Global Ag News for Mar 18.24


NOPA February US soybean crush rebounds to 186.194 million bushels

The U.S. soybean crush rebounded in February from the prior month’s weather-slowed pace and reached the highest-ever level for the second month of the year, topping all trade estimates, according to National Oilseed Processors Association (NOPA) data released on Friday.

NOPA members, which account for around 95% of soybeans crushed in the United States, processed 186.194 million bushels of soybeans last month, up 0.2% from the January crush of 185.780 million bushels and up 12.6% from the February 2023 crush of 165.414 million bushels. It was the largest-ever February crush by far, topping the previous record of 166.288 million bushels set in 2020, which was also a leap year.

The average daily crush rate also jumped to a new record 6.420 million bushels last month, eclipsing the prior high mark of 6.301 million bushels a day in November and December, NOPA data showed.

U.S. soybean processors have expanded crushing capacity and opened new plants to capitalize on rising demand for vegetable oils from renewable fuels producers. A severe cold snap that slowed processing and transportation around the Midwest in January had disrupted several months of historically large crush rates before the February rebound.

NOPA’s February crush exceeded all trade estimates in a Reuters survey of 10 analysts. Estimates averaged 178.058 million bushels, with a range from 170.150 million to 185.480 million bushels and a median of 177.850 million.

Soyoil stocks among NOPA members as of Feb. 29 rose to 1.690 billion lbs, up 12.2% from the 1.507 billion lbs on hand at the end of January and the largest end-of-month supply since June. Analysts, on average, had expected stocks to rise to 1.591 billion lbs, according to estimates from seven analysts. Soyoil stocks estimates ranged from 1.467 billion to 1.725 billion lbs, with a median of 1.590 billion lbs.


Wheat prices overnight are up 7 in SRW, up 5 1/2 in HRW, up 5 1/4 in HRS; Corn is up 1 3/4; Soybeans down 2 1/2; Soymeal down $0.80; Soyoil down 0.08.

Markets finished last week with wheat prices down 11 3/4 in SRW, down 27 in HRW, down 18 1/4 in HRS; Corn is down 3 1/4; Soybeans up 16 1/4; Soymeal down $3.20; Soyoil up 2.70.

For the month to date wheat prices are down 40 3/4 in SRW, down 15 1/2 in HRW, down 7 1/4 in HRS; Corn is up 9; Soybeans up 55; Soymeal up $4.70; Soyoil up 4.13.

Year-To-Date nearby futures are down 14.7% in SRW, down 10.9% in HRW, down 9.9% in HRS; Corn is down 6.9%; Soybeans down 7.6%; Soymeal down 13.5%; Soyoil up 3.1%.

Chinese Ag futures (MAY 24) Soybeans down 6 yuan; Soymeal up 12; Soyoil up 54; Palm oil up 28; Corn up 14 — Malaysian Palm is up 3.  Malaysian palm oil prices overnight were up 3 ringgit (+0.07%) at 4290.

There were changes in registrations (-24 Corn, -45 Soymeal). Registration total: 440 SRW Wheat contracts; 0 Oats; 37 Corn; 521 Soybeans; 711 Soyoil; 31 Soymeal; 0 HRW Wheat.

Preliminary changes in futures Open Interest as of March 15 were: SRW Wheat up 3,205 contracts, HRW Wheat down 811, Corn down 12,488, Soybeans up 9,887, Soymeal up 5,394, Soyoil up 2,004.

Brazil: A front moved into southern Brazil with scattered showers this weekend, as well as some areas of heavy rain. That front keeps much of the country active this week but another that moves through Thursday and Friday will move up into central states. That should leave some good rain for safrinha corn that has had very little over the last week, but the drier conditions behind the front in the south will not be favorable. The current forecast though is to bring those showers back down south next week, if that materializes, it would be better for corn.

Argentina: A moved north out of Argentina with scattered showers this weekend, but a couple of disturbances will move through this week that should bring more showers through the country. A stronger front will move through on Wednesday. It may have widespread heavy showers with it, but conditions will dry out behind it through the weekend. More disturbances moving through next week should keep the overall good conditions going, however.

