Global Ag News for Apr 1.24

TOP HEADLINES

India mandates weekly reporting on wheat stocks to prevent hoarding

India has asked traders, major retailers and food processors to declare wheat stocks every Friday from April to prevent hoarding and price spikes, the government said on Friday.

The world’s second-biggest wheat consumer after China has been trying to contain wheat prices after heat waves curtailed production for two straight years, forcing the government to sell record volumes to boost domestic supplies.

India had imposed a limit on how much wheat stock traders could hold to moderate prices. However, the limit is set to expire on March 31st and after that, traders must declare their wheat stocks, the government said in a statement. The measure is aimed to “manage overall food security and prevent hoarding and unscrupulous speculation,” it added. The government is keen to replenish stocks by increasing wheat procurement this year and to do this effectively, they want to monitor private buying, said a trader.

“If needed, the government can again impose the stock limit to facilitate procurement,” he added. He declined to be named as the was not authorized to speak to the media.

Wheat inventories held in government warehouses dropped to 9.7 million metric tons at the start of this month, the lowest since 2017. In 2023, the government bought 26.2 million tons of wheat from local farmers, compared to its target of 34.15 million tons.

FUTURES & WEATHER

Wheat prices overnight are down 6 1/4 in SRW, down 12 1/4 in HRW, down 5 3/4 in HRS; Corn is down 2 3/4; Soybeans up 5 3/4; Soymeal down $0.20; Soyoil up 0.60.

Markets finished last week with wheat prices down 3/4 in SRW, down 17 1/2 in HRW, down 21 3/4 in HRS; Corn is unchanged; Soybeans up 4 3/4; Soymeal down $1.60; Soyoil up 0.91.

For the week and month so far wheat prices are down 6 1/4 in SRW, down 12 1/4 in HRW, down 5 3/4 in HRS; Corn is down 2 3/4; Soybeans up 5 3/4; Soymeal down $0.20; Soyoil up 0.60.

Year-To-Date nearby futures are down 11.8% in SRW, down 10.7% in HRW, down 11.6% in HRS; Corn is down 6.8%; Soybeans down 7.4%; Soymeal down 12.6%; Soyoil up 1.5%.

Chinese Ag futures (MAY 24) Soybeans down 2 yuan; Soymeal up 21; Soyoil up 68; Palm oil up 146; Corn up 1 — Malaysian Palm is up 63. Malaysian palm oil prices overnight were up 63 ringgit (+1.50%) at 4257.

There were no changes in registrations. Registration total: 438 SRW Wheat contracts; 0 Oats; 37 Corn; 499 Soybeans; 710 Soyoil; 26 Soymeal; 0 HRW Wheat.

Preliminary changes in futures Open Interest as of March 28 were: SRW Wheat down 7,850 contracts, HRW Wheat up 601, Corn up 40,967, Soybeans up 9,214, Soymeal down 1,776, Soyoil down 354

Brazil: Rain in Mato Grosso do Sul should continue periodically into Tuesday morning and sufficient rain will fall to improve topsoil moisture in many areas in the state. However, the southwest (where many Safrinha corn production areas are located) may not get as much rain as other parts of the state. Far southern Brazil will be drier biased through mid-week with some rain developing late this week and into next week.

Argentina: Rainy weather will return to southeastern Argentina this workweek resulting in 2.00 to 4.00 inches of rain over previously flooded areas.   The additional rain will not cause serious new flooding, but there will be some areas of light flooding. West-central and southern Argentina will experience limited rainfall for the next week to ten days whcih will be good for early season summer crop maturation and harvest progress.  Some areas may become a little too dry resulting in possible late season crop stress for some soybeans and corn.

Northern Plains: May not get much precipitation for a while.

Midwest: This week’s precipitation will be greatest in the eastern Midwest from Illinois and eastern Missouri to Ohio where enough will occur to bolster soil moisture and prompt wet field conditions that could delay early season fieldwork. There is some potential for strong to severe thunderstorms in the lower Midwest early to mid-week. Western Corn Belt precipitation will be lightest, although a little rain is expected outside of central and northern Minnesota and eastern North Dakota where snow cover is slowly melting.  Rainfall of 0.70 to 2.50 inches is expected from Illinois to Ohio and Michigan while 0.30 to 1.00 inches occurs in Iowa, Missouri, Kansas, and Nebraska with lighter amounts farther north.

Delta: Rainfall will be abundant in the coming ten days to two weeks leading to some disruption to spring fieldwork

The player sheet for 3/28 had funds: net buyers of 4,500 contracts of SRW wheat, buyers of 10,500 corn, buyers of 1,500 soybeans, sellers of 2,500 soymeal, and buyers of 1,000 soyoil.

