Global Ag News for Aug 25.23
Hungary pushes for extension of Ukrainian grain import ban
Hungary wants the current EU-approved ban on Ukrainian grain import to be extended in the so-called “frontline five” of the bloc’s member states bordering Ukraine, a government official said on August 24.
The current ban is in effect only until September 15 with the EU unwilling to prolong it as the ban compromised the bloc-wide trade rules. But Hungary, alongside Poland, Slovakia, Bulgaria and Romania, is pushing for an extension, claiming that the uncontrolled influx of Ukrainian produce is hurting their domestic agriculture sectors.
‘Hungary will ask the EU to extend the ban from September 16,’ Gergely Gulyas, Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s chief of staff, said, according to Reuters.
The official also said that Hungary could go ahead unilaterally with a domestic ban if the EU does not extend the restriction currently in place.
In May, the EU granted the “frontline five” the authority to restrict imports of Ukrainian wheat, maize, rapeseed and sunflower seeds while allowing the transit of these commodities for export to other destinations.
The EU thus responded to the five countries’ unilaterally imposing bans to safeguard their local producers, following a surge in Ukrainian grain exports in 2022 and early 2023.
FUTURES & WEATHER
Wheat prices overnight are up 1 3/4 in SRW, up 5 1/4 in HRW, up 6 1/4 in HRS; Corn is down 1 1/2; Soybeans up 7 1/4; Soymeal down $0.90; Soyoil up 0.92.
For the week so far wheat prices are down 3 1/2 in SRW, up 9 3/4 in HRW, down 11 3/4 in HRS; Corn is down 4; Soybeans up 25 1/4; Soymeal up $23.50; Soyoil down 1.33.
For the month to date wheat prices are down 58 1/4 in SRW, down 61 3/4 in HRW, down 64 in HRS; Corn is down 26 1/4; Soybeans up 47 1/4; Soymeal up $15.50; Soyoil up 3.11.
Year-To-Date nearby futures are down 23.3% in SRW, down 14.2% in HRW, down 16.8% in HRS; Corn is down 30.3%; Soybeans down 9.8%; Soymeal down 11.6%; Soyoil up 3.7%.
Chinese Ag futures (NOV 23) Soybeans up 40 yuan; Soymeal up 43; Soyoil up 122; Palm oil up 34; Corn up 24 — Malaysian palm oil prices overnight were up 60 ringgit (+1.55%) at 3941.
There were no changes in registrations. Registration total: 1,398 SRW Wheat contracts; 448 Oats; 0 Corn; 0 Soybeans; 67 Soyoil; 0 Soymeal; 147 HRW Wheat.
Preliminary changes in futures Open Interest as of August 24 were: SRW Wheat down 5,654 contracts, HRW Wheat up 2,182, Corn down 1,800, Soybeans up 12,222, Soymeal down 5,204, Soyoil down 1,112.
Northern Plains: A stalled front in the Northern Plains has kept a lid on the extreme heat and provided some limited showers this week. The front will get pushed southward on Friday. Another little system will follow on Sunday into early Monday with some isolated showers possible. Heat will return behind it in the middle of next week, though we should see a storm system late week or weekend bringing additional showers and milder temperatures. The back-and-forth conditions will limit stresses for filling corn and soybeans. Potential showers could delay the remaining wheat harvest in certain spots.
Central/Southern Plains: Hot and dry conditions continue for the next couple of days in the Central and Southern Plains, causing stress for filling corn and soybeans. The heat has sapped any built-up soil moisture this week. A front will sag south through the region Friday through the weekend, bringing milder temperatures and potential rainfall that would prove beneficial if it occurs. Another round of heat may build back in later next week.
Midwest: Hot and dry conditions are largely in place across the Midwest for another day or two, though a stalled front across the north and east brought some heavier rainfall to Michigan and Ohio on Wednesday, and the setup is similar for Thursday. Heat will be most intense in the southwest and any built-up soil moisture has quickly been used up. The front will get pushed southward Friday and Saturday, offering relief from the heat, but not much in the way of rainfall. After another front moves through Monday and Tuesday with some isolated showers, above-normal temperatures are likely to build back into the region later next week. Though any showers will be welcome, the forecast is mainly stressful for filling corn and soybeans.
Delta: Hot and dry conditions continue in the Delta for the next few days. A front sagging south will move into the region this weekend, which will reduce the heat and potentially bring some showers as well. Any rainfall would be helpful for filling soybeans and cotton.
