Global Ag News For Nov 3.22
Eight Ships To Move Through Ukraine Crop Corridor Thursday: UN
Seven outbound vessels and one inbound vessel are scheduled to transit the Ukraine crop-export corridor on Thursday, according to a UN spokesperson for the Black Sea Grain Initiative.
- Of the total, four of the ships moved from Ukraine ports on Wednesday, lineups posted by the initiative show
- Those are: Key Knight carrying corn for China, Rattana Naree carrying soy for the Netherlands, Rio carrying wheat for Italy and Sveti Dujam carrying sun-meal for China
- NOTE: The UN on Tuesday had said that ship traffic in the corridor would be halted for Wednesday
- However, Russia announced midday Wednesday that it would rejoin the Ukraine crop-export deal, and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said the corridor would resume operations
- Seven outbound ships also cleared inspection in Istanbul on Wednesday, the lineup shows
- That compares to 36 on Tuesday and 46 on Monday
FUTURES & WEATHER
Wheat prices overnight are down 16 1/4 in SRW, down 12 3/4 in HRW, down 9 3/4 in HRS; Corn is down 5 1/4; Soybeans down 14 1/2; Soymeal down $0.39; Soyoil down 0.63.
For the week so far wheat prices are up 1 3/4 in SRW, up 3 3/4 in HRW, down 5 1/4 in HRS; Corn is up 3/4; Soybeans up 38 1/4; Soymeal down $0.44; Soyoil up 3.06.
For the month to date wheat prices are down 52 1/2 in SRW, down 51 1/4 in HRW, down 41 3/4 in HRS; Corn is down 9 1/4; Soybeans up 20; Soymeal down $7.50; Soyoil up 1.77.
Year-To-Date nearby futures are up 8% in SRW, up 16% in HRW, down -4% in HRS; Corn is up 15%; Soybeans up 8%; Soymeal up 2%; Soyoil up 33%.
Chinese Ag futures (JAN 23) Soybeans down 43 yuan; Soymeal down 47; Soyoil up 102; Palm oil up 116; Corn down 36 — Malaysian palm oil prices overnight were down 18 ringgit (-0.41%) at 4380.
There were no changes in registrations. Registration total: 3,077 SRW Wheat contracts; 0 Oats; 0 Corn; 445 Soybeans; 39 Soyoil; 288 Soymeal; 5 HRW Wheat.
Preliminary changes in futures Open Interest as of November 2 were: SRW Wheat up 6,163 contracts, HRW Wheat down 1,191, Corn up 901, Soybeans up 4,851, Soymeal up 2,899, Soyoil up 1,210.
Northern Plains Forecast: A cold front will slide through the Northern Plains Wednesday and Thursday. Most of the precipitation is likely to occur in Canada or down in the Central Plains, but some showers may move through, which would be a mix of rain and snow. A stronger system is expected to move through the region early- to mid-next week that could bring some accumulating snow and strong winds.
Central/Southern Plains Forecast: Temperatures remain warm in the Central and Southern Plains ahead of a cold front that will slowly slip into the region Wednesday and Thursday with scattered showers. There will be a system that forms along the front Friday that will bring more widespread showers, but the trend is for most of these to be to the east. Poor wheat conditions in the west are going to get missed most likely.
Midwest Forecast: Dry weather continues with rising temperatures in the Midwest that could approach records in some places Wednesday. A front will slide into the region Thursday and Friday with scattered showers. A storm system will develop along the front with more widespread showers for Saturday. Eventually some cooler air will move into at least western areas, but likely through the region behind a system next week.
Brazil Grains & Oilseeds Forecast: A strong front has cleared out much of Brazil, leaving dry conditions for the next week. Showers will eventually work back into central Brazil in the middle of next week but will take to the end of next week for southern states. Soil moisture in the south continues to be very favorable and can withstand a period of dryness as long as it is not too severe for too long. Overall, conditions are still mostly favorable for corn and soybean establishment in most areas for now.
