Global Ag News for Feb 2.24


Hot Weather and Dryness Hurt Argentina Soy, Corn Plants: Bourse

A combination of high temperatures and a lack of rain in recent days is hurting soybean and corn plants, the Buenos Aires Grain Exchange said in a weekly report.

  • 86% of soy is in a fair, good or excellent condition, down from 92% last week
  • Heat wave set to continue through Feb. 7 on the Pampas crop belt, with key growing areas forecast to get only very light rain, according to separate exchange weather report
  • NOTE: Plants need rains in February to achieve the best yields


Wheat prices overnight are up 3 1/4 in SRW, up 9 in HRW, up 7 3/4 in HRS; Corn is down 3/4; Soybeans down 3/4; Soymeal up $0.60; Soyoil down 0.06.

For the week so far wheat prices are up 4 1/2 in SRW, up 5 in HRW, up 1/4 in HRS; Corn is up 1/4; Soybeans down 6 3/4; Soymeal up $13.30; Soyoil down 1.39.

Year-To-Date nearby futures are down 3.7% in SRW, down 1.9% in HRW, down 2.7% in HRS; Corn is down 5.3%; Soybeans down 7.0%; Soymeal down 6.1%; Soyoil down 4.8%.

Chinese Ag futures (MAY 24) Soybeans down 3 yuan; Soymeal down 11; Soyoil down 34; Palm oil down 20; Corn up 8 — Malaysian Palm is down 36.  Malaysian palm oil prices overnight were down 36 ringgit (-0.95%) at 3762.

There were changes in registrations (-110 HRW Wheat). Registration total: 849 SRW Wheat contracts; 0 Oats; 6 Corn; 495 Soybeans; 125 Soyoil; 1 Soymeal; 104 HRW Wheat.

Preliminary changes in futures Open Interest as of February 1 were: SRW Wheat up 2,849 contracts, HRW Wheat up 2,411, Corn up 3,506, Soybeans up 9,903, Soymeal down 6,427, Soyoil down 3,665.

Brazil: Scattered rain showers are expanding southward for the next several days, getting as far south as Parana by the weekend. The recent break in the rain could be helping with fieldwork, the progress of which has slowed down in recent weeks a bit. Northern areas could be seeing a bit too much rain, which may slow fieldwork progress a bit in some areas. The pace of harvest and planting is still on a near-average pace at this point in the season.

Argentina: It continues to be hot and dry through the weekend, threatening to reduce crop conditions and could quickly turn these good ratings around. Temperatures have been eclipsing the 100-degree mark on several days across the west and south this week and the heat should last into next week. Soil moisture is declining and is not good for the portion of the crop in reproductive and filling stages, which is sizable for both. Models are indicating better chances for precipitation in the country sometime next week, but disagree on the timing.

Australia: The remnants of Tropical Cyclone Kirrily may still bring showers to Queensland this weekend into early next week. The rain could help to add to soil moisture for cotton and sorghum, as well as build subsoil moisture for winter wheat later this year. Other areas of the country remain unfavorably dry for the next week.

Northern Plains: Scattered showers are forecast to return this weekend, with snow west and rain east. Additional precipitation is expected by the middle of next week, likely as a mix of rain and snow as well. The precipitation should help with some of the recent dryness in the region. Temperatures will continue to run above normal through next week.

Central/Southern Plains: A system will move through Friday through the weekend with areas of heavy rain and potential snow in Colorado and western Nebraska. Another round of good precipitation would be helpful for dormant wheat. The region may see some additional precipitation with a system later next week.

Midwest: Warm temperatures continue to eat away at the snowpack in the region and the warmth will continue through next week. A storm system will likely go around the region this weekend but may clip southwestern areas with rain. Otherwise, the region will wait until later next week for the next significant chance for precipitation.

Delta: Heavy rain last week has improved soil moisture and water levels along the Mississippi River and local rivers, increasing transportation and reducing drought effects. The region will see another system moving through with heavy rain this weekend.

The player sheet for Feb. 1 had funds: net buyers of 2,500 contracts of SRW wheat, sellers of 1,000 corn, buyers of 8,000 soybeans, sellers of 4,000 soymeal, and sellers of 2,000 soyoil.


