Global Ag News for Nov 13.23


Muddy Fields Sideline Farmers as Storms Drench North Europe

  • Pace of French wheat sowing dropped below 5-year average
  • Heavy rainfall could lead to loss of acreage, boosting prices

Northwest Europe has seen sowing slow and crops waterlogged due to intense storms soaking key growing areas, adding to uncertainty about upcoming harvests.

Some 67% of France’s soft-wheat crop was planted as of Nov. 6, according to weekly data from FranceAgriMer. That’s behind both last year’s pace and the five-year average. Durum wheat and winter barley are also being sown at a slower rate than normal.

Paris wheat futures struggled for direction, hovering near the two-week high reached in recent days. Any prolonged delay spurs the risk of lower acreage or reduced yields.

Northwest and central Europe have faced an “unrelenting barrage of potent Atlantic storms” said the US Department of Agriculture in its latest weekly global forecast. That’s added an additional 25-125 millimeters (about 1-5 inches) of rain to the region.

Sugar beets in some parts of UK have been left waterlogged or underwater after a series of storms made harvesting conditions worse. That’s raised concerns that over how well the flooded beet will recover amid the risks of frost in coming months, according to Sam Williamson, a sugar adviser at the National Farmers’ Union.

The effects of climate change have already created havoc in France, Europe’s leading grain grower. Storm Ciarán battered western parts of the country earlier this month, causing flooding in some areas. Across the region, excessive rain has contributed to lower availability of top-quality wheat.

“The rainfall is a problem in the western regions, less so in the east,” said Jean-Charles Deswarte, a wheat specialist at researcher Arvalis. The looming questions for farmers are “when will they be able enter the field again and, when they are, will they be able to sow.”

Meteo France has issued flood warnings for Pas-de-Calais in the north of the country over the weekend. Rainfall in France is expected to be above the 30-year average through mid-November, data compiled by Bloomberg show.

“If that continues you will lose some hectares because you’re losing time to plant. You will lose acreage, full-stop,” Alex Sanfeliu, head of world trading at Cargill Inc., said during an interview in Switzerland this week. “Funds are quite short, so it will be a easy to put a bit of wood in the fire or spark a rally.”


Wheat prices overnight are down 5 in SRW, down 5 1/2 in HRW, down 2 1/4 in HRS; Corn is up 1/4; Soybeans up 7; Soymeal up $5.40; Soyoil down 0.51.

Markets finished last week with wheat prices down 5 1/2 in SRW, down 11 1/4 in HRW, down 1/2 in HRS; Corn is down 13; Soybeans down 9 1/2; Soymeal up $9.90; Soyoil down 0.32.

For the month to date wheat prices are up 14 in SRW, up 5 1/4 in HRW, up 19 in HRS; Corn is down 14 1/2; Soybeans up 44; Soymeal up $22.30; Soyoil down 0.79.

Year-To-Date nearby futures are down 28.0% in SRW, down 28.5% in HRW, down 22.4% in HRS; Corn is down 31.6%; Soybeans down 11.7%; Soymeal down 5.0%; Soyoil down 20.7%.

Chinese Ag futures (JAN 24) Soybeans down 29 yuan; Soymeal down 21; Soyoil up 40; Palm oil up 36; Corn down 4 — Malaysian Palm is up 59.

Malaysian palm oil prices overnight were up 59 ringgit (+1.58%) at 3802.

There were changes in registrations (-145 Soybeans). Registration total: 2,950 SRW Wheat contracts; 607 Oats; 4 Corn; 559 Soybeans; 62 Soyoil; 0 Soymeal; 400 HRW Wheat.

Preliminary changes in futures Open Interest as of November 10 were: SRW Wheat up 4,481 contracts, HRW Wheat up 1,168, Corn up 5,889, Soybeans up 4,155, Soymeal up 3,681, Soyoil up 4,365.

Brazil: Heavy rain fell over southern areas this weekend while central areas were almost completely dry while temperatures soared above 100F. The same pattern continues this week, which is unfavorable for most areas. Dryness and heat in the Central will continue to overly stress developing soybeans while wetness across the south will cause flooding and associated issues for developing corn and soybeans. The pattern may start to change this weekend or early next week as a system in the south shifts into central states.

