Global Ag News for Dec 8.23


India mulling import of 1mn tonnes of Russian wheat

Indian officials are exploring the option of importing 1mn tonnes of wheat from Russia to mitigate the rise in domestic prices leading up to the upcoming national elections in spring, as reported by The New Indian Express, citing undisclosed sources.

According to one of the sources, Russian wheat is not only superior in quality but also more cost-effective compared to products from other nations. The source suggested that India may authorise the import of approximately 1mn tonnes of Russian wheat to bolster the domestic market ahead of the elections.

It’s important to note that the information has yet to be officially confirmed. Earlier this summer, Indian media had reported negotiations between the two countries regarding the potential purchase of 8-9mn tonnes of wheat from Russia.


Wheat prices overnight are down 5 1/2 in SRW, down 1 3/4 in HRW, down 2 1/4 in HRS; Corn is up 1/4; Soybeans up 3 1/4; Soymeal up $1.60; Soyoil up 0.22.

For the week so far wheat prices are up 34 in SRW, up 19 in HRW, up 4 3/4 in HRS; Corn is up 3 1/2; Soybeans down 10; Soymeal down $4.30; Soyoil down 0.10.

For the month to date wheat prices are up 38 3/4 in SRW, up 22 3/4 in HRW, up 5 1/2 in HRS; Corn is up 5 1/2; Soybeans down 27 3/4; Soymeal down $15.60; Soyoil down 0.91.

Year-To-Date nearby futures are down 21.0% in SRW, down 25.4% in HRW, down 24.1% in HRS; Corn is down 31.0%; Soybeans down 13.4%; Soymeal down 11.3%; Soyoil down 19.9%.

Chinese Ag futures (JAN 24) Soybeans up 8 yuan; Soymeal up 39; Soyoil up 112; Palm oil up 158; Corn down 3 — Malaysian Palm is up 39. Malaysian palm oil prices overnight were up 39 ringgit (+1.05%) at 3741.

There were changes in registrations (-85 SRW Wheat, 11 HRW Wheat). Registration total: 2,773 SRW Wheat contracts; 225 Oats; 660 Corn; 596 Soybeans; 62 Soyoil; 0 Soymeal; 411 HRW Wheat.

Preliminary changes in futures Open Interest as of December 7 were: SRW Wheat down 17,597 contracts, HRW Wheat down 1,337, Corn up 2,049, Soybeans up 4,747, Soymeal down 7,653, Soyoil down 4,135.

Brazil: Some areas of central Brazil continue to see lower rainfall amounts, though showers continue throughout the region. Coverage continues to be below-normal but the amounts are largely sufficient for developing soybeans. Southern states continue to deal with too much rain as waves of heavier showers move through. These areas need drier weather to drain saturated soils for developing corn and soybeans. There may be a more extended period of dryness next week, but that may not be long enough.

Argentina: Scattered showers will continue to move through the region through next week with a couple of systems moving through. Amounts are forecast to be spottier than in previous weeks and some areas are going to miss out on the rain. Conditions are still largely favorable for planting and developing corn and soybeans.

Australia: Eastern areas have been much wetter in recent weeks, which has disrupted the remaining wheat and canola harvest, but favored the development of cotton and sorghum. Western areas have been drier. Decent rain showers will move through southern areas into this weekend which may be more beneficial for developing cotton and sorghum but continue to disrupt the wheat and canola harvest, and may cause quality concerns with crops still out in the field as well.

Northern Plains: A system will move along the Canadian border Thursday and Friday with scattered rain and snow showers in some areas. Accumulation across the north could be significant in some spots and winds will be strong. A cold front will move through with the system but temperatures behind the front will still be warm for December. Dry conditions will return again this weekend, largely continuing through next week.

Central/Southern Plains: A cold front will move through on Friday and will develop a system with scattered showers mainly in eastern areas. Dry conditions will likely make a return late this weekend into early next week along with slightly cooler temperatures. However, temperatures will still be relatively mild for December. Another system may develop in the region mid-late next week with scattered showers that could help those southwestern wheat areas.

Midwest: Very warm temperatures have flooded the region. A cold front will move through Friday and Saturday with some slightly cooler temperatures, but with potential for widespread precipitation as well as accumulating snow. Models have lowered their expected precipitation for the region, which would be less likely to help out with the current drought situation. Temperatures will rise well above normal again next week, which will be a common theme for most of the month.

Delta: A front will come through with potential for widespread precipitation Friday through the weekend, which may help with the drought and increasing water levels on the Mississippi River. There is also a risk for severe thunderstorms as the system moves through. Temperatures aren’t expected to cool off much behind the cold front as they will remain near-normal. Drier conditions are expected next week.

