Global Ag News for Nov 24.23


Dryness lifts Australian wheat quality even as output drops

Dry weather in the growing season has reduced Australia’s wheat output this year, but most of the crop is with higher protein content and supplies of lower quality grains for animal feed are limited, analysts and traders said.

Premiums earned by farmers in Australia, the world’s No. 2 wheat exporter, for higher quality grains will partly offset lost income from a smaller crop, they said.

Plentiful rain in 2021 and 2022 saw Australia reap record quantities of wheat, with around 40 million tons harvested last year. Hot and dry weather this growing season has cut the crop to around 25-28 million tons.

“Australia’s overall crop quality is better than what we have seen in the last few years,” said a Singapore-based trader whose company sells Australian wheat to China and Southeast Asia.

“With lower yields, protein scales are usually better,” he said. “Importers will get top quality milling wheat.”

The dry and hot weather has brought forward the harvest, which is already more than half complete, said Ole Houe at agriculture brokerage IKON Commodities in Sydney.

Around 60% of the crop in Australia will be hard or premium white wheat with a protein content above 10%, up from around 40% last year, IKON estimates.

Australia is set to produce around 7.6 million tons of hard wheat (AH), up from 6.1 million tons in 2022, and 7.9 million tons of premium white (APW), roughly unchanged from last year, according to IKON.

Output of less protein-rich standard wheat (ASW) is likely to fall to around 7.3 million tons from 15.7 million tons and feed wheat is set to dip to 1.7 million tons from 4.3 million tones, it said.

Grain from Russia will likely replace Australian lower-quality wheat in large Asian markets such as Vietnam and Thailand, Houe said.

However, heavy rainfall in parts of southeastern Australia this month could depress quality in wheat which is yet to be harvested, said Rod Baker at Australian Crop Forecasters.


Wheat prices overnight are up 1 3/4 in SRW, down 1 1/4 in HRW, down 5 1/4 in HRS; Corn is down 1 1/4; Soybeans down 20 3/4; Soymeal down $4.40; Soyoil down 0.72.

For the week so far wheat prices are up 8 3/4 in SRW, down 3 1/4 in HRW, down 3 3/4 in HRS; Corn is up 2 1/2; Soybeans up 16 1/4; Soymeal up $1.10; Soyoil up 1.50.

For the month to date wheat prices are down 3/4 in SRW, down 17 in HRW, down 1/2 in HRS; Corn is down 5 1/4; Soybeans up 45; Soymeal up $19.60; Soyoil up 1.88.

Year-To-Date nearby futures are down 29.8% in SRW, down 30.8% in HRW, down 24.3% in HRS; Corn is down 30.9%; Soybeans down 10.7%; Soymeal down 4.3%; Soyoil down 16.0%.

Chinese Ag futures (JAN 24) Soybeans up 9 yuan; Soymeal down 4; Soyoil down 66; Palm oil down 90; Corn down 1 — Malaysian Palm is down 61.  Malaysian palm oil prices overnight were down 61 ringgit (-1.54%) at 3890.

There were no changes in registrations. Registration total: 2,950 SRW Wheat contracts; 522 Oats; 4 Corn; 596 Soybeans; 62 Soyoil; 0 Soymeal; 400 HRW Wheat.

Preliminary changes in futures Open Interest as of November 22 were: SRW Wheat down 3,742 contracts, HRW Wheat down 644, Corn down 5,116, Soybeans up 4,345, Soymeal down 1,013, Soyoil down 4,741.

Brazil: Scattered showers, more typical of the wet season in central Brazil, will continue. Deficits are large and will take time to correct, but will be beneficial for developing soybeans after the long dry period to start the season. Showers do look to become more isolated for next week, but will stick around the region. Another round of heavier rain will move back into southern Brazil for Wednesday and Thursday, with potential for more this weekend. Any breaks from the wet pattern are looking to be short across the south, unfavorable for developing corn and soybeans.

Argentina: A front moved through Tuesday and continues on Wednesday with scattered showers for northern areas, but is then drier until next week. Though the dryness is not welcome, soil conditions are more favorable than they were earlier this season or in previous years, a good turn around in conditions. As long as the drier weather does not last too long, the overall favorable conditions continue. Rain is forecast to move back through early-to-mid next week.

Northern Plains: A cold front will sag south through the region on Wednesday, bringing snow to western areas and a sharp drop in temperatures below normal. A reinforcing shot of colder air is possible this weekend into next week before temperatures begin to moderate by the end of the week.