Argentina: Scattered showers fell over the weekend as a system went through, though some areas in the northwest missed out. Several more systems will move through this week and weekend, making for occasional areas of showers that will move through and bring decent rainfall to much of the country’s growing areas. The country is still recovering from drought and those northwestern growing areas are the furthest behind in rainfall, but most areas have seen a positive turnaround in growing conditions in recent weeks.

Australia: Isolated showers fell across the west this weekend, but most areas stayed dry. Western areas will continue to see showers early in the week, with them drifting eastward for midweek. Western areas may see good amounts, but eastern areas are likely to see only light accumulation. Wheat and canola harvest should find mostly good conditions. Showers may increase across the East this weekend into next week, which would be helpful for cotton and sorghum planting and early development, but dry soils are still a large concern for these crops.

Northern Plains: Warmer and drier conditions over the weekend will continue for most of the week, favoring the remaining harvest and fieldwork. A system is likely to track to the south this weekend, but could spread precipitation into the region, which may be a wintry mix in some areas. Active and cooler weather is likely to continue next week as well.

Central/Southern Plains: A streak of showers went through on Saturday but most areas were dry this weekend as temperatures rose. Most areas will stay dry this week even though a cold front will drop into the region later this week. A system is likely to move out of the Southwest and into the region this weekend, which should bring scattered showers to much of the region, which will help winter wheat. A messy and likely active pattern is expected to follow behind it for Thanksgiving week which could mean a wintry mix of precipitation types depending on the setup. Cooler temperatures are more likely as well, especially farther north.

Western Midwest: Some isolated showers went through northwestern areas over the weekend but most areas stayed dry while temperatures rose. Warm temperatures and dry conditions for most of the week should lead to good conditions for the remaining harvest and fieldwork. A front moving through late week could bring some rain to some areas, mostly east, while bringing a brief shot of some cooler air as well. But a system moving through this weekend or early next week would be more likely to spread precipitation across the region. A more active and cooler pattern is likely to follow it for Thanksgiving week.

 The player sheet for Nov. 10 had funds: net sellers of 2,000 contracts of SRW wheat, sellers of 3,000 corn, sellers of 2,000 soybeans, sellers of 1,500 soymeal, and  buyers of 1,500 soyoil.


  • SOYMEAL TENDER: Iranian state-owned animal feed importer SLAL has issued international tenders to purchase up to 180,000 metric tons of animal feed corn and 120,000 tons of soymeal
  • MILLING 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.
  • FEED WHEAT, BARLEY TENDER: Japan’s Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF) said that it will seek 60,000 metric tons of feed wheat and 20,000 tons of feed barley, to be loaded by Jan. 31 and arrive in Japan by Feb. 29, via a simultaneous buy and sell auction that will be held on Nov. 15.

harvesting crops


Brazil Farmers Plant 61.28% Of 2023/2024 Soybean Area Versus 73.44% At This Time Last Year – Patria Agronegocios


Dry spell delays Brazil soy planting, spoils second corn outlook – farmers

A lack of rainfall in Brazil’s top grain state Mato Grosso has delayed soybean planting by up to 30 days and is compromising the outlook for second corn, which is cultivated after the oilseed is harvested and represents around two-thirds of national production, farmers said.

In comments sent to Reuters by state farmer group Aprosoja-MT on Friday, soybean growers also noted dry weather forced replanting on some areas, curtailing soy’s yield potential in the world’s largest exporter of the commodity.

Gilberto Peretti, in Mato Grosso’s Gaucha do Norte, planted his soy almost 30 days later than last season. He said he has sown just over 100 hectares (247 acres), but will have to replant 30%.

“There will be a big drop in output… Replanting is never the same (for yield),” he said. Referring to second corn, Peretti dismissed planting it this season due to climate risk. “It’s too late.”

Oleonir Favarin, a farmer in Santo Antonio do Leste, said that soy planting is around 20 days behind from the previous cycle. He has already replanted 120 hectares out of 300 sowed before the rains stopped.

“After I did the last planting, we went 20 days without rain,” Favarin said, noting he will cultivate only 30% of his normal second corn area.

