Global Ag News for Dec 9.22

TOP HEADLINES

China’s Corn Supply Increases as Covid Restrictions Ease: CASDE

China’s corn harvest is coming to the market in larger volumes as logistics improve after the government eased Covid rules, the agriculture ministry said in its latest China Agricultural Supply & Demand Estimates.

  • Still, corn prices are expected to remain high because of strong demand, the ministry said; feed usage keeps rising, while industrial consumption is expected to improve, it said
  • New-crop soybean output has increased significantly from a year earlier, leading to a drop in local prices
  • The cotton consumption estimate for 2022-23 was cut by 200,000 tons from the previous month to 7.5 million tons, because of poor demand for textile products
  • Production, import and consumption estimates for corn, soybeans and edible oils in 2022-23 remain unchanged

FUTURES & WEATHER

Wheat prices overnight are up 3 in SRW, up 3 in HRW, up 2 1/2 in HRS; Corn is up 2; Soybeans up 4 1/4; Soymeal up $0.22; Soyoil up 0.24.

For the week so far wheat prices are down 11 3/4 in SRW, down 23 1/4 in HRW, down 10 1/4 in HRS; Corn is down 1 1/4; Soybeans up 53 1/2; Soymeal up $4.23; Soyoil down 3.69.

For the month to date wheat prices are down 46 1/4 in SRW, down 52 in HRW, down 31 in HRS; Corn is down 22 1/2; Soybeans up 21; Soymeal up $48.60; Soyoil down 9.56.

Year-To-Date nearby futures are down -6% in SRW, up 7% in HRW, down -6% in HRS; Corn is up 7%; Soybeans up 12%; Soymeal up 14%; Soyoil up 13%.

Chinese Ag futures (MAR 23) Soybeans up 6 yuan; Soymeal up 51; Soyoil up 30; Palm oil up 26; Corn down 4 — Malaysian palm oil prices overnight were up 52 ringgit (+1.32%) at 3995.

There were changes in registrations (-1 SRW Wheat, -30 Soybeans, 60 Soyoil). Registration total: 3,055 SRW Wheat contracts; 2 Oats; 308 Corn; 91 Soybeans; 749 Soyoil; 291 Soymeal; 495 HRW Wheat.

Preliminary changes in futures Open Interest as of December 8 were: SRW Wheat up 18 contracts, HRW Wheat up 334, Corn down 203, Soybeans up 2,080, Soymeal down 667, Soyoil down 3,814.

Brazil Grains & Oilseeds Forecast: Scattered showers will continue in central and northern Brazil for the next seek as is typical for this time of year. Southern areas will see some periods of showers returning, but a front moving through Monday and Tuesday will clear out the south and may even get into the central states later next week. Corn in the far south may see some stress developing with more limited showers and a return to dryness. Soybeans are generally in good condition across the country with fewer concerns.

Argentina Grains & Oilseeds Forecast: Isolated showers remain possible in Argentina through the rest of this week and into the weekend, but very high temperatures will cause further stress and potential damage to developing corn and soybeans. Planting is also very delayed and conditions for the rest of this week will not promote much progress. A stronger front will move through with more organized showers Sunday and Monday, but mostly for northern areas. The front will bring lower temperatures into the country but will also stop chances for showers with a lot of dryness for next week. Overall, conditions continue to be poor for corn and soybeans until precipitation becomes more consistent.

Northern Plains Forecast: Some moderate snow may pass through southeastern South Dakota Thursday, but most areas are likely to be dry through the weekend. A very strong storm system will pass through early next week. Widespread heavy snow is expected with it and should result in blizzard conditions for large sections of the region, bringing risks to livestock.

Central/Southern Plains Forecast: A system is moving through the Central and Southern Plains Thursday with scattered showers but missing large drought areas in the west. Southeastern areas will stay active with another disturbance bringing moderate rain over the weekend. A much larger storm system will move through early next week. Precipitation will increase across the east, but southwestern areas are unlikely to see much out of the system. Heavy snow will be possible across the northwest and may result in blizzard conditions. Overall, drought relief may come to southeastern areas but the southwest should see worsening conditions. Warmer temperatures ahead of the system will fall behind it.

Midwest Forecast: A system will bring scattered showers through the Midwest Thursday and Friday, including a band of moderate snow across the north. The weekend will be quieter with rising temperatures, but a system will plow through the region early to mid-next week. Heavy snow may fall across the north while thunderstorms go across the south. Colder temperatures will replace the warmth behind the system.

The player sheet for Dec. 8 had funds: net sellers of 500 contracts of SRW wheat, buyers of 1,000 corn, sellers of 6,000 soybeans, buyers of 2,500 soymeal, and  buyers of 1,000 soyoil.

