Global Ag News for Jan 31.24


IMF Sharply Cuts Argentina’s Growth Forecast on Milei’s Policies

  • International Monetary Fund now sees two years of contraction
  • Fund expects Argentina to grow again in 2025 after adjustments

The International Monetary Fund revised down its growth estimate for Argentina, forecasting South America’s second-largest economy will shrink for two consecutive years as President Javier Milei pushes for a “significant policy adjustment.”

Argentina’s gross domestic product will contract 2.8% this year as inflation soars, following a 1.1% decline in 2023, according to the IMF’s latest estimates for the global economy published Tuesday. Back in October, the Fund forecast 2.8% growth in 2024.

Since taking office in December, Milei has eliminated government subsidies and price controls, announced a 54% currency devaluation and put forward plans to shore up public accounts. Thousands swarmed the capital, Buenos Aires, last Wednesday after unions called for a 12-hour strike to protest his austeridy measures.

Still, Milei’s plan to eliminate the primary budget deficit this year is proving difficult to implement. In a bid to get his package of key reforms approved in congress, he gave up on hundreds of proposed measures, including plans to increase taxes on exports and to privatize oil company YPF.

Analysts in the most recent survey by Argentina’s central bank expect the economy to shrink 2.6% in 2024. Back in November, the Institute of International Finance projected a 1.3% contraction this year.

With inflation accelerating in the near term as relative prices realign, Argentina’s decline will also drag on Latin America’s growth during 2024. IMF economists see the region growing just 1.9%, down from last year’s 2.5% pace. Argentina could revert to growth in 2025, with the fund estimating a 5% expansion.


Wheat prices overnight are down 6 1/2 in SRW, down 6 1/4 in HRW, down 5 1/2 in HRS; Corn is down 2; Soybeans down 10 1/4; Soymeal down $1.50; Soyoil down 0.70.

For the week so far wheat prices are down 1 1/4 in SRW, down 1/4 in HRW, down 10 1/4 in HRS; Corn is unchanged; Soybeans down 1/2; Soymeal up $12.10; Soyoil down 1.52.

For the month to date wheat prices are down 29 in SRW, down 17 1/2 in HRW, down 29 1/4 in HRS; Corn is down 25 1/2; Soybeans down 89 1/2; Soymeal down $24.50; Soyoil down 2.88.

Year-To-Date nearby futures are down 4.6% in SRW, down 2.7% in HRW, down 4.2% in HRS; Corn is down 5.3%; Soybeans down 6.6%; Soymeal down 6.5%; Soyoil down 5.1%.

Chinese Ag futures (MAY 24) Soybeans up 43 yuan; Soymeal up 38; Soyoil down 74; Palm oil down 146; Corn up 11 — Malaysian Palm is down 47.  Malaysian palm oil prices overnight were down 47 ringgit (-1.22%) at 3795.

There were no changes in registrations. Registration total: 849 SRW Wheat contracts; 0 Oats; 6 Corn; 495 Soybeans; 125 Soyoil; 1 Soymeal; 214 HRW Wheat.

Preliminary changes in futures Open Interest as of January 30 were: SRW Wheat up 2,429 contracts, HRW Wheat up 2,798, Corn down 329, Soybeans up 4,225, Soymeal up 1,971, Soyoil down 6,751.

Brazil: Scattered, heavy rain showers moved into northern Brazil this weekend but will be expanding southward throughout the week, getting as far south as Parana by the weekend. The break in the rain could help with fieldwork, the progress of which has slowed down in recent weeks a bit. The pace of harvest and planting is still on a near-average pace at this point in the season.

Argentina: Another week of dry conditions threatens to reduce crop conditions again and could quickly turn these good ratings around when combined with the higher temperatures, which could eclipse the 100-degree mark on several days for the next week across the west and south especially. Soil moisture is still good, but the increased stress will not be 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.

Europe: Precipitation continues to be limited across Spain and Italy for vegetative wheat as the storm track remains over northern Europe. Temperatures are expected to be above normal across much of the continent through next week.

