Global Ag News for Sept 18.23
Slovakia Bans Ukrainian Grain Imports Until End of 2023
Slovakia’s government approves a national ban on grain imports until the end of the year, cabinet spokesperson says in an emailed statement.
- Slovakia bans imports of the same four commodities that were targeted until now – wheat, maize, rapeseed, and sunflower seeds
- “We need to prevent excessive pressure on the Slovak market to remain fair to domestic farmers,” the government says in the statement
- Slovakia’s decision is a response to similar unilateral bans imposed by Poland and Hungary
FUTURES & WEATHER
Wheat prices overnight are down 7 3/4 in SRW, down 9 in HRW, down 5 in HRS; Corn is up 3/4; Soybeans down 2 1/4; Soymeal up $0.20; Soyoil down 0.31.
Markets finished last week with wheat prices up 15 3/4 in SRW, up 18 3/4 in HRW, up 18 3/4 in HRS; Corn is down 7 1/4; Soybeans down 28 3/4; Soymeal down $12.50; Soyoil up 1.45.
For the month to date wheat prices are down 5 1/2 in SRW, up 10 1/4 in HRW, up 17 1/4 in HRS; Corn is down 1 1/4; Soybeans down 30 3/4; Soymeal down $11.70; Soyoil down 0.73.
Year-To-Date nearby futures are down 24.2% in SRW, down 16.4% in HRW, down 16.3% in HRS; Corn is down 29.5%; Soybeans down 11.8%; Soymeal down 17.7%; Soyoil down 0.8%.
Chinese Ag futures (NOV 23) Soybeans down 41 yuan; Soymeal up 10; Soyoil down 114; Palm oil down 138; Corn down 18 — Malaysian Palm is down 76. Malaysian palm oil prices overnight were down 76 ringgit (-2.01%) at 3709.
There were changes in registrations (-10 Soymeal). Registration total: 3,005 SRW Wheat contracts; 741 Oats; 4 Corn; 220 Soybeans; 67 Soyoil; 75 Soymeal; 402 HRW Wheat.
Preliminary changes in futures Open Interest as of September 15 were: SRW Wheat up 762 contracts, HRW Wheat up 1,285, Corn up 1,854, Soybeans up 13,001, Soymeal down 663, Soyoil down 4,401.
Northern Plains: Dry conditions were noted over the weekend. A system will move into the region on Wednesday with scattered showers through the weekend. Some areas of heavy rain will be possible, which may have some benefit for late-filling corn and soybeans, but will delay any remaining wheat harvest and early corn and soybean harvest.
Central/Southern Plains: A front brought scattered showers through much of the region Friday and Saturday. Isolated showers and thunderstorms will be possible for the front half of the week, but a system moving into the region on Thursday will be slow to move east with multiple rounds of precipitation through Saturday before it leaves. Areas of heavy rain will be beneficial for winter wheat establishment, but not corn and soybean harvest.
Midwest: A front brought scattered showers through the region over the weekend. Surprise areas of moderate to heavy amounts were noted in the middle of the region, which may help with moistening soils for winter wheat in some areas, but most likely delayed corn and soybean maturation and harvest instead. Additional clusters of showers and thunderstorms will be possible early this week across western areas of the region. A system will slowly move into or through the region Friday through the weekend, possibly even next week as well. Models are still determining that. Rain is largely too late to be a benefit and will delay early harvest plans in some areas instead.
Delta: It was mostly dry over the weekend, and should be for most of the week as well. A system will move into the region this weekend or early next week with potential for rain. Cotton is running out of time for rainfall to be helpful and the coming rains may be heavy enough to disrupt harvest progress for soybeans.
Brazil: Outside of a few isolated showers in central Brazil, it was dry over the weekend. A front will move into the south with periods of showers for most of the week and possibly into next week as well. It does not look as heavy as last week’s forecast, which is less concerning for flood damage and planting delays outside of far southern Rio Grande do Sul. However, there could be some concerns there. Early soybean planting should otherwise go well this week as restrictions lift.
Argentina: It was dry for most areas over the weekend. A front has moved in and will produce areas of showers for northern areas at various points throughout the week. Southern areas may get in on some rainfall later this week and weekend. Recent and forecast rain is improving soil moisture for winter wheat and early corn planting.
The player sheet for Sept. 15 had funds: net buyers of 5,000 contracts of SRW wheat, sellers of 4,500 corn, buyers of 12,000 soybeans, sellers of 8,000 soymeal, and buyers of 1,000 soyoil.
NOPA August US soybean crush below most estimates at 161.453 million bushels
The U.S. soybean crush fell to an 11-month low in August and was below almost all trade estimates, while end-of-month soyoil stocks dropped to a nearly six-year low, according to National Oilseed Processors Association (NOPA) data released on Friday.
NOPA members, which account for around 95% of U.S. soybean crushings, processed 161.453 million bushels of soybeans last month, down 6.8% from the 173.303 million bushels processed in July and 2.5% lower than the August 2022 crush of 165.538 million bushels.
More widespread processor downtime than expected limited the crush, denting demand at the same time that U.S. exports of the oilseed have struggled to compete with record-large Brazilian shipments, analysts said.
