Global Ag News for Mar 27.23
Japan’s Egg Inflation Surges to 18-Year High on Bird Flu
Egg prices in Japan are soaring as the ongoing avian flu outbreak raises the number of chicken and other birds culled across the country, impacting both the restaurant sector and households already struggling with inflation. Egg prices jumped 20% in February from a year earlier, the fastest pace since May 2005, according to data released by the statistics bureau of Japan. Concerns about shortages are also growing, with an increasing number of restaurants and firms opting to suspend their offerings of egg-based dishes, including McDonald’s, 7-Eleven and mayonnaise-maker Kewpie.
FUTURES & WEATHER
Wheat prices overnight are down 6 1/2 in SRW, down 6 1/2 in HRW, down 3 in HRS; Corn is down 3 3/4; Soybeans down 1 1/2; Soymeal down $0.20; Soyoil down 0.01.
Markets finished last week with wheat prices down 18 3/4 in SRW, up 11 3/4 in HRW, up 3 in HRS; Corn is up 6 1/4; Soybeans down 59 1/4; Soymeal down $1.96; Soyoil down 4.73.
For the month to date wheat prices are down 23 1/2 in SRW, up 28 3/4 in HRW, down 12 1/4 in HRS; Corn is up 9; Soybeans down 52 1/4; Soymeal down $24.00; Soyoil down 6.78.
Year-To-Date nearby futures are down 13.9% in SRW, down 5.2% in HRW, down 9.0% in HRS; Corn is down 5.8%; Soybeans down 6.1%; Soymeal down 7.4%; Soyoil down 16.5%.
Chinese Ag futures (JUL 23) Soybeans down 12 yuan; Soymeal up 6; Soyoil up 82; Palm oil up 98; Corn down 21 — Malaysian palm oil prices overnight were up 72 ringgit (+2.05%) at 3584.
There were no changes in registrations. Registration total: 2,537 SRW Wheat contracts; 23 Oats; 73 Corn; 188 Soybeans; 613 Soyoil; 1 Soymeal; 71 HRW Wheat.
Preliminary changes in futures Open Interest as of March 24 were: SRW Wheat down 8,830 contracts, HRW Wheat down 1,024, Corn down 9,916, Soybeans down 225, Soymeal down 8,934, Soyoil down 2,516.
Brazil Grains & Oilseeds Forecast: Wet season showers have become isolated through central Brazil and are forecast to remain that way through April, leaving some concern for enough available soil moisture for developing safrinha corn. Systems moving through Argentina will bring showers into southern Brazil, however, which may enhance showers there at times.
Argentina Grains & Oilseeds Forecast: Last week’s heavy rains were not enough to turn conditions around for corn and soybeans that have been severely damaged by heat and dryness this season. The end of March continues to be active with several more fronts moving through with more showers going into April as well. Temperatures look to waffle a bit more as it starts to come to fall harvest time.
Northern Plains Forecast: It was dry and cold over the weekend, limiting snowmelt. Some occasional bands of snow will move through this week, but will not add significant amounts to the current snowpack. Cold temperatures will limit melting for yet another week and the risk of significant flooding is increasing for when temperatures turn higher, perhaps abruptly.
Central/Southern Plains Forecast: A storm system late last week produced widespread heavy precipitation in the southeast. The southwest was largely bypassed by the system. Another over the weekend went through Kansas and Nebraska with scattered showers and some heavier snow in Nebraska. But many of the HRW wheat areas were missed again by anything substantial. This week will feature a few smaller systems with areas of showers for the north before a larger storm builds for late Thursday into Friday. Northern and eastern areas again look to have the best chance for precipitation while strong winds develop elsewhere, sapping soil moisture. The outlook for the southwestern Plains remains grim.
Midwest Forecast: A system produced heavy precipitation across the region over the weekend, including a band of heavy snow from eastern Iowa through northern Michigan and flooding rain near the Ohio River. A little follow-up storm produced more snow across Iowa on Sunday, with that system spreading more showers across the eastern half of the Midwest into Monday. A couple of other little systems and disturbances will bring some areas of showers throughout the week, followed by another stronger storm for the end of the week. Another round of heavy precipitation, strong winds, and a band of snow across the north is expected as we turn the calendar to April. The wetter conditions across a lot of the region are causing a slow start to fieldwork.
Delta Forecast: Strong and severe storms moved through on Friday along with heavy rain. The front to the system stalled out across the south, with more showers that developed on Sunday. The wetness is keeping fields wet and fieldwork slow. The region will get a few dry days this week before more showers come through with a stronger system Friday and Saturday.
