Global Ag News for Aug 16.23
Ukraine Recap: Russian Drone Attack Causes Damage at Danube Port
Russia launched drone attacks in Odesa in southern Ukraine overnight in which warehouses and grain storage facilities at one port on the Danube river were damaged, according to Oleh Kiper, the regional governor.
A deputy Ukrainian defense minister said troops have liberated the strategically important village of Urozhayne in the south, which is on the main path of the offensive to cut off Russia’s land bridge to the Crimea region.
Separately, a container ship departed Odesa on Wednesday via a new interim corridor established by the government in Kyiv, Deputy Prime Minister Oleksandr Kubrakov said in a post on Facebook. It’s the first to leave from Ukraine’s seaport in a month after Russia pulled out of a deal establishing a route for the safe passage of ships transporting grain in the Black Sea.
FUTURES & WEATHER
Wheat prices overnight are up 6 3/4 in SRW, up 2 in HRW, up 6 in HRS; Corn is up 2 3/4; Soybeans up 9; Soymeal up $1.30; Soyoil up 0.75.
For the week so far wheat prices are down 23 1/4 in SRW, down 18 1/2 in HRW, down 22 1/4 in HRS; Corn is down 9; Soybeans up 6 3/4; Soymeal down $6.90; Soyoil up 2.41.
For the month to date wheat prices are down 61 1/4 in SRW, down 82 in HRW, down 61 1/2 in HRS; Corn is down 34 3/4; Soybeans down 17 1/2; Soymeal down $14.10; Soyoil up 2.64.
Year-To-Date nearby futures are down 23.6% in SRW, down 16.8% in HRW, down 15.6% in HRS; Corn is down 31.3%; Soybeans down 12.3%; Soymeal down 15.1%; Soyoil up 4.5%.
Chinese Ag futures (NOV 23) Soybeans up 36 yuan; Soymeal down 19; Soyoil up 92; Palm oil up 144; Corn down 34 — Malaysian palm oil prices overnight were up 53 ringgit (+1.40%) at 3836.
There were no changes in registrations. Registration total: 1,398 SRW Wheat contracts; 448 Oats; 0 Corn; 41 Soybeans; 117 Soyoil; 0 Soymeal; 147 HRW Wheat.
Preliminary changes in futures Open Interest as of August 15 were: SRW Wheat up 9,594 contracts, HRW Wheat down 1,099, Corn up 12,664, Soybeans up 5,371, Soymeal up 1,135, Soyoil up 3,514.
Northern Plains: Mostly dry through Friday. Isolated showers Saturday. Temperatures near to below normal through Thursday, near to above normal Friday-Saturday. Outlook: Isolated showers Sunday-Tuesday. Mostly dry Wednesday-Thursday. Temperatures near to above normal Sunday-Thursday.
Central/Southern Plains: Mostly dry through Saturday. Temperatures near to below normal north and above normal south through Thursday, near to above normal Friday, above normal Saturday. Outlook: Mostly dry Sunday-Thursday. Temperatures above normal Sunday-Thursday.
Western Midwest: Isolated showers north Wednesday. Mostly dry Thursday-Saturday. Temperatures below normal Tuesday, near to below normal Wednesday-Friday, above normal Saturday.
Eastern Midwest: Mostly dry Wednesday. Scattered showers Thursday. Mostly dry Friday-Saturday. Temperatures near to below normal through Saturday. Outlook: Isolated to scattered showers north Sunday-Thursday. Temperatures above normal Sunday-Thursday.
The player sheet for Aug. 15 had funds: net sellers of 7,000 contracts of SRW wheat, sellers of 8,500 corn, sellers of 7,000 soybeans, sellers of 7,000 soymeal, and buyers of 3,000 soyoil.
- WHEAT PURCHASE: Jordan’s state grains buyer purchased about 60,000 metric tons of hard milling wheat to be sourced from optional origins in an international tender on Tuesday, traders said. It was bought from trading house CHS at an estimated $295 a metric ton cost and freight (c&f) for shipment in the second half of January 2024, they said.
- CORN AND SOYMEAL TENDERS: Iranian state-owned animal feed importer SLAL issued two international tenders to purchase up to 180,000 metric tons of animal feed corn and 120,000 metric tons of soymeal.
- FEED BARLEY TENDER: Jordan’s state grains buyer issued an international tender to purchase up to 120,000 metric tons of animal feed barley.
- VEGETABLE OILS TENDER: Egypt’s state grains buyer, the General Authority for Supply Commodities (GASC), said it was seeking vegetable oils in an international tender for arrival Sept. 20-Oct. 5. The deadline for offers is Aug. 16.
