Global Ag News for Oct 27.23
Ukraine Says Ship Corridor Open Even as Vessels Seen Stalled
Ukraine said its shipping corridor via the Black Sea is open, though traffic still appears to be stalled.
Ukraine’s Infrastructure Ministry said the corridor was not stopped and vessels are being processed in ports. Currently, 23 ships are under loading in the ports of Odesa, Chornomorsk and Pivdennyi, the ministry said.
Earlier, a Ukrainian official who asked not to be identified said vessel movements were suspended due to tax and customs issues as Kyiv tries to crack down on corruption. Shippers and traders familiar with the matter confirmed shipment has been paused since earlier this week. It was unclear how long the issue might last.
Ukraine is a major exporter of agricultural commodities and a pause would hurt a key source of revenue, especially during Russia’s war. Kyiv had recently opened the unilateral corridor to allow vessels to ship crops and metals from its deep-sea ports in Greater Odesa, after Moscow in July pulled out of the Black Sea grain deal that had guaranteed safe movement of crop-export vessels amid the war.
While more ships were starting to use the corridor in recent weeks, it’s still fraught with risks. Mainstream shipowners have been wary, as Russia had previously threatened to treat any ships sailing to Ukraine as potentially carrying weapons, while Moscow has continued to target grain infrastructure with drones.
The Ukrainian Grain Association said in a statement that it was concerned about the industry losing money from “unjustified delays” at Greater Odesa ports. Such delays cause “enormous damage to Ukrainian farmers and the state budget,” it said, adding that exporters have to pay shipowners up to $75,000 a day for delays, on top of extra insurance costs.
Ukraine has continued to ship grains via river, road and rail throughout the war, though those routes are more cumbersome than shipping by sea.
The new Black Sea route has been used to ship more than 700,000 tons of grain so far, the agriculture minister said this week.
FUTURES & WEATHER
Wheat prices overnight are down 1/4 in SRW, down 1 3/4 in HRW, up 1 in HRS; Corn is up 2 3/4; Soybeans up 9 1/2; Soymeal up $5.20; Soyoil up 0.27.
For the week so far wheat prices are down 6 3/4 in SRW, down 17 in HRW, down 5 1/2 in HRS; Corn is down 13 1/2; Soybeans down 10 1/2; Soymeal up $10.80; Soyoil down 1.37.
For the month to date wheat prices are up 38 3/4 in SRW, down 10 3/4 in HRW, up 16 in HRS; Corn is up 6; Soybeans up 15 1/4; Soymeal up $52.90; Soyoil down 3.84.
Year-To-Date nearby futures are down 26.9% in SRW, down 26.5% in HRW, down 22.7% in HRS; Corn is down 29.0%; Soybeans down 15.2%; Soymeal down 9.2%; Soyoil down 18.5%.
Chinese Ag futures (JAN 24) Soybeans up 39 yuan; Soymeal up 33; Soyoil up 64; Palm oil up 86; Corn up 8 — Malaysian Palm is up 9. Malaysian palm oil prices overnight were up 9 ringgit (+0.24%) at 3771.
There were no changes in registrations. Registration total: 3,005 SRW Wheat contracts; 735 Oats; 4 Corn; 220 Soybeans; 62 Soyoil; 59 Soymeal; 400 HRW Wheat.
Preliminary changes in futures Open Interest as of October 26 were: SRW Wheat up 3,025 contracts, HRW Wheat down 2,683, Corn down 9,438, Soybeans down 11,358, Soymeal up 11,686, Soyoil up 8,788.
Northern Plains: Periods of rain and snow continue into the weekend, which have made for heavy accumulations already in parts of Montana and North Dakota. Temperatures continue to plummet behind a cold front, which will last well into next week, and be harsher over the heavier snow cover. The heavy precipitation and snow accumulation will make fieldwork very difficult to accomplish, and may lead to quality concerns for corn left out in the field.
Central/Southern Plains: Including some heavy rain from earlier this week, rounds of heavy precipitation continue to move through the region through early next week. Far western areas may not see all that much, however, which will only slightly benefit soil moisture for winter wheat establishment. From Texas to eastern Kansas, heavy rain will help with drought, but has and may continue to cause flooding. Cold air will gradually fill in through the region, which will eventually cause widespread frosts and freezes as well as turn some precipitation over to snow. Accumulations will be possible, mostly in parts of Nebraska and northeast Colorado this weekend. The cold shot will likely be somewhat brief, with temperatures moderating by late next week.