Black Sea Forecast: A system went through with some showers over the weekend and will be followed by another early this week. More showers move through this weekend into next week but also some cooler temperatures, which may slow development of winter grains. Overall though, growing conditions are mostly favorable.
The player sheet for 3/24 had funds: net buyers of 12,000 contracts of SRW wheat, buyers of 7,500 corn, buyers of 4,500 soybeans, buyers of 4,000 soymeal, and buyers of 5,000 soyoil.
- CORN SALES: The U.S. Department of Agriculture confirmed private sales of 204,000 tonnes of U.S. corn to China for delivery in the 2022/23 marketing year that began Sept. 1, 2022. The announcement was the USDA’s eighth in the last nine business days, bringing the total amount of corn sales to China confirmed since mid-March to 2.752 million tonnes.
- WHEAT PURCHASE: The Taiwan Flour Millers’ Association purchased an estimated 56,300 tonnes of milling wheat to be sourced from the United States in a tender on Friday.
- CORN TENDER: Algerian state agency ONAB issued an international tender to purchase up to 70,000 tonnes of animal feed corn to be sourced from Argentina or Brazil
- RICE TENDER: South Korea’s Agro-Fisheries & Food Trade Corp issued an international tender to purchase an estimated 121,800 tonnes of rice
- WHEAT TENDER: Turkey’s state grain board TMO issued an international tender to purchase an estimated 695,000 tonnes of milling wheat.
- WHEAT TENDER: Jordan’s state grain buyer issued an international tender to buy up to 120,000 tonnes of milling wheat which can be sourced from optional origins.
CROP SURVEY: US Grain Stocks Seen Lower Ahead of USDA Report
US March 1 stockpiles of corn, wheat and soybeans stored on farms and commercial facilities all seen lower than in the same period last year, according to the avg est. of as many as 26 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg.
- Soybean stocks seen 11% lower y/y at 1.73b bu
- Wheat stocks seen 10% lower at 929m bu
- Corn stocks seen 4% lower at 7.47b bu
Ukraine Reiterates Grain Corridor Extension Is for 120 Days
Ukraine Infrastructure Minister Oleksandr Kubrakov underlined his country’s agreement with the UN, Turkey to extend the Black Sea Grain Initiative for 120 days amid uncertainty surrounding the deal’s duration.
- Kubrakov’s comments in Odesa follow Russia’s insistence that Moscow has only agreed to a 60-day extension
- It’s important to extend, expand the grain deal, speed up inspections of vessels, US ambassador to Ukraine Bridget Brink says at the same event
- Ship with 30,000 tons of Ukrainian grain departs for Yemen Friday as part of “Grain From Ukraine” initiative for poorer countries; vessel sponsored by US, France, Spain
- Total grain and oilseed harvest this year may be 10% lower than in 2022, Agriculture Minister Mykola Solskyi says at the event
- Ukraine still has 14m-15m tons of grains and oilseeds available to export in the 2022-23 season
- If the grain deal extension for 120 days works, this volume will be exported by the time new harvest arrives, according to Solskyi
Russia Aims for Wheat-Export Prices at $275/Ton or More
Russia isn’t seeking to ban wheat shipments, but wants exporters to ensure prices paid to farmers cover average production costs, Reuters reported, citing two unidentified sources.
- That would mean keeping wheat-export prices at or above $275-$280/ton
- NOTE: FOB prices for Russian 12.5% protein wheat are currently near $276/ton, UkrAgroConsult data show
- Russia’s agriculture and economy ministries declined to comment to Reuters
Brazil Farmers Harvest 70.89% Of Soybean Area Versus 77.09% At This Time Last Year – Patria Agronegocios
BRAZIL FARMERS HARVEST 70.89% OF SOYBEAN AREA VERSUS 77.09% AT THIS TIME LAST YEAR – PATRIA AGRONEGOCIOS
U.S. 2023 corn plantings seen at 87.7 million acres -Farm Futures survey
A U.S. planting intentions survey conducted by Farm Futures magazine and released on Friday indicated that growers expect to plant 87.677 million acres of corn in 2023, down 1% from the 88.579 million acres seeded a year ago.
Soybean plantings for 2023 forecast at 89.620 million acres, up 2.5% from USDA’s 2022 estimate of 87.450 million
All-wheat seedings for 2023 seen at 45.744 million acres, nearly unchanged from the 45.738 million acres seeded in 2022
Winter wheat seedings seen at 34.417 million acres, up 3.4% from 2022 but below the USDA’s 2023 forecast, released Jan. 12, of 36.950 million acres
Spring wheat plantings (excluding durum) seen at 10.152 million acres, down 6.3% from 2022
Durum wheat plantings seen at 1.175 million acres, down 28% from 2022
Farm Futures surveyed 801 producers from March 4-14 via an email questionnaire
A previous Farm Futures survey, released on Jan. 19, projected U.S. 2023 corn plantings at 90.5 million acres and 2023 soybean plantings at 88.9 million acres
Coceral Trims EU 2023 Corn Harvest Estimate, Raises Soft-Wheat
This year’s corn production in the EU, plus the UK, is now seen at 62.3m tons, trade group Coceral says in an emailed report.