Argentina Grains & Oilseeds Forecast: A cold front has caused dry conditions over Argentina. The dryness is expected to last through early next week with isolated showers moving back into the country in the middle of next week. The long period of dryness continues to have a significant effect on filling wheat as well as corn and soybean planting and establishment.
The player sheet for Nov. 2 had funds: net sellers of 20,000 contracts of SRW wheat, sellers of 8,000 corn, sellers of 3,000 soybeans, sellers of 1,000 soymeal, and buyers of 6,000 soyoil.
- MILLING WHEAT TENDER: Jordan’s state grain buyer has issued an international tender to buy 120,000 tonnes of milling wheat which can be sourced from optional origins.
- BARLEY NO PURCHASE IN BARLEY TENDER: Jordan’s state grain buyer is believed to have made no purchase in an international tender for 120,000 tonnes of animal feed barley which closed on Wednesday.
- BARLEY TENDER: Jordan’s state grains buyer has issued a new international tender to purchase 120,000 tonnes of animal feed barley. A new announcement had been issued after Jordan made no purchase in its previous barley tender on Wednesday.
- RICE TENDER: South Korea’s Agro-Fisheries & Food Trade Corp issued an international tender to purchase an estimated 50,500 tonnes of rice to be sourced from the United States.
Russia Resumes Ukraine Grain-Export Deal in Abrupt Reversal
- Russia’s suspension of agreement sent prices soaring this week
- UN, Turkey continued shipments despite Russian pullout
Russia agreed to resume a deal allowing safe passage of Ukrainian crop exports, abruptly reversing course after Turkey and the United Nations pushed ahead with the shipments over Moscow’s objections. Wheat prices dropped on the news.
The Kremlin’s pullout from the agreement on Saturday and Russian warnings over the safety of ships in the Black Sea corridor had sowed chaos through agricultural markets and sent prices soaring. But as the shipments continued this week – with a one-day interruption Wednesday – despite Russian warnings they could be in danger, Moscow’s leverage appeared limited.
President Vladimir Putin said Russia was resuming participation in the deal because it had received “written guarantees” from Ukraine that the safe-passage corridor wouldn’t be used for military purposes. Ukraine has long said it wouldn’t use it for such operations.
Chicago wheat futures were down 6.7% as of 2:10 p.m. London time, the most since March, after surging in the first two days of the week. Grain prices have been volatile over the past few months amid speculation over the fate of the deal which is set to expire Nov. 19.
In televised comments, Putin warned that Russia reserved the right to pull out of the agreement again if Ukraine violates it. The Foreign Ministry said that the issue of the extension of the pact would be discussed separately and it would decide by the deadline, according to Tass.
The UN welcomed Russia’s move. The sudden return to the deal came after days of intense diplomacy by Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who spoke by phone with Putin earlier in the week.
“Putin wants to compel the West to negotiate with him as soon as possible to freeze the conflict, his direct proposals did not work, so he is resorting to other strategies like talking about Ukrainian dirty bomb, threatening nuclear escalation or pulling out from the grain deal…all to get them around the table with him,” said Oksana Antonenko, director at Control Risks in London. “So far it did not work and I think will not work, at least in the near future.”
While the move will be welcomed by shippers and grain traders, Russia’s threats had led to deliveries of Ukrainian crops to ports grinding to a halt, and made shippers wary of sending their vessels into the corridor. Deals had already slowed in anticipation of the agreement expiring in November.
Some vessels continued to depart from Ukraine on Monday and Tuesday, but the UN announced late yesterday that there were no shipments planned on Wednesday. Russian officials had issued several warnings that Moscow couldn’t guarantee the safety of ships traveling the corridor without its participation. Those warnings also spurred underwriters to suspend a major insurance program for Ukraine’s food cargoes, but they reinstated it after Russia’s announcement Wednesday.
A total of 9.7 million tons of grains and other foodstuffs have been shipped since the deal was agreed, according to the UN. A spokesperson for the UN’s joint coordination center, which monitors vessels moving through the corridor and oversees inspections, said that it did not expect ship movements on Wednesday, but would issue an update on ship movements for Thursday. Ships are only authorized to move during daylight hours, it said.
