Global Ag News for Jan 18.24
Ballooning Biofuel Stocks Hurt Brazil’s Ethanol Makers
- Top producer Raizen reported results below market estimates
- Demand is slow despite competitive prices versus gasolineBy Dayanne Sousa
Brazilian ethanol producers including Raizen SA are hurting as sales languish, leaving stockpiles brimming despite low prices for the biofuel.
Inventories are “historically high,” according to StoneX Group analyst Filipi Cardoso. Though record sugarcane and corn crops have made ethanol competitive versus gasoline, demand hasn’t been strong enough to bring stockpiles of the biofuel back to normal, he said.
Raizen reported sales for the final months of 2023 that were 27% lower than estimates from Morgan Stanley analysts led by Bruno Montanari. The bank “had overestimated the speed of both sugar and ethanol destocking,” the analysts said Wednesday in a note. Raizen is down 7.3% in two days, heading for the biggest such drop since March.
Tax changes made ethanol prices unattractive compared with gasoline for most of the past two and a half years. That dynamic has now shifted, but consumers haven’t reacted accordingly. Ethanol prices in the top market of São Paulo were 61% of the cost of gasoline as of December, according to consultancy. That’s way below the 70% level that usually ignites demand.
Brazilian drivers, who can fill up their cars with 100% ethanol, may need to be reminded that prices of the biofuel are now competitive enough, according to industry group Unica. “We need to bring them the information that ethanol is effective, cheap and available,” director Luciano Rodrigues said.
FUTURES & WEATHER
Wheat prices overnight are down 3/4 in SRW, up 1/4 in HRW, up 5 in HRS; Corn is up 2; Soybeans up 7 3/4; Soymeal up $1.20; Soyoil up 0.33.
For the week so far wheat prices are down 13 1/4 in SRW, down 21 in HRW, down 15 1/4 in HRS; Corn is down 3; Soybeans down 13; Soymeal down $2.70; Soyoil down 0.29.
For the month to date wheat prices are down 46 1/4 in SRW, down 47 3/4 in HRW, down 38 1/4 in HRS; Corn is down 27; Soybeans down 84 1/2; Soymeal down $26.10; Soyoil down 0.15.
Year-To-Date nearby futures are down 7.2% in SRW, down 7.4% in HRW, down 5.4% in HRS; Corn is down 5.8%; Soybeans down 6.4%; Soymeal down 6.9%; Soyoil up 0.3%.
Chinese Ag futures (MAY 24) Soybeans down 45 yuan; Soymeal down 59; Soyoil down 42; Palm oil down 18; Corn down 25 — Malaysian Palm is up 80. Malaysian palm oil prices overnight were up 80 ringgit (+2.10%) at 3895.
There were changes in registrations (-19 Soymeal). Registration total: 849 SRW Wheat contracts; 0 Oats; 6 Corn; 650 Soybeans; 125 Soyoil; 1 Soymeal; 214 HRW Wheat.
Preliminary changes in futures Open Interest as of January 17 were: SRW Wheat up 3,587 contracts, HRW Wheat up 2,913, Corn up 24,637, Soybeans up 9,925, Soymeal up 2,231, Soyoil down 293.
Brazil: Showers in central Brazil will continue to have low coverage this week. Heavier rain across the south has been favorable for some of the drier areas, including Sao Paulo and Parana. A slow-moving front will bring widespread showers to southern areas through Friday and boost showers for central areas this weekend. Overall, the weather situation is improved or improving and even the drier stretch in central Brazil is not overly concerning for filling soybeans. Soil moisture is not adequate for safrinha corn, however, and more consistent showers will be important for planting, which should start up shortly.
Argentina: Recent precipitation has been heavy, bringing good soil moisture to most of the country. Drier conditions are looking likely for at least the next week or more likely longer. Corn and soybeans should be able to handle a period of drier weather with little disruption to development. If the drier period lasts too long, it could be more concerning, however.
Australia: Scattered showers fell across some limited areas over the long weekend and early this week, being favorable where they hit, especially those areas in the west that have been very dry. The rest of this week will be drier except for those in the northeast that should see showers continuing along a stalled front for the next couple of days. These areas will also be watching the development of a tropical cyclone that is headed its way for sometime next week.
Northern Plains: Another burst of arctic air will follow a clipper moving through on Wednesday and Thursday, but should be replaced by mild air starting Sunday. Harsh cold has had a detrimental effect on livestock and for those that care for them. The clipper will bring a band of snow, mostly to southern and western areas.
Central/Southern Plains: A blast of arctic cold that moved in late last week is moderating a bit on Wednesday. Much of the winter wheat crop is covered by recent snow, but large parts of Oklahoma and all of Texas have been uncovered and have more susceptible to winterkill. Another burst of energy will bring another round of harsh cold for late week and weekend. The snow from the system is most likely to be light in Nebraska, but the harshest cold should be shorter as warmer air floods the region starting Sunday.