- That’s down from a December estimate for 64.5m tons, as French plantings are likely to drop due to high input costs
- Still, harvests are expected to rise y/y in other key growers like Hungary and Romania, which were gripped by drought last year
- Soft-wheat crop now seen at 144.5m tons, compared with 143.3m tons
- Barley outlook pared to 59.6m tons, from 60m tons
- Total grains harvest seen at 303.5m tons, against 304.4m tons
- Rapeseed crop seen at 21.1m tons, from 20.5m tons, on bigger acreage
Iraq to import 600k-1 mln tonnes of wheat if harvest met expectations – official
Iraq expects to import anywhere from 600,000 to one million tonnes of wheat if this year’s harvest season reaches its four million tonne objective, Iraqi state news agency quoted a trade ministry official as saying on Saturday.
CORN/CEPEA: Monthly average price is the lowest in the year
Corn prices are still fading in Brazil, having reached the lowest levels of the year in the many of the regions surveyed by Cepea. The downward trend of quotations is due to the high output in the summer crop, favorable weather conditions to the development of the second crop and, majorly, lower domestic demand, since purchasers have reduced acquisitions for some weeks now.
This month, the ESALQ/BM&FBovespa Index for corn (Campinas, SP) has dropped 2.5%, closing at BRL 83.91 (USD 15.86) per 60-kg bag on Thursday, 23 – in seven days, this Index decreased 1.7%. The monthly average of the Index, which is currently at BRL 85.41/bag, is the lowest since Nov/22, in real terms (deflated by the IGP-DI from Feb/22). The current averages are also the lowest of the year in the Triângulo Mineiro, Southwestern Paraná, Sorriso (MT), Mogiana (SP), Campos Novos (SC) and Ijuí (RS).
On the average of the regions surveyed by Cepea, prices dropped 2.7% in the over-the-counter market (paid to farmers) between March 16-23; in March, quotations have decreased 3.2%. In the wholesale market (deals between processors), prices dropped more steeply because of the progress of the harvesting and the pressure from cooperatives – in the week, quotations decreased 4.1%, and in the month, 4.9%.
In that scenario, liquidity has been low in the national spot market. Although many farmers have been willing to lower asking prices, due to the need for cash flow and/or make room in warehouses, purchasers do not seem very interested in closing deals.
On the other hand, for the second crop of corn, liquidity has been slightly higher. In Mato Grosso, 30% of the estimated output had been traded by mid-March, according to Imea, In Paraná, 10% of the first crop and 2% of the second have been sold, according to data from Seab/Deral.
PORTS – Deals in the spot market and for future delivery have been low, and quotations are fading, influenced by devaluations abroad. Between March 16 and 23, corn prices dropped 1% in Paranaguá (PR).
CROPS – Brazilian corn farmers are focused on sowing the second crop, for which expectations are high because of the favorable weather in all regions. According to Conab, 35% of the summer crop of corn has been harvested, and 85.1% of the second crop has been sown.
SOYBEAN/CEPEA: Export premium for soybean is the lowest since 2008
The export premium for soybean has dropped steeply this week to the lowest nominal level since 2008. Pressure came from supply, which is currently higher than demand. Soybean sales have been low for months, and farmers are in need for cash flow and/or room in warehouses, making higher volumes available in the Brazilian spot market, while purchasers have been cautious about closing deals.
Cepea surveys show that the export premiums for shipment in April/23 from the port of Paranaguá (PR) had bids at -90 cents of dollar per bushel and asks at -70 cents of dollar per bushel this week, the lowest since March 12, 2008, considering first shipments. The current premiums for shipment in April are the lowest in nearly 20 years, considering the same period.
As a result, the FOB price for soybean for shipment in April/23 dropped 7.7% in the last seven days. In Reais, considering the future dollar from Thursday (23), the export parity was calculated at BRL 157.49/60-kg bag for shipment in April; at BRL 158.40/bag for May; at BRL 162.34/bag for June; at BRL 165.87/bag for July; and at BRL 170.48/bag for August.