Ukraine Sees Grain Deal Holding as World Needs Its Food Supplies
- Russia resumed the pact, while its extension is still unclear
- Chances ‘very high’ for grain agreement to function: minister
Ukraine is optimistic the deal that has revived grain exports from its Black Sea ports will be extended beyond a mid-November deadline due to strong global demand, according to Deputy Infrastructure Minister Yuriy Vaskov.
Moscow agreed to resume the deal on Wednesday, after briefly suspending participation. The agreement, signed in July, has allowed for safe passage of crop vessels from Ukraine, one of the world’s top grain and vegetable-oil suppliers.
Still, it is up for renewal on Nov. 19, which will be key for future sales. Farmers and traders will be forced to resort to lengthier and costlier land and river routes if Black Sea ports are again blocked, curbing volumes abroad.
“Chances that the grain agreement will function are very high because the whole world supports the necessity of supply of Ukrainian agriculture products on the global markets,” Vaskov said in an interview Tuesday, confirming his comments after Russia reversed course.
The deal, which is nearing the end of its initial 120-day run, will be automatically extended for the same length if none of the parties involved objects, he said. Ukraine has filed requests to Turkey and the United Nations — which brokered the pact — “to confirm there are no remarks,” he said.
Russia’s sudden return to the agreement on Wednesday came after days of intense diplomacy by Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who spoke by phone with Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin on Monday. The question of its extension will be discussed separately, Tass reported, citing Russia’s deputy foreign minister.
Marsh Says Ukraine Grain-Shipment Insurance Program Has Resumed
Insurance broker Marsh said a program to provide coverage for grain and food cargoes traveling through Ukraine’s grain corridors is back on, and shipments can again be declared.
- NOTE: Russia on Wednesday agreed to resume a deal allowing safe passage of Ukrainian crop exports
- NOTE: Marsh said on Monday that the insurance program had been suspended after Russia pulled out of the grain export deal
Russia-Ukraine Crisis Adding 39% to Egypt Bread Bill: Minister
Egypt’s government bread-subsidy budget allocation has increased to 71b Egyptian pounds compared to previously budgeted 51b pounds as a result of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Supply Minister Aly El-Moselhy says in a press conference.
GRAIN EXPORT SURVEY: Corn, Soy, Wheat Sales Before USDA Report
Estimate ranges are based on a Bloomberg survey of five analysts; the USDA is scheduled to release its export sales report on Thursday for week ending Oct. 27.
- Corn est. range 250k – 600k tons, with avg of 400k
- Soybean est. range 800k – 1,600k tons, with avg of 1,125k
- The following are for combined current and next marketing year:
StoneX Raises Outlook for US Corn Production, Trims Soybeans
US corn production in the 2022-23 season is estimated at 14.109 billion bushels with an average yield of 174.5 bu/acre, according to a survey Wednesday from brokerage StoneX.
- That’s up from StoneX’s outlook in October for production of 14.056 billion and a yield of 173.9
- US soybean production seen at 4.413 billion bushels with yield of 50.9 bu/acre
- That’s lower than month-ago estimates for 4.442 billion and yield of 51.3
- NOTE: USDA releases updated crop-production forecasts on Nov. 9
Brazil’s Agriculture Ministy Confirms China Corn Exporters List
Brazil’s Ministry of Agriculture confirms list by Chinese authorities of Brazilian facilities approved to export corn to the Asian nation, paving the way for companies to legally begin shipments.
- A total of 136 facilities are initially approved to start shipments of corn, says Glauco Bertoldo, ministry’s director of inspection of vegetable products
- “Our job was to negotiate the phytosanitary terms and market is now open for companies to start shipments, pending direct negotiations between both parties,” Bertoldo says Wednesday in phone interview
- The ministry will update the list on a monthly basis, as it does with soybeans, adding or removing companies that follow the protocol and are allowed to export
- The total number of requests were more than 400, according to Glauber Silveira, executive director for the Brazilian Association of Corn Producers
- Exports might take some time to start picking up pace, given small exportable supplies from Brazil
- “ Ultimately, China would have to compete with Europe for Brazilian remaining surplus” says Ben Buckner, chief grains analyst for AgResource Co.
