Global Ag News for Aug 17.23
India considers wheat imports from Russia at discount to calm prices-sources
- India may seek up to 9 mln tons of Russian wheat-source
- Russia offering discounted wheat price – source
- Indian wholesale wheat prices at 7-month high
India is in talks with Russia to import wheat at a discount to surging global prices in a rare move to boost supplies and curb food inflation ahead of state and national elections next year, according to four sources.
The imports would allow New Delhi to intervene more effectively in the market to drive down wheat prices that stoked inflation to a 15-month high in July.
“The government is exploring the possibility of imports through private trade and government-to-government deals. The decision will be made cautiously,” one of the sources told Reuters, when asked about wheat imports from Russia.
India has not imported wheat through diplomatic deals in years. The last time India imported a significant amount of wheat was in 2017, when private traders shipped in 5.3 million metric tons.
The government’s plan to import Russian wheat is one of the supply-side measures being considered to bring down prices of key commodities like fuel, cereals and pulse along with an extension of rural schemes to ease the impact of inflation on the poor, two of the sources with knowledge of the matter said.
Sources did not want to be named as the discussions are private and the final decision might be weeks away. India’s finance, trade and government spokespersons did not reply to emails and messages seeking comment.
Last month, Sanjeev Chopra, the most senior civil servant at the federal food ministry, said there was no proposal to import wheat from Russia.
FUTURES & WEATHER
Wheat prices overnight are down 7 in SRW, down 3 1/4 in HRW, down 1 in HRS; Corn is down 3; Soybeans up 2 1/4; Soymeal down $1.60; Soyoil up 0.74.
For the week so far wheat prices are down 37 3/4 in SRW, down 16 3/4 in HRW, down 25 in HRS; Corn is down 8 3/4; Soybeans up 18 1/4; Soymeal down $7.70; Soyoil up 3.33.
For the month to date wheat prices are down 75 3/4 in SRW, down 80 1/4 in HRW, down 64 1/4 in HRS; Corn is down 34 1/2; Soybeans down 6; Soymeal down $14.90; Soyoil up 3.56.
Year-To-Date nearby futures are down 25.5% in SRW, down 16.7% in HRW, down 15.8% in HRS; Corn is down 31.4%; Soybeans down 11.9%; Soymeal down 15.8%; Soyoil up 5.5%.
Chinese Ag futures (NOV 23) Soybeans up 66 yuan; Soymeal up 53; Soyoil up 16; Palm oil up 26; Corn down 41 — Malaysian palm oil prices overnight were up 73 ringgit (+1.91%) at 3905.
There were changes in registrations (-41 Soybeans). Registration total: 1,398 SRW Wheat contracts; 448 Oats; 0 Corn; 0 Soybeans; 117 Soyoil; 0 Soymeal; 147 HRW Wheat.
Preliminary changes in futures Open Interest as of August 16 were: SRW Wheat up 11,582 contracts, HRW Wheat up 1,451, Corn up 21,420, Soybeans up 7,829, Soymeal down 1,773, Soyoil up 3,857.
Northern Plains: A front will stall out in the region this weekend through a good portion of next week, being a focus for potential showers and thunderstorms. Any rainfall will help filling corn and soybeans if and where it occurs.
Central/Southern Plains: Quieter conditions are expected for the next week or two as the storm track gets pushed northward and heat builds across the area. Ample soil moisture from recent precipitation will go a long way to combat the heat, but stress will likely take over if the heat continues as forecast.
Western Midwest: A front will move through Wednesday night and Thursday with scattered showers for northern and eastern areas. Heat will build across the region this weekend, but a front will stall out over far northern areas, which may continue rainfall chances there next week. Southern areas will be drier, but have seen better precipitation, which will help to counteract the stressful heat. Temperatures are likely to fall over eastern areas later next week as a system pushes a cold front southward through the area, making stressful conditions somewhat brief there. Western areas may stay warmer for longer.
Delta: After a brief break from the heat the next couple days, it will build back in this weekend while staying largely dry. Limited soil moisture is not enough to combat the heat in many places as soybeans and cotton finish filling, especially across the south.
