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Global Ag News Headlines for May 20

Overnight trade has SRW down roughly 2 cents, HRW down 2; HRS Wheat up 1, Corn is down 2 cents; Soybeans up 3, Soymeal up $1.50, and Soyoil down 5 points.

Chinese Ag futures (Sep) settled down 40 yuan, down 20 yuan in Corn, up 10 in Soymeal, up 8 in Soyoil, and up 20 in Palm Oil.

Malaysian palm oil prices were down 21 ringgit at 2,161 (basis August) weighed by cheaper soyoil futures.

U.S. Weather Forecast

Last night’s GFS model has a ridge of high pressure shown to build into and then sit over the central U.S. and Corn Belt May 29 – Jun. 3; the midday GFS model showed a ridge as well; though, last evening’s run showed it more expansive and a little stronger.

South America Weather Forecast

Last night’s GFS model run showed little to no changes with the meaningful rain event shown to impact Safrinha crop areas of Brazil late Thursday into early Saturday.

The player sheet had funds net buyers of 1,000 contracts of SRW Wheat; net bought 4,000 Corn; net sold 2,000 Soybeans; net sold 1,000 lots of Soymeal, and; net sold 2,000 Soyoil.

We estimate Managed Money net short 10,000 contracts of SRW Wheat; net short 226,000 Corn; net long 27,000 Soybeans; net short 19,000 lots of Soymeal, and; net short 3,000 Soyoil.

Preliminary Open Interest saw SRW Wheat futures up roughly 1,000 contracts; HRW Wheat up 5,200; Corn up 9,300; Soybeans down 4,100 contracts; Soymeal up 1,000 lots, and; Soyoil down 225.

There were changes in registrations (Soybeans down 1)—Registrations total 11 contracts for SRW Wheat; ZERO Oats; Corn ZERO; Soybeans 153; Soyoil 3,495 lots; Soymeal 517; Rice 230; HRW Wheat 17, and; HRS Wheat 488 contracts.


Tender Activity—Ethiopia bought 600,000t optional-origin wheat—Jordan passed on 120,000t optional-origin wheat—

U.S. farmers that grow crops including corn and soybeans will receive coronavirus assistance payments based on either half of their 2019 production or the supplies they had on hand as of Jan. 15, the government said

—The coronavirus aid is the latest in a round of government payments that farmers have come to depend on for survival as the agricultural economy has soured; growers already have received $28 billion during the past two years to weather the Trump administration’s trade wars

—The payments were set at 45 cents per bushel for soybeans, 32 cents per bushel for corn and 18 cents per bushel for hard red spring wheat; other crops such as barley, canola, cotton and oats also were eligible for payment under the plan

Crop scouts on the first day of a three-day tour of Kansas hard red winter wheat fields projected an average yield of 41.1 bushels per acre (bpa) for wheat in the north-central portion of the state and 51.7 bpa for wheat in northwest Kansas; the tour, organized by the Kansas Wheat Commission, the Kansas State University extension and the Kansas Department of Agriculture

Colorado’s 2020 winter wheat crop is projected at 54.2 million bushels, an official with Colorado Wheat, a state wheat promotion group, said

—The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) last week projected Colorado’s winter wheat crop at 61.050 million bushels

—Nebraska is on track to produce 42.075 million bushels of winter wheat with an average yield of 50.88 bushels per acre; figures compare with the USDA’s forecast for a 41.760 million-bushel Nebraska crop with an average yield of 48.0 bushels per acre

President Donald Trump said on Tuesday the United States should consider terminating trade deals under which it imports cattle as he looks to help U.S. ranchers hit hard by the coronavirus outbreak; the United States imports cattle from Mexico and Canada to supplement domestic supplies at lower prices and to slaughter in American plants run by companies like Tyson Foods Inc and JBS USA; bans could reignite trade disputes

Acting U.S. Department of Homeland Security chief Chad Wolf said Tuesday the Trump administration is “likely” to extend non-essential travel restrictions at U.S. land borders with Mexico and Canada that are set to expire on Wednesday.