- Brazilian supplies are tight as the country exported more than 25 million metric tons of corn so far this year, more than double that of the same period last year
- China’s move to start corn imports from Brazil was previously reported by Bloomberg
India Wheat Exports Seen 1M Tons Below Latest USDA Figure: FAS
Indian wheat production in the 2022-23 season, which began in April, is seen at 99m tons, the USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service says in a note.
- That’s below latest USDA official outlook for 103m tons
- Exports estimated at 5.5m tons, versus 6.5m tons
- Most of that volume was already shipped from April-August
- “Government officials continue to express concerns with rising wheat prices,” report says
- “Due to the growing concern with rising wheat prices, the Indian government is unlikely to allow for further exports of wheat and wheat products to any country in the near-term”
Argentina OKs Traders to Delay Wheat Shipments Amid Drought
Argentine exporters that have lined up wheat cargoes between Dec. 1 and Feb. 28 are allowed to postpone shipments by as much as 360 days, according to an Agriculture Secretariat resolution
- Government has taken the measure both to ensure domestic supplies and to help exporters fulfill sales to global clients as a drought cripples the upcoming harvest, it said in an emailed statement
- Exporters will have to accept force majeure claims from farmers who fail to meet supply commitments they made in forward contracts
- NOTE: Traders have registered 8.85m metric tons for shipment, but farmers have only locked in and priced sales for 3.15m; local millers require ~6m tons of the harvest
Argentina soybean sales speed up, 71% of 2021/22 crop sold so far
Farmers in Argentina, one of the country’s largest oilseed exporters, sold 71% of this cycle’s 44-million-tonne soybean harvest as of last week, the country’s agriculture ministry said on Wednesday.
Argentina sold 323,100 tonnes of soybeans between Oct. 20 and 26, it said, nearly doubling the 164,000 tonnes that traded the previous week. Producers had sold 483,600 tonnes during the same period in the 2020/21 crop.
This comes after Argentina sold 13.3 million tonnes of soybeans in September, more than triple the historical monthly average of 4.4 million tonnes, as farmers benefited from a preferential exchange rate intended to spur exports and bring in much-needed foreign currency.
The ministry said the country had also sold 70.4% of its 2021/22 corn harvest, down from the 72.1% it had sold at the same time during the previous cycle.
Argentina, the world’s third-largest corn exporter, began sowing its 2022/23 crop in September, though a prolonged drought delayed planting and led farmers to sow the smallest area in six years, according to the Rosario Grains Exchange (BCR).
The ministry also said Argentina had sold 5.5 million tonnes of its 2022/23 wheat crop as of last week, while the BCR cut its harvest forecasts due to lack of rain.
Indonesia CPO Output Seen Rising to 48.23M Tons in 2022: Agency
Production of crude palm oil in Indonesia is expected to increase from 46.85m tons in 2021, according to Eddy Abdurrachman, president director of the Indonesia Oil Palm Plantations Fund Management Agency.
- Output could rise to 54.29m tons in 2025, Abdurrachman said at an industry conference in Bali on Thursday
- Biodiesel consumption in the Southeast Asian nation, the world’s biggest palm oil producer, may total 9.59M tons in the year ending in December
- Indonesia aims to further improve the biofuel quality before the implementation of the B40 program
- Palm oil production and opening stockpile together may surpass 58m tons in 2026; the estimate is based on an average increase of 4% per year
- Exports of CPO and refined products may total 28.4m tons in 2023; 29.5m tons in 2024; 30.7m tons in 2025, and 31.9m tons in 2026
Indonesia Has Enough Funds to Support B40 Biofuel Plan: Agency
Indonesia can support the implementation of its B40 biofuel program, Eddy Abdurrachman, president of Indonesia Oil Palm Plantations Fund Management Agency said Thursday.
