Global Ag News for Mar 12.24


Tyson Foods to close Iowa pork plant with 1,200 workers

Tyson Foods will permanently close a pork plant in Perry, Iowa, the meatpacker said on Monday, eliminating jobs for about 1,200 workers.

The company, which reaped big profits as meat prices soared during the COVID-19 pandemic, has since confronted a decline and slowing demand for some products. Tyson has announced the closures of six U.S. chicken plants in about the past year and also laid off corporate employees.

The pork plant employed about 1,200 people in Perry, which has about 8,200 residents and is located near the state capital Des Moines, Mayor Dirk Cavanaugh said.

“It’s a big blow to the community,” he said by phone. “It’s our largest employer in the area. It’s going to be tough to figure out what to do without them.” Cavanaugh said the plant is set to close on June 28.

Tyson did not respond to questions about the number of employees there but encouraged workers to apply for other jobs within the company.

“While this decision was not easy, it emphasizes our focus to optimize the efficiency of our operations to best serve our customers,” the company said.

Tyson’s pork business had an adjusted operating loss of $128 million in the fiscal year that ended on Sept. 30, down from income of $198 million in the previous year. Its sales volumes fell 2.2% while average prices slid 7.9%.

The plant in Perry slaughters about 9,000 pigs per day, said Steve Meyer, chief livestock economist for Ever.Ag. That accounts for a little less than 2% of total U.S. pork production.

In December, Smithfield Foods said it would end contracts with 26 hog farms in Utah, citing an industry oversupply of pork and weaker consumer demand. Smithfield in October said it would shut a pork plant in North Carolina, after previously confirming it would close 35 Missouri hog farm sites.


Wheat prices overnight are down 3 1/4 in SRW, down 6 in HRW, down 5 in HRS; Corn is down 2 1/4; Soybeans down 1; Soymeal up $1.40; Soyoil down 0.23.

For the week so far wheat prices are up 6 1/4 in SRW, up 4 in HRW, up 2 1/4 in HRS; Corn is down 1/4; Soybeans down 5 3/4; Soymeal down $2.80; Soyoil up 0.24.

For the month to date wheat prices are down 32 1/4 in SRW, up 5 1/2 in HRW, up 6 in HRS; Corn is up 10; Soybeans up 37 1/2; Soymeal up $9.40; Soyoil up 1.20.

Year-To-Date nearby futures are down 14.4% in SRW, down 3.7% in HRW, down 7.8% in HRS; Corn is down 9.8%; Soybeans down 9.9%; Soymeal down 12.7%; Soyoil down 3.7%.

Chinese Ag futures (MAY 24) Soybeans up 16 yuan; Soymeal up 8; Soyoil up 46; Palm oil up 52; Corn up 13 — Malaysian Palm is up 11. Malaysian palm oil prices overnight were up 11 ringgit (+0.27%) at 4142.

There were changes in registrations (-106 SRW Wheat). Registration total: 457 SRW Wheat contracts; 0 Oats; 61 Corn; 664 Soybeans; 711 Soyoil; 100 Soymeal; 0 HRW Wheat.

Preliminary changes in futures Open Interest as of March 11 were: SRW Wheat down 1,281 contracts, HRW Wheat up 1,829, Corn up 7,102, Soybeans up 4,557, Soymeal down 5,509, Soyoil down 2,299.

Brazil: Scattered showers fell across large portions of central and southern Brazil over the weekend, favorable for crops, especially newly-planted safrinha corn. Scattered showers will be more frequent across central and northern Brazil this week. Southern areas will be unfavorably drier but should see a front moving north out of Argentina this weekend or early next week with beneficial showers.

Argentina: Scattered showers went through a good portion of the country over the weekend and set a front into the middle of the country that will get stuck and produce scattered showers throughout the week, favorable for filling corn and soybeans. The front will move into northern areas this weekend where it will probably remain active into next week.

Northern Plains: Above-normal temperatures will be in place this week, melting what remains of last week’s snow. A system will scrape southern areas of the region Wednesday and Thursday. A clipper system is likely to move through on Friday and Saturday with more showers and a quick burst of cold air. Models are unsure how long the cold may stick around, but additional clipper systems moving through could reinforce that cold air going through next week.