  • SOYBEAN SALES: Exporters sold 206,834 metric tons of U.S. soybeans to Mexico for 2023/2024 delivery, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said in its daily reporting system.
  • DURUM WHEAT SALES: Turkish state grain board TMO is believed to have provisionally sold 150,000 metric tons of durum wheat in an export tender for the same volume
  • FEED WHEAT PURCHASES: Two importer groups in Thailand are believed to have purchased about 120,000 metric tons of animal feed wheat in separate deals in the past two days
  • WHEAT TENDER: The Taiwan Flour Millers’ Association purchased an estimated 89,650 metric tons of milling wheat to be sourced from the United States in a tender on Friday.
  • WHEAT OFFERS: The lowest offer in an international tender from Bangladesh’s state grains buyer to purchase and import 50,000 metric tons of wheat that closed on Thursday was assessed at $303.19 per metric ton liner out.
  • RICE CONTRACTS: Indonesia’s state food procurement agency Bulog has contracted 500,000 metric tons of rice supplies from Vietnam, Myanmar, and Pakistan, company official Awaludin Iqbal said.


  • WHEAT TENDER: Jordan’s state grain buyer issued an international tender to buy up to 120,000 metric tons of milling wheat, which can be sourced from optional origins.

earth in watercolor


US Soybean Crushings at 204M Bushels in December: USDA

USDA releases monthly oilseed report on website.

  • Crushing 9% higher than same period last year
  • Crude oil production 8.2% higher than same period last year
  • Crude and once-refined oil stocks down 20.9% y/y

US Corn Used for Ethanol at 481.7M Bu in December

The following is a summary of US corn consumption for fuel and other products, according to the USDA.

  • Corn for ethanol was 13.1% higher than in December 2022
  • DDGS production rose to 1.951m tons

USDA attaché sees Argentina 2023/24 corn crop at 57 million T

Following are selected highlights from a report issued on Thursday by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Foreign Agricultural Service post in Buenos Aires:

“Argentine wheat production for marketing year (MY) 2023/2024 is estimated at 15.4 million tons, 400,000 tons higher than USDA official, as yields were higher in the final phase than earlier expected. Corn production for MY 2023/2024 is projected at 57 million tons, 2 million tons higher than USDA official, mainly on a larger planted area. Crop conditions to date are very good with beneficial weather forecast in the months to come. Sorghum production for MY 2023/2024 remains the same as USDA, but exports are forecast at 900,000 tons, 400,000 tons lower than USDA official. The final volume will depend significantly on demand from China. Rice production in MY 2023/2024 is projected at 1.1 million tons rough base, significantly lower than USDA official due to smaller harvested area and lower yields. The El Niño weather pattern has so far produced the loss of 5,000 hectares of rice in Corrientes and yields are expected to be lower than USDA official.”

Argentina grains exports soar in January after Milei’s FX devaluation

Argentina’s grains exports hit $1.25 billion in January, up 64% versus a year earlier, industry data showed on Thursday, a boost for new libertarian President Javier Milei who sharply devalued the peso currency after taking office in December.

The surge in sales, also up around a quarter versus the previous month, followed an over 50% devaluation of the peso, which narrowed a gap between the official exchange rate and widely-used parallel rates to get around tight capital controls.

That made it more attractive for local producers of soy, corn and wheat to export their produce because they would get more pesos for their overseas sales made in dollars.

“The inflow of foreign currency for the month of January is the result of the new agricultural dollar regime and the macroeconomic movements of the new government that impact the decisions to sell grains,” said grains export chamber.

Argentina is one of the world’s top exporter of processed soy, the no. 3 for corn and a major supplier of wheat. Its embattled economy with over 200% inflation and tough currency controls has long created distortions for grains trading.

Milei has pledged to fix Argentina’s economic crisis by de-regulating the economy, undoing capital controls and boosting private enterprise, but faces a challenge in Congress and from critics who say his plans will worsen already high poverty levels.

The South American nation is home to major global grains traders such as Cargill and Bunge. Grains exports are the country’s top source of foreign currency, desperately needed to rebuild depleted central bank reserves.

Brazil 2023/2024 soybean crop forecast lowered to 150.35 mln T – StoneX

Brazilian farmers will harvest a soybean crop of 150.35 million metric tons in the 2023/2024 cycle, agribusiness consultancy Stonex said on Thursday.

StoneX again cut the estimate for Brazilian soybean production citing weather issues. The new forecast is 1.6% lower than January’s and 4.8% lower from last year’s record output, StoneX said.

Given the expected reduction of Brazilian soy output this season, StoneX cut its export forecast for the world’s top supplier from 95 to 93 million tons.

Brazilian farmers are currently harvesting beans from the fields. The country’s soy crop was planted as early as September of last year, and fields cultivated at the beginning of the season are showing lower yields, StoneX said.