Australia: Tropical Cyclone Kirrily dissipated but still produced heavy rainfall in Queensland this weekend. The remnants to the tropical cyclone may still bring showers there through the weekend and possibly longer. Though some flooding would not be favorable, it 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 for the next couple of weeks.

Central/Southern Plains: Heavier rain that moved through late last week helped with some of the drought in the region. Another 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.

Midwest: Warm temperatures and rain have eaten away at a lot of the snowpack over the last week. The warmth will continue this week and next. Some flooding will be possible where the combination of snowmelt and rainfall has been the most intense, especially in Illinois. Weak systems will move through on Tuesday and Thursday with limited showers, but most areas should stay dry. A storm system will likely go around the region this weekend but may clip some western areas.

Delta: Heavy rain over the 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 be drier this week, but will see another system moving through with showers this weekend that could be heavy.

The player sheet for Jan. 30 had funds: net buyers of 5,000 contracts of SRW wheat, buyers of 5,500 corn, buyers of 10,000 soybeans, buyers of 5,500 soymeal, and buyers of 1,500 soyoil.


  • CORN SALE: The Korea Feed Association (KFA) purchased an estimated 65,000 metric tons of animal feed corn in an international tender on Tuesday seeking up to 136,000 tons
  • CORN SALE: South Korea’s Feed Leaders Committee (FLC) purchased about 133,000 metric tons of corn to be sourced optionally from the United States, South America or South Africa in an international tender on Tuesday
  • WHEAT SALE: Importer groups in the Philippines are believed to have bought an unknown volume of animal feed wheat expected to be sourced from Australia in international tenders seeking up to 96,000 metric tons
  • WHEAT SALE: A group of South Korean flour mills bought an estimated 86,200 metric tons of milling wheat to be sourced from the United States in an international tender on Tuesday
  • RICE SALE: Indonesian state purchasing agency BULOG is believed to have purchased about 500,000 metric tons of rice in a tender seeking the same volume after price offers were submitted on Monday


  • BARLEY, SOYMEAL TENDERS: Iranian state-owned animal feed importer SLAL has issued international tenders to purchase at least 120,000 metric tons of animal feed barley and 200,000 tons of soymeal
  • WHEAT TENDER: A group of South Korean flour mills has issued a tender to purchase around 100,000 metric tons of milling wheat to be sourced from the United States and Australia
  • BARLEY, SOYMEAL TENDERS: Iranian state-owned animal feed importer SLAL has issued international tenders to purchase at least 120,000 metric tons of animal feed barley and 200,000 tons of soymeal
  • WHEAT TENDER: Bangladesh’s state grains buyer has issued an international tender to purchase 50,000 metric tons of milling wheat
  • WHEAT TENDER: The Taiwan Flour Millers’ Association has issued an international tender to purchase an estimated 89,650 metric tons of grade 1 milling wheat to be sourced from the United States
  • DURUM WHEAT TENDER TO SELL: Turkey’s state grain board TMO has issued an international tender to sell and export 150,000 metric tons of durum wheat.
  • WHEAT TENDER: Jordan’s state grain buyer has issued an international tender to buy up to 120,000 metric tons of milling wheat, which can be sourced from optional origins.


Map of North & South America



ETHANOL: US Weekly Production Survey Before EIA Report

Output and stockpile projections for the week ending Jan. 26 are based on six analyst estimates compiled by Bloomberg.

  • Production seen higher than last week at 964k b/d
  • Stockpile avg est. 25.448m bbl vs 25.815m a week ago
  • The EIA in Washington is scheduled to release the report at 10:30am Wednesday

US Winter Wheat Crop Conditions by State for Jan. 28: USDA

The following shows the most current winter wheat conditions for selected states as of Jan. 28, according to the USDA’s state crop progress and conditions reports.