Canadian Prairies: Rainfall has been somewhat more frequent over the last week in the Canadian Prairies, which continues through Friday, with another front on Sunday possibly bringing some rain to eastern areas as well. Yet another system is forecast to move in later next week. Rainfall will be a hindrance to small grain and oilseed quality and harvest, but could benefit corn and soybeans in eastern areas as well as forages.
Brazil: Brazil’s southern wheat areas have been enjoying good growing conditions for most of the winter. Rains have been disruptive to the remaining safrinha corn harvest, however. Another front will move through the south over the next couple of days and get into central areas this weekend where showers are forecast to continue through next week, aided by another front moving north through the country late next week. The projected rain is well in advance of the start to the normal wet season and soybean planting window. Rains ahead of planting are useful for conditioning soils after a long dry season, but planting is restricted until mid-September for most areas. However, planting may start early due to the better soil conditions, a favorable indicator for both the soybean and coming safrinha corn crops.
Argentina: Soil moisture remains sub-optimal in Argentina. Some rains have moved through at times, but not enough to reverse last season’s drought. Cold temperatures flowing into the country may produce some frosts later this week and weekend, which may cause some damage to more-advanced wheat. Drier conditions will remain in place for the next week, with another front moving through with potential rain late next week. Temperatures have varied wildly due to strong fronts over the last couple of weeks and that looks to continue for early spring prior to planting. These fronts have been and continue to look limited in their rainfall potential, however.
The player sheet for Aug. 24 had funds: net sellers of 2,500 contracts of SRW wheat, sellers of 2,500 corn, sellers of 6,500 soybeans, buyers of 4,000 soymeal, and sellers of 2,000 soyoil.
- CORN PURCHASE: South Korea’s Major Feedmill Group (MFG) purchased an estimated 68,000 metric tons of animal feed corn expected to be sourced from South America or South Africa in a private deal late on Wednesday without issuing an international tender.
- VEGETABLE OILS PURCHASE: Egypt’s state grains buyer GASC said it had bought 124,000 metric tons of vegetable oils in an international tender. The purchase comprised 109,000 metric tons of sunflower oil and 15,000 tons of soyoil, GASC added.
- WHEAT PURCHASE: Japan’s Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF) bought a total of 91,462 metric tons of food-quality wheat from the United States and Canada in a regular tender that closed on Thursday.
- WHEAT PURCHASE: The Taiwan Flour Millers’ Association purchased an estimated 104,000 tonnes of milling wheat to be sourced from the United States in a tender on Friday
- 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 GASC is seeking refined sunflower oil in one-liner 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 was 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.
- CORN, SOYMEAL TENDERS: Iranian state-owned animal feed importer SLAL issued an international tender to purchase up to 180,000 tonnes of animal feed corn and 120,000 tons of soymeal.
CROP TOUR: Corn Yields Seen Down in Iowa, Minnesota; Soy Mixed
Corn yields in Iowa avg 182.8 bu/acre, according to 523 samples taken by participants on the Pro Farmer Midwest Crop Tour.
- That’s down from tour avg of 183.81 bu/acre last year, Pro Farmer data shows
- Three-year avg is 184.13 bu/acre
- Soybean pod count in 3-by-3-foot square avg 1,190.41 pods, according to 520 samples
- That’s up from 1,174.43 pods last year; 1,179.51 three-year avg
- NOTE: Tour doesn’t project soybean yields
- NOTE: USDA this month forecast Iowa corn yields at an avg 203 bu/acre, up 3 bushels from last year
- USDA sees soybean yields at 58 bu/acre, down slightly from last year
- Minnesota crop tour corn avg 181.34 bu/acre, according to 244 samples
- That’s a decline from 190.39 last year; three-year avg of 187.63
- Minnesota soy pod count is 984.39, according to 238 samples
- That’s down from 1,100.75 pods last year; three-year avg of 1,071.31
- NOTE: USDA this month forecast Minnesota corn yields at avg of 183 bu/acre, a decrease of 12 bu/acre from last year
- USDA sees soy yield seen at 49 bu/acre, down a bushel from last year
- NOTE: Thursday was fourth day of tour and last day of field measurements; final Pro Farmer yield estimates will be released on Friday
US Export Sales of Pork and Beef by Country
The following shows US export sales of pork and beef product by biggest net buyers for week ending Aug. 17, according to data on the USDA’s website.