Leonardo Marasca, an agronomist, said his group had already planted almost 5,200 hectares (12,849 acres) on two soy farms by this time last year, compared with nothing so far in 2023, which led his bosses to suspend second corn planting.

“The seed orders were canceled,” Marasca said.

On Thursday, Brazil’s crop agency Conab rose soybean output forecast to 162.420 million tons for 2023/24 despite climate concerns, making farmers skeptical.

Grower Antonio Galvan said Brazil could “raise its hands to the sky” if it matches last year’s soy production of 154.6 million tons, as estimated by Conab.

In Sorriso, the world’s soybean capital, grower Ronan Poletto delayed planting by an average of 12 days due to irregular rains. He projects a 12%-15% soybean production drop from a five-year average.

“This year, if we get 55 bags of soybeans per hectare on average, it would be a historic feat. Last year we got 64.”

China to Stay Top Wheat Importer as Egypt Struggles for Dollars

  • USDA raises 2023-24 outlook for China to 12 million tons
  • Egypt’s economic crisis is limiting its imports of the grain

China is set to remain the world’s top wheat importer for a second straight year, as the long-time No. 1 Egypt grapples with its worst economic crisis in decades.

The North African nation — whose purchases have long served as a barometer for world wheat demand — is struggling to regain access to international capital markets as the economy suffers a severe shortage of foreign exchange. Three devaluations since early 2022 have seen Egypt’s currency lose almost half its value, constraining imports.

The US Department of Agriculture on Thursday raised its outlook for China’s buying to 12 million tons in the 2023-24 season, while cutting Egypt to 11.5 million tons due to limited foreign currency supplies. China took the top spot the prior year, a previously rare occurrence.

“Egypt is no longer the bellwether of the market,” because of its currency issues, Jean Charzat, a consultant at JVC Swiss, said on the sidelines of a grain conference in Geneva. Traders “are looking to China for indications of demand. China is putting a floor to the wheat market.”

China has stepped up wheat purchases after heavy rains damaged the quality of some domestic crops this year.

“International wheat is cheap, and there is plenty of it,” said Rosa Wang, analyst with agriculture consultancy Shanghai JC Intelligence Co. “Profits to bring in overseas supplies are very good, which is the main reason behind the rising imports.”

Problems with hard currency are slowing down grain flows in countries like Egypt and Tunisia, said Jean-Francois Lepy, chief executive officer of Soufflet Négoce by InVivo. The Anderson Inc., one of America’s top crop handlers, cited Egypt’s shortage of dollars as one of the drivers of its weaker-than-expected quarterly earnings.

“We reduced our volume to Egypt because it is a struggle to find the liquidity in dollars,” said Alexis Cazin, group leader of EMEA agricultural supply chain at Cargill Inc. “We would like to make more more business with Egypt, but it’s super risky.”

China’s wheat imports may slow if global prices rise or local production returns to normal. JCI forecasts China wheat imports to ease to 9.3 million tons in the 2024-25 season.

Cargill Says China Bought 3 Million Tons of Soy in Two Days

  • China bulks up beyond market expectations, head trader says
  • Renewed China appetite comes as prices for oilseed rise

Cargill Inc., the world’s biggest crop trader, said China just made an enormous purchase of US soybeans that underscores bullish momentum in the global oilseed market.

The Asian nation rushed to secure more than 3 million metric tons of US soy on Tuesday and Wednesday, according to Alex Sanfeliu, Cargill’s head of world trading. That signals a much bigger appetite for the commodity than previously expected and comes at a time when plantings in Brazil, the top supplier, are being threatened by adverse weather.

“The message is around: China is stocking up, buying more quantities than everyone thought,” he said in an interview at Cargill’s Geneva office.

The purchases will help bolster Chinese inventories and come ahead of bilateral talks between US President Joe Biden and his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, on Nov. 15. The get-together of the leaders of the world’s two largest economies comes on the sidelines of next week’s Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum in San Francisco.

Renewed Chinese appetite for US soybean supplies has helped support prices for the oilseed used in a range of goods including chicken feed, cooking oil and renewable diesel, making it the most bullish agricultural commodity story in the short term, according to Sanfeliu. Soybean prices touched their highest price since September earlier in the week.