Central/Southern Plains: A system may bring showers to Texas Thursday and a cold front dropping south will bring highland snow and a burst of much colder air into the weekend. A system may form along that front and push eastward on Saturday. Drier areas in the southwest may pick up some precipitation out of this, mostly in the form of snow, but otherwise helpful against the backdrop of increased recent dryness.

Western Midwest: A system brought widespread rain through the region this week, especially in the east, easing drought in some areas, but delaying the remaining harvest and fieldwork. A stronger cold front will move through later this week with a burst of colder air. More showers may move through this weekend but are forecast to be light. A clipper system will move through behind that system and bring colder air and chances for lake-effect snow early next week.

The player sheet for Nov. 22 had funds: net buyers of 2,000 contracts of SRW wheat, sellers of 1,000 corn, buyers of 7,000 soybeans, sellers of 3,500 soymeal, and  sellers of 2,000 soyoil.


  • CORN PURCHASE: Iran’s SLAL said to have bought about 120,000 T corn in tender. It was unclear whether the 120,000 tons of soymeal also sought had been purchased.
  • WHEAT SALES: The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) confirmed private sales of 110,000 tons of U.S. soft red winter wheat to China for delivery in the 2023/24 wheat marketing year that began June 1, 2023.
  • CORN SALES: The USDA also confirmed private sales of 128,000 metric tons of U.S. corn for delivery to unknown destinations in the 2023/24 corn marketing year that began Sept. 1.
  • CORN PURCHASE: Taiwan’s MFIG purchasing group bought about 65,000 metric tons of animal feed corn expected to be sourced from the United States in an international tender on Wednesday
  • CORN PURCHASE: South Korea’s Nonghyup Feed Inc. (NOFI) bought between 65,000 and 68,000 metric tons of animal feed corn in an international tender for up to 138,000 tons on Wednesday
  • SOYMEAL PURCHASE: South Korea’s NOFI purchased between 50,000 to 60,000 metric tons of soymeal on Wednesday
  • FEED WHEAT PURCHASE: South Korea’s NOFI purchased about 55,000 metric tons of animal feed wheat an international tender on Wednesday
  • WHEAT AND BARLEY PURCHASE: Tunisia’s state grains agency is believed to have purchased about 100,000 metric tons of soft wheat and 75,000 metric tons of animal feed barley in an international tender on Wednesday
  • WHEAT PURCHASE: Algeria’s state grains agency OAIC is believed to have purchased about 90,000 to 100,000 metric tons of milling wheat in an international tender which closed on Tuesday.
  • CORN PURCHASE: Chinese importers are believed to have bought about 66,000 metric tons of animal feed corn from Ukraine this week
  • WHEAT TENDER: Jordan’s state grain buyer issued an international tender to buy up to 120,000 metric tons of milling wheat which can be sourced from optional origins.
  • FEED BARLEY TENDER: Jordan’s state grain buyer issued an international tender to purchase up to 120,000 metric tons of animal feed barley.


  • SOYBEAN TENDER: South Korea’s state-backed Agro-Fisheries & Food Trade Corp. has issued international tenders to purchase around 20,000 metric tons of food-quality soybeans free of genetically-modified organisms (GMOs)
  • SUGAR TENDER: Egypt’s General Authority for Supply Commodities announced a tender to import 50,000 tonnes of raw sugar and/or 50,000 tonnes of refined white sugar, all from any origin, on behalf of the Egyptian Sugar & Integrated Industries Company. The deadline for offers is Nov. 25.
  • NON-GMO SOYBEAN TENDERS: South Korea’s state-backed Agro-Fisheries & Food Trade Corp issued international tenders to purchase around 50,000 metric tons of food-quality soybeans free of genetically-modified organisms (GMOs).

Planet Earth


GRAIN EXPORT SURVEY: Corn, Soy, Wheat Sales Before USDA Report

Estimate ranges are based on a Bloomberg survey of four analysts; the USDA is scheduled to release its export sales report on Friday for week ending Nov. 16.

  • Corn est. range 800k – 1,150k tons, with avg of 950k
  • Soybean est. range 900k – 1,300k tons, with avg of 1,108k

US Ethanol Stocks Rise 3.3% to 21.652M Bbl

According to the US Department of Energy’s weekly petroleum report.