Midwest: Harshly cold, arctic air will be in place throughout the week, though will have a brief moderation Wednesday and Thursday before a clipper comes through with more snow on Thursday and Friday and another arctic blast. The cold will not last all that long as warm air moves back in by Monday. Some areas have been exposed to the arctic cold and thus susceptible to winterkill on winter wheat.
Delta: Harsh cold air brought in a wintry mix of precipitation Sunday into Monday. Any snow may protect winter wheat from the arctic temperatures. Another burst of very cold air will move in Friday through the weekend that could also create issues for wheat. Recent heavy storms of the last couple of weeks have significantly boosted water levels on the Mississippi River, which should increase transportation for at least a little while.
The player sheet for Jan. 17 had funds: net sellers of 500 contracts of SRW wheat, sellers of 2,000 corn, sellers of 7,500 soybeans, sellers of 4,500 soymeal, and buyers of 500 soyoil.
- WHEAT SALE: Egypt’s state grains buyer, the General Authority for Supply Commodities (GASC), said on Wednesday it bought 360,000 metric tons of Russian and French wheat in an international tender.
- WHEAT SALE: Jordan’s state grains buyer purchased about 120,000 metric tons of hard milling wheat to be sourced from optional origins in an international tender on Wednesday
- DURUM, MILLING WHEAT SALES: Tunisia’s state grains agency is believed to have purchased about 150,000 metric tons of soft wheat and 50,000 tons of durum in an international tender on Wednesday.
- WHEAT SALE UPDATE: Algeria’s state grains agency OAIC is believed to have purchased up to 900,000 metric tons of milling wheat in an international tender on Tuesday.
- FEED WHEAT, BARLEY SALE: Japan will import 2,305 tons of feed-quality wheat, and 220 metric tons of barley for livestock use, via a simultaneous buy and sell (SBS) auction that closed late on Wednesday, the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF) said.
- WHEAT PURCHASE: Japan’s Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF) bought a total of 87,641 metric tons of food-quality wheat from the United States and Canada in a regular tender that closed on Thursday.
- CORN, BARLEY TENDERS: Algerian state agency ONAB has issued international tenders to purchase around 160,000 metric tons of animal feed corn and 30,000 metric tons of feed barley.
- VEGOIL TENDER: Egypt’s state grains buyer, the General Authority for Supply Commodities (GASC), said on Tuesday it was seeking vegetable oils in an international purchasing tender for arrival Feb. 25-March 10 and/or March 11- 25. GASC said traders should submit bids for payment both at sight, as well as via 180-day letters of credit. The deadline for offers is Jan. 18.
- MILLING WHEAT TENDER: Japan’s Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF) is looking to buy a total of 87,641 metric tons of food-quality wheat from the United States and Canada in a regular tender that will close on Jan. 18.
ETHANOL: US Weekly Production Survey Before EIA Report
Output and stockpile projections for the week ending Jan. 12 are based on seven analyst estimates compiled by Bloomberg.
- Production seen lower than last week at 1.054m b/d
- Stockpile avg est. 24.577m bbl vs 24.371m a week ago
Brazil 2023/24 Wheat Crop Seen At 8.25 Million Tns – StoneX
BRAZIL 2023/24 WHEAT CROP SEEN AT 8.25 MILLION TNS VERSUS 8.59 MILLION TNS IN PREVIOUS FORECAST
BRAZIL 2023/24 WHEAT IMPORTS SEEN AT 7.05 MILLION TNS VERSUS 6.37 MILLION TNS IN PREVIOUS FORECAST
India Dec. Oilmeals Exports Rise to 532,729 Tons
India’s oilmeals exports rose to 532,729 tons in December from revised 397,991 tons in November, according to the Solvent Extractors’ Association of India.
- Rapeseed meal exports rose to 216,942 tons from 93,124 tons in November
- Soymeal exports rose to 273,394 tons from revised 263,549 tons in November
- Castorseed meal exports rose to 42,393 tons from 40,655 tons in November
FranceAgriMer cuts 2023/24 wheat export forecasts on lower demand
Farm office FranceAgriMer on Wednesday lowered its forecast for French wheat exports in 2023/24, citing lower demand from China and increased competition from Black Sea exporters mainly in Egypt and southern Europe.
In a supply and demand outlook, the office forecast French wheat exports outside the European Union at 10.1 million metric tons from 10.2 million projected last month, now 0.5% below last season’s level.
It also cut its forecast for French soft wheat shipments within the EU this season, to 6.55 million tons from 6.69 million expected in December and 2.5% higher than the 2022/23 volume.
French soft wheat stocks at the end of the 2023/24 season were now projected at 3.44 million tons, compared with 3.22 million forecast last month and 34.7% up from last season.
For barley, FranceAgriMer forecast 2023/24 ending stocks at 2.11 million tons, up from 1.81 million last month, after reducing the estimate for exports outside the EU by a similar volume. Barley stocks at the end of this campaign would now be more than twice the volume at the end of June last year.