Europe: Scattered showers went through over the weekend, primarily across the north. An upper-level low will approach Spain this week, but stay offshore, bringing in limited showers. This could move eastward this weekend as another system dives down through the continent and next week looks pretty active as well. In other words, precipitation will be pretty widespread through the end of the month, favorable for winter wheat in most areas, but still too wet in France most likely.

Black Sea: An upper-low brought showers to western Russia over the weekend and another one is moving into Ukraine early this week, getting into the Black Sea by the end of the week, keeping some showers going into the weekend. A front should sweep through the region next week with potential for more widespread and heavier showers. Soil moisture and wheat conditions are both in good shape as the crop continues to green up early.

Australia: Scattered showers went through southeastern areas over the weekend, but were pretty isolated in the areas hit. A front will sweep through most areas this week, but models have backed off on the amount of precipitation and most areas are still dry. That is fine for cotton and sorghum that are maturing and seeing some early harvest activity, but not good for building soil moisture ahead of winter wheat and canola planting, which usually starts up in mid-April. The demise of El Nino and eventual turn to La Nina should favor the winter crops later this year, however.

Northern Plains: A clipper brought through a burst of cold air over the weekend. A brief warm shot will move through early this week, but another round of cold air will push into the region midweek that will likely last through most of next week as well. In the colder air, several systems will move through with scattered showers, mostly as snow. Some of these bursts could be heavier, especially with a storm system this weekend that could bring blizzard conditions.

Central/Southern Plains: Scattered showers continued across southern areas over the weekend as a front got stuck in Texas and an upper-level low spun over the Four Corners area. The low will have some influence early this week with some isolated showers, but will bring some more widespread showers through on Wednesday and Thursday as it finally moves east. The pattern gets very active afterward, but the storm track will be over the northern end of the region, keeping most areas drier. Nebraska and eastern areas stand better chances at scattered showers and thunderstorms out of this, but the current forecast is not favorable for wheat areas. A burst of arctic air may flow down through the region next week behind a particularly large storm, which could be damaging for some wheat.

Midwest: A clipper brought a burst of colder air into the region this weekend and made some lake-effect snow as well. That continues Monday. Another clipper will move through the Great Lakes Tuesday and Wednesday. More lake-effect showers will move through but most areas will stay drier. However, the colder temperatures will come through the region again. That sets up another clipper to move through Thursday and Friday with a burst of snow. But the big story will be a major spring storm system that will have multiple effects this weekend including heavy snow, freezing rain, strong winds, and severe storm potential.

Delta: Scattered showers and thunderstorms moved through southern areas over the weekend, helping to maintain overall good soil moisture in much of the region. Several additional storm systems will move through the region this week and next, which should do the same.

The player sheet for 3/15 had funds: net sellers of 2,500 contracts of SRW wheat, buyers of 1,500 corn, sellers of 2,000 soybeans, sellers of 1,500 soymeal, and buyers of 4,000 soyoil.


  • CORN SALE: Exporters sold 125,000 metric tons of U.S. corn to unknown destinations for 2023/24 delivery, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said.
  • WHAT PURCHASE: Leading South Korean animal feed group Nonghyup Feed Inc. (NOFI) purchased around 60,000 to 65,000 metric tons of animal feed wheat in a private deal on Friday without issuing an international tender
  • WHEAT PURCHASE: South Korea’s Major Feedmill Group (MFG) purchased about 125,000 metric tons of animal feed wheat in private deals on Friday without issuing an international tender
  • MILLING WHEAT PURCHASE: The Taiwan Flour Millers’ Association purchased an estimated 97,950 metric tons of milling wheat to be sourced from the United States in a tender
  • FEED WHEAT PURCHASE: South Korea’s Feed Leaders Committee (FLC) bought about 65,000 metric tons of animal feed wheat in a private deal without issuing an international tender
  • WHEAT DONATION: Russia gave 50,000 tons of wheat to the Central African Republic as humanitarian aid, the RIA state news agency reported, citing Moscow’s embassy in Bangui.