- Biodiesel prices may be higher than gasoil in 2023, but the gap won’t be too much, Abdurrachman said at a briefing in Bali
- The agency has not provided any incentive for the program between July and November as biodiesel prices were lower than gasoil
- Govt is still conducting road tests for fuel mixed with 40% biodiesel and expecting positive results, according to Musdhalifah Machmud, deputy for food and agriculture at the coordinating ministry for economic affairs
- NOTE: Indonesia subsidizes its biodiesel program through palm oil export levies; country has waived levy till the end of this year
- The volume of biodiesel consumption in Indonesia, the world’s biggest producer, may rise to 15m kiloliters per year, if the B40 plan implemented, compared with 11m kl for B30 program: Abdurrachman
Waterlogged Australian wheat crop faces extensive quality downgrades
- Around half of wheat on east coast or 8 mln T may be downgraded
- Floods damage roads in key areas, hitting transport network
- Australian wheat crop woes come as world faces tight supplies
Flooding and excessive rains across key parts of Australia’s wheat growing areas have resulted in extensive damage to what was expected to be a record bin-busting high quality crop just a few weeks ago, exacerbating concerns over world food supplies.
A lower quality crop in Australia, the world’s No.2 supplier of the grain, comes as dryness in North America and the Russia-Ukraine war curb global supplies, fuelling red-hot food prices.
While Australia is still on track for a third year of bumper harvest, about half of the crop grown on its eastern grain belt – known for premium hard wheat – is likely to be reduced to animal feed, although the extent of the damage will be known after waters recede, traders, analysts and farmers said.
“There have been some growers who have had total loss … it’s still pretty raw for many people,” said Brett Hosking, a grains farmer in southern Victoria sate, who is also the chairman of the farmers body GrainGrowers. “In the next fortnight or so we will have a very clear picture.”
Residents in major regional towns across Australia’s most populous state are being urged to leave homes as slow-moving flood waters push downstream and the country’s fourth major flood crisis this year rolls into a second month.
Large swathes of farmland across Australian states of New South Wales, Queensland and Victoria have been inundated with flood waters, damaging wheat and other crops, including potatoes, and delaying sorghum planting.
“Floods have come at the worst time as the wheat crop was getting ready for harvest,” said Ole Houe, director of advisory services at agriculture brokerage IKON Commodities in Sydney.
“Initial estimates are that around half of the crop or around 8 million tonnes have been reduced to feed wheat quality on the east coast,” Houe added.
Small Refineries Pay More for US Biofuel Rules, Report Says
- Findings may energize oil industry’s fight against the rules
- Next US biofuel blending proposal is expected in mid-November
Small oil refineries pay more than larger competitors to fulfill US mandates to blend biofuels into gasoline and diesel, congressional investigators have found, a conclusion that could intensify calls to ease the requirements in the name of lowering fuel prices.
The findings are contained in a draft of a report from the Government Accountability Office that was seen by Bloomberg and which is due to be published on Thursday. The report was requested by a slew of lawmakers from corn-rich states.
The cost to comply with US mandates for mixing biofuels such as corn-based ethanol into the nation’s fuel supply has long been a point of bitter dispute between the petroleum and agriculture industries. The fight includes claims by refiners that biofuel credits known as RINs, which are used to track compliance with the environmental rules, are too costly and lead to lost jobs and higher prices at the pump.
“We found that smaller buyers pay more, and smaller sellers receive less, when buying or selling RINs compared to larger buyers and sellers,” according to the draft report.
The GAO said that its analysis alone doesn’t show that there is “disproportionate economic hardship for small refineries.” The group’s recommendations include calling on the Environmental Protection Agency to identify and communicate what information refineries need to submit to show they shoulder an excessive burden.
In an Oct. 13 letter to the GAO included in the report, the EPA said several of the investigation’s initial conclusions were “erroneous and/or unsupported.”
“GAO’s analysis of renewable identification number trades suffers from several fundamental flaws,” the EPA said. “Each of these flaws calls into question the relevance of GAO’s analysis.”
The GAO also said that when small refineries have been exempted from the biofuel-blending quotas, it has “reduced the price of RINs, giving less incentive to blend renewable fuel.”
Nevertheless, the findings are likely to ratchet up calls by the oil industry to relax the next batch of blending requirements as the EPA plans to issue proposed quotas for coming years later this month.
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