The player sheet for Dec. 7 had funds: net buyers of 3,000 contracts of SRW wheat, buyers of 2,500 corn, buyers of 5,500 soybeans, sellers of 1,000 soymeal, and  buyers of 4,500 soyoil.


  • SOYBEAN SALE: Exporters sold 121,000 metric tons of U.S. soybeans to unknown destinations for 2023/2024 delivery, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said.
  • WHEAT PURCHASE: Egypt’s state grains buyer, the General Authority for Supply Commodities (GASC), said it bought 420,000 metric tons of wheat in an international tender.
  • FOOD-QUALITY WHEAT PURCHASE: Japan’s Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries bought a total of 132,504 metric tons of food-quality wheat from the United States, Canada and Australia in a regular tender.
  • MILLING WHEAT PURCHASE: The Lebanese government is believed to have purchased about 30,000 metric tons of milling wheat in a tender expected to be sourced from Ukraine.
  • FEED CORN PURCHASE: South Korea’s Major Feedmill Group (MFG) purchased an estimated 68,000 metric tons of animal feed corn in a private deal without issuing an international tender


  • 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)
  • MILLING WHEAT TENDER: Bangladesh’s state grains buyer issued an international tender to purchase 50,000 metric tons of milling wheat
  • 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, European traders said. The deadline for submission of price offers is Dec. 27.


US Export Sales of Soybeans, Corn and Wheat by Country

The following shows US export sales of soybeans, corn and wheat by biggest net buyers for week ending Nov. 30, according to data on the USDA’s website.

  • Top buyer of soybeans: China with 565k tons
  • Top buyer of corn: Japan with 443k tons
  • Top buyer of wheat: Taiwan with 109k tons
  • Biggest cancellation: 108k tons of wheat from Unknown Buyers

Brazil 2023-24 Soybean Crop Seen at 160.2M Tons: Conab

Output est. cut from 162.42m tons, Brazil’s national supply co. says in its monthly report.

  • Analysts in a Bloomberg survey were expecting 159.9m tons
  • Yield seen lower at 3,535 kg/ha vs 3,586 kg/ha last month
  • Area planted raised to 45.309m ha vs 45.296m ha last month
  • Corn production est. cut to 118.5m tons vs 119.1m tons

Brazil agency cuts wheat crop view, puts ending stocks at 20-year low – Conab

Brazilian crop agency Conab on Thursday reduced the country’s wheat output estimate by around 15% from a previous forecast, citing excessive rainfall in southern Brazil as a factor spoiling the crop as the season draws to a close.

Brazilian wheat production is now estimated at 8.14 million

tons for 2023, the second largest volume in the country’s history, behind only the 10.55 million tons farmers produced in 2022.

According to Conab, lower supplies, a sudden rise in wheat exports from Brazil in recent years, and a drop in imports from January to October 2023 will take Brazil’s inventories to the lowest level in about two decades.

Overall, Brazil is a net wheat importer and its main supplier is Argentina.

A dearth of supplies has also caused prices paid to growers to rise almost 30% in the past 30 days, Conab said.

Excessive rains in southern Brazil slashed yields in large producers Parana and Rio Grande do Sul states, said Conab.

Rio Grande do Sul in particular suffered from “voluminous rains, winds, hail, floods, lots of clouds and few days with sunshine in all regions of the state.”

This affected wheat quality and disrupted disease control management, according to the agency.

With the fall in 2023 production, Conab believes Brazil will have to increase wheat imports by 600,000 tons in relation to

a previous forecast, demanding a total of six million tons in the 2023/24 cycle (August/July).

Brazil is also likely to export 2 million tons of wheat in that period, 600,000 tons less than Conab had predicted last month.

Conab said Brazil’s wheat ending stocks on July 31, 2024 are expected to reach the lowest levels in more than two decades, citing historical data.

Inventories will be just over 240,000 tons, compared with 740,000 tons a year earlier and around 2 million tons in recent years, Conab data showed.

Brazil 2023 feedstock production seen up 1.5% at 87 mln T -Sindiracoes

Brazil will produce around 87 million metric tons of animal feed in 2023, 1.5% more than in the previous year, according to projections released on Thursday by industry group Sindiracoes.

Corn is used to produce around 60% of animal feed in Brazil while soymeal is used to make about 21%, according to the Sindiracoes website.

For 2024, Sindiracoes forecasts animal feed companies will produce around 89 million tons of feedstock to meet domestic demand, a 2.5% rise from the level forecast for 2023.

In spite of projected growth for the sector next year, Brazilian feedstock companies are bracing for a potential fall in corn production next year, Zani said.

According to the government, Brazil will produce about 10% less corn overall, or 118.5 million tons , which could potentially disrupt feedstock production, in Sindiracoes’ view.

Ariovaldo Zani, Sindiracoes president, told a press conference that earlier this year, prospects were more optimistic for production and animal feed demand in Brazil, home to some of world’s biggest meatpackers.