“However, the tendency is for yields to improve, since the areas sown later are faced with a less adverse climate,” said StoneX’s soy analyst Ana Luiza Lodi.

StoneX also revised upwards its estimate for Brazil’s first corn production, which is now forecast at 25.9 million tons, 0.4% above the number released at the beginning of January.

But the country’s 2023/2024 winter corn projection was reduced to 96.4 million tons, a drop of 0.1% in the monthly comparison, as weather uncertainty may hurt that crop.  Overall, total corn production has been estimated at 124.5 million tons, practically unchanged from last month, StoneX said.

Oversupply and less demand will continue to pressure global soybean prices – Refinitiv Commodities Research

Over the past one and a half years, global soybean trade prices slumped by nearly 40%, in spite of drought-induced production losses in Argentina and a record amount of China imports last year, thanks to massive soybean production in Brazil. Globally, Brazil, exceeding the U.S., becomes the largest soybean producing country, accounting for 38% of world total in 2023/24 (U.S. and Argentina for 29% and 13%, respectively). Although the adverse weather in Mato Grosso and Paraná reduced Brazil soybean harvest to 149.3 MMT, according to LSEG agriculture research, the production size remains considerable and indicates that Brazil soybean exports in 2023/24 starting from February 2024 could reach 94.1 MMT, doubling the U.S. (46.9 MMT). In addition, the recovery of Argentina soybean production shows that Argentina soybean supply in 2023/24 starting from April 2024 could be 28 MMT above the previous season. As one of the largest soybean oil/meal exporters, increased soybean supply in Argentina could largely affect the global soybean oil/meal markets. But the financial crisis and uncertainties on the export policies for agricultural products pose some risks in the country. Overall, soybean supplies in South America in 2023/24 will increase by over 20 MMT from the year before, primarily from Argentina, undermining soybean prices.

On the demand side, China, as the largest soybean buyer, imported 101.7 MMT of soybeans in 2023 according to China Customs, accounting for approximately 60% of global trading. This year, China’s soybean demand may decrease slightly from last year because of below factors: 1) In 2023, China economy recovered from the Pandemic and achieved 5.2% GDP growth, compared to 3.0% for 2022. However, the country’s economy is struggling with the crisis in its real estate section, local governments’ increasing debts due to plummeting land sales, continuous decline in birth rate, and weak domestic consumption. The manufacturing and investment driven economic growth is not sustainable. 2024 economy outlooks remain unclear. 2) China soybean crushing margins continued to decline from last summer’s high levels as domestic soybean meal prices fell at 3-year lows this January; 3) Massive corn imports and high inventory also partially offset feed demand for soybean meal in China; China imported 27.14 MMT of corn in 2023, primarily from Brazil, compared to 20.62 MMT for 2022; 4) Local news said that China will guide farmers to reduce hog production capacity as oversupply last year led to low hog production margins. If materialized, decreasing hog stocks will reduce feed demand for soybean meal too. As such, we expect that China soybean imports this year will decline from last year’s record high level.

Massive supplies in South America and less demand from China will continue to pressure global soybean trading prices, barring extreme weather significantly cutting production in the U.S. and South America.

FAO-AMIS Raises Corn, Wheat Stockpile Estimates; Cuts Soybeans

World corn stockpiles in the 2023-24 season are now seen at 315.2m tons, up from a December estimate of 309.1m tons, according to a report published Thursday.

  • Corn production estimates were also raised
  • Wheat stockpile forecasts were also increased, rising to 319.7m tons from 319.3m tons
  • Soybean stocks seen at 49.0m tons, down from 51.8m tons
  • Rice stockpiles seen at 198.8m tons, down from 199.7m tons

Argentina Crop Waterway Navigation Still Limited After Crash

Navigation along the Parana River remains limited pending approval of a plan by authorities to dislodge a ship that crashed into a bridge on Jan. 28, the Nabsa shipping agency said in a note to clients.

  • The plan is currently being presented to coast guard
  • After being dislodged from the bridge’s support column, repair work on the vessel will take place in a berth, which would subsequently free up navigation
  • Right now, the Emilio Mitre shipping channel is completely obstructed; ships can use the Martin Garcia channel if they can comply with limits on dimensions and draft: Nabsa

Brazil mulls credit line in yuan for farmers, ag minister says

Brazil is considering creating a credit line in yuan for farmers, Agriculture Minister Carlos Favaro told Reuters on Thursday, saying that it could be a next step after “successful” dollar-denominated lines.