Midwest: Rounds of showers and thunderstorms will continue to move through the region going into early next week as a front drapes across the region and several storm systems move along it. Temperatures behind the front are building colder and will spread through the region this weekend and early next week. The cold may cause some areas of snow, inducing some lake-effect snow around the Great Lakes. The cold may be brief, with moderating temperatures by later next week. Rain will cause issues with remaining fieldwork, but help with drought and providing water into local rivers.
Brazil: Southern Brazil is getting a brief break in the heavy rain, but more is forecast for the weekend. Showers have moved north into central Brazil, which has been much drier than normal in most spots for the last several weeks. Mato Grosso has trended drier with the showers, however, at least through the middle of next week before another burst moves through. The increased rainfall will bring better conditions for planting and early growth for soybeans in central areas, but continues to cause concerns for wheat quality and harvest in the south, as well as planting for corn and soybeans.
Argentina: Areas of rain in recent days helped to reverse some of the dryness that has been concerning for filling winter wheat and corn planting. The country will be in a more active pattern for the next couple of weeks, with more areas of showers moving through. It may not be all that widespread and heavy which would be preferred, but it is a better turnaround than the very dry conditions seen over the last few months.
The player sheet for Oct. 26 had funds: net buyers of 4,500 contracts of SRW wheat, sellers of 500 corn, buyers of 4,500 soybeans, sellers of 1,000 soymeal, and sellers of 3,000 soyoil.
- SOYBEAN SALE: The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) confirmed private sales of 110,000 metric tons of U.S. soybeans for delivery to China in the 2023/24 marketing year that began Sept. 1.
- MILLING WHEAT PURCHASE: The Taiwan Flour Millers’ Association purchased an estimated 52,000 metric tons of milling wheat to be sourced from the United States in a tender on Thursday.
- RICE TENDER: South Korea’s state-backed Agro-Fisheries & Food Trade Corp issued an international tender to purchase an estimated 50,100 metric tons of rice largely from the United States
- CORN TENDER: Iranian state-owned animal feed importer SLAL issued an international tender to purchase about 180,000 metric tons of animal feed corn
- WHEAT TENDER: The Taiwan Flour Millers’ Association issued an international tender to purchase an estimated 52,000 metric tons of grade 1 milling wheat to be sourced from the United States.
- WHEAT TENDER: Bangladesh’s state grains buyer issued an international tender to purchase 50,000 metric tons of milling wheat.
US Export Sales of Soybeans, Corn and Wheat by Country
The following table shows US export sales of soybeans, corn and wheat by biggest net buyers for week ending Oct. 19, according to data on the USDA’s website.
- Top buyer of soybeans: China with 1.17m tons
- Top buyer of corn: Mexico with 778k tons
- Top buyer of wheat: Mexico with 130k tons
US Export Sales of Pork and Beef by Country
The following shows US export sales of pork and beef product by biggest net buyers for week ending Oct. 19, according to data on the USDA’s website.
- Mexico bought 10.2k tons of the 28.6k tons of pork sold in the week
- South Korea led in beef purchases
Argentine Corn, Wheat Crop Estimates Oct. 26: Exchange
The Buenos Aires Grain Exchange releases weekly report on website.
- 2023-24 corn planted area est. held at 7.3m ha
- Corn planting advanced to 22% complete from 20% in the previous week
Heavy ‘downpour’ boosts prospects for Argentine corn, stabilizes wheat
Significant rainfall last weekend over Argentina’s core farmland has improved the prospects for the current corn crop, while also stanching the bleeding for planted wheat after an intense dry spell, the Buenos Aires Grains Exchange (BdeC) said on Thursday.
The South American country’s massive farm sector is a top global grains producer, with soybeans, corn and wheat the sector’s main drivers.
Last weekend’s 45.5 millimeters (1.8 inches) of rain brought much-needed relief to farmers, who had not seen significant precipitation in months, according to the Rosario stock exchange (BCR).
