Global Ag News for Dec 13.23

TOP HEADLINES

River Rhine in south Germany remains closed to shipping

Parts of the river Rhine in south Germany are closed to shipping on Wednesday and are expected to remain shut in the coming days after heavy rain and melting snow increased water levels, navigation authorities said.

Rhine shipping remains halted around Maxau in south Germany, the German inland waterways navigation agency WSA said.

The southern sector of the Rhine around the chokepoint of Maxau was closed on Tuesday after rain and a sudden rise in temperatures melted snow in south Germany and raised water levels.

The river is expected to remain closed to shipping at Maxau until at least Friday although levels are expected to start falling again from Thursday, said the water level forecasting service of the Rheinland-Pfalz state government in south Germany.

High water means vessels do not have enough space to sail under bridges and the blockage at Maxau prevents vessels sailing to Switzerland. Shipping on northern sections of the river is operating normally, despite a rise in water levels, including the important points of Duisburg, Cologne and Mannheim.

The Rhine is a major shipping route for commodities including minerals, coal and oil products such as heating oil, grains and animal feed.

The Rhine has repeatedly suffered from low water levels because of unusually dry summers in recent years.

FUTURES & WEATHER

Wheat prices overnight are down 9 1/2 in SRW, down 8 1/2 in HRW, down 7 1/2 in HRS; Corn is down 4; Soybeans down 12; Soymeal down $8.20; Soyoil down 0.08.

For the week so far wheat prices are down 15 3/4 in SRW, down 12 3/4 in HRW, down 7 1/2 in HRS; Corn is down 4 1/4; Soybeans up 7; Soymeal down $1.40; Soyoil up 0.16.

For the month to date wheat prices are up 18 in SRW, up 5 1/4 in HRW, down 7 1/2 in HRS; Corn is down 1 1/2; Soybeans down 31; Soymeal down $21.90; Soyoil down 1.72.

Year-To-Date nearby futures are down 23.4% in SRW, down 26.6% in HRW, down 25.4% in HRS; Corn is down 32.3%; Soybeans down 13.7%; Soymeal down 11.9%; Soyoil down 21.1%.

Chinese Ag futures (JAN 24) Soybeans down 45 yuan; Soymeal up 4; Soyoil down 48; Palm oil down 32; Corn down 7 — Malaysian Palm is down 63. Malaysian palm oil prices overnight were down 63 ringgit (-1.69%) at 3672.

There were changes in registrations (-70 SRW Wheat). Registration total: 2,567 SRW Wheat contracts; 218 Oats; 660 Corn; 596 Soybeans; 62 Soyoil; 0 Soymeal; 318 HRW Wheat.

Preliminary changes in futures Open Interest as of December 12 were: SRW Wheat down 3,894 contracts, HRW Wheat up 1,055, Corn up 232, Soybeans down 110, Soymeal down 5,587, Soyoil down 1,619.

Brazil: Wet season showers in Brazil continue this week, but will be more isolated into next week. Below-normal coverage and amounts will stoke fears about soybean losses again, but heavier rain is forecast to come back in by the end of next week and continue through January. Southern Brazil is seeing somewhat of a break from the heavy rain of the last few months with limited showers this week. Another front will bring showers back through this weekend and although fronts will move through on a regular occasion, they are less likely to produce excessive rain like we saw in previous months. If this remains true, a slow release of water could start bringing conditions away from excessive wetness in the south.

Argentina: Several systems are lining up to move through the country through early next week, bringing widespread showers to most areas that could be heavy in some spots. Conditions continue to be very favorable for the remaining planting and early development of corn and soybeans.

Australia: A storm system developed over South Australia over the weekend that will create some rainfall over the east for the next few days, somewhat favorable for developing cotton and sorghum. Western areas continue to have dryness and drought concerns.

Northern Plains: Above-normal temperatures will continue for the next couple of weeks, sometimes being well above normal. It will also be largely dry.

