Global Ag News for Dec 20.22

TOP HEADLINES

US Fertilizer Prices Fall as Traders Look Ahead to Spring Needs

Nitrogen, phosphate and potash prices continue to fall in the US as the autumn application season ends and winter and spring pricing programs begin. Declines this week were led by producers’ spring prepay ammonia offers and winter fill programs for potash, while urea and phosphates remained under pressure at New Orleans and inland.

FUTURES & WEATHER

Wheat prices overnight are down 1 1/2 in SRW, up 3 3/4 in HRW, up 5 1/4 in HRS; Corn is up 3/4; Soybeans up 4 1/4; Soymeal up $0.31; Soyoil down 0.12.

For the week so far wheat prices are down 6 1/4 in SRW, up 3 1/4 in HRW, up 4 in HRS; Corn is down 5; Soybeans down 16; Soymeal down $1.10; Soyoil up 0.83.

For the month to date wheat prices are down 48 1/2 in SRW, down 52 1/2 in HRW, down 29 1/2 in HRS; Corn is down 19; Soybeans down 7 3/4; Soymeal up $33.20; Soyoil down 6.99.

Year-To-Date nearby futures are down -3% in SRW, up 6% in HRW, down -7% in HRS; Corn is up 9%; Soybeans up 10%; Soymeal up 10%; Soyoil up 14%.

Chinese Ag futures (MAR 23) Soybeans down 30 yuan; Soymeal down 18; Soyoil down 6; Palm oil up 20; Corn down 20 — Malaysian palm oil prices overnight were down 60 ringgit (-1.53%) at 3869.

There were changes in registrations (-1 Oats). Registration total: 2,795 SRW Wheat contracts; 0 Oats; 154 Corn; 91 Soybeans; 774 Soyoil; 296 Soymeal; 495 HRW Wheat.

Preliminary changes in futures Open Interest as of December 19 were: SRW Wheat down 2,539 contracts, HRW Wheat up 35, Corn down 3,583, Soybeans down 14,788, Soymeal down 2,307, Soyoil down 3,203.

Brazil Grains & Oilseeds Forecast: Sao Paulo and Parana will continue to see chances for scattered showers early this week while Rio Grande Do Sul may miss out on most of the precipitation again. A cold front will push into the area this coming weekend, which will benefit the developing corn and soybeans. Below normal temperatures are also expected after the passage of the cold front.

Argentina Grains & Oilseeds Forecast: Dry conditions and above normal temperatures will prevail across Argentina early this week. A cold front will lift through the area late this week, providing some beneficial rainfall to the area which will help the developing corn and soybeans. Behind the cold front, below normal temperatures will follow allowing for a more extended cool down.

Northern Plains Forecast: Cold air will remain entrenched across the region through the end of this week. Meanwhile, isolated snow showers will be possible today before more scattered showers return by the middle of the week. Drier conditions return for the end of the week.

Central/Southern Plains Forecast: Scattered showers remain possible today with better chances for more widespread rain and snow by the middle of the week. Additionally, below to well below normal temperatures will slowly sink south across the region throughout the week.

Midwest Forecast: A very cold airmass will continue to push into the region and hang on through the end of the week. Meanwhile, a quick system will slide through the area today before more widespread snow showers are possible by the middle of the week. Conditions dry out by the end of the week.

The player sheet for Dec. 19 had funds: net sellers of 3,000, sellers of 3,000, sellers of 10,000, sellers of 10,000, and  buyers of 4,000.

TENDERS

  • CORN SALES: The U.S. Department of Agriculture on Monday confirmed private sales of 141,000 tonnes of U.S. corn to Mexico for delivery in the 2022/23 marketing year that began Sept. 1.
  • SOYBEAN SALES: The U.S. Department of Agriculture on Monday confirmed private sales of 132,000 tonnes of U.S. soybeans to unknown destinations for delivery in the 2022/23 marketing year that began Sept. 1.
  • WHEAT TENDER: The Taiwan Flour Millers’ Association has issued an international tender to purchase 56,000 tonnes of grade 1 milling wheat to be sourced from the United States
  • WHEAT TENDER: Japan’s Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF) is seeking to buy a total of 144,441 tonnes of food-quality wheat from the United States and Canada in a regular tender that will close on Thursday.