In its weekly grains report, BdeC noted the rainfall helped fields that in recent days also suffered freezing temperatures, with more than 76% of the planted area now categorized as normal or excellent versus 60% previously.
BdeC estimates that 22% of some 7.3 million hectares expected to be planted with corn have been sown for the 2023/2024 season.
Nearly 7% of the 5.9 million hectare 2023/2024 wheat crop has already been harvested, according to Buenos Aires stock exchange data.
Following the recent rains, 54% of planted wheat areas now feature optimal or sufficient moisture, up by 8 percentage points over the past week, according to the Buenos Aires stock exchange.
The exchange forecasts output from the current wheat crop at 16.2 million metric tons.
The latest rains will also help launch the sowing of Argentina’s main cash crop soybeans, which the BCR said in a separate report on Thursday should yield 50 million tons from around 17.4 million planted hectares.
BCR noted the recent “downpour” is expected to help kick off soybean sowing next week in northern Buenos Aires province, southern Santa Fe and southeast Cordoba.
Argentina is one of the world’s biggest exporters of processed soybeans, which contribute much-needed U.S. dollars for central bank coffers.
Ukraine’s grain exports drop to 8.7 mln T in current season – ministry
Ukraine’s grain exports have fallen to 8.72 million metric tons so far in the 2023/24 July-June marketing season, agriculture ministry data showed on Friday.
The ministry gave no direct comparative data, but said that by Oct. 28 last year Ukraine had exported 12.34 million tons of grain.
The exported volume this season included 4.4 million tons of wheat, 3.5 million tons of corn and 669,000 tons of barley. In the previous season Ukraine exported 4.7 million tons of wheat, 6.6 million tons of corn and 1.05 million tons of barley.
The ministry said 1.97 million tons of grain were exported in the first 26 days of October. Ukraine exported 3.65 million tons from Oct. 1-27 a year ago.
While the ministry gave no explanation for the decrease, traders and farmers’ unions have said blocked Ukrainian Black Sea ports and Russian attacks on Ukrainian ports on the Danube River are the main reasons for lower exports.
Ukraine has traditionally shipped most of its exports through its deep water Black Sea ports.
A deal brokered by the United Nations and Turkey allowing exports collapsed in July when Russia withdrew, saying its demand that sanctions be lifted on its grain and fertiliser exports had not been met.
Ukrainian officials said 51 cargo vessels had entered a new Black Sea shipping corridor since it came into operation in August as Kyiv steps up a push to defy the de-facto Russian blockade.
Ukraine’s government expects it to harvest 79 million tons of grain and oilseeds in 2023, with its 2023/24 exportable surplus totalling about 50 million tons.
Ukraine Grain Harvest Running 40% Ahead of 2022 Level: Ministry
Ukrainian farmers have harvested 43.4m tons of grain so far for the season that started July 1, Ukraine’s Agriculture Ministry says in a statement on its website.
- NOTE: This compares to 30.9 million tons of grain harvested at a similar time in 2022
- The corn harvest is running well ahead of last year, at 13.3m tons versus 4.5m tons
- Total also includes:
- 22.4m tons of wheat, up 15% y/y
- 5.9m tons of barley, up about 5% y/y
- Other harvest figures below; output of all three crops are also running above last year:
- Sunflower seeds at 11.1m tons
- Soybeans at 4.5m tons
- Sugar beets at 7.3m tons
EU Raises 2023 Wheat and Corn Crop Estimates, Cuts Barley
This year’s soft-wheat harvest is now seen at 125.5m tons, slightly above a September estimate for 125.3m tons, the European Commission said Thursday in a report.
- Export estimate cut to 31m tons, from 32m tons
- Corn crop estimate raised to 59.9m tons, from 59.8m tons
- Barley crop estimate cut to 47.5m tons, from 48.4m tons
EU cuts 2023/24 wheat export forecast, increases stocks
The European Commission on Thursday lowered its forecast of European Union exports of common wheat, or soft wheat, in 2023/24 to 31 million metric tons from 32 million projected a month ago.
The reduced export outlook drove an upward revision to the Commission’s forecast of 2023/24 soft wheat ending stocks, now at 19.1 million tons compared with 17.8 million expected last month.