However, factors including rising costs in the hog sector and lower demand from milk and dairy producers, who faced stiff competition from imports, weighed on the sector as the year progressed, he said.

Brazil forecasts 3.2-pct drop in 2024 agricultural output

Brazil is expected to yield 306.2 million tons of grains, cereals and legumes in 2024 harvest, 3.2 percent less than the expected output in 2023, the state-run Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE) reported Thursday.

According to IBGE forecasts, Brazil’s 2023 harvest will reach a record 316.3 million tons, 20.2 percent more than last year.

This year’s cultivated area will reach 77.8 million hectares, or 6.3 percent more than that in 2022.

Rice, soybeans and corn — Brazil’s three main agricultural products –will account for 92.6 percent of this year’s harvest and 87 percent of the harvested area.

Compared to 2022, soybean production is expected to increase by 26.9 percent to reach 151.7 million tons, while corn production will grow by 18.9 percent to 131 million tons this year.

However, the rice harvest will decline by 3.9 percent to yield 10.2 million tons in 2023.

Other products highlighted by the IBGE include cotton, which is expected to see a 14.4 percent increase in output to yield 7.7 million tons; sorghum, with a 49.9 percent increase; and wheat, which is expected to see an 11.3-percent drop in production to 8.9 million tons.

Argentine Soy, Corn, Wheat Estimates Dec. 7: Exchange

The Buenos Aires Grain Exchange releases weekly report on website.

  • 2023-24 corn and soybean planting estimates both unchanged
  • Corn planting advanced to 40% complete from 32% in the previous week
  • Soybean planting advanced to 52% complete

El Nino’s abundant rains bring ‘optimal’ moisture to Argentine soy fields

Abundant rainfall over Argentina’s core farming heartlands over recent weeks is favoring production of soybean, corn and wheat for one of the world’s largest grain exporting nations, the Buenos Aires grain exchange said on Thursday.

Argentina’s previous 2022/23 season was battered by a fierce drought triggered by the La Nina weather phenomenon, but rains brought by El Nino could help the South American country secure a heftier 2023/24 harvest.

In a weekly crop report, the exchange said that 98% of planted soybeans were in normal to excellent condition thanks to “optimal moisture”. Argentine farmers have so far planted 51.7% of a projected 17.3 million hectares (42.7 million acres).

Corn farmers have planted 40.3% of an expected 7.1 million hectares, the exchange said, while harvesting of wheat has progressed to over 48.2% of 5.6 million hectares ready for picking.

It reiterated that this season should ultimately produce some 14.7 metric tons of wheat.

Ukraine’s Grain Exports Drop 27% Y/y in Season to Dec. 8

Ukraine’s grain exports in the marketing year that started on July 1 stand at 13.9 million tons, down from almost 19m tons at the same time last year, the Agriculture Ministry said on its website.

The total includes

  • 6.1m tons of wheat, down nearly 15% y/y
  • 897k tons of barley, down 40% y/y
  • 6.8m tons of corn, down 33.7% y/y
  • Exports totaled 824,000 tons in the first eight days of December, falling 24.5% from the same period a year ago; the pace of decline is slowing as Ukraine is increasing exports via the deep Black Sea ports and Danube river

Ukrainian Railways ships more grain for export

Ukrainian Railways (Ukrzaliznytsia) shipped 2.4 million tonnes of grain for export in November, 13% more than a year earlier and 40.4% more than in the previous month, Ukrainian media reported, citing a statement from the company.

Grain shipments to seaports jumped 70% month-on-month to 1.7 million tonnes, while shipments through overland border crossings slumped by 4.2% to 0.72 million tonnes.

Overall grain shipments, for both the domestic market and export, rose 13% year-on-year to 3 million tonnes.

Ukrzaliznytsia carried a total of 14.1 million tonnes of freight in November, 33.8% more than a year earlier. Domestic shipments grew by 19% year-on-year to 7.3 million tonnes, export shipments jumped 56.2% to 6 million tonnes, import shipments rose 35.4% to 679,000 tonnes and transit shipments totalled 65,500 tonnes.

It was reported earlier that Ukrzaliznytsia increased shipments of grain and milled products by 5.8% year-on-year to 24.26 million tonnes in the first ten months of 2023, including 17.55 million tonnes for export, 0.7% less than a year earlier.

Railway shipments to ports fell 15% to 10.46 million tonnes in the ten months, while shipments to overland border crossings grew by 31% to 7.09 million tonnes.

Grain shipments to ports have been growing since August thanks to the opening of a temporary marine corridor at ports in Greater Odessa, Ukrzaliznytsia said earlier.