The US Department of Agriculture slashed its forecast on global soy reserves for a fifth straight month on Thursday while raising the outlook for China’s crushing volumes, an indication that the supply-demand balance for the current season may be tighter than previously expected.

What’s more, planting in Brazil has been disrupted by drier-than-normal weather in the country’s key central region as well as by excessive rain in southern states, raising questions about the size of its new crop.

China appears to be buying more soybeans than needed for domestic use, signaling the the world’s largest oilseed importer may be seeking to build up inventories to weather potential supply disruptions in a scenario that includes increased geopolitical risks, according to Sanfeliu.

“If you look at what commercially China needs, they are buying beyond,” he said. “There’s enough bull flags around.”

China’s Soy Diplomacy Makes a Comeback Ahead of Biden-Xi Meeting

  • Top soybean importer made an enormous purchase this week
  • Move is gesture of goodwill as China seeks closer ties to US

China is bringing back soybean diplomacy as the world’s second-largest economy seeks closer ties with the US ahead of a meeting between President Xi Jinping and his American counterpart Joe Biden.

The Asian nation, the world’s top soybean importer, bought more than 3 million metric tons of the commodity from the US just this week, a volume that surprised the market. The move is a gesture of goodwill ahead of Biden-Xi talks scheduled to take place in San Francisco next week, according to people familiar with the matter who asked not to be named discussing governmental decisions.

This isn’t the first time China used the soybean for geopolitical leverage. Beijing bought and halted purchases of US supplies of the oilseed — used to make animal feed and cooking oil — several times throughout Donald Trump’s trade war. But recently, China has been scooping up cheaper Brazilian supplies instead.

As China seeks closer ties with the US — with various meetings between the two nations taking place recently — soybeans are again taking center stage. Just last month Chinese grain buyers including Cofco International Ltd. and Sinograin signed 11 agreements with crop traders such as Archer-Daniels-Midland Co., Bunge Ltd. and Cargill Inc. during a forum in Iowa, the first such deal since since the Trump-era trade dispute.

“There has certainly been a lot of ‘shuttle diplomacy’ over the past six months or so between the two countries,” said Stephen Nicholson, a global strategist for grains and oilseeds at Rabobank, one of the top lenders to the agriculture industry. “And of course, Biden is going to meet with Xi next week.”

Spokespeople for the Chinese embassy in Washington didn’t immediately comment. The White House declined to comment.

The latest purchases, which surprised the market this week, were led by state-owned Sinograin and will help bolster Chinese inventories. They also come the same week as Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen hosted People’s Republic of China Vice Premier He Lifeng and ahead of the Nov. 15 Biden-Xi meeting on the sidelines of next week’s Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum.

China bought American soybeans even though they are more expensive than Brazilian supplies, and processing margins are weak. The nation is purchasing more than it needs for domestic use, signaling it’s seeking to build stockpiles, said Alex Sanfeliu, head of world trading at Cargill, the world’s largest agricultural commodities trader.

“Xi’s visit is the only logical explanation why Sinograin would pay a big premium over Brazil beans,” said Ken Morrison, an independent commodity trader in St. Louis. “Sinograin has a dual role; they crush beans and they manage reserve stocks for the government. Crushing is very competitive in China as it is everywhere. Crushers don’t pay above-market prices.”

SOYBEAN/CEPEA: Higher demand from abroad boosts both liquidity and domestic prices

Liquidity increased in the soybean market this week, a result of the higher international demand, especially from China, since it has been increasing the soybean crushing volume. In Brazil, the industry is also willing to trade in the spot market because of the firm demand for soybean meal and soybean oil. Therefore, soy prices have been increasing.

Between Nov. 1-9, the ESALQ/BM&FBovespa soybean Index (Paranaguá) and the CEPEA/ESALQ Index (Paraná) upped 1.3% and 1.1%, respectively, to BRL 143.88 per 60-kg bag (USD 29.19)/bag and BRL 138.16 (USD 28.03)/bag on Nov. 9. On the average of the regions surveyed by Cepea, prices rose 2.3% in the over-the-counter market (paid to farmers) and 1.2% in the wholesale market (deals between processors).

Besides the higher demand, price rises are also related to the irregular volume of rainfall in Brazil, which has been concerning players. In the Central-West, high temperatures and low soil moist led some growers to replant.