Central/Southern Plains: A system will move into the region on Wednesday with scattered showers for much of the region. The system will be a slow-mover, not getting east of the region until the weekend. Precipitation may be heavy in some areas and just cold enough for some snow in the southwest. That should help with remaining areas of drought across Texas and Oklahoma.

Midwest: The region will be largely dry this week with increasing temperatures in the second half of the week. There could be some showers late in the week but are likely to be limited if they occur. Though models disagree about a storm system for the East Coast this weekend and early next week, they have come into better agreement that any cold air will stay to the east as well. Very warm temperatures are expected to continue through at least Christmas.

Delta: It will be dry for most of the week, but a system will likely bring showers through this weekend. Rainfall in the Tennessee Valley this past weekend is forecast to improve water levels on the Mississippi River throughout the week.

The player sheet for Dec. 12 had funds: net buyers of 5,500 contracts of SRW wheat, buyers of 3,000 corn, buyers of 3,000 soybeans, sellers of 1,000 soymeal, and  sellers of 3,000 soyoil.

TENDERS

  • SOYBEAN SALES: The U.S. Department of Agriculture reported that exporters sold 198,000 metric tons of U.S. soybeans to “unknown destinations” for delivery in the 2023/24 marketing year that began Sept. 1.
  • WHEAT PURCHASE: Algeria’s state grains agency OAIC is believed to have purchased between 910,000 to 930,000 metric tons of milling wheat in an international tender on Tuesday
  • FOOD WHEAT TENDER: Japan’s Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF) is looking to buy a total of 102,493 metric tons of food-quality wheat from the United States and Canada in a regular tender that will close on Dec. 14.
  • CORN, SOYMEAL PURCHASES: Algerian state agency ONAB is believed to have bought an unknown volume of animal feed corn expected to be sourced from Argentina and soymeal sourced from optional origins international tenders which closed on Thursday
  • CORN, SOYMEAL TENDERS: Algerian state agency ONAB issued new international tenders to purchase up to 200,000 metric tons of animal feed corn and 70,000 tons of soymeal
  • SOFT WHEAT, DURUM, BARLEY PURCHASES: Tunisia’s state grains agency is believed to have purchased about 100,000 metric tons of soft wheat, 75,000 tons of durum wheat and 50,000 tons of animal feed barley in an international tender on Tuesday
  • RICE PURCHASE: Indonesian state purchasing agency BULOG has started buying rice in an international tender for up to 534,000 metric tons of rice sourced from optional origins which closed on Monday
  • WHEAT TENDER OFFERS: The lowest offer in an international tender from Bangladesh’s state grains buyer to purchase and import 50,000 metric tons of wheat which closed on Tuesday was assessed at $317.56 a metric ton liner out.
  • SUGAR TENDER: Egypt’s General Authority for Supply Commodities (GASC) announced on Tuesday a tender to import 50,000 metric tons of raw sugar from any origin on behalf of the Egyptian Sugar & Integrated Industries Company (ESIIC).

PENDING TENDERS

  • NON-GMO SOYBEAN TENDER: South Korea’s state-backed Agro-Fisheries & Food Trade Corp issued international tenders to purchase around 20,000 metric tons of food-quality soybeans free of genetically modified organisms (GMOs).
  • WHEAT TENDER: Bangladesh’s state grains buyer issued an international tender to purchase 50,000 metric tons of milling wheat
  • MILLING WHEAT TENDER: Bangladesh’s state grains buyer issued another international tender to purchase 50,000 metric tons of milling wheat.
  • WHEAT TENDER: A government agency in Pakistan issued an international tender to purchase and import 110,000 metric tons of wheat.
  • WHEAT TENDER: Jordan’s state grain buyer has issued an international tender to buy up to 120,000 metric tons of milling wheat that can be sourced from optional origins
  • FEED BARLEY TENDER: Jordan’s state grains buyer has issued a new international tender to purchase up to 120,000 metric tons of animal feed barley

cargo ships on waterways

TODAY

ETHANOL: US Weekly Production Survey Before EIA Report

Output and stockpile projections for the week ending Dec. 8 are based on six analyst estimates compiled by Bloomberg.