  • Kansas good/excellent rating raised to 54% for the week ending Sunday vs 43% in the week ending Dec. 31
  • Oklahoma conditions lowered to 63% good/excellent vs 67%

Brazil Soy Exports Seen Reaching 2.49 Million Tns In January – ANEC





Brazil 2023/2024 Soybean Crop Seen At 145.40 Million Tonnes Versus 150.7 Million Tonnes In Previous Forecast – Agresource


USDA attaché raises Ukraine 2023/24 corn, wheat export estimates

Following are selected highlights from a report released on Tuesday by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Foreign Agricultural Service post in Kyiv:

“Ukraine’s MY2023/24 harvest features higher grain production volumes across the board than the previous year. By the end of 2023, Ukraine independently resumed operations of its major marine ports on the Black Sea, Chornomorsk, Odesa, and Pivdennyi. It increased the throughput of the Danube River export routes. December’s exports show sufficient export bandwidth to export MY2023/24 beginning stocks down to average historical levels alongside shipping out nearly the entire MY2023/24 crop of major grains. This report features higher MY2023/24 export estimates and lower MY2023/24 ending stocks for all, grains compared with estimates made in October 2023.”

USDA December soy crush estimated at 206.1 million bushels -analysts

The U.S. soybean crush likely reached 6.185 million short tons in December, or 206.1 million bushels, the most for any month on record, according to analysts surveyed by Reuters ahead of a monthly U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) report.

It would be the third straight month in which the national crush topped 200 million bushels as the expanding U.S. soy processing industry has been crushing greater volumes of beans to meet rising vegetable oil demand from biofuel makers.

If the December crush estimate, gathered from nine analysts, is realized, it would be up from the 200.1 million bushels crushed in November and up 10% from the December 2022 crush of 187.4 million bushels.

However, last month’s estimated average daily crush rate of 6.649 million bushels would be down from a record daily pace of 6.669 million bushels set in November, which has one fewer day.

Crush estimates ranged from 203.8 million to 207.0 million bushels, with a median of 206.7 million bushels.

The USDA is scheduled to release its monthly fats and oils report at 2 p.m. CST (2000 GMT) on Thursday.

U.S. soyoil stocks as of Dec. 31 were estimated at 1.764 billion pounds based on the average of estimates from six analysts.

If realized, the stocks would be up 10.8% from 1.592 billion pounds at the end of November but down 23.5% from stocks totaling 2.306 billion pounds at the end of December 2022.

Estimates ranged from 1.728 billion to 1.875 billion pounds, with a median of 1.746 billion pounds.

The National Oilseed Processors Association reported that its members, which account for about 95% of the U.S. soy crush, processed a record 195.328 million bushels in December, while end-of-month oil stocks rose to 1.360 billion pounds.

Brazil’s January wheat exports seen as highest in over a year -Anec

Brazil’s January wheat exports are expected to grow 5.2% compared with a year earlier, marking the highest monthly volume in more than a year, data from grain exporters group Anec showed on Tuesday.

Anec, which represents global traders operating in Brazil, estimates wheat farmers will exports 685,171 metric tons of the commodity this month.

Brazil is a net importer of wheat, but also tends to export volumes of low-quality grain it will not use or process. Most of the wheat exported in December and January, when shipments abroad started gathering pace, is not for human consumption.

“More than 90% of the wheat exported goes to animal feed,” said Jonathan Pinheiro, wheat risk manager and consultant at StoneX. He noted that excess rains were detrimental to crop quality, hence the immediate incentive to export.

When crops receive excessive rainfall, the development of fungi due to the humidity results in higher levels of a certain microtoxin. That prevents the product from being sent to the flour industry and, in some cases, to the feed industry also.

“The feed industry (in Brazil) is absorbing some of it, but it can’t absorb all of it, including for health reasons,” said Pinheiro, noting that in other countries there is more tolerance for higher levels of specifc microtoxins.

EU Soft-Wheat Exports Drop 5% Y/y in Season Through Jan. 28

The European Union’s soft-wheat exports in the season that began on July 1 were at 18.2m tons as of Jan. 28, compared with 19.2m tons a year earlier, the European Commission said on its website.