“Perhaps a line in yuan could be structured,” Favaro said on the sidelines of an event at the presidential palace. “In China the interest is 2%, much lower (than in other places).”

China is Brazil’s main trade partner and a major buyer of farm products produced in the South American nation, including beef, soybeans and corn.

Favaro said the government is keen on helping farmers better prepare for times of crisis, citing weather that partly spoiled the country’s soy crop this season.

He defended measures to make credit cheaper as a way to achieve that and he also said the government is pushing for modernization of farmer insurance.

‘Everything is melting’: Argentines seek cool as heat wave strikes

Argentines sought shade and tried to cool off in public fountains on Thursday as a heat wave hitting the country saw temperatures rise towards 40 degrees Celsius (104°F).

“Everything is melting, everything is melting,” said Diego Gatti, a 34-year-old merchant in Buenos Aires, adding that at least near the coast there was some access to water and a breeze.

“Inland, things are complicated. Here at least you have the river and you have a little air. There, it is hell.”

The South American country is home to some 45 million people and an important grains producer of soy, corn and wheat.

Hundreds of people flocked to rivers and doused themselves under colorful showers to contend with the heat, as an official red alert was issued for high temperatures around the country.

“Not even the air conditioning is enough,” said 47-year-old Sergio Pavon.

“The heat spreads from the roof through the house, you just can’t stay there. So the best thing is to escape and look for a place like this (by the river) to have a good time and enjoy it with the family.”

Russia boosts grain exports 23% from July 1, 2023 through January 31, 2024 – exporters union

According to preliminary data, Russia exported 38.5 million tonnes of grain from July 1, 2023 through January 31 of this year, which is 23% more than a year earlier, the Union of Grain Exporters said in its Telegram channel.

Turkey was the biggest buyer, with 4.984 million tonnes delivered. However, purchases fell by 19.4%. Iran took delivery of 4.124 million tonnes of grain, 5% less than in the same period last season. Egypt rounded out the top three buyers with 3.581 million tonnes purchased, down 21.2%.

At the same time, exports to Bangladesh (4th place) grew 1.6 times to 2.41 million tonnes. Saudi Arabia also became one of the five major importers of Russian grain with purchases of 2.209 million tonnes, up 6.4% year-on-year.

Wheat exports for this period increased by 13% to 29.5 million tonnes.

Turkey is also a leader in wheat purchases with 4.349 million tonnes (13.4% less). Egypt is second with 3.577 million tonnes (21.3% less). Bangladesh was third with exports to this country rising 1.6 times to 2.372 million tonnes.

Pakistan (4th place) purchased 1.64 million tonnes of wheat, which is 39.8% more than a year ago, while Algeria bought 1.604 million tonnes (up 20.1%).

Global Food Prices Fall in January as Grain and Meat Costs Drop

Global food prices fell slightly in January as the declining cost of grains and meat offset rising sugar prices, according to an index of food-commodity prices created by the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization.

  • The index fell 1% in January from a revised figure in December
  • Grain prices fell 2.2% due to strong competition among exporters
  • Meat prices slid for seventh consecutive month, down 1.4% from December
  • Sugar and vegetable oil prices both rose, while dairy prices remained little changed

French farmers’ union call for end of blockades as anger spreads in Europe

  • Farmers begin to leave Brussels after tractor protest
  • French PM promises more help, unions urge end to blockade
  • Belgian supermarket group reports supply chain impact

Two of France’s main farming unions on Thursday urged protesters who have staged hundreds of tractor blockades across the country to go back home, after the government announced measures to try to quell the anger in a movement that has spread across Europe.

While some local grievances vary, the unrest, also seen in Belgium, Portugal, Greece and Germany, has exposed tensions over the impact on farming of the EU’s drive to tackle climate change, as well of opening the door to cheap Ukrainian imports to help Kyiv’s war effort.

Farmers’ complaints across Europe include being choked by green rules, taxes, rising costs and unfair competition from abroad.

The frustration came to a head in Brussels earlier in the day, where farmers threw eggs and stones at the European Parliament, and started fires and set off fireworks as they demanded EU leaders at a summit nearby do more to help them.

“We want to stop these crazy laws that come every single day from the European Commission,” Jose Maria Castilla, a farmer representing the Spanish farmers’ union Asaja, said in Brussels.

With the call from some of the French unions, the question now is whether farmers will they lift their blockades in France – and what will happen to protests that have spread across Europe.