The player sheet for Aug. 16 had funds: net buyers of 500 contracts of SRW wheat, buyers of 5,000 corn, buyers of 7,500 soybeans, buyers of 4,000 soymeal, and buyers of 3,000 soyoil.
- VEGETABLE OILS PURCHASE: Egypt’s state grains buyer, the General Authority for Supply Commodities, said it bought 39,500 tons of sunflower oil in a tender on Wednesday.
- FEED BARLEY TENDER PASSED: Jordan’s state grain buyer is believed to have made no purchase in an international tender to buy 120,000 metric tons of animal feed barley which closed on Wednesday, traders said. Four trading houses – Bunge, Viterra, Olam and Ameropa – were thought to have participated in the tender, they said. A new tender is expected to be held next week.
- 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
- 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.
DOE: US Ethanol Stocks Rise 2.4% to 23.435M Bbl
According to the US Department of Energy’s weekly petroleum report.
- Analysts were expecting 22.83 mln bbl
- Plant production at 1.069m b/d, compared to survey avg of 1.035m
APK-Inform consultancy raises Ukraine 2023 grain harvest, export forecast
APK-Inform agriculture consultancy on Wednesday increased its forecast for Ukraine’s 2023 grain harvest to 53.1 million metric tons from the previous outlook of 48.9 million thanks to favourable weather.
The consultancy said in a statement the 2023 crop could include 20.6 million tons of wheat, 25.5 million tons of corn and 5.5 million tons of barley.
It said Ukraine potentially can export 32.3 million tons of grain in the 2023/24 July-June season, including 12 million tons of wheat and 18 million tons of corn.
Brazil’s 2023/24 wheat crop seen at 11.19 mln tns – Stonex
- BRAZIL’S 2023/24 WHEAT CROP SEEN AT 11.19 MILLION TNS, DOWN 2.3% FROM JULY ESTIMATE, SAYS STONEX
- BRAZIL 2023/24 WHEAT IMPORTS ESTIMATED AT 5.77 MILLION TNS, STABLE FROM JULY FORECAST – STONEX
- BRAZIL WHEAT OUTPUT WILL GROW LESS THAN PREVIOUSLY EXPECTED IN 2023/24 DUE TO LOWER PLANTED AREA IN RIO GRANDE DO SUL, BUT STILL HIT RECORD – STONEX
- BRAZIL 2023/24 WHEAT EXPORTS SEEN AT 2.49 MILLION TNS VERSUS 2.24 MILLION TNS IN PREVIOUS ESTIMATE – STONEX
EU 2023/24 soybean imports at 1.33 mln T by Aug 13
European Union soybean imports so far in the 2023/24 season had reached 1.33 million metric tons by Aug. 13, compared with 1.58 million a year earlier, data published by the European Commission showed on Wednesday.
The weekly figures were released a day later than usual due to Tuesday’s public holiday in parts of Europe.
EU Soft-Wheat Exports Fall 11% in Season Through Aug. 13
The European Union’s soft-wheat exports in the season that began July 1 reached 3.72m tons as of Aug. 13, compared with 4.19m tons in a similar period a year earlier, the European Commission said on its website.
- Leading destinations include Morocco (834k tons), Algeria (457k tons) and Korea (286k tons)
- Barley exports are at 1.2k tons, down 27% y/y
- Corn imports are at 1.82m tons, down 31% y/y
Ukraine’s August grain exports via Danube at 820,000 T so far -analyst
Ukraine in the first half of August exported 820,000 metric tons of grain via its ports on the Danube River, which is currently its main export route, the APK-Inform consultancy said late on Wednesday.
APK-Inform gave no comparative figures.
Ukraine traditionally exports most of its grain using its deep-water Black Sea ports of Odesa and Mykolaiv, but it was forced to switch to the Danube after Russia pulled out of a UN-brokered Black Sea grain deal in mid-July.