  • NOTE: The report is missing data for Ireland as of June 2023; import data from Bulgaria only goes to Jan. 10 this year
  • Leading destinations include Morocco with 2.59m tons, Nigeria at 1.77m tons, Algeria with 1.58m tons
  • Barley exports were at 3.37m tons, little changed
  • Corn imports were at 10.2m tons, down 41% y/y

Malaysia Jan. Palm Oil Exports Fall to 1.227m Tons: AmSpec

Malaysia’s palm oil exports fell to 1.227m tons in January from 1.354m tons in December, according to AmSpec Agri.

Palm oil exports fell 9.36% m/m

Indonesia sets palm oil ref price at $806.40 per metric T for Feb 1-29 – trade ministry

Indonesia has set its palm oil reference price at $806.40 per metric ton for the Feb. 1-29 period, an increase from $774.93 previously, a trade ministry decree showed on Wednesday.

The CPO export tax and levy will be at $33 per ton and $85 per ton respectively.

Malaysia Jan. Palm Oil Exports -6.7% M/m: Intertek

Following is a summary of Malaysia’s Jan. palm oil exports according to Intertek Testing Services.

  • Total exports for Jan. 2024: 1.287m tons
  • Crude palm oil exports: 327,965 tons, 25.5% of total
  • EU led all destinations for total exports: 385,983 tons

Argentina wheat harvest ends up 24% y/y, low prices dent economic impact

Argentine farmers have closed the 2023/24 wheat campaign with a harvest of 15.1 metric tons, slightly lower than initially hoped for but up nearly a quarter versus the drought-hit previous season, the Buenos Aires grains exchange said on Tuesday.

In a wrap-up to mark the end of the wheat season, the exchange said planting of the crop had been 5.9 million hectares (14.6 million acres), its lowest in the last five seasons due to dry weather last year that has since reversed with decent rains.

The lower planting dented initial production estimates.

“The campaign ends 3.1 million tons below the initial outlook due to the reduced planting area, late frosts in early October and a large part of the central farm area affected by water stress during the critical period,” it added.

The national average yield for wheat was around 25% higher than the previous cycle, but 2.7% lower than the average yield of the last five campaigns, it added. The harvest was up 23.8%.

It added that despite the improved harvest versus the drought-hit 2022/23 season, lower global prices would dent the crop’s economic impact this year, though a rebound in exports should help bring in more tax revenues for the government.

Argentina is a key global wheat exporter and one of the top suppliers of soy and corn. It is heavily reliant on grains exports for foreign currency income needed to refill depleted reserves and bolster the embattled economy.

China’s Grain Imports From Russia Surge With More to Come

  • Beijing keen to diversify suppliers in push for food security
  • Russia’s inroads pose emerging threat to US exporters

China is increasingly turning to neighbors like Russia for basic foodstuffs, as the country diversifies imports to reduce its reliance on traditional suppliers like the US.

In a sign of deepening strategic ties, Moscow is looming ever larger as a wellspring of commodities for Beijing. China’s expanding import needs and trade ructions caused by the war in Ukraine have diverted flows eastward. In energy markets, that’s lifted Russia to the top spot for China’s crude oil purchases and to no. 2 for coal. While the absolute volumes for items like grains remain small, the direction of travel is clear.

Russian exports of cereals to China rose fourfold in 2023 to nearly 1.2 million tons — although that was still just 2% of the country’s total purchases — while shipments of some edible oils have ballooned to over half of China’s imports, according to Chinese customs data.

“The upward trend is set to continue in the new year, in line with China’s state policy and part of its grain security strategy,” said Rosa Wang, an analyst with Shanghai JC Intelligence Co., a commodities consultancy. “China’s relationship with the US isn’t stable, and it can’t put its eggs in one basket,” she said, adding that low prices for Russian grains would help sustain the trade.

Russia has long had eyes on the Chinese market, but a combination of transport constraints and fears over fungal disease stymied the trade in grains until recently. There was progress in 2022 when Beijing expanded Russian imports of wheat and barley to include its major growing regions. Corn and rice were given the same treatment at the end of last year, and earlier this month Beijing greenlit Russian pork for sale in the country.

