops quality and international supply

The agents in the Brazilian wheat sector are closely monitoring both the progress of the harvesting in Brazil and the quality of the wheat being harvested, mainly in Paraná, where some crops were damaged by heavy rains. In Santa Catarina, estimates point to higher production, while in Argentina, the top wheat supplier to Brazil, the harvest is forecast to be even lower.

In Paraná, 54% of the wheat crop had been harvested by October 17th, according to Deral/Seab. Of the crops that are still developing, 60% were in good conditions; 28%, in average conditions; and 12%, in bad conditions, a worse scenario than that observed in the previous week, due to the rainy weather. In Rio Grande do Sul, activities have been slow, with only 5% harvested by October 20th, according to Emater/RS.

In Santa Catarina, 2.6% of the wheat crop had been harvested by the end of September, according to Epagri/Cepa. The are sown with wheat is expected to be 34% larger than that last season, estimated at 137.6 thousand hectares; productivity is forecast to grow by 3%. Thus, the output may hit 477.8 thousand tons, 37% higher than that from 2021.

In Argentina, production estimates were once again revised down by the Bolsa de Cereales, to 15.2 million tons in the 2022/23 season, due to the damages caused by frosts. Of the crops not harvested yet, 52% are in bad conditions; 37%, in average conditions; and only 11% in good conditions – the scenario last week was worse than the in the previous week. In Russia, SovEcon has revised up production estimates to 100.6 million tons, 0.6% up from that forecast last month.

PRICES – Despite the expectations for a high harvest, the worse conditions of part of the crops have been raising wheat prices in Brazil. Between October 14 and 21, the prices paid to the wheat farmers in Paraná rose by 4%; in Rio Grande do Sul, by 1.54%; and in Santa Catarina, by 1.51%. In the wholesale market, values increased by 3.14% in PR, 1.42% in SC and 1.1% in São Paulo, however, values decreased 0.13% in RS.

U.S. nitrogen exports jump as Europe scrambles for fertilizer

U.S. exports of nitrogen fertilizers jumped to a multi-year high this summer after surging natural gas prices in Europe drove up costs of producing the crop nutrient there, making U.S. shipments more competitive.

The brisk U.S. sales highlight the far-reaching effect of the war in Ukraine on global food and energy supplies. Russia, under financial sanctions, is a major producer of fertilizer and natural gas, key in making nitrogen products to boost yields of corn and other crops.

Since Russia’s February invasion of Ukraine, Europe started weaning itself off Russian natural gas and a pipeline transporting ammonia from Russia to a Ukraine port shut down .

Tight fertilizer supplies have driven up crop nutrient prices so much worldwide that the United Nations warned this month of a “future crisis” of availability. European companies have been forced to close some fertilizer plants due to high costs.

Exports from the United States, the world’s third-largest producer, soared to 370,000 short tons of nutrient in August, more than double the year-earlier total, according to the most recent U.S. Census Bureau data, compiled by industry group The Fertilizer Institute (TFI) for Reuters. That figure is the highest monthly total since TFI began tracking the data in 2013.

European buyers are outbidding domestic buyers in both the United States and other exporters like Indonesia and Malaysia, said Alistair Wallace, principal at Argus Media in London.

Despite the surge in exports, separate TFI data shows that as of June, U.S. nitrogen fertilizer supply was at its second-highest level in the last decade, indicating a global dislocation, rather than shortage.

It is not yet clear whether the U.S. produced more than usual in July and August, or diverted a larger share of supplies to Europe, said Jason Troendle, economist at TFI, whose members include CF Industries and Nutrien

The United States is historically a small exporter, and its ability to backfill markets is limited, Troendle said.

The countries with the biggest year-over-year increases in U.S. purchases are in Europe – France, Belgium, Norway and Lithuania – as well as Morocco, Chile and Brazil, Troendle said.

European countries typically buy most of their imported urea, a form of nitrogen fertilizer, from North Africa, but are now purchasing it further afield, Wallace said.

EU nitrogen prices eased in mid-October as some European plants resumed production due to softening natural gas prices, he said.

European farmers are not able to stock up on fertilizer as much as they should ahead of planting next spring due to high prices and tight supply, said Pekka Pesonen, secretary-general of European farming group Copa-Cogeca.

US Sept. Pork Supplies in Cold Storage Rose to 538M Pounds

According to the USDA’s Oct. 24 cold storage report released on the agency’s website.

  • Total pork rose 14.5% from Sept. of last year
  • Pork belly supplies rose to 36.6m pounds from 12.9m last year
  • Beef supplies rose to 522.9m pounds from 439.6m last year

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