- VEGETABLE OILS TENDER: Egypt’s GASC is seeking refined sunflower oil in one-litre bottles in an international tender. It is seeking at least 5,000 metric tons of oils, free of customs, on behalf of the Holding Company for Food Industries, for delivery during October and/or November and/or December. Deadline for submitting offers is Aug. 17.
- RICE TENDER: South Korea’s state-backed Agro-Fisheries & Food Trade Corp issued an international tender to purchase an estimated 130,200 metric tons of rice all to be sourced from China.
- WHEAT TENDER: A Syrian state grains agency issued an international tender to purchase and import 200,000 metric tons of soft milling wheat.
- FEED WHEAT AND BARLEY TENDER: Japan’s Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF) said it will seek 60,000 metric tons of feed wheat and 20,000 tons of feed barley to be loaded by Nov. 30 and arrive in Japan by Jan. 25 via a simultaneous buy and sell (SBS) auction that will be held on Aug. 23.
ETHANOL: US Weekly Production Survey Before EIA Report
Output and stockpile projections for the week ending Aug. 11 are based on seven analyst estimates compiled by Bloomberg.
- Production seen higher than last week at 1.035m b/d
- Stockpile avg est. 22.83m bbl vs 22.88m a week ago
NOPA July soybean crush above most estimates at 173.303 million bushels
U.S. soybean processors crushed more beans than expected in July, according to National Oilseed Processors Association (NOPA) data released on Tuesday.
NOPA members, which account for around 95% of soybeans crushed in the United States, processed 173.303 million bushels of soybeans last month, the largest July crush on record.
The figure was up 5.0% from the 165.023 million bushels processed in June and up 1.8% from the 170.220 million bushels processed in July 2022.
The July 2023 crush was above the average trade estimate of 171.337 million bushels in a Reuters survey of 10 analysts. Estimates ranged from 165.1 million to 178.0 million bushels, with a median of 170.408 million bushels.
Soyoil supplies among NOPA members as of July 31 fell to a 10-month low of 1.527 billion pounds, down from 1.690 billion pounds at the end of June and 1.684 billion pounds in NOPA stocks at the end of July 2022.
Analysts had expected a smaller drop in soyoil stocks to 1.687 billion pounds, according to the average of estimates gathered from seven analysts. Estimates ranged from 1.620 billion to 1.740 billion pounds, with a median of 1.702 billion pounds.
JULY U.S. SOYBEAN CRUSH AT ALL-TIME HIGH – Refinitiv Commodities Research
2023/24 U.S. SOYBEAN CRUSH: 2,261.6 MILLION BUSHELS, NO CHANGES FROM LAST UPDATE
The National Oilseed Processors Association (NOPA), representing 95% of soybean processors in the United States, reported that soybean crushing in July totaled 173.3 million bushels, at an all-time high for the month. Soybean crush in July represents a 5% increase from June 165 million bushels, a 9-month low due to decreased margins. The July crush figure came at the Refinitiv estimate, mainly driven by increased margins due to lower soybean prices.
Concerns over the soybean supply started to vanish in the U.S. Refinitiv increased its 2023/24 estimates by 3%, now forecasted at 114 million tons, almost similar to the USDA August’s projection. As the supply starts to increase, the crush margins have begun to improve, promoting higher crush levels in the medium term. Based on the current market, Refinitiv predicts that the crush volume for August will reach 170 million bushels, hitting another monthly record.
Refinitiv maintains its projections for the 2022/23 soybean crush at 2,199.3 million bushels, which is 20.7 million bushels lower than the figure reported in August’s WASDE (World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates) report. In terms of production, Refinitiv projects that soybean meal and soybean oil in 2022/23 will amount to 51,739 thousand short tons and 26,325.6 million pounds, respectively. These projections are based on the current pace of industry crush and expectations regarding future margins. Regarding the 2023/24 U.S. soybean crush, Refinitiv estimates 2,261.6 million bushels, 38.4 million bushels below the August WASDE estimate.
Container ship leaves Russian-blocked Ukrainian port of Odesa – Kyiv
A container ship left the Ukrainian Black Sea port of Odesa on Wednesday morning, the government said, using what it has described as a new temporary corridor for merchant ships to and from its ports, which are blockaded by Russia.
Ukraine last week announced a “humanitarian corridor” in the Black Sea to release cargo ships that have been trapped in its ports since Russia launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine on Feb. 24, 2022. (Full Story)
Moscow has not indicated whether it would respect the shipping corridor, and shipping and insurance sources have expressed concerns about safety.
“A first vessel used the temporary corridor for merchant ships to/from the ports of Big Odesa,” Deputy Prime Minister Oleksandr Kubrakov said on Facebook.