  • Analysts were expecting 21.104 mln bbl
  • Plant production at 1.023m b/d, compared to survey avg of 1.053m

Brazil 2023/24 Soy Output Estimate Cut to 161.6M T: Agroconsult

Brazilian consultancy firm Agroconsult estimates a soy output of 161.6 million tons in 2023/24 crop season, 7.6 million tons down from previous estimate but still 1,2% up from last crop season, when Brazil harvested 159.7 million tons of soybean, Agroconsult CEO André Pessôa said on Wednesday.

  • Soy replanting reaches 500 thousand hectares in the country, due to dryness: Agroconsult
  • Brazil expected to export 101.1 million tons of soybean in 2023, 28,6% up from 2022; in 2024, to reach 100.9 million tons, 0,2% down from 2023: Agroconsult
  • South America soybean production to reach 228.6 million tons in 2023/24 crop season, with 28.7 million tons more coming from Argentinian fields
  • Agroconsult forecasts Brazilian corn production of 128.7 million tons in 2023/24, 7% down from 2022/23; corn planted area to reduce 5,1%
  • Consultancy firm estimates cotton production of 3.74 million tons in 2023/24 season, increase of 16,4% over 2022/23
  • Some farmers will anticipate cotton planting in damaged soybean areas, said CEO André Pessôa

Argentina soy crop in good shape as planting advances, exchange says

The first sprouts of Argentina’s 2023/24 soybean crop are in good condition, the Buenos Aires grains exchange said on Thursday, noting that as of this week more than a third of the season’s estimated soybean area has been planted.

Despite some isolated replanting, the exchange noted “good emergence and growth” of soybean plants in the country’s main farmland areas, with 34.8% of the 17.3 million projected hectares (42.7 million acres) now planted.

Argentina is one of the world’s two main exporters of soybean oil and meal. After a historic drought scorched last season’s soy crop, this season’s planting season is advancing at a better rate thanks to rains in the first half of November.

Argentine farmers are also continuing corn planting, with 26.2% of the 7.1 million hectares projected for corn already planted, the exchange said, adding that corn planted between August and September has enjoyed “good water supply” in early development stages.

Producers in the South American agriculture powerhouse, meanwhile, are harvesting the country’s important wheat crop.

Wheat harvesting is 26.4% complete, the exchange said, with production estimated at 14.7 million tons, as dry conditions continued to take a toll in the winter and early spring.

The estimate is just above the 12.2 million tons harvested in the 2022/23 wheat season – nearly half of the much stronger 22.4 million ton harvest in the 2021/22 season.

Argentina grains trade ‘paralyzed’ as farmers eye FX adjustment, bean shortage

Argentina’s grains trade is largely “paralyzed” by a lack of soybeans due to drought and farmers holding onto produce, anticipating a devaluation of the peso under President-elect Javier Milei, the head of the main export chamber told Reuters.

The comments were the first from the crushing and export body CIARA-CEC, which represents major grains firms in Argentina, including Cargill and Bunge, since the election of libertarian outsider Milei on Sunday. He takes office on Dec. 10.

Argentina is normally the world’s top exporter of processed soy and in the top three for corn. The South American country is also a major wheat and beef supplier.

“Today the grains trade is paralyzed by the grain shortage, the worst in 60 years, and by an expectation after Milei’s victory that there will soon be an adjustment to the official exchange rate,” Gustavo Idigoras, head of CIARA-CEC, said late Wednesday.

Argentina, battling triple-digit inflation and a sliding currency, has strict capital controls which have led to parallel exchange rates as high as 1,000 pesos per dollar, far away from the official one just over 350 peso. That hurts exporters who often have to bring most of their overseas sales back into the country at the official rate, getting fewer pesos for each dollar.

While the government has rolled out exchange rate sweeteners for farmers, giving them a better rate, many producers are waiting to see what Milei does when he takes office. He has pledged to scrap the currency controls and cut taxes.

Idigoras said the lack of beans for the huge crushing plants that turn soybeans into oil and meal along the Parana River meant the facilities were operating at greatly reduced capacity.

“Today we are at 73% average idle capacity in the crushing plants and 75% idle capacity in the grain ports,” he said. “We are going through the worst year and the worst quarter in history.”

He added that the crushing plants were bringing forward stoppages for technical maintenance due to the “impossibility” of being able to keep operating.

“Most of them are already activating these technical stops on many production lines. There will be very few active production lines left in the coming months,” he said.

Idigoras called on Milei’s government to quickly scrap trade restrictions on grains, including taxes, and access to foreign currency, and to lift export caps and red tape for import licenses.