PENDING TENDERS

  • WHEAT TENDER: Iraq’s state grains buyer has issued a tender to buy a nominal 50,000 tonnes of milling wheat
  • CORN TENDER: South Korea’s state-backed Agro-Fisheries & Food Trade Corp issued new international tenders to purchase around 25,000 tonnes of food-quality soybeans free of genetically modified organisms (GMOs)
  • SUNFLOWER OIL TENDER: Turkey’s state grain board TMO has issued an international tender to purchase about 24,000 tonnes of crude sunflower oil
  • RICE TENDER: South Korea’s state-backed Agro-Fisheries & Food Trade Corp has issued an international tender to purchase an estimated 83,672 tonnes of rice to be sourced from the United States.
  • RICE TENDERS: Bangladesh’s state grains buyer issued an international tender to purchase 50,000 tonnes of rice.

North America at Night

TODAY

US Inspected 743k Tons of Corn for Export, 1.62m of Soybean

In week ending Dec. 15, according to the USDA’s weekly inspections report.

  • Corn: 743k tons vs 517k the previous wk, 1,002k a yr ago
  • Wheat: 304k tons vs 219k the previous wk, 234k a yr ago
  • Soybeans: 1,620k tons vs 1,878k the previous wk, 1,909k a yr ago

US Corn, Soybean, Wheat Inspections by Country: Dec. 15

Following is a summary of USDA inspections for week ending Dec. 15 of corn, soybeans and wheat for export, from the Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration, known as GIPSA.

  • Soybeans for China-bound shipments made up 1.11m tons of the 1.62m total inspected
  • China was the top destination for corn inspections, South Korea led in wheat

EU 2023 Grains Crop Seen Rising 6.8% Y/y, Rapeseed Down: Coceral

Grain production in the EU and the UK is estimated at 304.4m tons in 2023, trade group Coceral says in an initial estimate for next year.

  • That would top 285.1m tons collected in 2022
  • Soft-wheat crop seen at 143.2m tons, up from 140.7m tons
    • Output in Spain in particular is expected to rise, after it suffered a drought this year
  • Barley crop seen at 60m tons, up from 58.5m tons
  • Corn crop seen at 64.5m tons, up from 50.7m tons, as yields recover in countries including France, Hungary and Germany
    • NOTE: Summer drought and heat ravaged this year’s harvest
  • Rapeseed crop seen at 20.4m tons, slipping from 20.6m tons

Ukraine’s Black Sea Crop Exports Fell 22% W/w in Week to Dec. 18

Crop exports from Ukraine’s ports under the Black Sea Grain Initiative totaled about 514,848 tons in the week to Dec. 18, according to data posted by the Joint Coordination Centre.

  • That compares with about 657,235 tons the prior week
  • QUEUE: 84 inbound and outbound vessels were waiting in Turkish territorial waters for inspection as of Sunday, JCC said by email
    • Compares with 82 the prior week
    • Five to nine ships passed inspection daily
  • TOTAL TONNAGE: More than 14m tons of crops have shipped since the initiative was agreed in late July

Frost Damage to European Winter Crops Has Been Minor: MARS

Frost damage to winter crops as of mid-December has been minor and confined to some areas in central and eastern Germany and Poland, the EU’s Monitoring Agricultural Resources unit said Monday in a report.

  • After a mild autumn, there was a significant drop in temperatures in the first half of December that allowed a large improvement in frost tolerance
  • For the Dec. 15-24 period:
  • “While warmer-than-usual air temperatures are forecast in southern Europe, the Balkan region and European Russia, colder-than-usual temperatures will prevail in most of central and northern Europe”

Fire at Grain Trader Andersons Confined to Dome, No Injuries

Company says flames at the Hemlock grain elevator in Saginaw County, Michigan, were confined to corn storage dome and no injuries were reported, according to statement.