TENDERS

  • WHEAT TENDER: Saudi Arabia issued a tender to buy 595,000 metric tons of wheat for June-July arrival, its state wheat buying agency, the General Food Security Authority (GFSA), said on Thursday. The deadline for submissions of price offers in the tender is Friday, March 29, traders said
  • VEGETABLE OIL SALE: Egypt’s state grains buyer, the General Authority for Supply Commodities (GASC), has bought around 35,250 metric tons of vegetable oils in an international tender, GASC and traders told Reuters.
  • CORN SALE: The Korea Feed Association (KFA) Incheon section in South Korea purchased about 66,000 metric tons of animal feed corn expected to be sourced from South America or South Africa in a private deal on Wednesday without issuing an international tender
  • CORN SALE: The Korea Feed Association (KFA) Busan section in South Korea purchased about 55,000 to 60,000 metric tons of animal feed corn expected to be sourced from either the United States or South America in a private deal on Thursday without issuing an international tender.
  • CORN SALE: South Korea’s Major Feedmill Group (MFG) has purchased an estimated 134,000 metric tonnes of animal feed corn to be sourced either from South America or South Africa in an international tender on Thursday.

PENDING TENDERS

  • WHEAT TENDER: Bangladesh’s state grains buyer issued an international tender to purchase 50,000 metric tons of milling wheat
  • RAW CANE SUGAR TENDER: Egypt’s state grains buyer, the General Authority for Supply Commodities (GASC,) on Monday extended the deadline for offers in its latest sugar tender for 50,000 metric tons of raw cane sugar to March 30, from a previous deadline of March 23. GASC said it is seeking offers that will remain valid until April 1 and added shipment periods in June and/or July and/or August.
  • MILLING WHEAT TENDER: Jordan’s state grain buyer has issued an international tender to buy up to 120,000 metric tons of milling wheat which can be sourced from optional origins.

 

News of the world

 

TODAY

CROP SURVEY: US Soybean Crush and Corn for Ethanol

The following is from a Bloomberg survey of six anlaysts.

  • Soybean crush seen at 196.7m bu in Feb., a 11.2% rise from a year ago
  • Crude and once-refined soybean-oil reserves at end of February seen at 2.255b lbs, down from 2.364b
  • Corn used in ethanol production seen up 10.5% y/y to 440.5
  • The USDA is scheduled to release its February Fats and Oils report along with the Grain Crushings report on April 1 at 3pm

Soybean oil use for U.S. biofuels production fell to 960 million lbs in January -EIA

Soybean oil used to produce biofuels in the United States fell to 960 million lbs used in January.

In December, soyoil used in biodiesel production was 1,141 million lbs. Soybean oil remains the largest U.S. biodiesel feedstock.

SOYBEAN/CEPEA: High demand from the food industry boosts soybean oil prices

Soybean oil prices have increased in the Brazilian market, influenced by the higher demand, especially from the food industry. Players are trying to guarantee having the product for the mid-term, since there are expectations of an increase in the biodiesel production in Brazil. It is worth noting that the soybean oil is the major raw material to produce biodiesel in Brazil, accounting for roughly 70%.

The biodiesel mixed into diesel oil is currently at 14% in Brazil, but it can increase to 25%.

The value of soy oil rose 0.9% between March 21 and 27, at 5,192.41 BRL per ton (in São Paulo city with 12% ICMS) on March 27. The average in the partial of this month is at BRL 5.093,03/ton, for an increase of 6.2% in relation to that in February, but downing 16.8% compared to February/23.

Soybean meal prices, in turn, are moving down. In order to meet the demand for oil, the volume of soybeans crushed may increase, resulting in a surplus of soybean meal. Moreover, the supply recovery in Argentina can limit Brazilian exports of this byproduct. In the domestic market, consumers have been buying only small amounts of soybean meal, expecting better opportunities to trade in the next weeks.

On the average of the regions surveyed by Cepea, soymeal prices dropped 1.4% in the last seven days and 5.2% comparing February and March.

SOYBEAN – Quotations are practically stable this week, due to differences between prices to sell and to purchase. Producers are away from closing trades, expecting rises in the coming weeks, while purchasers buy only to meet immediate needs, due to the possible higher supply in global terms.

From March 21-27, the ESALQ/BM&FBovespa Index (Paranaguá) decreased 0.8%, closing at BRL 123.75 per 60-kg bag on March 27. The CEPEA/ESALQ Index (Paraná) dropped 0.2%, to close at BRL 120.13 per 60-kg bag. On the average of the regions surveyed by Cepea, soybean prices upped 0.3% in the over-the-counter market (paid to farmers) and 0.2% in the wholesale market (deals between processors).

HARVEST – The soy harvest advanced over the last days, but activities may be interrupted, since there is a rain forecast in several Brazilian regions. Conab indicates that 66.3% of the national area had been harvested up to March 24, against 69.1% one year ago.

CORN/CEPEA: Rains favor crops; international decreases press values down in Brazil

Cepea, 28 – Producers in Brazil are focused on crop activities, offering batches in the spot market only when they need to make cash flow. The summer crop harvest has been advancing and the 2023/24 second crop planting is close to the end. The rainy weather over the last days has favored the development of the second crop in Brazil, bringing positive expectations about the production.

Some purchasers, mainly from consuming regions, have been operating more actively over the last days. In spite of that, corn quotations dropped, influenced by international price decreases.