  • Production seen lower than last week at 1.062m b/d
  • Stockpile avg est. 21.569m bbl vs 21.439m a week ago

Brazil Soy Output, Crush Seen Rising to Records in 2023: Abiove

Brazil soybean production in 2023 is seen hitting a record of 158.1m metric tons, up by 0.3% from previous estimate in November, industry group Abiove said by email.

  • Soybean output estimate for 2024 cut by 1.7% to 161.9m tons, due to climate conditions
  • Domestic crush seen at record this year at 53.6m tons, up 0.2% from November forecast
  • Crush in 2024 seen at new record of 54.5m tons, boosted by biodiesel demand with new diesel rules
    • Biodiesel mix set at 12% in 2023; 13% in 2024.
  • Soybean exports forecast for 2023 raised 0.5% to 100.5m tons; 2024 estimate cut 0.2% to 100.2m tons
  • Soy ending stock estimate for 2023 cut by 3.6% to 5.322m tons; 2024 outlook raised 33% to 10.466 m tons
  • Soymeal export forecast in 2023 kept at 22m tons; 2024 cut by 0.5% to 21.6m tons
  • Soyoil export estimate for 2023 cut by 2.1% to 2.350m tons; 2024 outlook unchanged at 1.6m tons

Ukraine’s Wheat Output to Drop to 12-Year Low in 2024: Argus

Ukraine’s wheat production is expected to fall about 9% from a year earlier to almost 20.2 million tons in the 2024-25 season, mainly due to smaller plantings, according to Argus.

  • That would be the smallest since 2012-13
  • Wheat acreage continues to decline
  • Average yields seen at 4.43 tons/hectare, compared with 4.79 tons/hectare for 2023-24
  • Farmers began autumn plantings in dry conditions, delaying crop emergence
    • “Beneficial rains and mild weather at the end of the winter sowing season helped speed up wheat development and improve crop conditions”
  • NOTE: Figures include only the regions controlled by Ukraine

Ukraine grain exports decrease to 14.7 mln T so far in 2023/24, says ministry

Ukraine’s grain exports have fallen to around 14.7 million metric tons so far in the 2023/24 July-June marketing season, agriculture ministry data showed on Wednesday.

The ministry said that by Dec. 16 last year, Ukraine had exported almost 20 million tons of grain.

Ukraine exported 1.6 million tons of grain so far in December, the ministry data showed.

The volume exported this season includes 6.3 million tons of wheat, 7.4 million tons of corn and 914,000 tons of barley.

In the previous season by Dec. 16, Ukraine had exported 7.4 million tons of wheat, 10.9 million tons of corn and 1.5 million tons of barley.

Ukraine has traditionally shipped most of its exports through its deep water Black Sea ports.

A senior Ukrainian government official said on Tuesday that the country’s exports through the alternative Black Sea corridor could increase to 5 million metric tons in December from 3.8 million tons in November.

Ukraine launched the corridor hugging the western Black Sea coast near Romania and Bulgaria in August, after Moscow withdrew from the U.N. brokered Black Sea grain export deal in July and threatened to treat all vessels as potential military targets.

Deputy infrastructure minister Yuriy Vaskov told foreign diplomats that Ukraine exported 2 million tons of cargo in October and 280,000 tons in September via the alternative route.

Ukraine’s government expects a harvest of 81.3 million tons of grain and oilseeds in 2023, with its 2023/24 exportable surplus totalling about 50 million tons.

Ukraine Shipped 8.6M Tons of Cargo Via Sea Ports Since August 8

Ukrainian exports via Black Sea corridor, which includes the country’s Greater Odesa ports, reached 8.6 million tons, Ukrainian infrastructure minister Oleksandr Kubrakov said at press conference in Kyiv Tuesday.