US Miss. River Grain Shipments Rise, Barge Rates Increase: USDA

Barge shipments down the Mississippi river increased to 342k tons in the week ending Jan. 27 from 334k tons the previous week, according to the USDA’s weekly grain transportation report.

  • Barge shipments of corn rose 5.7% from the previous week
  • Soybean shipments up 3.6% w/w
  • St. Louis barge rates were $13.81 per short ton, an increase of $0.92 from the previous week

China’s Big Pig Breeders Racked Up USD1.4 Billion Annual Loss on Oversupply, Price Drop

Muyuan Foodstuff, New Hope Liuhe, and Wens Foodstuff Group, China’s three major pig breeders, expect their losses for last year to exceed CNY10 billion (USD1.4 billion) in total due to excess supply and a squeeze on live hog prices.

Beijing-based Muyuan’s net loss may have tallied from CNY3.8 billion to CNY4.6 billion (USD535.3 million to USD648 million), the firm predicted yesterday. Wens is preparing to report a CNY6 billion to CNY6.5 billion deficit, while New Hope expects a CNY4.5 billion loss after deducting nonrecurring items, they said on the same day.

The companies attributed the losses to lower hog prices, as they sold more animals. Nanyang-headquartered Muyuan sold 63.8 million live pigs last year, an 80 percent increase, and Guangdong province-based Wens sold 26.3 million, an almost 48 percent gain.

A rebound in prices before the Chinese New Year holiday this month is expected to be limited, so the industry may continue to lose money, according to a report by Haitong Securities. The brokerage anticipates significant pressure on pig supplies in the coming one to two quarters, with a turning point possibly after the second quarter.

Muyuan predicted yesterday that this year’s live hog supply will be smaller than that of last year, but demand will increase. It was also more optimistic about pricing.

Throughout last year, live pigs cost CNY15.4 (USD2) per kilogram, a 19 percent decrease on 2022, Zhu Zengyong, chief pork industry analyst at the country’s agriculture ministry, said during a recent press conference.

A supply glut made the meat increasingly affordable. Last year, China produced about 57.9 million tons of pork, up by 5 percent, reaching a new high since 2015, Lei Liugong, director general of a department in the ministry, said recently. The ministry is guiding regions to strengthen their information monitoring and early warning mechanisms, steering pig breeders to pare their rearing capacity.

NZ Institute Sees Typical El Niño Weather Patterns in February

NZ’s National Institute for Water and Atmospheric Research comments in seasonal outlook.

  • El Niño has 100% chance of persisting through April
  • A 65% chance of neutral ENSO conditions in May-July
  • February is likely to feature weather patterns that are typically associated with El Niño, with episodes of gusty westerly winds
    • Pattern is expected to produce below normal rainfall in northern and eastern areas of both islands
    • Temperatures are very likely to be above average in all regions except for the west of the South Island
    • Wind strength is likely to be above normal in the South Island and lower North Island
    • River flows are most likely to be below normal in the east and north of the South Island
  • Marine heatwaves are expected to contribute to episodes of above average heat and humidity through the next three months and may increase the level of moisture available to approaching weather systems


Interested in more futures markets?  Explore our Market Dashboards here.

Risk Warning: Investments in Equities, Contracts for Difference (CFDs) in any instrument, Futures, Options, Derivatives and Foreign Exchange can fluctuate in value. Investors should therefore be aware that they may not realise the initial amount invested and may incur additional liabilities. These investments may be subject to above average financial risk of loss. Investors should consider their financial circumstances, investment experience and if it is appropriate to invest. If necessary, seek independent financial advice.

ADM Investor Services International Limited, registered in England No. 2547805, is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority [FRN 148474] and is a member of the London Stock Exchange. Registered office: 3rd Floor, The Minster Building, 21 Mincing Lane, London EC3R 7AG.                  

A subsidiary of Archer Daniels Midland Company.

© 2021 ADM Investor Services International Limited.

Futures and options trading involve significant risk of loss and may not be suitable for everyone.  Therefore, carefully consider whether such trading is suitable for you in light of your financial condition.  The information and comments contained herein is provided by ADMIS and in no way should be construed to be information provided by ADM.  The author of this report did not have a financial interest in any of the contracts discussed in this report at the time the report was prepared.  The information provided is designed to assist in your analysis and evaluation of the futures and options markets.  However, any decisions you may make to buy, sell or hold a futures or options position on such research are entirely your own and not in any way deemed to be endorsed by or attributed to ADMIS. Copyright ADM Investor Services, Inc.

Latest News & Market Commentary

Explore the latest edition of The Ghost in the Machine

Explore Now