  • WHEAT TENDER: Bangladesh’s state grains buyer issued an international tender to purchase 50,000 metric tons of milling wheat.
  • RICE TENDER: South Korea’s state-backed Agro-Fisheries & Food Trade Corp issued an international tender to purchase an estimated 100,800 metric tonnes of rice mainly to be sourced from the United States and China.


interconnected globe




Brazil Farmers Harvest 62.25% Of 2023/2024 Soybean Area Versus 62.88% At This Time Last Year – Patria Agronegocios


Brazil 2023/2024 Soybean Output Seen at 148.6M Tons: Safras

Brazilian soybean production in 2023/24 should total 148.601 million tons, with a reduction of 5.8% over the harvest from the previous season, which was 157.83 million tons, according to an emailed report from Safras & Mercado consulting firm.

  • This is a 0.32% reduction over the previous forecast on Feb. 9, which was 149,076 millions of tons
  • Safras sees an increase of 1.6% in the area, estimated at 45.41 million hectares
  • In 2022/23, planting occupied 44.68 million hectares
  • Survey points that average productivity should increase from 3,550 kilos per hectare to 3,289 kilos

SOYBEAN/CEPEA: Increases of international values and dollar boost price rises in Brazil

Soybean prices have upped in both domestic and international markets this week, influenced by increases of international quotations and of dollar, besides the competition between purchasers abroad and in Brazil for the national product. Producers have been avoiding to close trades of large amounts for prompt-delivery, since they are concerned with possible lower productivity.

From March 7-14, the ESALQ/BM&FBovespa Index (Paranaguá) upped 2.6%, closing at BRL 122.50 per 60-kg bag on March 14. The CEPEA/ESALQ Index (Paraná) increased 3.4%, to close at BRL 117.98 per 60-kg bag. On the average of the regions surveyed by Cepea, soybean prices rose 4% both in the over-the-counter market (paid to farmers) and in the wholesale market (deals between processors).

Besides the fact that sellers are refrained, liquidity was limited by the low availability of room at ports and by more attractive quotations to producers in the next months.

BYPRODUCTS – On the average of the regions surveyed by Cepea, soymeal prices decreased 0.6% in the last seven days. The Brazilian value of soy oil moved up 2.8%, at 5,167.98 BRL per ton (in São Paulo city with 12% ICMS) on March 14.

SUPPLY AND DEMAND – Data released by Conab indicate that Brazil is expected to harvest 146.85 million tons in the 2023/24 season, 5% less than in the previous, while productivity may drop 7.3%. The soy harvest reached 55.8% of the area up to March 10.

CORN/CEPEA: Weather conditions concern players again; low production sustains prices

The warm and dry weather, mainly in Central-Southern Brazil, has been concerning agents, since this scenario may affect the crops development and limit productivity, especially of the second crop. On the other hand, the weather has been favoring the summer crop.

In this scenario, sellers are limiting the volume offered, expecting price rises, based on the possible smaller supply in this season – official data indicate decreases for both first and second crops in 2023/24. Therefore, trades in Brazil are moving at a slow pace.

According to Conab, the summer crop is expected to total 23.41 million tons, downing 14.5% compared to the previous season. The second crop area may reduce by 8.3%, while the production is likely to decrease 14.7%, at 87.34 million tons. The third crop production may move down 7.6% in relation to 2022/23, at 1.99 million tons.

Taking production, initial stocks and imports into account, the supply is expected to amount 122.32 million tons in 2024, 13% less than in 2023. As a result, Conab indicates that exports may reduce this year, a scenario that has already been observed. The estimate is to ship 32 million tons, 22 million tons down compared to that exported in the crop before, according to Conab. In case this scenario is confirmed, ending stocks are forecast at 6.25 million tons, half the average verified over the last five years.

PRICES – Between March 7 and 14, the ESALQ/BM&FBovespa Index (Campinas, SP) rose 0.6%, closing at BRL 63.24/bag on March 14. On the average of the regions surveyed by Cepea, corn values were stable in the wholesale market (deals between processors), but increased 1% in the over-the-counter market (paid to farmers) over the last seven days.