Russia’s edible oil shipments from the Black Sea region are more established. Sunflower oil cargoes to China surged fourfold to nearly 800,000 tons last year, while rapeseed and mustard oil exports more than doubled to over 1.3 million tons. Both accounted for more than half of China’s imports.

Russia’s inroads pose a threat, albeit a nascent one, to American farmers, China’s main source of staples like corn and soybeans. Their exports shrank significantly in 2023 amid heightened competition from other growers. Even if Russia and the US and aren’t sending the same crops to China, much of the supply is ultimately used to feed China’s vast hog herd or for cooking oils.

China has also stepped up grain imports from Kazakhstan, bringing in about 1.3 million tons in 2023, six times the previous year’s level.

Biodiesel Demand for Marine Use in Singapore Surging

Biofuel sales as a marine bunker more than tripled from 2022 to above 500kt in Port of Singapore last year. Bio-bunkers in Singapore are made up of 24% used cooking oil methyl ester (UCOME), reported Platts. This would translate into an estimated demand for UCOME for marine fuel use climbing from 34kt in 2022 to 124kt last year. Demand for bio-bunkers is rising in the city, a major bunkering hub, due to EU Emissions Trading System (ETS) regulations covering vessels calling on EU ports and Carbon Intensity Index (CII) ratings implemented by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) from this year. With bio-bunker sales expected to double through 2025, this would translate a further increase in annual UCOME demand to 250kt going forward. Biodiesel, or fatty acid methyl ester (FAME), can be made from palm oil, used cooking oil and other feedstocks. Such exports from China to Singapore climbed 30% in 2023 from 28kt to 36kt.

South Africa Sees Corn Plantings Rising 2%, Lifting Production

  • Staple planted on 2.64 million hectares, committee says
  • Chamber sees 15.3 million-ton corn harvest, leading to exports

South African farmers have planted corn over a larger area this season, which could raise the nation’s output of the grain above its long-term average.

Farmers in South Africa, the continent’s biggest producer of corn, planted the staple on about 2.64 million hectares (6.5 million acres) this season, up 2% from the prior period’s 2.59 million hectares, Lusani Ndou, a statistician at the Pretoria-based Crop Estimates Committee, said by phone Tuesday.

A recent report by the US Department of Agriculture predicts South Africa’s will produce 15.8 million tons of corn in the 2023-24 marketing season that runs through the year ending April 2025, surpassing the long-term average of 13.6 million tons but down 7% from the prior year.

At about 1.56 million hectares, the area under white corn — used to make a staple porridge known locally as pap — would be 2.4% larger than a year earlier. The land allocated to yellow corn that’s used in animal feed, ethanol fuel and processed food is seen 1.5% to 1.08 million hectares. Plantings of dry beans, sorghum, ground nuts and sunflower seeds have also increased, while the area allocated to soybeans is 9.7% smaller.

“South Africa could have yet another decent summer grains and oilseeds harvest,” said Wandile Sihlobo, chief economist of the Agricultural Business Chamber of South Africa. With a possible corn harvest of 15.3 million tons relative to local consumption of roughly 12 million tons, “the country would remain a net exporter” of the grain, he said.

The committee lowered its estimate for the nation’s wheat crop, grown in the country’s winter, b 2.9% from the previous forecast to 2.1 million tons.

Spanish farmers plan protests in February

Spanish farmers’ associations said on Tuesday they were planning to take to the streets in February in protest against strict European regulations and lack of government support as unrest continues to spread across Europe.

The largest farmers’ groups – Asaja, COAG and UPA – share the same grievances as their peers in other European countries, saying environmental regulations imposed by Brussels are undermining the profitability of crops and increasing food prices.

Drought in southern Spain has also hit farmers, with production of several crops such as rice and olives dropping over the past two years.

“Mobilizations will take place as soon as possible,” Pedro Barato, president of Asaja, a Spanish association representing around 200,000 farmers and cattle breeders, said in a radio interview.

The protests are set to take place in the coming weeks, the organizations said in a joint statement. Asaja members are due to meet on Feb. 1 to make preparations.


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