“Milei’s government must be the government that has the greatest export focus in history, an aggressive export policy. For that they must first eliminate all restrictions on day one.”

China’s COFCO imports Canadian durum wheat for the first time

China’s state-run food group COFCO Group said it had imported Canadian durum wheat for the first time, which it would process into flour.

China mainly imports finished pasta or flour processed from durum wheat, COFCO said in a statement.

“This direct import of durum wheat has enriched the structure of China’s imported wheat varieties, facilitated the extension of COFCO’s products upstream and further improved COFCO’s ‘from field to table’ full industry chain model,” it said.

COFCO said the durum wheat was purchased by COFCO International and will be transferred to COFCO Haijia (Xiamen) Flour Co. Ltd for processing.

China has already imported almost 2 million metric tons of durum wheat from Canada this year, according to customs data.

Canada accounts for around half of the global trade of hard wheat used to make pasta.

China has imported record volumes of wheat this year, with rain damage to its crop and worries over dry weather in exporting nations fuelling Beijing’s appetite to buy while prices are low.

The world’s largest wheat consumer has imported 10.83 million tons of wheat in the first 10 months of this year, a 37.7% surge from a year ago, customs data showed.

China to Buy Pork for Reserves Amid Falling Prices: NDRC

China will stockpile pork reserves to stabilize the market amid falling prices, the National Development and Reform Commission says in a statement.

  • NDRC and other relevant departments will start to collect and store the third batch of pork for state reserves within this year to lift prices to a reasonable level
  • The national average hog-to-grain ratio has been between 5:1 and 6:1 for three consecutive weeks

Russia Approved Grain-Export Quota From Feb. 15 to June 30

Russia sets a grain-export quota of 24 million tons from Feb. 15 to the end of June, government press-service says in Telegram.

Also approves durum wheat export ban from Dec. 1 to May 31

Russia to ban hard wheat exports as of Dec 1, set quota for grain exports in 2024 at 24 mln t – customs subcommittee

Russia’s subcommittee for customs tariff regulation has made a number of decisions to protect the domestic market and increase the supply of products.

The subcommittee supported a proposal from the Agriculture Ministry and Economic Development Ministry to impose a tariff quota of 24 million tonnes on exports of key grains – wheat, barley, corn and rye – in the period from February 15 to June 30, 2024, the government said in a press release.

The quota will not apply to exports to Eurasian Economic Union members states.

The subcommittee also supported a proposal from the Agriculture Ministry to impose a temporary ban on exports of hard wheat for six months, from December 1, 2023 to May 31, 2024, as well as impose a quota of 160,000 tonnes on duty-free imports of chicken meat in 2024.

Ukraine’s Grain Harvest Advances 38% from Last Year: Ministry

Grain harvest was 55.5m tons as of Nov. 24 for the season that started on July 1, Ukrainian Agriculture Ministry says in a statement on website.

  • Total includes:
    • 22.5m tons of wheat, up 16% y/y
    • 5.9m tons of barley, up 5% y/y
    • 24.9m tons of corn, up 84% y/y
  • Sunflower seed harvest advanced to 12m tons vs almost 10m tons by the same period last year
  • Soybean harvest is so far 4.8m tons vs 3.6m year ago
  • Sugar beet harvest is almost over with 11.8m tons, which is 44% up comparing to last year

US Grain Exports Seen Imperiled as Mississippi River Shrinks

  • ‘We might be falling off a cliff’ with below-average rainfall
  • High transportation costs, delays are pricing out US goods

A below-average rain forecast through the end of the month signals water levels on the Mississippi River are at risk of shrinking further, threatening the delivery of US crops across the world.

“As we head into December, when most northern precipitation falls in the form of snow, it will be difficult for water levels to recover in a meaningful way,” said Susan Stroud, a grain analyst for No Bull in St. Louis. “We might be falling off a cliff.”

After a hot summer, water levels on the river at Memphis sank to a record low -12.04 feet below base levels in mid-October but later saw a rebound, which helped US exports. Further declines in the water level, however, could mean another setback for US farmers suffering with higher shipping costs and delays. Outstanding sales for delivery in the current season are among the lowest for the past decade.

The water levels “are pricing out US bushels in world markets,” according to Stroud. “When we have higher transportation costs, those are passed on and it drives the global buyer away to find cheaper bushels somewhere else.”

It’s unlikely conditions will improve in the next few months when the US would typically benefit from reduced competition overseas before Brazil’s harvest period.