  • Around 70% of exports linked to agriculture and food stuff, according to Kubrakov
  • Full operation of Greater Odesa ports may add 8% to Ukrainian GDP, according to ministry’s assessments
  • Ministry foresees that December cargo volumes may reach 5m tons

Brazil Soy Exports Seen Reaching 3.45 Million Tns In December Versus 3.58 Million Tns Forecast In Previous Week – Anec

  • BRAZIL SOY EXPORTS SEEN REACHING 3.45 MILLION TNS IN DECEMBER VERSUS 3.58 MILLION TNS FORECAST IN PREVIOUS WEEK – ANEC
  • BRAZIL CORN EXPORTS SEEN REACHING 7.14 MILLION TNS IN DECEMBER VERSUS 6.86 MILLION TNS FORECAST IN PREVIOUS WEEK – ANEC
  • BRAZIL WHEAT EXPORTS SEEN REACHING 341,814 TNS IN DECEMBER VERSUS 283,784 TNS FORECAST IN PREVIOUS WEEK – ANEC
  • BRAZIL SOYMEAL EXPORTS SEEN REACHING 2.2 MILLION TNS IN DECEMBER VERSUS 2.04 MILLION TNS FORECAST IN PREVIOUS WEEK – ANEC

FAO-AMIS Raises World Wheat, Rice Stockpile Estimates

World wheat stockpiles in the 2023-24 season are now seen at 319.3m tons, up from a November estimate of 315.1m tons, according to a FAO-AMIS report published Thursday.

  • Production estimate raised on higher output forecasts for Russia, Saudi Arabia and Turkey
  • Corn stockpiles seen at 309.1m tons, up from November forecast of 307.2m tons
    • Production estimates seen 4.6% higher than year before
  • Rice stockpiles seen at 199.7m tons, up from previous forecast of 198.9m tons
  • Soybean stockpiles were cut to 51.8m tons from 53.0m tons on expected stock releases in Brazil and China

EU Soft-Wheat Exports Drop 14% Y/y in Season Through Dec. 10

The European Union’s soft-wheat exports in the season that began on July 1 were at 13.6m tons as of Dec. 10, compared with 15.8m tons a year earlier, the European Commission said on its website.

  • NOTE: The report only includes data from Italy up to Nov. 23
  • Leading destinations include Morocco, at 2m tons; Nigeria, 1.3m tons; and Egypt, with 1.1m tons
  • Barley exports were at 3m tons, up 5% y/y
  • Corn imports were at 7.6m tons, down 43% y/y

Ukraine’s exports via alternative Black Sea route could jump to 5 mln T in Dec

Ukrainian exports through the alternative Black Sea corridor could increase to 5 million metric tons in December from 3.8 million tons in November, Interfax Ukraine news agency quoted a senior Ukrainian government official as saying on Tuesday.

Ukraine launched the corridor hugging the western Black Sea coast near Romania and Bulgaria in August, after Moscow withdrew from the U.N. brokered Black Sea grain export deal in July and threatened to treat all vessels as potential military targets.

Deputy infrastructure minister Yuriy Vaskov told foreign diplomats that Ukraine exported 2 million tons of cargo in October and 280,000 tons in September via the alternative route.

The maximum volume of cargo exported via the UN-brokered corridor amounted to 4.2 million tons in October 2022, he added.

Ukraine’s Deputy Prime Minister Oleksandr Kubrakov said if the alternative corridor proved stable it could help Ukraine increase GDP growth by up to 8 percent next year.

Vaskov said 241 ships had exported a total of 8.6 million tons of cargo, including 6 million tons of agricultural goods, since the alternative corridor started operating in August.

The number of ships rose to 110 in November from 52 in October.

Ukraine, a major global grain grower and exporter, says its grain exportable surplus totals 50 million tons in the 2023/24 July-June season.

The country had exported 13.9 million tons of grain as of Dec. 8.

China updates approved meat exporters list, re-lists three Australian meat plants

China customs updated its list of approved meat exporters on Wednesday with the re-listing of three Australian meat plants, in the latest sign of improving relations between the two countries.

China blocked imports of Australian commodities including coal, timber and barley after Australia called for an inquiry into the origins of COVID-19 in 2020.