Denys Marchuk, deputy head of the Ukrainian Agrarian Council, the country’s largest agribusiness organisation, told national television than Ukrainian Danube ports could export around 2.5 million tons of grain per month.
However, exports via the Danube could be affected by the recent Russian attacks on port infrastructure.
“The most important challenge is of course the strikes on port infrastructure,” Marchuk said.
“Because of the strikes, exports have slowed down. We realise that freight prices have gone up… some of shipowners are refusing to go due to the dangerous situation,” he added.
Kyiv said on Wednesday that Russian drone strikes damaged grain silos and warehouses at the river port of Reni on the Danube. Earlier this month, Russia attacked the Danube port of Izmail.
Ukraine’s First Deputy Farm Minister Taras Vysotskiy told the national television broadcaster that up to 5,000 tons of grain was destroyed in the attack on Reni.
The agriculture ministry said this week that Ukraine’s grain exports had totalled 3.3 million metric tons in the 2023/24 July-June season as of Aug. 16.
DRV Keeps German Grain Harvest Estimate Steady, Trims Wheat Crop
Germany’s 2023 grain harvest estimate is kept steady at 41.9m tons, agricultural cooperatives group DRV said in a report.
- Latest 2023 output estimates include:
- Wheat at 21.5m tons, down from 21.8m tons last month
- Corn at 4m tons, up from 3.72m last month
- Barley at 10.8m tons, unchanged
- Yield potential fell due to drought in May and June, and the rainy weather of the past few weeks caused quality to drop significantly, according to DRV grain-market analyst Guido Seedler
US says working to identify alternative paths for Ukraine grain exports
The United States on Wednesday condemned Russia’s continued attacks on Ukraine’s grain infrastructure and said it was working with partners to identify alternative options to ensure Ukrainian grain exports.
“The United States … calls for Russia to immediately return to the Black Sea Grain Initiative,” State Department deputy spokesperson Vedant Patel said in a briefing, referring to a pact that had allowed export of Ukraine grain by the Black Sea. Russia quit the deal on July 17.
Patel said the U.S. was seeking “to possibly find ways and corridors in which we can continue to get grain to the places it needs to go,” without providing details. He added that Washington has not seen any indication from the Russians that they wanted to go back to the deal.
Since quitting the accord, Russia has attacked Ukrainian agricultural and port infrastructure. Exports through the corridor were vital to helping address a global food crisis worsened by Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine.
Overnight air strikes damaged silos and warehouses at Reni on the Danube River, a vital wartime route for food exports, Ukrainian officials said. They posted photos of destroyed storage facilities and piles of scattered grain and sunflowers.
“Putin simply does not care about global food security,” Patel said, adding that Moscow’s attacks were escalating food shortages.
Moscow has repeatedly said that it was ready to return to the deal “immediately” once an accompanying agreement concerning Russian exports was implemented.
Brazil port operators launch international database
Brazil’s Association of Private Port Terminals (ATP) launched on Wednesday an international version of a database compiling key indicators of Brazilian private and public port activity.
The platform already existed in Portuguese and will facilitate access to critical information about Brazilian port activities with the world, ATP said.
A leading provider of agricultural and mineral commodities in global markets, Brazil has 301 ports in operation, of which 266 (88.3%) are private and 35 (11.6%) are public, ATP said.
ATP said launch of the English version results from an agreement with the International Association of Ports and Harbors, and is aimed at increasing transparency related to domestic port activities. It is also a tool that researchers globally will be able to explore.
The initiative highlights the growing importance of Brazilian private ports on a global scale.
Private-use terminals built on Amazonian rivers have made Brazilian corn and soy exports more competitive, as these commodities can now be shipped from northern ports.
Private port terminals handle varied types of cargo, including iron ore, aluminum, fertilizers and grains, and command a larger share of overall volumes moved in Brazil compared with public ports.
Brazil’s private port terminals accounted for some 65% of all cargo handled in the country’s ports last year, which reached 1.2 billion tonnes, ATP said.
ATP’s DATaPort compiles data from official sources, including Brazil’s Waterway Transport Agency (Antaq), the World Economic Forum and the Brazilian Navy.