Ukraine’s Grain Harvest Advances 32% Y/y in Season to Dec. 8

Ukraine’s grain harvest advanced to 57.6m tons in the marketing year that started on July 1, compared with the same period last year, the Agriculture Ministry says on its website.

  • The total includes:
    • 22.5m tons of wheat, up 16% y/y
    • 5.9m tons of barley, up 5.4% y/y
    • 26.9m tons of corn, up 56% y/y
  • Ten out of 24 Ukrainian regions have already completed harvesting, the rest finish gathering corn, sunflower and sugar beets, Agrarian Ministry said
  • Sunflower harvest has already reached almost 12m tons vs 10m a year ago
  • Sugar beets harvest is 11.6m tons vs 8.9m tons last year

French Wheat Planting Holds Below 90% as of Early December: Data

Some 89% of soft-wheat and 94% of winter-barley crops in France were planted as of Dec. 4, trailing both last year’s pace and the prior five-year average, according to weekly data from FranceAgriMer.

  • NOTE: Most French winter-wheat is typically sown by the end of November; fieldwork has been slowed by heavy rain this year
    • The agriculture ministry is due to issue initial winter-crop area forecasts next week
  • Around 77% of soft-wheat crops were in good to excellent condition, lower than both the week and year before
    • Winter-barley also saw the percentage of crops in top conditions decline

Rhine Closures Expected Early Next Week on High Water: Riverlake

High waters will mean that parts of the Rhine river are expected to be closed for sailing early next week, according to Michiel Verbeek, a barge broker at Riverlake.

  • The critical water level of Marke II will be breached at Maxau around Dec. 12 according to forecasts, Verbeek said by phone
    • Marke II level also expected to be breached around the same time in the Basel area
    • NOTE: Marke II levels vary at different points on the Rhine river
    • NOTE: Click here for Maxau forecast from Baden-Wurttemberg State Institute for the Environment; and here for more information on shipping restrictions at high water levels
  • Sailing bans are subsequently expected to come into force on both of these sections of the Rhine river around Dec. 12: Verbeek
    • Later next week, sailing bans may come into force on other parts of the Rhine River
  • Generally speaking, going above Marke II results in a sailing ban for cargo ships: Verbeek

 Chinese Seed Stocks Rise After GMO Corn, Soybean Approval

Chinese seed stocks gain after authorities approved 51 versions of genetically modified corn and soybeans.

  • The approval includes modified corn under a unit of Yuan Longping High-tech Agriculture and Shandong Denghai Seeds, according to a statement posted on China’s Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs website Thursday
  • Henan Qiule Seeds Technology rises as much as 3.3%; Beijing Dabeinong +2.7%, Shandong Denghai Seeds +1.9%
  • Yuan Longping High-tech Agriculture climbs as much as 3% before erasing gain

Global Food Prices Plateau as Cheaper Grain Bucks Jump in Sugar

Global food prices were little changed, indicating a pause in the prolonged market slump from last year’s peak that had been easing inflation in some countries.

  • An index of food-commodity prices created by the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization was steady in November, according to a report on Friday.
  • The last few months have seen a decline in costs from a 2022 peak when Russia’s invasion of Ukraine fueled a surge in commodity prices. Still, lower wholesale costs take some time to percolate down to supermarkets and final consumers struggling with a wider cost-of-living crisis.

US Miss. River Grain Shipments Fall, Barge Rates Decline: USDA

Barge shipments down the Mississippi river declined to 717k tons in the week ending Dec. 2 from 928k tons the previous week, according to the USDA’s weekly grain transportation report.

  • Barge shipments of corn fell 27% from the previous week
  • Soybean shipments down 28% w/w
  • St. Louis barge rates were $13.73 per short ton, a decline of $1.32 from the previous week

Chinese researchers unravel grain mystery

Chinese researchers have untangled a genetic puzzle long impeding global progress toward a commercially viable corn variety rich in iron, a crucial microelement for human health, according to a study published by Science journal on Friday.

The discovery could help roll out an iron-enriched corn variety in a couple of years, providing a boon to almost one-third of the global population troubled by iron deficiency-induced health problems such as anemia, said a researcher involved in the study.

After nine years of painstaking research, the plant scientists from Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences and Henan Agricultural University found that the corn gene ZmNAC78 is responsible for regulating iron concentration in kernels independent of plant growth or grain yield.

The finding is a breakthrough in plant nutrition given that past attempts to cultivate iron-enriched corn mostly ended up with compromised grain output, which makes large-scale growing not possible, experts said.

Before this study, how iron finds its way into corn kernels was almost completely unknown by the global science community, which has been looking into possibilities of iron-rich crop varieties ranging from rice to corn since the early 2000s, said Li Wenxue, the study’s lead researcher.

The research was part of a broader effort to ease the global micronutrient deficiency that they call “hidden hunger”.


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