Central/Southern Plains: Friday’s snow has almost melted away over the weekend, though areas that saw near or over a foot in northeast Colorado and southwest Nebraska still remain. It will not last long with warm temperatures in the region this week. A stronger storm system is forecast to move into the region on Wednesday with scattered showers through at least Friday, but an upper-level low-pressure center could keeps showers in the region through the weekend. Models are unsure about that. A cold front will slide through the region over the weekend and bring a burst of colder air through, but models are also unsure how long that will last.

Midwest: A system went through over the weekend with widespread showers, which was heavy in some drier areas, but not in Iowa, where deficits still remain large. A weak front will go through on Tuesday with potential showers and thunderstorms, but would be limited. A bigger system will affect the region on Wednesday and Thursday and be followed by a clipper Friday through the weekend with more widespread precipitation. Amounts may not be heavy where it’s needed to be in the west, however. Temperatures will be warm this week but much colder behind the clipper going into next week. Models disagree on how cold and for how long, though.

Delta: A system brought widespread showers and thunderstorms through the region late last week and another system will do something similar later this week as well. Soil moisture continues to be much improved and in good shape prior to spring planting. Soil temperatures are supportive of planting, but a risk of colder temperatures moving in behind a strong cold front this weekend should limit any early activity.

Europe: A large low-pressure system moved into the continent over the weekend with widespread showers that continue through midweek. Other systems will scrape through northern areas later this week and weekend. Good rain has fallen across the south recently, favoring early-developing winter wheat. This week’s rain should help other areas as well, though France remains too wet and could use some drier conditions, but that is not on the table right now. Temperatures continue to be mild to warm and wheat should continue to develop early.

Black Sea: Sub-freezing temperatures moved into the region over the weekend, but wheat is not developed enough to have been damaged by the frost. A system will move through the region with isolated to scattered showers. Though they are not all that widespread, soil moisture in the region is favorable. Temperatures will be rising later this week and most of the crop is in favorable condition.

Australia: Agricultural areas in Australia were dry over the weekend. Southeastern areas should see some showers later this week, but will be light and not very helpful for building soil moisture as cotton and sorghum continue to mature and producers get started with harvest. Soil moisture continues to be low ahead of the winter wheat and canola planting period, which starts in mid-April. The reduction of El Nino and eventual turn to La Nina should favor the winter crops later this year, however.

The player sheet for 3/11 had funds: net buyers of 5,000 contracts of SRW wheat, buyers of 2,000 corn, buyers of 2,000 soybeans, sellers of 2,000 soymeal, and buyers of 2,000 soyoil.


  • WHEAT SALE CANCELED: Private exporters canceled sales of 264,000 metric tons of U.S. soft red winter wheat that had been booked for delivery to China, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said. It was the third cancellation in as many business days and the largest of the three.
  • DURUM WHEAT SALE: Turkish state grain board TMO is believed to have provisionally sold an estimated 150,000 metric tons of durum wheat in an export tender for the same volume.
  • FAILED CORN, BARLEY AND SOYMEAL TENDER: Iranian state-owned animal feed importer SLAL is believed to have made no major purchases in tenders which closed on March 6 for 180,000 metric tons of animal feed corn, 120,000 tons of feed barley and 120,000 tons of soymeal.


  • WHEAT TENDER: Bangladesh’s state grains buyer issued an international tender to purchase 50,000 metric tons of milling wheat
  • FEED BARLEY TENDER: Jordan’s state grains buyer issued an international tender to purchase up to 120,000 metric tons of animal feed barley
  • FEED WHEAT, BARLEY TENDER: Japan’s Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries said it would seek 60,000 metric tons of feed wheat and 20,000 tons of feed barley to be loaded by June 30 and arrive in Japan by Aug. 29, via a simultaneous buy and sell auction that will be held on March 13.
  • WHEAT TENDER: The Taiwan Flour Millers’ Association issued an international tender to purchase an estimated 56,400 metric tons of grade 1 milling wheat to be sourced from the United States.


Global network



US Inspected 1.122m Tons of Corn for Export, 706k of Soybeans

In week ending March 7, according to the USDA’s weekly inspections report.

  • Soybeans: 706k tons vs 1,160k the previous wk, 634k a yr ago
  • Wheat: 403k tons vs 358k the previous wk, 257k a yr ago
  • Corn: 1,122k tons vs 1,146k the previous wk, 1,027k a yr ago

US Corn, Soybean, Wheat Inspections by Country: March 7

Following is a summary of USDA inspections for week ending March 7 of corn, soybeans and wheat for export, from the Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration, known as GIPSA.

