Global Ag News for Jan 12.24
NOAA’s Forecast End to El Niño Could Bolster Spring Planting
The NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center gives a 73% chance for the world climate to switch over to being ENSO neutral this spring, changing over from El Niño this winter. A neutral climate impacting the U.S. Corn Belt may pave the way for an ideal planting season this spring. The agency says that it also forecasts that the climate will switch back into a La Niña system after being neutral — giving a 64% chance for a mild La Niña by August. CBOT corn is down 0.3%, soybeans are up 0.2% and wheat is down 1%.
FUTURES & WEATHER
Wheat prices overnight are up 4 in SRW, up 1 1/4 in HRW, up 2 1/2 in HRS; Corn is down 1/4; Soybeans up 6 1/2; Soymeal up $0.30; Soyoil up 0.75.
For the week so far wheat prices are down 8 1/4 in SRW, down 10 3/4 in HRW, down 9 1/2 in HRS; Corn is down 3 1/4; Soybeans down 13 1/4; Soymeal down $6.90; Soyoil up 1.84.
Year-To-Date nearby futures are down 3.2% in SRW, down 3.9% in HRW, down 2.9% in HRS; Corn is down 2.9%; Soybeans down 4.8%; Soymeal down 6.4%; Soyoil up 1.1%.
Chinese Ag futures (MAY 24) Soybeans down 5 yuan; Soymeal down 27; Soyoil down 36; Palm oil up 44; Corn up 2 — Malaysian Palm is up 60. Malaysian palm oil prices overnight were up 60 ringgit (+1.58%) at 3854.
Brazil: Scattered showers will continue in central Brazil through the weekend, though the coverage and intensity are weakening from east to west. Those showers will still be in the region next week, however they should be very isolated, causing some discussion about further damage to soybeans and a lack of soil moisture for the coming safrinha corn crop. Across the south, waves of showers are moving through the region this week and should continue for most of next week, favorable for filling soybeans and developing other crops. Some of the areas like Mato Grosso do Sul and Sao Paulo that have been drier will see much better rainfall.
Argentina: Heavier rain continues in the north Thursday as a front slowly slides northward. The recent widespread rainfall continues to favor developing corn and soybeans. Additional waves of showers are forecast across the country through at least the middle of next week, which maintains the overall favorable conditions. Models disagree on whether or not it gets drier starting late next week, but the country is still in really good position.
Australia: A front will continue to bring showers to New South Wales going into next week while the rest of the country will be drier. We may see showers perk up from a couple of nearby storms next week. Western areas continue to deal with significant drought, but eastern areas of the country have seen some improvement in recent weeks.
Northern Plains: A blast of arctic air is moving into the region and will likely stick around through next weekend before moderating. The harsh cold will necessitate additional feed for livestock and the quick snap in temperatures could be extra stressful.
Central/Southern Plains: Another major winter storm will develop on Thursday, and though the precipitation will be widespread and the track will be similar to the one earlier this week, the impacts from this storm are forecast to be less than the one that occurred earlier this week. Only some limited areas of moderate to heavy snow are forecast into Friday, mainly across the north, but stronger winds will blow the snow around and the storm will bring in extremely cold, arctic air for most areas. Models differ on the details of the cold and how long it will last, but is likely to stick around through next weekend. A third system will form Sunday into Monday with more wintry impacts for the region, mainly across the south, though models disagree with this as well.
Midwest: A weak system continues to bring some light snow Thursday across the Great Lakes. Another large storm will follow a similar path as the first for Thursday night through Saturday night, which will largely hit the same areas as the first with another round of heavy snow and strong winds that should create blizzard conditions in some areas. That system will bring a blast of arctic air into the region that should last through next weekend.
Delta: Another large storm will bring a round of showers and thunderstorms through on Friday, but will be followed by a burst of arctic air. That could set the stage for a major winter storm for Sunday and Monday that would bring ice and snow to at least northern areas if not most of the region. Models disagree on its development, though. The heavy precipitation with these storms is favorable for further reducing drought and building up water levels in the Mississippi River system.
The player sheet for Jan. 11 had funds: net sellers of 2,500 contracts of SRW wheat, sellers of 1,500 corn, sellers of 1,500 soybeans, sellers of 1,000 soymeal, and buyers of 2,000 soyoil.
- CORN SALE: The U.S. Department of Agriculture confirmed private sales of 175,000 metric tons of U.S. corn to Mexico for delivery in the 2023/24 marketing year that began Sept. 1, 2023.
- WHEAT PURCHASE: Japan’s Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF) bought a total of 89,260 metric tons of food-quality wheat from the United States and Canada in a regular tender that closed on Thursday.