Turkey Projects 10.4% Y/y Increase in Wheat Output in 2023
2023 wheat production is expected to increase by 10.4% from a year earlier to 21.8m tons, Turkish statistics office says in its second crop output estimate of the year.
- Barley production seen rising 5.9% to 9m tons
- Sugar beet production seen increasing 16.9% to 22.5m tons
- Soybean output seen decreasing 11.3% to 137.5K tons
- Overall crop production seen rising 7.7% to 75.9m tons
- Overall vegetable production estimated to increase 0.3% to 31.7m tons
Indonesia Aug. Palm Oil Exports Fall to 2.073m Tons: Gapki
Indonesia’s palm oil exports fell to 2.073m tons in August from 3.52m tons in July, according to Indonesian Palm Oil Association (Gapki).
- Palm oil output fell to 4.221m tons from 4.77m tons in July
- Palm oil stockpiles rise to 3.244m tons from 3.128m tons in July
- Palm oil domestic consumption rose to 2.037m tons from 1.757m tons in July
- Palm oil for biodiesel domestic consumption rose to 956,000 tons from 719,000 tons in July
French Soft-Wheat Planting, Corn Harvested Trailing 2022
Some 54% of the French soft-wheat and 69% of winter-barley crops were planted as of Oct. 23, holding behind last year’s pace, according to weekly data from FranceAgriMer.
- The corn harvest pace also trails last year
India to Sell More Wheat in Open Market to Control Local Prices
The government will sell 300,000 tons of wheat from state reserves in each electronic auction from Nov. 1, compared with 200,000 tons earlier, according to a food ministry statement.
- A bidder can buy as much as 200 tons in each auction, compared with 100 tons earlier
- NOTE: The government conducts electronic auctions for sale of wheat and rice from state reserves every week
Russia Allows Grain Export Payments Via Special Ruble Accounts
Russian government has published a list of agricultural products, the export of which may be paid in rubles via special accounts starting Nov. 1.
- List includes wheat, barley, corn, sugar, soybean, sunflower oil, poultry, pork and some other products
- Foreign buyers will be able to open FX and ruble accounts in designated Russian banks and exchange foreign currency for ruble through these accounts
- NOTE: Aug. 8, Russia to Offer Special Accounts for Agro Export Payments
Indonesia’s Garuda Tests First Commercial Flight On Biofuel
Indonesia’s flag carrier tested its first commercial flight using jet fuel mixed with palm oil to reduce carbon emissions.
The Garuda Indonesia plane flew from the capital Jakarta to Solo, President Joko Widodo’s hometown, on Friday using the J2.4 sustainable aviation fuel produced by PT Pertamina.
The government expects wider adoption of the biofuel in aviation to grow the market to about 1.1 trillion rupiah ($69 million) a year and pave way for exports. Palm-based fuel may offer a solution to the challenge of cleaning up emissions in the carbon-intensive industry, as countries around the world turn to subsidies and mandates for airlines to use less fossil fuel.
The sustainable fuel used on Friday’s flight was made by mixing 2.4% refined bleach deodorized palm kernel oil with jet fuel in PT Pertamina’s Cilacap refinery. The state-owned energy company can produce 1,350 kiloliters of the fuel a day, with plans to expand existing facilities to meet potential demand of 5 million kiloliters a year.
The fuel had been tested on a shorter flight earlier this month when the jet’s machine responded well and stayed in control. Garuda will run further trials on other types of engines, said President Director Irfan Setiaputra on Friday.
US Crops in Drought Area for Week Ending Oct. 24: USDA
The following shows the percent of US agricultural production within an area that experienced drought for the week ending Oct. 24, according to the USDA’s weekly drought report.
- Corn crops experiencing moderate to intense drought fell to 49% from 50%
- Drought exposure at this time last year was 70%
- Soybean crops in drought down a percentage point to 52%
US Miss. River Grain Shipments Rise, Barge Rates Increase: USDA
Barge shipments down the Mississippi river increased to 562k tons in the week ending Oct. 21 from 496k tons the previous week, according to the USDA’s weekly grain transportation report.
- Barge shipments of corn rose 10.2% from the previous week
- Soybean shipments up 13% w/w
- St. Louis barge rates were $23.14 per short ton, an increase of $0.08 from the previous week
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