Argentina grains sector set for key meet with new Milei government – industry source

Argentina’s grains export sector is set to meet with the government of new libertarian President Javier Milei late on Tuesday after an expected package of economic reform measures is announced, a senior industry source told Reuters.

Argentina is one of the world’s top exporters of processed soy meal and oil and the No. 3 for corn, though the sector has been impacted by a drought that hit the most recent harvest and tight capital controls that limit access to dollars.

The grains sector is the top source of import dollars for Argentina, which is battling triple-digit inflation and foreign currency reserves estimated at $10 billion in the red.

Milei’s Policy Moves Seen Boosting Argentina Wheat Crop by 60%

  • New president’s plan for deregulation to encourage more output
  • Supply saw a similar jump last time market controls were eased

The rise of Javier Milei, Argentina’s newly minted president, is setting up the prospect of rapidly expanding wheat production in the largest South American exporter of the key staple grain.

Milei’s promise to undo currency controls that curtail farm revenues and his goal of ditching agricultural export tariffs will entice increased production. Output could jump more than 60% in the next growing season to as high as 25 million metric tons, according to Mariano D’Amore, a crop grower and a board member of the Bahia Blanca Grain Exchange in Argentina’s breadbasket region.

There’s historical precedent for that kind of increase. The last time Argentina deregulated its wheat market, eight years ago when then-President Mauricio Macri scrapped limits and taxes on exports, production soared by 52% and kept climbing to fresh records. The jump under Milei could be even bigger because crops will also be recovering from a severe drought that’s hampered output this year.

Argentina’s agriculture industry accounts for about 20% of gross domestic product. Before Milei’s election, some farmers had felt burned by governments that took some $200 billion from growers over just the past two decades to pay for bloated budgets, shore up the peso and control inflation.

“The promised changes are radical compared with previous government’s, so expectations among the agricultural sector are huge,” said Alejandro Castro, the president of Bahia Blanca Chamber of Grains Arbitration.

More output from Argentina is likely to weigh on the world’s wheat market, which has already been under pressure because of huge supplies from top exporter Russia. Benchmark wheat futures are down about 20% this year in Chicago trading. The decline in the grain market has helped to keep a lid on global food inflation.

In Argentina, a devaluation of the peso against the dollar would likely encourage more exports, since the shipments fetch greenbacks in return. D’Amore of the Bahia Blanca exchange said he expects a better exchange rate for selling commodities, as well as at least a partial cut to export taxes.

Economy Minister Luis Caputo will broadcast a recorded message on his first measures Tuesday evening after 5 p.m. local time, according to the president’s chief spokesman. Caputo is also expected to meet with commodity exporter groups Tuesday after his televised announcement.

Under Macri’s administration, deregulation encouraged farmers to boost wheat acreage, and D’Amore expects that to be the case again. That would mark a reversal after investments dampened in recent years.

While wheat prices are down this year, uncertainty still remains over supplies from the Black Sea region amid Russia’s war in Ukraine. At the same time, China has recently been snapping up imports. Bountiful harvests from Argentina would help add to global supply cushions.

Increases in Argentina wheat acreage would probably come at the expense of soybeans. Many farmers expect that Milei will scrap export taxes for wheat and corn, but keep them for soy, as seen under Macri.

Also, the prospect of improving weather could benefit farmers after several consecutive droughts. More rains fueled by El Nino would help the 2024-2025 wheat crop that’s mainly planted in June and July.

China’s Xinjiang sees bumper harvest this year

The grain output in northwest China’s Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region has surpassed 20 million tonnes this year, marking a rise of over 3 million tonnes from 2022, said the regional agriculture and rural affairs department on Wednesday.

This is the first time for the region to record such a figure in its yearly grain output and the increase from last year accounts for about 34.4 percent of China’s total grain output growth in 2023, according to the department.

The grain harvest can be mainly attributed to the adjustments in the local planting structure, efficient water resource utilization, and relevant policy support and technological guidance, according to Li Jing, deputy head of the department.

 

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