  • Soybeans for China-bound shipments made up 338k tons of the 706k total inspected
  • Mexico was the top destination for corn inspections, Philippines led in wheat

Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas Winter Wheat Crop Conditions: USDA

The USDA posts winter wheat conditions data on website for week ending March 10.

  • Kansas good/excellent rating maintained at 53%
  • Oklahoma rating maintained at 65%
  • Texas raised to 44% from 43%

Brazil Soy Harvest 55% Done, Corn Planting 93% Done

The 2023/24 soy harvest is 55% done as of March 7, compares with 48% a week earlier and 53% a year before, according to an emailed report from consulting firm AgRural.

  • Winter corn planting is 93% done, compares with 86% a week earlier and 82% a year before
  • 2023/24 summer corn harvest is 57% done at center-south, it was 46% a year before

Brazil’s 2024 soy sales hit 54.5 mln tons as farmers hesitate

Sales of the 2023/24 soybean harvest in Brazil reached 36.6% of projected production, behind the historical average for the period but slightly ahead of last year at this time, according to agribusiness consultancy Safras & Mercado on Monday.

Based on Safras’ estimated soybean output for Brazil this season, farmers have sold an estimated 54.5 million metric tons to buyers like exporters and domestic processors.

Brazil competes with the United States and Argentina in global soybean markets. It sells most of its soybean output, especially to China.

“Farmer selling has progressed because producers, despite falling [grain] prices, need cash,” said Luiz Fernando Roque, a soy analyst at Safras, in separate comments sent to Reuters. “At times, when the market stopped falling, farmer selling picked up but naturally the pace of sale remains below average.”

He said the Brazilian soy grower will try to hold on as much as possible to his crop until prices improve.

Safras expects Brazilian soybean farmers to produce 149.1 million tons of soybeans this season, which was marked by hot and dry weather in the center-west of Brazil and excessive rainfall in the south of the country.

Soy sales involved 35.4% of estimated production at this juncture in 2023 and the five-year average for the period is 50.1%, Safras said.

Compared with February, sales of the current crop, which farmers are still reaping from fields countrywide, increased 4.7 percentage points, Safras said.

WHEAT/CEPEA: Supply may be higher than demand; prices move down

Although official data indicate that the 2023/24 global wheat season is likely to be below the demand, both domestic and international prices continue to move down.

In Brazil, low liquidity has been keeping quotations down. In the international market, in turn, the fact that China cancelled purchases and the increase of stocks in the United States have pressed values down at Chicago Board of Trade (CME Group).

ESTIMATES – Data released by the USDA this month indicate that the world production may hit 786.7 million tons, 0.1% up compared to the previous report, but downing 0.3% in relation to the season before – the decrease is linked especially to the lower production in Australia (-14.5 million tons). As for Brazil, the projection continues at 8.1 million tons.

The global consumption is forecast by the USDA at 798.97 million tons in 2023/24, upping 1% in relation to 2022/23. Ending stocks were again reduced to 258.83 million tons, 4.5% below that in the season before and one of the lowest volumes since 2015/16.

DOMESTIC MARKET – Purchasers continue to look for high-quality wheat, but the supply remains low. Therefore, trades in the spot market are moving at a slow pace.

According to data from Cepea, between March 1 and 8, the prices paid to wheat farmers (over-the-counter market) remained stable in Santa Catarina, but dropped 0.43% in Paraná and 2.23% in Rio Grande do Sul. In the wholesale market (deals between processors), values moved down 1.15% in Paraná and continued stable in Rio Grande do Sul; however, prices rose 0.16% in São Paulo and 0.08% in Santa Catarina. Dollar quotations upped 0.5% against Real, at BRL 4.98 on March 8.

BYPRODUCTS – The demand for byproducts continues low, especially for wheat bran. From March 1-8, values of wheat bran in bags downed 0.36%, and prices of the product in bulk, 1.21%.

Brazil imported 531.55 thousand tons of wheat in February, 13.4% less than in January, but for an increase of 82.3% compared to February/23. In the last 12 months, imports totaled 4.59 million tons. As for exports, Brazil shipped 276.42 thousand tons in February, downing 72.9% against the month before and 48.5% in relation to the same month in 2023. In 12 months (from March/23 to February/24), exports totaled 2.6 million tons – data from Secex.

Canada Farmers to Plant 3.1% Less Canola in 2024


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