Maize ending stocks for the end of 2023/24 were also revised up to 2.18 million tons, from 2.00 million forecast last month and are now 31.9% above last season. The revision followed a rise in the projected volume of maize to be marketed this season.
The larger carry-over stocks were also due to farmers expecting a rebound from current low prices next season after rains hurt sowings and possibly also crop conditions ahead of next summer’s harvest, FranceAgriMer grain market analyst Adele Dridi said.
Heavy showers in France since mid-October have delayed winter grain sowings, which should lead to a large switch to spring grains, such as spring barley, maize and sunseed, analysts and forecasters said.
Red Sea attacks unlikely to hit French cereals exports to Asia for now – FranceAgriMer
Attacks on ships in the Red Sea are unlikely for now to affect exports of French cereals to Asia, notably China which is a key market for France, since they are targeted at ships going towards Israel, farm office FranceAgriMer on Wednesday.
The Iran-allied Houthi militia have been attacking commercial ships in the region since November in an escalation of Israel’s war with Palestinian Hamas militants in Gaza.
The Houthis have said that they would target ships heading to Israel and that their actions are a show of support for the Palestinians.
“(Wheat exports) going to China are going to go through the Suez Canal and the Red Sea in the opposite way as the one that is threatened,” Marc Zribi, head of FranceAgriMer’s grain unit, told reporters, after a meeting with representatives of the French grain trade.
“Now, if that zone of the Bab al-Mandab Strait and that part of the Red Sea became a real zone of open conflict in the weeks to come there would certainly be a significant impact but at this stage it’s not the case so we can think that exports out of Europe to Asia should not be impacted too much,” he said.
The Bab al-Mandab Strait is at the southern end of the Red Sea.
Still, shipments data showed some French wheat exports to China that set off in December have been rerouted since the attacks.
Among the 12 wheat cargoes that have left France for China since last month, five travelled through the Suez Canal and Red Sea, while seven chose the longer route around Africa, including two that had turned back in the Mediterranean, LSEG shipping data showed. GRAIN/SHP/FR
FranceAgriMer in a supply and demand outlook slightly lowered its forecast for French soft wheat exports outside the European Union in 2023/24 citing lower demand from China and Black Sea competition in Egypt.
Palm prices seen up 4% in 2024 on biodiesel demand, stagnant output – Reuters News
- 2024 palm oil price forecast at 3,950 ringgit/T, up 4.06% y/y
- Malaysia output seen at 18.75 mln T
- Indonesia output seen at 48.87 mln T
Malaysian crude palm oil (CPO) prices are expected to rise in 2024, as stagnant production despite rising demand for biodiesel is seen offsetting the impact of higher output of rival oils, a Reuters poll showed.
Benchmark palm prices will average 3,950 ringgit ($837.93) a metric ton in 2024, up 4.06% from 2023, according to the median estimate of 18 analysts and industry participants. Average prices had fallen 23% last year.
“The key driver that will influence the price of CPO for this year is implementation of B35 biodiesel mandate in Indonesia, which is expected to limit global palm oil supply for export market,” said Ahmad Parveez Ghulam Kadir, director-general of the Malaysian Palm Oil Board.
Indonesian palm oil exports are set to fall around 4% to about 29 million metric tons this year as domestic consumption rises with mandatory palm oil-based biodiesel blending of 35%, the Indonesia Palm Oil Association (GAPKI) said.
China Approves Biosafety For More GM Corn, Soybean Traits
China approved more genetically modified corn and soybean traits for biosafety certificates, as it pushes for the commercialization of GM crops to bolster food security in the world’s biggest grains market.
- Agriculture ministry granted biosafety certificates to eight more GM corn and soybean traits developed by companies including Hangzhou Ruifeng Bioscience Co. Ltd. and Zhejiang Xinan Chemical Industrial Group Co.
- China started a pilot program for commercial planting of GM corn and soybean crops in 2021 and is set to further expand acreage.
- Production could rise significantly with the genetically modified seed varieties, helping China reduce reliance on foreign imports.
Insect Factory in Finland to Supply Fish Feed Leader Skretting
A Norwegian aquaculture feed unit of Nutreco NV will collaborate with Finland’s Volare Oy to secure additional supplies of insects as the salmon farming industry seeks to improve the sustainability of the foods it uses.
Skretting AS, based in Stavanger on Norway’s southern coast, agreed on a commercial collaboration with the Finnish insect ingredient producer to secure a substantial capacity in Volare’s forthcoming industrial factory in Finland for their Norwegian salmon feeds, the companies said in a statement.
Salmon farmers are seeking to replace some of the fish meal and oil used in their feed to make their operations more sustainable and reduce costs. The two ingredients are made by pulverizing small fish such as herring, anchovies, and sardines, placing a strain on wild fish populations and limiting scalability of the rapidly growing industry. Insects offer an alternative source of protein and fats for salmon that avoid some of the pitfalls of other options such as soy.
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