TENDERS

  • SOYBEAN SALES: The U.S. Department of Agriculture confirmed private sales of 718,000 tonnes of U.S. soybeans to unknown destinations and another 118,000 tonnes to China, all for delivery in the 2022/23 marketing year that began Sept. 1.
  • WHEAT PURCHASE: Egypt’s state grains buyer, the General Authority for Supply Commodities (GASC), is believed to have bought 260,000 tonnes of Russian wheat on Thursday via private talks with suppliers
  • WHEAT PURCHASE: Japan’s Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF) bought a total of 154,957 tonnes of food-quality wheat from the United States, Canada and Australia in regular tenders that closed on Thursday.
  • CORN PURCHASE: South Korean animal feed maker Nonghyup Feed Inc (NOFI) bought an estimated 69,000 tonnes of animal feed corn from South American origin in an international tender, for up to 138,000 tonnes, which closed on Thursday
  • FEED WHEAT AND SOYMEAL TENDER: A group of importers in the Philippines issued an international tender to purchase up to 110,000 tonnes of feed wheat and up to 135,000 tonnes of soymeal to be sourced from optional origins.

PENDING TENDERS

  • 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)
  • WHEAT AND BARLEY TENDER: Japan’s Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF) said it will seek 70,000 tonnes of feed wheat and 40,000 tonnes of feed barley via a simultaneous buy and sell (SBS) auction that will be held on Dec. 14.
  • RICE TENDER: Bangladesh’s state grains buyer issued an international tender to purchase 50,000 tonnes of rice.

Trade ship at port

TODAY

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 Dec. 1, according to data on the USDA’s website.

  • China bought 870k tons of the 1.75m tons of soybeans sold in the week
  • Mexico was the top buyer of corn and China led in wheat

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 Dec. 1, according to data on the USDA’s website.

  • Weekly pork sales resulted in a net cancellation of -5.5k tons, the lowest since April of 2021
  • South Korea led in beef purchases

Drought Stress May Jeopardize Brazil’s Soy, Corn Yields: Conab

Last month’s excessive heat and irregular rains caused moisture stress in central Brazil’s soybean crops and in summer corn crops in the far south, national supply company Conab says in report.

  • Even with some weather issues, most crops in top growing state of Mato Grosso look great, though yields may be curbed in areas most affected by recent dryness if irregular rains persist
    • Soy planting delays will reduce the ideal period for winter corn seeding, which happens just after the oilseed harvest
  • Soy seeding in Goias was suspended in some areas after 25 days of drought, while some farmers needed to replant soybeans
    • 10% of crops in the state are rated bad, 40% regular, 50% good
  • For corn, yield losses have been reported in Rio Grande do Sul amid low soil moisture — and those may be intensified if adverse conditions continue

Brazil 2022/23 Soy Sales 23.6% Done as of Dec. 8: Safras

Taking into account an estimated harvest of 154.5m tons, Safras & Mercado consulting firm projects an anticipated commercialization of 23.6%, involving 36.5m tons, according to an emailed report from Safras.

  • In the same period last year, early sales were 32.5% and the average for the period is 37.6%
  • On November 4, the number was 20.6%, Safras said
  • Brazil 2021/22 soy sales were 92.6% as of Dec. 8, compared with 89.2% as of Nov. 4

Brazil’s 2022/23 soybean output seen at 153.5 mln tns – Abiove

  • BRAZIL’S 2022/23 SOYBEAN OUTPUT SEEN AT 153.5 MILLION TNS VERSUS 127.9 MILLION TNS IN 2021/22 – ABIOVE
  • BRAZIL’S 2022/23 SOYBEAN EXPORTS SEEN AT 93 MILLION TNS VERSUS 77.5 MILLION TNS IN 2021/22 – ABIOVE
  • BRAZIL’S 2022/23 SOYBEAN CRUSHING SEEN AT 52.5 MILLION TNS VERSUS 49.7 MILLION TNS IN 2021/22 – ABIOVE
  • BRAZIL’S 2022/23 SOY MEAL OUTPUT SEEN AT 40.2 MILLION TNS VERSUS 38 MILLION TNS IN 2021/22 – ABIOVE
  • BRAZIL’S 2022/23 SOY OIL PRODUCTION SEEN AT 10.7 MILLION TNS VERSUS 10.05 MILLION TNS IN 2021/22 – ABIOVE

Wheat Stockpile Outlook Boosted, While Corn Estimate Cut: AMIS

World wheat stockpiles are now estimated at 300.1m tons for the close of the 2022-23 season, up from a November outlook of 299.6m tons, the Agricultural Market Information System said in a report Thursday.

  • That’s mainly due to a buildup in China and Russia
  • Corn stockpile estimate cut to 286m tons from 286.6m tons
  • Soybean stockpile estimate raised to 49.7m tons from 48.2m tons

China to allow overseas traders in soybean, soymeal futures from Dec 26 – regulator

China’s securities regulator said on Friday it will permit international participation in trading of its soybean and soymeal futures contracts from Dec. 26.

The contracts are traded on the Dalian Commodity Exchange.

White House Vetting Plan to Unleash Ethanol Sales With E15

The White House is reviewing a request from at least eight Midwestern governors for a US policy change that would allow year-round sales of higher-ethanol E15 gasoline, signaling possible action within weeks.