From March 21 to 27, the ESALQ/BM&FBovespa Index (Campinas, SP) moved down 1.3%, closing at BRL 61.82/bag on March 27. In March, the decrease is 0.66%. On the average of the regions surveyed by Cepea, corn values dropped 0.1% in the wholesale market (deals between processors) but remained stable in the over-the-counter market (paid to farmers) over the last seven days.

PORTS – In the first 16 working days of March, the daily average of exports is 63% lower than that in March/23, according to data from Secex. In the partial of the month, sales had totaled 245 thousand tons, against 1.33 million tons verified in the same month last year.

CROPS – Rains in major producing regions have favored second corn crops. Data from Conab indicate that, up to March 24, 96.8% of the area in Brazil had been planted, advancing 4.5 and 5.7 percentage points in one week and in one year, respectively. As for the summer crop, the harvest had totaled 42.8% of the area, upping 5.8 and 0.9 p.p., respectively – data from Conab.

Strategie Grains cuts EU rapeseed crop forecast again

Strategie Grains lowered its forecast for this year’s rapeseed output in the European Union for a second consecutive month to 18.1 million metric tons, down from an earlier projection of 18.3 million, due mainly to a lower expected harvest in France. The new rapeseed crop forecast is now 9% below last year’s harvest of 19.9 million tons.

To compensate for the fall in domestic supplies in the 2024/25 season, the consultancy expects a rise in rapeseed imports from Australia and Ukraine.

Strategie Grains’ EU 2024 sunflower production forecast was virtually unchanged at 10.7 million tons, up 10% on 2023, while the soybean output forecast was held at 3.1 million tons, up 9% from last year.

Malaysia’s March Palm Oil Exports Seen At 1,292,130 Metric Tons – Amspec Agri

MALAYSIA’S MARCH PALM OIL EXPORTS SEEN AT 1,292,130 METRIC TONS VERSUS FEB’S 1,000,348 METRIC TONS – AMSPEC AGRI

Malaysia March Palm Oil Exports +20.5% M/m: Intertek

Following is a summary of Malaysia’s March palm oil exports according to Intertek Testing Services.

  • Total exports for March 2024: 1.333m tons
  • Crude palm oil exports: 278,670 tons, 20.9% of total
  • India & Subcontinent led all destinations for total exports: 311,130 tons

Egypt Aims to Buy 3.5m Tons of Local Wheat in 2024: Ministry

Egypt targets buying 3.5m tons of local wheat in the 2024 season from mid-April until mid-August, supply ministry says in statement.

Ukraine Starts Sunflower, Sugar Beet, Soybean Planting

Ukrainian farmers start sunflower, sugar beet and soybean sowing campaign, according to a statement from the agriculture ministry.

  • All regions of Ukraine have started sowing of spring grains, with planted area of 476,700 hectares including 68,300 hectares of wheat and 291,500 hectares of barley
  • NOTE: Last year as of March 30, Ukraine had planted 500,000 hectares of spring grains, including 107,700 hectares of wheat

Ukraine’s Grain Exports Drop 7.5% Y/y So Far in the Season

Ukraine’s grain exports in the season that started July 1 have reached 34.6m tons, down 7.5% from the same time a year ago, agriculture ministry data show.

The total includes:

  • 13.7m tons of wheat, including 1.9million tons so far in March
    • That’s about 7.5% higher y/y
  • 1.96m tons of barley, down 13.5% y/y
  • 18.6m tons of corn, down 15.5% y/y
  • NOTE: Almost all agricultural exports were transported via Ukraine’s Danube ports and the so-called Black Sea corridor

Bird Flu Found in Michigan, Idaho Cows as Virus Spreads in US

Highly pathogenic avian influenza has been discovered in dairy herds in Michigan and Idaho, indicating the virus is spreading into new US states.

The National Veterinary Services Laboratories has confirmed the presence of bird flu in a Michigan herd that recently received cows from Texas, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said on Friday. In a joint statement with the Food and Drug Administration and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the USDA also said presumptive positive test results have been received in New Mexico, Idaho, and Texas.

Similar to earlier cases, the virus strain found in Michigan appears to have been introduced by wild birds and transmission between cattle can’t be ruled out, the USDA said. Initial testing hasn’t found changes to the virus that would make it more transmissible to humans, and there continues to be no concern about the safety of the commercial milk supply.

There is concern the flu may have already spread across borders. Florian Krammer, professor at the department of microbiology at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, said on X that with bird flu cases now reported in several US states he “wouldn’t be surprised if there are infections in cows in Europe too.”

On March 27, Mexico’s National Service of Health, Safety and Agricultural Food Quality, known as Senasica, detected highly pathogenic AH5N2 bird flu at a family farm in Michoacan state, according to a statement from the Agriculture Ministry.

US Miss. River Grain Shipments Rise, Barge Rates Decline: USDA

Barge shipments down the Mississippi river increased to 844k tons in the week ending March 23 from 464k tons the previous week, according to the USDA’s weekly grain transportation report.

  • Barge shipments of corn rose 66.3% from the previous week
  • Soybean shipments up 102.9% w/w
  • St. Louis barge rates were $10.33 per short ton, a decline of $0.48 from the previous week

 

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