CROPS – Conab released a report on Nov. 9 indicating an increase of the soybean production in 2023/24. It is projected at the record of 162.42 million tons, 5% more than in 2022/23. The increase is related to the higher planted area.

Conab also says that the soybean sowing reached 48.4% in Brazil up to Nov. 4, below the 57.5% planted a year ago.

The USDA forecasts the 2023/24 global supply at the record of 400.42 million tons. For Brazil, the Department indicates a production of 163 million tons.

BYPRODUCTS – From Nov. 1-9, soy oil prices increased 0.7%, at BRL 5,302.41 per ton (in São Paulo city with 12% ICMS) on Nov. 9. As for soybean meal, on the average of the regions surveyed by Cepea, prices moved up 1.7% in the same comparison.

CORN/CEPEA: World production is high, but weather in Brazil concerns agents

Estimates released this week indicate high corn production in Brazil and in the world in the 2023/24 season. However, weather conditions are still concerning in Brazil. The excess of rainfall in the South of the country has been reducing productivity expectations, while low humidity and high temperatures in the Central-West have been delaying the soybean planting, which can reduce the ideal period for activities involving corn.

Concerns with the weather have reduced the pace of trades. Consumers are willing to close deals in the spot market, since there is the possibility of a supply decrease. Sellers, in turn, are away from trades, expecting price rises.

The ESALQ/BM&FBovespa Index (Campinas, SP) closed at BRL 59.51 (USD 12.07)/bag on November 9, downing 0.9% compared to that on Nov. 1. Between Nov. 1 and 9, on the average of the regions surveyed by Cepea, corn prices upped 0.5% in the wholesale market (deals between processors) and 0.4% in the over-the-counter market (paid to farmers).

At ports, despite the dollar devaluation against Real last week, at BRL 4.929 on Nov. 9, the demand has been sustaining quotations. Prices increased 1.7% in Paranaguá (PR) but dropped 0.4% and Santos (SP) comparing Nov. 1-9.

Conab released a report this week indicating that the total corn production in Brazil in the 2023/24 season may total 119.06 million tons, downing 9.6% in relation to the previous season, but still 12% above the average over the last five crops. The production decrease is a result of smaller area in the first and second crops.

The first crop production may move down 5.5%, totaling 25.86 million tons. As for the second and third crops, decreases are estimated at 10%, forecast at 91.22 and 1.98 million tons, respectively.

The domestic consumption is projected at 84.46 million tons, 6% up in relation to 2022/23. Conab indicates that exports are likely to amount 38 million tons in the 2023/24 season, against 52 million tons in 2022/23. Thus, ending stocks may total 8.86 million tons by January/25, 13% down compared to the crop before.

The USDA says that the global corn production is estimated at 1.22 billion tons, 6% more than in 2022/23. The world consumption may increase 3%, forecast at 1.2 billion tons.

CROPS – Despite weather problems, the summer crop planting has been advancing. Up to November 4, sowing activities had reached 40.2% of the area in Brazil. Paraná and Santa Catarina are close to the end of activities.

Indonesia Oct. Palm Oil Exports Rise 11.9% M/m: Intertek

Indonesia’s palm oil exports rose 11.9% m/m in October, according to Intertek Testing Services.

  • Palm oil exports rose to 2.546m tons from 2.276m tons in September
  • Crude palm oil shipments rose to 228,553 tons from 227,501 tons in September
  • RBD palm olein shipments rose to 1.149m tons from revised 1.008m tons in September
  • RBD palm oil shipments rose to 419,435 tons from 347,343 tons in September
  • Palm oil sales to European Union rose to 366,917 tons from 357,994 tons in September
  • Palm oil sales to India rose to 585,135 tons from 528,161 tons in September
  • Palm oil sales to China rose to 647,019 tons from 627,120 tons in September

India’s October Palm Oil Imports Fall 17% from a Month Ago

India’s palm oil imports fell to 695,076 tons in October, from 834,797 tons a month earlier, according to the Solvent Extractors’ Association of India.