He identified the container ship as the Hong-Kong-flagged JOSEPH SCHULTE and said it had been in the port since Feb. 23, 2022, the day before the invasion.
He said the ship was carrying more than 30,000 metric tons of cargo in 2,114 containers.
“The corridor will be primarily used to evacuate ships that were in the Ukrainian ports (Chornomorsk, Odesa and Pivdennyi) at the time of the full-scale invasion of the Russian Federation,” the deputy prime minister said.
Brazil soy exports seen reaching 7.78 mln tns in August – Anec
- BRAZIL SOY EXPORTS SEEN REACHING 7.78 MILLION TNS IN AUGUST VERSUS 5.05 MILLION TNS IN SAME MONTH A YEAR AGO- ANEC
- BRAZIL CORN EXPORTS SEEN REACHING 9.03 MILLION TNS IN AUGUST VERSUS 6.89 TNS IN SAME MONTH A YEAR AGO- ANEC
- BRAZIL SOYMEAL EXPORTS SEEN REACHING 2.05 MILLION TNS IN AUGUST VERSUS 1.69 MILLION TNS IN SAME MONTH A YEAR AGO- ANEC
China soybean imports may slow later this year after record-breaking imports in the first 8 months
Economic recovery, rebuilding-stocks and high soybean crushing margins resulted in record fast soybean imports in China. According to Refinitiv trade flows, China imported 59.07 million tons of soybeans during January-July, up 20% from last year’s same period and an all-time high figure. Among them, the U.S. soybean imports totaled 20.19 million tons, the highest in history and accounting for 34.18% of total imports. Brazilian soybean imports totaled 37.89 million tons, also the highest in history and accounting for 64.14% of total imports. In August, Refinitiv trade flows tracked 8.19 million tons of soybean imports for the month, primarily from Brazil (7.95 million tons). The figure is a 19% increase year-on-year.
However, as Brazilian soybean inventory depletes, China soybean imports from South America are expected to decline rapidly after September. Most importantly, prospects of China’s demand for U.S. new crop soybeans are pessimistic given below factors: 1) high inventory after record-breaking imports from the U.S. and Brazil during January-August; 2) slow-down of China’s economic growth; 3) China CPI fell in July due to decreases of pork and vegetables prices. Despite recent high soybean meal and oil prices and good crushing margins in China, low pork prices may lead to decreases in hog stocks and consequently lower feed demand for soybeans; 4) USDA export sales data show that China purchased only 3.75 million tons of U.S. soybeans for 2023/24 delivery as of 03 August, compared to 8.87 million tons for last year’s same period, confirming China’s weak demand for U.S. new crop soybeans.
China warns floods could aggravate crop diseases, infestation in northeast
China called on Wednesday for more measures to protect its crops after warning that the recent floods in its grain-producing northeast region could worsen diseases and infestations.
So far, diseases and pest infestations were “relatively light” with no significant impact on the autumn grain production, the agricultural ministry said in a statement, adding that the flooding “may exacerbate the prevalence” of diseases that affect corn, rice and soybeans.
China was inundated with heavy rain and flooding in northern and northeastern regions in recent weeks brought by storms from Typhoons Doksuri and Khanun.
The extreme weather may lead to severe pest infestations that target cotton, corn and soybean in some areas, the ministry said.
For example, the northern armyworm has been found in 136,000 mu (9066.7 hectares) in Keyou Middle Banner, Xingan League, Inner Mongolia, of which an area of 20,000 mu (1333.3 hectares) was severely affected, it added.
The ministry held a meeting in northeastern Heilongjiang province on Tuesday to discuss prevention and control of major autumn grain diseases and pests in the region, known as China’s “great northern granary”.
The rains have affected 3.87 million mu (258,000 hectares), almost 2%, of the sown area in Heilongjiang, China’s largest grain producing province, state broadcaster reported last week.
The ministry has maintained the 2023/24 corn output estimate unchanged at 282.34 million metric tons, even though it said some producing areas had been flooded.
On Monday, China’s vice premier Liu Guozhong said damaged farmland, water conservation and other infrastructure needed to be quickly repaired to ensure a speedy recovery in grain production, state media reported.
Ukraine grain exports at 3.3 mln T so far in 2023/24 – ministry
Ukraine’s grain exports have totalled 3.3 million metric tons so far in the 2023/24 July-June season, Agriculture Ministry data showed on Wednesday.
The ministry gave no comparative figures for the same period a year earlier but said shipments were at 2.99 million tons as of Aug. 19, 2022.
Exports have been affected since Russia quit a U.N.-backed grain deal last month but the ministry’s data did not give a breakdown on exports since the deal collapsed.