CROPS – The warm and dry weather, although it concerns producers, has been favoring crop activities. The summer crop harvest hit 32.9% of the area until March 10, according to Conab. The second crop planting, in turn, is close to the end in some states, reaching 86.2% of the total up to March 10 – Conab data.

Ukraine’s Grain Exports Drop 9.4% So Far This Season

Ukraine’s grain exports in the season that started July 1 have reached 32.4m tons, down 9.4% from the same time a year ago, Agriculture Ministry data show.

The total includes:

  • 12.9m tons of wheat, including 1.1million tons so far in March
    • That’s about 5% higher y/y
  • 1.87m tons of barley, down 16% y/y
  • 17.4m tons of corn, down 17% y/y

NOTE: Almost all agricultural exports were transported via Ukraine’s Danube ports and the so-called Black Sea corridor

EU Mulls Restrictions on Imports of Russian Agriculture Products

  • Bloc plans to scrap rules for farmers to keep some land fallow
  • Brussels under pressure after wave of protests by farmers

The European Union executive is preparing a proposal to restrict the import of agricultural products from Russia to the bloc following appeals from some member states that want to put further pressure on the Kremlin.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen told Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk in a phone call Friday that the bloc’s executive arm would issue its suggestions shortly, according to a statement from the EU.

Von der Leyen and Tusk discussed a broad range of agricultural issues, including the recent wave of protests by farmers across the bloc. She said the EU will also make some changes to its Common Agricultural Policy to respond to some of the farmers’ concerns.

The bloc also plans to suggest largely scrapping rules that require farmers to keep part of their land fallow, instead making it into an incentive scheme, von der Leyen told Tusk.

Applied retroactively from the start of this year, it would mean that farmers are encouraged to maintain non-productive areas, but they no longer would risk losing income if they don’t, one of the key complaints from farmers’ groups.

Food producers have been pushing back against EU environmental rules and bureaucratic hurdles. They have also been upset by an influx of Ukrainian grain, as the EU seeks to buoy the nation’s trade during Russia’s invasion. Poland, Hungary and Slovakia last year introduced unilateral bans on Ukrainian crops bowing to the pressure from farmers who saw prices on their own products drop.

On the planned limits on Russian agricultural products, the EU isn’t planning to restrict transit to third countries, according to a person familiar with the plan who asked not to be identified because the information is not yet public.

Some member states have been calling for a bloc-wide ban on agricultural products from Russia and Belarus, with Latvia becoming the first EU nation to do so earlier this year. Tusk also called for a full ban and Lithuanian Prime Minister Ingrida Simonyte said her country would support this initiative.

Some nations have pushed the commission to include a ban on food imports in a 14th package of sanctions against Russia, according to another person familiar with the discussions. The EU approved the latest package of sanctions last month.

US Beef Production Up 3.6% This Week, Pork Rises: USDA

US federally inspected beef production rises to 501m pounds for the week ending March 16 from 484m in the previous week, according to USDA estimates published on the agency’s website.

  • Cattle slaughter up 3.1% from a week ago to 601m head
  • Pork production up 0.8% from a week ago, hog slaughter rises 0.9%
  • For the year, beef production is 4.3% below last year’s level at this time, and pork is 0.5% above


Bursa Malaysia Derivatives Bhd (BMD) has commenced trading of the Bursa Malaysia DCE Soybean Oil Futures (FSOY) contract, the first non-palm-based edible oil futures contract listed on the exchange.

This follows the agreement signed with Dalian Commodity Exchange (DCE) for the licensing of soybean oil futures settlement price announced in November 2023, said BMD in a statement today.

“We are pleased to be the first exchange outside of China to be granted the licence to incorporate DCE’s commodity futures settlement prices into our product offering.

“In addition to our existing futures contracts, market participants can now leverage FSOY as a risk-management tool to hedge against price fluctuations in times of market volatility and evolving complexities of international markets,” said BMD chairman and Bursa Malaysia Bhd chief executive officer Datuk Muhamad Umar Swift.


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