In the national spot market, between March 16 and 23, the ESALQ/BM&FBovespa Paranaguá (PR) Index dropped 6.8%, to BRL 154.09 (USD 29.13)/bag on Thursday (23), the lowest since June 30th, 2021. The CEPEA/ESALQ Paraná Index for soybean dropped 7.1% in the same period, to BRL 147.66 (USD 27.92) per 60-kg bag on Thursday, the lowest since June 29th, 2021.
On the average of the regions surveyed by Cepea, soybean prices dropped 6.7% in the over-the-counter market (paid to farmers) and 6.5% in the wholesale market (deals between processors). On the other hand, the US dollar rose 0.9% in the last seven days, to BRL 5.289 on Thursday.
CROPS – According to Conab, by March 23rd, 62.5% of the 2022/23 crop of soybean – estimated at 151.41 million tons – had been harvested in Brazil, less than the 70.6% harvested in the same period last year.
Indonesia’s Jan. Palm Oil Exports Rises to 2.95M Tons: Gapki
The world’s largest palm oil producer saw exports rise to 2.95m tons in Jan vs. 2.75m tons the previous month, says the Indonesian Palm Oil Association (Gapki) in a statement.
- Exports to Bangladesh, Pakistan, Vietnam and Russia in Jan. dropped more than 50% m/m
- Output falls m/m to 4.26m tons in Jan, from 4.72m tons
- Lower production in January due to seasonality factor
- Palm oil stockpiles falls m/m to 3.1m tons, from 3.57m tons
- Domestic consumption falls to 1.79m tons, from 1.94m tons
- Palm oil for biodiesel consumption falls to 810,000 tons, from 850,000 tons
Russia has no plans to halt wheat exports – sources
Russia has no plans to halt wheat exports but wants exporters to ensure prices paid to farmers are high enough to cover average production costs, two sources familiar with the matter, told Reuters on Friday.
This would mean keeping export prices for wheat at or above $275 to $280 per tonne, they added.
Russian Vedomosti business daily reported earlier on Friday, citing two unidentified sources, that Russia could recommend a temporary halt in wheat and sunflower exports after a sharp drop in global prices in recent weeks.
There is no such plan, the sources said.
However, since recent falls in wheat prices in Chicago and Paris, the Russian government became concerned about local farmers getting enough money for their wheat to cover costs and recommended exporters avoid prices below those close to the current ones, one of the sources said.
The second source said that Russia recommended its exporters set a wheat export price of not lower than $275 per tonne “until further notice”. Those who do not obey might face problems with obtaining phyto certificates needed for export supply, he added.
Russia’s agriculture and economy ministries declined to comment.
Prices for Russian wheat with 12.5% protein content, delivered free on board (FOB) from Black Sea ports, fell $13 to $277 a tonne last week, according to the IKAR agriculture consultancy.
“In the physical grain market, much more serious factors matter – food security, consumption per capita, logistical and infrastructure constraints, and of course the cost of production,” the Russian Union of Grain Exporters said on social media on Friday.
“There is no need for discussion here. Obviously, no one will sell below production cost, which in terms of FOB is about current’s price level,” it added.
China Nitrogen Fertilizer Price Rises 18.1%
Nitrogen fertilizer, represented by China granular urea, rose 18.1% to $375 per metric ton in the week ended March 24, according to Green Markets data compiled by Bloomberg Intelligence.
- Click here for BI’s Agricultural Chemicals Dashboard.
- China granular urea dropped 3.85% during the last month and was down 21.1% during the last 3 months
- Major Urea nitrogen benchmark prices were mixed
- Shares of Holitech Technology Co. were up, while Shandong Hualu Hengsheng Chemical Co. and Luxi Chemical Group Co. were down in the latest week
- Major UAN nitrogen benchmark prices were mixed
- Major Ammonia nitrogen benchmark prices were unchanged
- Natural gas, which drives producer costs, has decreased 5.3% during the last week and was down 13% during the last month
- The price of corn, a driver of fertilizer purchases, increased 1% during the last week and was down 1.3% during the last month
USDA Cattle and Hog Slaughter Estimates
The following is for week ending Saturday, March 25:
- Cattle slaughter estimate at 626k, down 4.7% from a year ago
- Hog slaughter at 2.457m, up 1.9% y/y
US Pork Production Falls 1.3% This Week, Beef Down: USDA
US federally inspected pork production falls to 533m pounds for the week ending March 25 from 540m in the previous week, according to USDA estimates published on the agency’s website.
- Hog slaughter down 1.4% from a week ago to 2.457m head
- Beef production down 0.7% from a week ago, cattle slaughter falls 0.8%
- For the year, beef production is 4.4% below last year’s level at this time, and pork is 1% above
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