Barges heading to southern ports are carrying as much as 600 metric tons less grain per boat to prevent getting stuck, American Commercial Baggage Line said in its website. Over the past week, the operator experienced the loss of the equivalent to 14.6 boats due to delays. Meanwhile, the number of ships waiting on the Gulf to load with grains over the next 10 days has dropped to the lowest since at least 2012 for this time of the year, according to the US Department of Agriculture.

The situation is exasperated by the fact that the Panama Canal, a key shortcut between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, also is seeing historically low water levels.

India slows palm oil imports as prices rally amid negative margins

Indian buyers curtailed purchases of palm oil for December and January shipments due to rising prices and as refiners face negative margins after making heavy imports in the past few months, industry officials told Reuters on Thursday.

Lower purchases by the world’s biggest importer of vegetable oils could lead to higher stocks of palm oil in key producers Indonesia and Malaysia, weighing on benchmark futures which are trading near their highest in level in two months.

“Traders are attempting to liquidate stocks accumulated at ports due to aggressive imports in recent months,” Rajesh Patel, managing partner at edible oil trader and broker GGN Research told Reuters.

“Currently, there’s no import parity. Older imported stocks are being offered at lower prices compared to the price of new shipments.”

The landed cost of crude palm oil for December shipments on the west coast without import taxes is 77,500 rupees per metric ton, whereas already imported oil is being offered at 76,500 rupees, traders said.

Higher imports during July to September lifted vegetable oil stocks in India to 3.3 million tons on Nov. 1 from 2.46 million tons a year ago, according to the Solvent Extractors’ Association of India.

Buyers are concerned that the recent price rise may not be sustainable, so they are placing new import orders cautiously, said Sandeep Bajoria, CEO of Sunvin Group, a vegetable oil brokerage.

The slowdown in the new purchases could bring down imports in December and January, said a New-Delhi-based dealer with a global trade house.

Increasing supplies of local soyoil and cottonseed oil have also curbed import needs, he said.

India’s palm oil imports in November are likely to fall to 770,000 metric tons from 1.1 million tons a year ago, said Patel of GGN Research.

Soyoil and sunflower oil imports in November could fall to 130,000 tons and 150,00 tons respectively, he said.

India buys palm oil mainly from Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand, and soyoil and sunflower oil from Argentina, Brazil, Russia and Ukraine.

Dry soil makes Indian farmers wary of planting wheat, despite rally

  • Soil moisture low due to below-normal monsoon rains
  • Farmers shift to crops like chickpea, sorghum from wheat
  • Wheat prices near record highs as stocks deplete

India’s wheat planting is expected to remain stagnant despite a rally in prices to near record highs, as lower soil moisture prompts farmers in some areas to switch to less water-intensive crops, industry officials and scientists told Reuters.

Limited planting area, along with the threat of higher-than-normal first-quarter temperatures curbing yields, could compel the world’s second-biggest wheat producer to maintain its export ban or even force it to resort to imports, they said.

Farmers in the country had planted wheat on 8.6 million hectares as of Nov. 17, down nearly 5.5% from a year earlier, according to data compiled by the Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers’ Welfare.

While wheat farmers in the key producing northern states of Haryana, Punjab and Uttar Pradesh have reliable irrigation that is likely to help maintain yields, farmers in the central state of Madhya Pradesh, the second largest producer after Uttar Pradesh, are switching to less-thirsty crops, industry officials said.

The wheat-growing area in Madhya Pradesh could drop by around 10% from a year ago, a senior official with a leading private wheat buyer said, declining to be named.

“Due to lower rains and limited availability of irrigation water, there has been observed a shift from wheat to chickpea in certain areas of Madhya Pradesh,” he said.

In neighbouring Maharashtra state, farmer Avinash Phalke earlier this month planted sorghum on three acres instead of wheat.

“Our well has nearly dried up, leaving us no option but to plant a crop that requires less water. I opted for sorghum as it also provides fodder for cattle,” he said.

Soil moisture levels have decreased and reservoirs have fallen as India received its lowest monsoon rains since 2018 this year, after the El Nino weather pattern made August the driest in more than a century.

A delay in paddy harvesting in Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh slowed wheat planting, which will accelerate in coming weeks, Gyanendra Singh, director at the state-run Indian Institute of Wheat and Barley Research, told Reuters.

India grows only one wheat crop annually, with planting in October and November, and harvests from March.