  • The Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs said in a notice online it is scrutinizing a draft Environmental Protection Agency proposal tied to the request
  • Move responds to request from governors of Iowa, Illinois, Kansas, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wisconsin, who asked EPA for a new rule removing a 1-psi Reid vapor pressure waiver for conventional E10 gasoline, a change that would put it on the same footing as E15 that contains 15% ethanol
  • It would also require a reduction in the volatility of gasoline blendstock
  • White House review shows “the governors’ petition is moving ahead” and “the petition remains on track for approval before summer 2023,” said Geoff Cooper, chief executive officer of the Renewable Fuels Association

Indonesia May Start Using B35 Biodiesel From Jan. 2023: Reuters

Indonesia, the world’s largest palm oil producer, may start using a 35% palm oil-mixed biodiesel — known as B35 — starting Jan. 2023, says a report by Reuters, citing Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry renewables director general Dadan Kusdiana on Friday.

  • Govt. to allocate 13m kiloliters of biofuel for 2023, from 11.03m this year

China’s Grain Imports Fall Nearly 12% in First 11 Months Amid Global Turmoil, Softer Demand

China’s grain imports shrank 11.8 percent between January and November from a year earlier, mainly due to international disruption and weakening demand at home, according to industry insiders.

China imported 133.2 million tons of grain in the 11 months ended Nov. 30, data released by the General Administration of Customs showed on Dec. 7. Imports of vegetable oil and meat plunged nearly 42 percent and 23 percent, respectively.

Grain imports fell mainly because of disruption in the Black Sea area, Zheng Wenhui, a food economy researcher at Guangdong South China Grain Trading Center, told Yicai Global.

China imported 5.1 million tons of grain from Ukraine in the 10 months ended Oct. 31, about half of the year-earlier amount. China is also very dependent on Ukraine and the United States for corn.

Rising international food prices and the US dollar’s appreciation against the Chinese yuan also narrowed the price advantage of imported grain, Zheng pointed out.

In the first half of the year, China’s industrial feed production fell 5 percent from a year ago and did not rebound until September, leading to an overall decrease in demand for feed grain in the first 10 months, Zheng added.

Another factor skewering the grain import figures was the extremely high base of the past two years, Zhang Zhixian, vice president of cngrain.com’s Yida Research Institute, told Yicai Global. To cope with changes in the external environment, China imported some grain in advance, with the volumes shipped in last year and in 2020 hitting record highs.

Since last year, the share of grain and cereal flour in China’s grain imports has surged. The figure remained around 20 percent between 2016 and 2020, but doubled to nearly 40 percent in 2021, as corn imports soared to almost 30 million tons from a few million. Since the Russia-Ukraine conflict, international grain prices have skyrocketed, resulting in a falloff in imports.

Under the twin effects of declining imports and a continuous pickup in domestic feed demand, China’s supply and demand of feed grain will further tighten, and the prices of corn, soybean meal, wheat, and other varieties will remain high, Zheng predicted.

Top Commodity Trader Bunge Is Moving To Tax Haven Switzerland

  • Operations at St. Louis headquarters not expected to change
  • Crop traders are seeing huge profits due to Ukraine war

Leading agricultural firm Bunge Ltd. is moving its domicile from Bermuda to tax haven Switzerland, joining a host of commodity traders.

Bunge, the world’s largest oilseed crusher, and other crop traders are capturing massive profits as a result of supply woes due to the war in Ukraine. Switzerland is a well-known tax haven for corporations as it has lower tax rates for individuals and corporations. Over the past few decades, several trading companies such as Louis Dreyfus, Raízen, Archer-Daniels-Midland Co., Chiquita and now Bunge, opened offices or representations there.

Bunge said “the change was made after an extensive review of its business operations and emerging trends in the global tax environment.” The company said its shares will continue to be listed exclusively in New York and St. Louis will still be the operational headquarters.

Recently, the company left Russia and bought more crushing capacity in Europe and South America as ways to strengthen its supply chain. The domicile change decision also comes after Continental Grain Co.’s Paul Fribourg left his seat on the board of Bunge.

Ivory Coast Suspends Palm Oil Exports to Boost Domestic Supply

Ivory Coast called for a temporary halt of crude and refined palm oil exports to boost local supply.

The government seeks to ensure there’s enough palm oil for the local market, the regulator said in a statement. The suspension is effective from Dec. 12, it said.

The order comes after the West African nation capped the price for rice, sugar, milk, tomato paste, pasta, beef and palm oil to curb inflation. Authorities have also deployed hundreds of officials to monitor and record the cost of consumer goods in the country.

Annual inflation in Ivory Coast slowed to 6.2% in October, from 6.3% in September, although price growth for food and non-alcoholic beverages surged 9.6% from a year earlier.

Ivory Coast is the world’s eighth-biggest palm oil exporter, but its exports account for less than 1% of global trade, according to data from the United States Department of Agriculture.

Grain Shipments on Mississippi River Rose 8% Last Week: USDA

Barge shipments down the Mississippi river increased to 808k tons in the week ending Dec. 3 from 751k tons the previous week, according to the USDA’s weekly grain transportation report.

  • Barge shipments of corn rose 14% from the previous week
  • Soybean shipments up 4% w/w
  • St. Louis barge rates were $32.14 per short ton, a decline of $1.47 from the previous week

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