“The platform brings together all information about the private and public port sector in a single system, offering a unique differential for those looking for complete and up-to-date information,” ATP’s head, Murillo Barbosa, said in the statement.
Brazilian grain giant Caramuru begins soybean-based ethanol sales
Brazilian food and fuel processor Caramuru Alimentos, one of the country’s largest grain crushers, has started selling soybean-based ethanol at one of its plants in center-western Brazil, it said on Wednesday.
The development makes Caramuru one of the first companies in the world to produce at scale and sell hydrous ethanol made from soy molasses, a soybean by-product, the company said in a statement.
Hydrous ethanol can be used as automotive fuel in Brazil, where most cars can run on 100% ethanol, and is also widely used in the production of perfumes, hard-surface cleaners, solvents and paints.
Brazil, the world’s largest soybean producer and exporter, is also a global leader in biofuels such as ethanol and soy-based biodiesel. The former, however, is normally produced from sugarcane or corn.
The soybean-based ethanol is now sold at Caramuru’s plant in the center-western town of Sorriso, which can produce up to 9.5 million liters of hydrous ethanol per year, according to the company.
It expects to sell 72% of that volume in the domestic market, while the remaining will be used by the firm at the plant to make soy protein concentrate. Caramuru hopes the move will also help it lower costs.
The Sorriso plant in Brazil’s top grain-producing state Mato Grosso also makes soy meal, soy oil and lecithin.
The soybean-based ethanol project was funded by an agency tied to the federal government, Caramuru said.
Caramuru is Brazil’s sixth-largest soybean crusher and second-largest corn processor, as well as a major biodiesel player.
US Set to Escalate Claim Mexico Corn Policy Violates Trade Deal
- Administration prepares to request dispute panel on Thursday
- Biden needs AMLO’s cooperation on migration, drug policies
The US is preparing to accelerate its complaint that Mexico’s ban on genetically modified corn violates the nations’ free-trade deal, heightening tensions between neighbors.
The US Trade Representative’s office plans to request the formation of a dispute resolution panel under the US-Mexico-Canada Agreement on Thursday, according to people familiar with the matter, who asked not to be identified without permission to speak publicly.
The USTR press office declined to comment.
The panel of trade experts — whose findings are binding — would be charged with deciding whether Mexico’s corn policy is inconsistent with the trade pact. If the group sides with the US, it could ultimately result in tariffs on Mexican goods.
US Trade Representative Katherine Tai requested formal dispute settlement consultations with Mexico under the trade pact in early June, starting an initial 75-day clock.
That period expired on Wednesday. While the two nations are free to continue those discussions, and the US isn’t required to ask for a panel to be formed, Thursday is the first day that it can make the request.
While the corn dispute is unlikely to interrupt otherwise robust trade between the countries, it could make it more difficult for the Biden administration to win Mexico’s cooperation on other issues including migration and the trafficking of fentanyl.
India Buys Up Chinese Urea as Fertilizer Bucks Economic Slowdown
Potash was steady in the US and Canada in the wake of recently closed summer fill programs, while phosphates edged higher on concerns of tight supply for fall application. India’s Aug. 9 urea tender revealed a price jump of over 40%, supporting margins for producers, including CF Industries, Nutrien and Yara.
Ammonia, Phosphates Gain, Urea Drops
US fertilizer prices were mixed, with ammonia and phosphate prices moving higher on tightening global supply while urea continued to decline. Ammonia producers bumped new offers up to $500-$525 a short ton (st) in the Corn Belt vs. the prior $440-$485 range, with expectations of a September increase at Tampa. Phosphate prices firmed to the high end of last week’s range at New Orleans (NOLA) and rose $10-$20 in the Corn Belt. Monoammonium phosphate (MAP) prices climbed a full $30/st in the western US, with even bigger gains reported in Western Canada. NOLA urea slipped to $350-$370/st vs. last week’s $355-$395, with prices falling $20-$30 at some inland terminals.
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