The ministry said Ukraine had exported 1.03 million tons of grain in August.
The total volume of grain exports this season included 1.6 million tons of corn, 1.3 million tons of wheat and 397,000 tons of barley.
Exports for the entire 2022/23 season were almost 49 million tons, exceeding the previous season’s 48.4 million tons.
Most of the volume was exported via deep Black Sea ports under the deal brokered by the United Nations and Turkey last July to tackle a global food crisis worsened by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and blockade of Ukrainian ports.
However, Russia left the deal on July 17 after saying its demands to ease sanctions on its own grain and fertilizer exports had not been met. Russia also complained that not enough grain had reached poor countries.
A major grain grower and exporter, Ukraine’s grain output dropped to about 55 million tons in clean weight in calendar 2022, down from a record 86 million tons in 2021.
The ministry has said the crop could total about 56 million tons of grain in 2023.
Grain Deliveries at French Silo Suspended After Fire: Euronext
The Sica Atlantique silo in La Pallice, France — one of the delivery points for Euronext milling-wheat and corn futures — is temporarily unavailable for contract deliveries, the exchange said in a notice.
- That follows a fire at one of its storage facilities earlier this month
- Sica Atlantique is working to restore its service as an eligible silo for physical deliveries as early as 2024
Philippines recommends 500,000 MT rice imports to cover El Nino-related crop losses
The Philippines’ Department of Agriculture is recommending additional rice importation of about 500,000 metric tons to cover potential crop losses from the El Nino dry weather condition, a senior official said on Wednesday.
The additional importation by one of the world’s biggest buyers of the staple grain, which should be brought in by private traders, must arrive between November and January next year, agriculture undersecretary Mercedita Sombilla told a congressional hearing.
The recommended volume is on top of the additional approved rice purchases by private traders this year, of which 300,000 metric tons were supposed to arrive later this month, and another 300,000 metric tons in September.
Sombilla said 89% of the Philippines’ rice imports so far this year came from Vietnam, with the rest from Myanmar, Thailand, Pakistan and India, among others.
Retail prices for imported and locally produced rice in the Philippines rose further this month by as much as 14%, based on government data, as global and domestic farmgate prices soared, adding pressure on food inflation.
The government expects the impact of El Nino weather pattern on agricultural output to be felt between the last quarter until the first three months of 2024.
Ethanol Is Piling Up in Brazil as Drop in Demand Hurts Producers
- Raizen is latest producer to see slowdown in biofuel business
- Ethanol demand has weakened with gasoline becoming cheaper
Ethanol inventories are rising in Brazil as drivers embrace cheaper gasoline, delivering an earnings blow to the nation’s large sugar-cane producers and prompting a pivot toward higher sugar output.
Ethanol stockpiles from Brazil’s top producer, Raizen SA, more than doubled in second quarter from the prior three-month period as the firm curtailed sales in hopes of better pricing, Chief Financial Officer Carlos Moura told journalists on Tuesday. He said Raizen is reacting by increasing sugar output as much as it can.
A slump in Raizen’s biofuel business hurt its second-quarter results and contributed to Monday’s earnings miss, following a similar trend reported by rivals Sao Martinho SA and Jalles Machado SA. Sales of 100% ethanol fuel dropped 9% in July, according to industry group Unica, which Jalles Machado estimates elevated total stockpiles in the South American nation by 5% from the prior year.
Recent dry weather could allow producers to allocate a bigger share of the cane juice to make sweetener. That could boost sugar supplies when the group is already crushing more cane this season. Raizen said it may process 80 to 83 million tons of cane, more than the 74 million from last year.
While biofuels make for a huge part of Brazil’s economy, ethanol demand has weakened with prices recently becoming less competitive to gasoline. Most of the country’s cars can run on any mix of gasoline or ethanol, so lower gasoline prices reduce consumers’ appetite to fill up tanks with ethanol.
The sugar industry’s hopes now rely on a shift in direction after oil giant Petroleo Brasileiro SA raised fuel prices. The increases, announced Tuesday, are seen by Raizen’s Chief Executive Officer Ricardo Mussa as a positive sign to keep local fuel prices in line with international markets, offsetting fears that the state-controlled company would freeze rates to tame inflation.
LIVESTOCK SURVEY: US Cattle on Feed Placements Seen Falling 3.9%
July placements onto feedlots seen falling y/y to 1.7m head, according to a Bloomberg survey of seven analysts.
- Estimates range from -5.4% to -1.4% y/y change
- Feedlot herd as of Aug. 1 seen falling by 1.6% y/y to 11.11m head
- Marketings seen falling 5.2% y/y
- The USDA is scheduled to release its cattle on feed report at 3pm ET on Aug. 18
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