Despite scenes of panic buying at grocery stores and worries about key suppliers’ restrictions on wheat exports in recent months, the world is swimming in grain; although major shippers from Russia to Romania moved to limit exports to protect domestic supplies amid the health crisis – with some measures still in place – there hasn’t been a major impact on trade and supplies should keep rising; with large harvests looming in many countries, global wheat stockpiles are expected to hit a record this year and climb even higher in 2021; while there’s a risk that any adverse weather could change that, immediate concerns about grain shortages on the back of lockdowns proved short-lived; supply chains have remained intact, export curbs have been loose enough to keep sales flowing and countries that imposed curbs realized their own supplies were ample; plus, the pandemic is pummeling global grain demand.

Manitoba crop report

Soil temperatures dropped early in the week from persistent cold nights and freezing temperatures before warming up on the weekend; resulting seed germination and emergence has been slow, though expected to improve rapidly with warm conditions are a large jump in seeding progress; producers are considering switching out of longer-season corn crops in favor of shorter season cereals if corn is not planted by the end of this week in the Eastern, Central, and Southwest regions; many parts of the Interlake, Central and Southwest regions are unable to seed corner-corner, as frequent wet spots prevent machinery access; delays and stuck equipment are common

Drier-than-normal weather conditions in Brazil have prompted agribusiness consultancy AgRural to cut its forecast for corn production for the second time since February

—AgRural now predicts farmers in the center south of Brazil will produce 66.7 million tonnes of the so-called second corn, which is planted after soybeans are harvested and account for about 75% of Brazil’s total output in the season

—The consultancy had initially forecast a second corn crop of 69.1 million tonnes in February and of 67.9 million tons in March

—Last year, AgRural estimated Brazilian farmers produced 69.3 million tonnes of second corn, the statement said

—Brazil’s total corn production this season is estimated at 97.7 million tonnes, compared with 100 million tons in the 2018/2019 cycle, AgRural said.

Russian exports of wheat increased to 7.3 million tons in the first three months of 2020 from 6.6 million tons a year ago, official customs data showed

Russia plans to send a new supply of wheat to North Korea to help the country before it starts harvesting its winter barley in June, the Interfax news agency reported, citing the Russian embassy to North Korea

Germany’s winter wheat sown area for the 2020 harvest has been reduced by 7% on the year to about 2.84 million hectares, the national statistics office said; farmers had turned to other crops such as rapeseed

Grain growers say China’s decision to impose tariffs of up to 80 per cent on barley imports from Australia could cost the country $500 million a year; grain and trading groups said in a statement the move was likely to put a stop to Australian barley exports to China because it artificially increased the price of the grain; for a number of years China has been Australia’s largest barley export market and Australia is the largest supplier of barley to China; this imposed duty makes Australian barley less competitive into the Chinese market

It’s the trade dispute that has soured relations between Australia and China and threatens a $500m a year blow to the Australian economy; China imported 2.5m tons of barley from Australia last financial year, which is down from a peak of 5.9m tons in 2016-17, but still very significant

Australia has ruled out retaliating for China’s tariff of over 80 per cent placed on its exports of barley, insisting that the two countries have not entered into a trade war

Japan’s usage of corn in animal feed fell to 48.5% in March, compared with 48.8% a year earlier, preliminary data from the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries showed

India’s oilmeal exports dropped 60% in April from a year earlier, as higher government-set oilseed prices made New Delhi’s overseas shipments uncompetitive, a leading trade body said; India sold 102,001 tons of oilmeal on the world market in April 2020, the start of the 2020-21 fiscal year

Exports of Malaysian palm oil products for May 1 – 20 rose 11.6 percent to 772,145 tons from 691,910 tons shipped during April 1 – 20, cargo surveyor Intertek Testing Services said


Small oil palm farmers face survival crisis in risk to future output

  • Palm oil price slump due to COVID-19 hurts smallholders
  • Farmers in Malaysia, Indonesia cut spend on fertilizers
  • Move to hit production this year and next

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