  • Fire started yesterday and contained to the silo part of the facility, but should continue to burn throughout the day, according to the Richland Township Fire Department
  • Cause of fire hasn’t been determined, an investigation is underway
  • According to local pictures and videos posted online, the silos were full when the fire started around 10:30 pm local time on Sunday night
  • The facility receives and stores corn, soybeans, white wheat and red wheat
  • Around 29 fire departments are involved in the call, one of the “highest” number of fire departments hosted by the city’s fire department ever, said the fire-chief Jeremy Scott in an interview early today for local TV stations
    • More than 100 professionals are mobilized, from 23 in-county departments plus 6 out-of-county departments attended
  • Fire fighters and the company are working on contingency plans and no employees were working when the fire started, according to Scott
  • The company owns 8 grain facilities in Michigan, including the one in Hemlock
  • This is the second accident the company faced over the last few months as another silo collapsed in Indiana

WHEAT/CEPEA: Higher supply and lower import parity value press down quotations

As the harvesting of a record wheat crop is almost over in Brazil, higher supply continues to press down quotations. Besides, the current lower import parity value is influencing domestic devaluations too, as it favors imports. However, agents from the wheat market believe that the downward trend of prices may weaken, based on the significant reduction in the output from Argentina.

According to Deral, the harvesting of wheat crops is over in Paraná; in Rio Grande do Sul, the scenario is the same, according to Emater. Considering the national wheat crop, 98.5% had been harvested by December 10th.

In Argentina, Bolsa de Comércio de Rosário has, once again, reduced the estimates for the national wheat output, now to 11.5 million tons. Water shortages are the main reason for the steep decrease of 10 million tons compared to that in the 2021/22 season.

BRAZILIAN MARKET – Cepea surveys show that, between December 9th and 16th, the prices paid to the wheat farmers in Rio Grande do Sul dropped by 0.88%; and in Paraná, by 0.34%. In Santa Catarina, values remained stable. In the wholesale market, quotations decreased by 0.74% in PR, by 0.49% in São Paulo, and by 0.25% in SC. However, in RS, prices rose 0.21%. In the same period, the US dollar increased by 1.1%, closing at BRL 5.298 on December 16th.

Based on data from Conab (Brazil’s National Company for Food Supply), between December 5 and 9, the import parity price for the wheat from Argentina delivered to Paraná State was USD 360.83/ton. Considering the average of the US dollar in that period, at BRL 5.2305, the wheat imported was sold at BRL 1,887.33/ton, while for the Brazilian wheat traded in Paraná, the average was lower, at BRL 1,806.2/ton, according to data from Cepea. In Rio Grande do Sul, the import parity for the product from Argentina would be of USD 338.63/ton (BRL 1,771.20/ton), against BRL 1,566.4/ton on the average of the state surveyed by Cepea.

Brazilian farmers clear land in Matopiba frontier for soy, group says

Farmers in Brazil have cleared land to grow soy in the new agricultural frontier known as Matopiba, according to data from Abiove, an oilseed lobby group representing global trade firms like Cargill and Bunge BG.N.

In other parts of the South American country’s Cerrado savanna, soybean expansion was mainly driven by conversion of degraded pastureland into areas to grow crops, the data from the Brazil-based group shows.

Under Brazil’s forestry code, farmers have to conserve between 20% and 35% of a property in the Cerrado, depending on the farm’s exact location. That ratio is 80% for farms within the Amazonian biome.

In Matopiba states including Maranhao, Tocantins, Piaui and Bahia, which partly lie on the Cerrado biome, some 700,000 hectares (1.729 million acres) of native vegetation were transformed into soy fields in the eight-year period between 2013/2014 and 2021/2022, according to Abiove data.

Pastures, on the other hand, accounted for a smaller chunk of the soybean advance in Matopiba over the same period, with around 400,000 hectares being transformed to grow the oilseed there, the data show.

Brazil, the world’s biggest soybean supplier, competes with the United States on global markets and sells its soy output to China and the European Union. They mainly use it as livestock feed.

Other states in the Cerrado, including Mato Grosso, Brazil’s biggest soy producer, converted 2.8 million hectares of degraded pastureland into soybean plantations, according to Abiove data.

The Cerrado, the world’s most species-rich savanna, has given way to Brazil’s expanding agricultural frontier for decades.

In the eight-year period, soy planting jumped from 12.13 million hectares in the various states of the Cerrado, excluding Matopiba, to 16.35 million hectares. That is a 34.8% rise, Abiove data show.

In Matopiba, the increase was almost 50% to around 5 million hectares, Abiove said.

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