  • Palm oil imports in year ended Oct. 31 climbed to about 9.79m tons, from 7.92m tons in 2021-22
  • Soybean oil imports fell to 135,325 tons in October from 358,557 tons in September
    • Purchases dropped to 3.68m tons in 2022-23 vs 4.17m tons Y/y
  • Sunflower oil imports fell to 153,780 tons from 300,732 tons in September
    • Shipments climbed to about 3m tons in 2022-23 vs 1.94m tons a year earlier
  • Total vegetable oil imports fell to 1.03m tons in October from 1.55m tons in September
    • Imports in 2022-23 increased to 16.7m tons vs 14.4m tons Y/y
  • Edible oil stockpiles on Nov. 1 were 3.3m tons vs 3.62m tons a month ago

Ukraine’s Grain Harvest Ahead of Last Year by 42%: Ministry

Ukrainian farmers harvested 51.27m tons of grain as of Nov. 10, Agriculture Ministry says by email.

  • The total includes
    • 22.4m tons of wheat, up 15.4% y/y
    • 21.2 m tons of corn, more than double increase from 9.6m tons last year
    • 5.89 m tons of barley, or 5% up y/y
  • Sunflower harvest advanced to 11.5m tons or 21% more than year ago
  • Soybean harvest rose to 4.7m tons or by 23% from last year
  • Rapeseed harvest is finished at 4.7m tons

Brazil’s Centre-South Sugarcane Crush Seen At 34.56 Million Tns In Late October – Industry Group Unica


US Pork Production Falls 3.2% This Week, Beef Down: USDA

US federally inspected pork production falls to 546m pounds for the week ending Nov. 11 from 564m in the previous week, according to USDA estimates published on the agency’s website.

  • Hog slaughter down 3.6% from a week ago to 2.576m head
  • Beef production down 2.1% from a week ago, cattle slaughter falls 2.2%
  • For the year, beef production is 5.3% below last year’s level at this time, and pork is 0.3% above

Netherlands reports first bird flu outbreak in months

The Netherlands will cull about 65,000 chickens on a farm in the centre of the country after detection of a highly infectious strain of bird flu, the government said.

The outbreak is the first in the Netherlands since late July. Last year more than 6 million birds in the country had to be culled after dozens of outbreaks of a new variant of the disease.

Fall Fertilizer Season Underway With Brisk Potash Movement

The global nitrogen market was flat-to-weak in the wake of India’s latest urea tender, which secured 1.7 million tonnes and is likely to keep India out of the market until late December or January. The US autumn fertilizer season is underway as harvests near completion and soil temperatures drop, with strong potash demand reported.

Nitrogen Prices Slip, Potash Strengthens as US Demand Builds

Urea barges were down $15 a short ton (st) at New Orleans (NOLA), to $340-$350/st, with falling prices also reported at inland terminals in the Midwest and port terminals in the western US. Urea was weaker in Brazil despite news that China moved to restrict exports this week in an effort to protect its domestic market. China’s clampdown on exports isn’t expected to have a near-term impact on India, which booked 1.7 million tonnes in its latest tender and isn’t likely to re-tender until late December or January.

Ammonia prices were under pressure in western Europe, and ammonium sulfate prices declined in Brazil and China during the week. Phosphates were generally stable in the US, with potash prices firming in the western US and western Canada amid reports of brisk fall demand in North America.

Brazil Urea Prices Drop on Delayed Purchases for Corn

Urea prices in Brazil have fallen more than $30 a metric ton (mt) since India’s latest tender results in late October. Domestic demand for corn safrinha is delayed amid compromised affordability and production risks for farmers. Urea imports are down 4% year-over-year.

October Fertilizer Imports Up 61% in Brazil

Brazil fertilizer imports in October increased 61% year-over-year after a 6% decline from January-September. Potash imports were up 95% in October in preparation for the corn safrinha season, while phosphate imports rose 126% in October and 20% year to date to compensate for last year’s application reduction. October imports of urea were up 31% from last year, but year-to-date are 4% below 2022 due to delayed purchases for safrinha demand. Strong vessel line-ups suggest a rebound for the balance of the year, however, as more than 800,000 tonnes are expected to land in Brazil in November for 1Q deliveries.

Brazil’s market demand strengthened against 2022, as fertilizer deliveries to end-users for the January-August period improved 10.4% year over year.


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