New Delhi raised the government wheat purchase price to 2,275 rupees per 100 kg for 2024, although current prices are nearly 25% higher – a rare discrepancy.

“The soil moisture level is a concern in a few states, but the government’s decision to increase the Minimum Support Price by 7% will maintain farmers’ interest in wheat,” said Nitin Gupta, senior vice president of Olam Agri India.

 Ukraine’s farmers pin hopes on export corridor as war cost mounts

Ukraine’s efforts to revive sea exports in defiance of Russia’s military blockade have given a glimmer of hope to a teetering farm sector in which loss-making producers are abandoning some land in one of the world’s biggest grain belts.

With no end in sight to the war with Russia, access to the Black Sea is critical if Ukraine is to preserve an agricultural industry that was the fourth-largest grain supplier globally before the conflict and in value terms accounted for half of Ukraine’s total exports last year.

While makeshift export routes and abundant supply elsewhere have tamed record global food prices since last year, the strain on Ukrainian agriculture has worsened as a UN-backed export deal collapsed and EU neighbours baulked at land shipments.

Agriculture has suffered losses of over $25 billion since the war began, Ukrainian grain trader association UGA estimates.

Ukraine’s grain exports so far in the 2023/24 season that started in July are running 28% below the year-earlier volume, according to agriculture ministry data.

The area planted with corn, its flagship grain export, has shrunk by a quarter since the start of the war and total crop planting could suffer a double-digit decline in 2024, producers say, as cash-strapped farms leave some land idle.

A new Black Sea shipping channel may offer a lifeline, like for Ukraine’s depleted steel industry.

“The sea corridor is essential for Ukrainian farming to survive,” Jean-Francois Lepy, head of grain trading at French agribusiness group InVivo, said.

“Without a corridor there is going to be a serious problem in 2024/2025,” he said on the sidelines of this month’s Global Grain conference in Geneva.

The “humanitarian corridor” established by Ukraine’s military in late August has expanded steadily, with Kyiv estimating over 3 million tons of grain shipped so far.

Its future remains clouded by military risks, with several vessels struck by mines or missiles, but Ukrainian producers are encouraged.

“It gives us breakeven because before the ports opened almost everyone was loss-making,” Dmitry Skornyakov, CEO of farm operator HarvEast.

US Red Meat Production Rose 0.4% Y/y in October

Commercial beef and pork production rose to 4.77b pounds in Oct., according to the USDA’s monthly livestock slaughter report.

  • Beef production down 2.6% y/y to 2.34b pounds
  • Oct. cattle slaughter totaled 2.83m head, a 2.7% decline from a year ago
    • Avg live weight dropped by 1 pounds from last year to 1,374 pounds
  • Pork production up 3.4% y/y to 2.42b pounds
  • Hog slaughter increased 4.7% y/y to 11,430m head
  • Avg live weight was 285 pounds vs 288 pounds a year ago

US court rejects EPA’s decision to withhold small refinery biofuel waivers

A U.S. appeals court on Wednesday said it struck down the Biden administration’s decision to deny small refiners “hardship waivers” that exempt them from nation’s biofuel mandates, in a win for the refining industry.

In July, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) denied almost all outstanding petitions from oil refiners that argued the federal requirement that they blend ethanol and other biofuels into their fuel would cause them financial hardship.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit found in favor of refineries that challenged the EPA’s decision, including Ergon, Calumet Shreveport and Placid.

The court said in its 38-page decision that the EPA’s rejection of the waiver requests was “impermissibly retroactive; contrary to law; and counter to the record evidence”.

Under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), oil refiners must blend billions of gallons of biofuels into the nation’s fuel mix, or buy tradable credits from those that do.

The EPA can, however, award exemptions to some small refiners if they prove that the obligations cause them undue harm.

The biofuel industry, including producers of corn-based ethanol, have fought the small refinery waiver program for years, arguing that it has been overused in a way that helps the oil industry but hurts American farmers.

Refiners, meanwhile, have long argued that the nation’s ethanol mandates impose unfair costs on fuel producers, and can threaten the viability of small plants.

US Miss. River Grain Shipments Rise, Barge Rates Decline: USDA

Barge shipments down the Mississippi river increased to 743k tons in the week ending Nov. 18 from 723k tons the previous week, according to the USDA’s weekly grain transportation report.

  • Barge shipments of corn little changed from the previous week
  • Soybean shipments up 1.9% w/w
  • St. Louis barge rates were $15.68 per short ton, a decline of $2.11 from the previous week


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