- WHEAT PURCHASE UPDATE: Algeria’s state grains agency OAIC is believed to have purchased around 250,000 to 350,000 metric tons durum wheat in a tender which closed on Wednesday
- CORN TENDER: Algerian state agency ONAB issued an international tender to purchase up to 120,000 tons of animal feed corn
- FEED BARLEY TENDER: Algeria’s state grains agency ONAB issued an international tender to buy 30,000 tons of animal feed barley to be sourced from optional origins
- SUGAR TENDER: Egypt’s General Authority for Supply Commodities announced a tender to import 50,000 metric tons of raw sugar and/or 50,000 metric tons of refined white sugar, all from any origin, on behalf of the Egyptian Sugar & Integrated Industries Company. The deadline for offers is Jan. 13.
- 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.
- FEED WHEAT AND BARLEY TENDER: Japan’s Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF) said it will seek 60,000 metric tons of feed wheat and 20,000 tons of feed barley via a simultaneous buy-and-sell (SBS) auction that will be held on Jan. 17.
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 Jan. 4, according to data on the USDA’s website.
- Top buyer of soybeans: Japan with 86k tons
- Top buyer of corn: Colombia with 216k tons
- Top buyer of wheat: China with 137k tons
China December Agricultural Imports/Exports: Customs
General Administration of Customs says on website.
- Soybean Imports 9.823m Tons
- Soybean imports YTD rose 11.4% y/y to 99.409m tons
- Edible vegetable oil imports in Dec. 811,000 tons
- Edible vegetable oil imports YTD rose 51.4% y/y to 9.812m tons
- Meat (including offal) imports in Dec. 566,000 tons
- Meat (including offal) imports YTD fell 0.3% y/y to 7.382m tons
- Fertilizer exports in Dec. 2.339m tons
- Fertilizer exports YTD rose 27.3% y/y to 31.496m tons
World Grain Stockpiles Estimate Raised on Corn and Wheat: IGC
World grain stockpiles at the end of the 2023-24 season are now seen at 590m tons, up from a November estimate of 585m tons, the International Grains Council said in a report.
- Figures were raised on stronger production and inventory outlooks for corn and wheat
- Soybean stockpile estimate was increased to 66m tons from 62m tons
- The outlook for rice inventories were cut to 166m tons from 171m tons
- The IGC’s first projections for 2024-25 wheat season point to a slightly larger harvest y/y
- Demand should match the prior year’s record and exceed output, possibly helping to draw inventories to a six-year low
Brazil 2023/2024 soybean crop view slashed by 7.5 mln T -Patria
Brazil’s 2023/2024 soybean crop will total 143.18 million metric tons, 7.5 million tons below a previous forecast of 150.7 million tons of production, according to a new report by Patria Agronegocios on Thursday.
Brazil’s total corn crop will reach 110.29 million tons, down from the 112.51 million tons in a previous forecast, Patria said, citing climate risk.
Private consultancies have said that Brazil’s soy crop outlook had worsened, but none has been as pessimistic as Patria. At least two forecasters this month lowered output expectations for Brazil’s soy crop, to between 151 million and 153 million tons.
Patria has defended its methodology, saying that the resumption of rains was not widespread and the showers that did occur could not save the plants.
“Today, more than half of Brazilian soybeans are already in a reproductive stage,” said Matheus Pereira, Patria’s founder. “The entire vegetative phase that faced drought and heat has already limited yield potential.”
The Brazilian government this week said that the country, the world’s biggest supplier of the oilseed, will produce around 155 million tons of soy.
This is lower than initially projected by crop agency Conab but still slightly higher than last season, in spite of extreme weather harming crops in key regions.
For second corn, which is planted after soybeans are harvested and represent about 75% of corn production in a given year, Patria said the planting window “remains the main concern.”
If the El Niño pattern persists for another 2 to 3 months, “further cuts in yield and area will be likely,” Patria said, referring to overall corn production.
Argentine Soy, Corn, Wheat Estimates Jan. 11: Exchange
The Buenos Aires Grain Exchange releases weekly report on website.
- 2023-24 corn and soybean planting estimates both unchanged
- Corn planting advanced to 85% complete from 78% in the previous week
- Wheat production est. maintained at 15.1m tons, with 95% of harvest complete
Top buyer India’s Dec palm oil imports jump to 4-month high
India’s palm oil imports surged to their highest in four months in December, driven by increased purchases of refined palmolein due to competitive prices, a leading trade body said on Friday.
Higher purchases by the world’s biggest importer of vegetable oils could help lower palm oil stocks in top producers Indonesia and Malaysia and support benchmark futures.
The Solvent Extractors’ Association of India (SEA) reported a 2.8% rise in December palm oil imports to 894,186 metric tons, with refined palm oil imports soaring by 47% to 251,667 tons. The negative refining margin for crude palm oil in India, coupled with lower prices offered by exporting countries for refined palm oil, made it an attractive option for buyers. The landed cost of refined bleached deodorised (RBD) palmolein at Mumbai port was approximately $25 per ton lower than crude palm oil, dealers said.