- Mexico bought 18k tons of the 33.1k tons of pork sold in the week
- South Korea led in beef purchases
Canada Canola Processing Rose 24.2% Y/y in July: StatCan
Canola processing rose 24.2% in July from a year ago, according to Statistics Canada data released Thursday on agency’s website.
- Oil production totaled 403k tons, and meal output at 567k tons
- Aug.-July crushings up 16.4% from year ago to 9.961m tons
- NOTE: Canada is the world’s top canola grower
Argentina 2023-24 Corn Acreage Seen Expanding 2.8%: Exchange
Argentine farmers, who plant two corn crops between now and February, are expected to sow 7.3m hectares (18m acres) vs. last season’s 7.1m, the Buenos Aires Grain Exchange said in a report.
- The full force of El Nino, which brings rain in Argentina but has been slow to replenish drought-hit farms, will be felt in 4Q and continue to moisten fields in 1Q24, helping planting of the second corn crop and yields
- NOTE: Farms in the west of the Pampas growing belt are still “alarmingly” dry, but the El Nino pattern is getting stronger, according to the Rosario Board of Trade
- That could mean plentiful rains from October: Rosario
- NOTE: The USDA forecasts 2023-24 Argentine corn production at 54m metric tons vs 34m last season
Argentine Corn Production Estimate Aug. 24: Exchange
The Buenos Aires Grain Exchange releases weekly report on website.
- 2022-23 corn production est. maintained at 34m tons
- Harvest advances to 96.9% complete
EU Cuts 2023 Soft-Wheat, Corn and Barley Crop Estimates
This year’s soft-wheat harvest is now seen at 126.1m tons, below a July estimate for 126.4m tons, the European Commission said in a report.
- Export estimate kept steady at 32m tons
- Corn crop estimate cut to 61.7m tons, from 63m tons
- Barley crop estimate cut to 48.6m tons, from 48.7m tons
France Soft-Wheat Harvest Ends, Corn Conditions Decline: Agrimer
The French soft-wheat crop was complete as of Aug. 21, up from 97% the prior week, according to weekly data from FranceAgriMer.
- Spring-barley harvest is also nearly done, with 99% of fields collected
- For corn, 82% of the corn crop was in good or very good condition
- Compares with 84% a week earlier and 48% a year earlier
Ukraine’s Odesa region introduces new grain export control mechanism
The southern Ukrainian region of Odesa, which has ports on the Black Sea and Danube River, is introducing a new export control mechanism for grain, regional governor Oleh Kiper said on Thursday.
“From now on, vessels (barges) will be loaded only after a preliminary analysis of the legality of the grain’s origin,” he said, adding that all customs declarations would have to be registered prior to the loading of export goods.
The measure is aimed at strengthening discipline, accounting and reporting in foreign economic activity, he said.
Analysts have said that a significant amount of grain is bought for cash under deals that are not fully transparent, reducing revenues to the state budget, which is forced to spend the lion’s share of revenues on military needs.
Farmers are trying to cut costs as much as possible because they are severely affected by low domestic prices caused by the difficulties they face trying to export grain following Russia’s invasion in February 2022.
“During the martial law period (following Russia’s invasion), each of us must contribute to the Victory (over Russia), and our economy needs support now,” Kiper said.
Ukraine is a major global grain grower and exporter and normally ships millions of metric tons of food from its deep-water Black Sea ports of Odesa and Mykolaiv.
But Kyiv has had to rely on its Danube river delta ports in the southwest corner of Ukraine since Russia abandoned its part in the year-old, safe-passage Black Sea grain export deal.
Ukrainian harvest and exports have been affected since Russia quit the deal last month.
Russia will return to grain deal only if its conditions are met, Lavrov tells UN chief
Russia will return to the Black Sea grain deal only if the West fulfils its obligations to Moscow, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Thursday.
“In response to a question from the U.N. Secretary-General about the prospects for resuming the “Black Sea initiative”, Sergei Lavrov reiterated Moscow’s position…about its readiness to return to participation in it only if all obligations to the Russian side are actually fulfilled,” the Russian foreign ministry said.
US Crops in Drought Area for Week Ending Aug. 22: USDA
The following shows the percent of US agricultural production within an area that experienced drought for the week ending Aug. 22, according to the USDA’s weekly drought report.
- Corn crops experiencing moderate to intense drought rose by a percentage point from the previous week to 43%
- Soybean crops in drought held steady at 38%
- The biggest increase among major crops was cotton, which rose to 32% vs 24%
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