In addition to palm oil, sunflower oil imports more than doubled in December, reaching 260,850 tons, the highest in three months. This, along with increased palm oil imports, contributed to a 12.9% month-on-month rise in India’s total vegetable oil imports to 1.31 million metric tons. Soyoil imports in December rose by 1.8% to 152,650 tons, although significantly below the average imports of 306,000 tons in the last marketing year. Negative refining margins and a higher premium over rival oils were cited as contributing factors.
“Even in January, we could witness higher imports of refined palm oil because of lower prices. Total palm oil imports could rise above 900,000 tons,” said a Mumbai-based trader. India sources palm oil primarily from Indonesia, Malaysia, and Thailand, while soyoil and sunflower oil imports come from Argentina, Brazil, Russia and Ukraine.
Russia exports 3.94 mln tonnes of wheat in Dec, forecast of 3.8-4 mln tonnes for Jan – analytical center
Russia exported around 3.94 million tonnes of wheat in December last year. In January, shipments abroad may amount to 3.8-4 million tonnes, the JSC Rusagrotrans analytical center forecasts.
“The pace of wheat exports in December and January is recovering after a decline in November,” the center told Interfax.
Wheat exports in December turned out to be higher than expected owing to the intensification of shipments at the Black Sea ports in the last ten days of the month. The center estimates the figure to be around 3.94 million tonnes, up from the latest estimate of 3.65 million tonnes. This is also 13% higher than the November 2023 figure of 3.48 million tonnes, which was the lowest for the current season.
Rusagrotrans said that the main increase in December versus November occurred owing to the terminals of Novorossiysk and Tuapse, where total shipments increased 1.5-fold from 1.4 million tonnes to 2.1 million tonnes, as well as owing to an increase in shipments to Kazakhstan from 200,000 tonnes to 290,000 tonnes.
Taking into account the current volume of requests at the ports, the center forecasts that about 3.8-4 million tonnes of wheat could be exported in January of this year versus 4.3 million tonnes a year ago, despite the long New Year holidays.
Grain exports totaled 5.1 million tonnes in December 2023, of which 2.44 million tonnes were transported by railway, a record monthly volume. The previous record was set in October 2023, when 2.36 million tonnes were transported, an increase of 4%. “Thus, the share of rail transportation was 48%, which was significantly higher than the average for the last five years in December at 36%,” the center said.
Argentina Proposes Raising Biofuel Blending Mandates: La Nacion
Argentina is proposing increasing the amount of biodiesel in its diesel fuel mix to 15% in 2026, La Nacion reported citing comments by Energy Secretary Eduardo Rodriguez Chirillo to a parliamentary commission on Wednesday.
- The current biodiesel blend of 7.5% would initially increase to 10% before gradually moving towards 15% in 2026
- Current ethanol blend of 12% in gasoline would be kept for three years, then get raised to 18%-27%
- Chirillo addressed the commission on changes to the government’s original plans for biofuels included in a sweeping reforms bill
- It is also tweaking a proposal in the bill that would have allowed global crop traders operating in Argentina to freely supply the local biodiesel market, Chirillo said, EconoJournal reported
- A new version of the bill will place limits on their participation in the local market
- NOTE: Global crop traders are currently prohibited from supplying domestic refineries in order to protect small Argentine biodiesel companies, unless those companies can’t fully meet demand
- Nucleoelectrica Argentina, a state company that operates nuclear plants, won’t be included in the government’s planned wave of privatizations, Chirillo said, local newspaper Ambito reported
- Chirillo said several state companies need to be put in order and made more efficient before being privatized: Ambito
Farmer Sentiment Slips Sideways Through Winter
US farm sentiment slid sideways in December as lower inflation expectations drove farmers to assess their financial situations as stronger. Yet higher interest rates and concerns about higher input costs in 2024 are still keeping the appetite for capital investment near all-time lows. Farmland value expectations (over a five-year horizon) are being held near a multi-year high by expectations of an interest rate cut, and non-farm investor demand.
Though not specifically mentioned in the survey, cash rents, which are at record highs in the Corn Belt, are likely among farmers’ 2024 concerns. Over half of US cropland is rented. Rents face prolonged upward pressure from high land values, which also reached record levels this year in Iowa and Illinois, with USDA data (typically closely correlated) yet to be released for 2023.
US Miss. River Grain Shipments Fall, Barge Rates Increase: USDA
Barge shipments down the Mississippi river declined to 390k tons in the week ending Jan. 6 from 437k tons the previous week, according to the USDA’s weekly grain transportation report.
- Barge shipments of corn rose 3.5% from the previous week
- Soybean shipments down 23% w/w
- St. Louis barge rates were $13.01 per short ton, an increase of $0.24 from the previous week
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