Benchmark soybean futures Sv1 on the Chicago Board of Trade fell 1.5% on Friday.
The crush is typically near its lowest point of the year in August as processors idle plants for seasonal maintenance ahead of the harvest and as supplies of soybeans from the prior season’s harvest are drawn down.
The crush was well below the average trade estimate of 167.802 million bushels in a Reuters survey.
NOPA data showed a sharp year-on-year drop in crushing in August in Iowa, the No. 2 soybean state, and a moderate decline in the Southwest.
The average estimate was 6.35 million bushels above the actual value, the largest miss since June 2021, according to NOPA and Reuters polling data.
The crush industry’s recent capacity expansion and adverse weather such as last month’s Midwest heat wave and hurricane rains that disrupted transportation in the Southeast, made pinning down the August crush more difficult, some analysts said.
Also, active crushing over recent months amid strong processing margins left more facilities in dire need of maintenance, they said.
“When you’ve had margins over $2 a bushel and you’re cranking out profits, going into the next harvest you have to throttle back to get ready,” said Don Roose, president of U.S. Commodities. “I expect it to bounce back pretty soon.”
Soyoil supplies among NOPA members as of Aug. 30 thinned to 1.250 billion pounds, the lowest end-of-month oil stocks since October 2017.
The slower crush and strong soyoil demand from renewable fuels producers whittled down oil stocks, analysts said.
NOPA members’ oil supplies were down 18.2% from the end of July and down 20.1% from the end of August last year.
Analysts had expected a much smaller drop in soyoil stocks to 1.483 billion pounds.
China August Agricultural Imports
General Administration of Customs says on website.
- Aug. Corn Imports 1.2M Tons, -33.3% Y/y
- YTD corn imports fell 11.9% y/y to 14.91m tons
- Aug. wheat imports 840,000 tons, +58.2% y/y
- YTD wheat imports rose 52.9% y/y to 9.56m tons
- Aug. sugar imports 370,000 tons, -46.4% y/y
- YTD sugar imports fell 42.3% y/y to 1.57m tons
- Aug. cotton imports 180,000 tons, +62.3% y/y
- YTD cotton imports fell 37.1% y/y to 860,000 tons
- Aug. edible palm oil imports 520,000 tons, +72.4% y/y
- YTD edible palm oil imports rose 118.5% y/y to 2.57m tons
- Aug. rice imports 110,000 tons, -76.9% y/y
- YTD rice imports fell 55.8% y/y to 2.02m tons
- Aug. barley imports 380,000 tons, +53.9% y/y
- YTD barley imports rose 53% y/y to 6.2m tons
- Aug. sorghum imports 520,000 tons, -22.6% y/y
- YTD sorghum imports fell 60.3% y/y to 3.18m tons
- Aug. pork imports 110,000 tons, -21.1% y/y
- YTD pork imports rose 9.6% y/y to 1.17m tons
- Aug. beef imports 270,000 tons, -2.6% y/y
- YTD beef imports rose 5.6% y/y to 1.79m tons
- Aug. fertilizer exports 3.4m tons, +23.6% y/y
- YTD fertilizer exports rose 34.1% y/y to 18.9m tons
Brazil Farmers Planted 0.4% Of 2023/24 Soybean Area Versus 0.16% At This Time Last Year – Patria Agronegocios
BRAZIL FARMERS PLANTED 0.4% OF 2023/24 SOYBEAN AREA VERSUS 0.16% AT THIS TIME LAST YEAR – PATRIA AGRONEGOCIOS
Countries should refrain from unilateral steps against Ukraine grain -Commission
European Union countries should refrain from unilateral measures against imports of Ukrainian grain, the EU’s Trade Commissioner Valdis Dombrovskis said on Friday.
Poland and Hungary said earlier on Friday that they would implement their own restrictions on Ukrainian grain imports after the European Commission decided not to extend a ban affecting Ukraine’s five EU neighbours.
Restrictions imposed by the European Union in May allowed Poland, Bulgaria, Hungary, Romania and Slovakia to ban domestic sales of Ukrainian wheat, maize, rapeseed and sunflower seeds, while permitting transit of such cargoes for export elsewhere.
“All countries should work in the spirit of compromise should engage constructively and should refrain from unilateral measures,” Dombrovskis told a news conference.
Hungary imposes import ban on 24 Ukrainian farm products, including grains
Hungary imposed a national import ban on 24 Ukrainian agricultural products, including grains, vegetables, several meat products and honey, according to a government decree published on Friday.
The ban is effective from Sept. 16. Hungary decided to unilaterally ban the imports of Ukrainian foodstuff after the European Commission said that it would not extend a current ban on imports of Ukrainian grains into Ukraine’s five EU neighbours that is due to expire on Friday.
Two ships arrive in Ukraine port to load grain -official
Two cargo vessels arrived in Ukraine on Saturday, Ukrainian port authorities said, the first ships to use a temporary corridor to sail into Black Sea ports and load grain for African and Asian markets.
Ukraine last month announced a “humanitarian corridor” in the Black Sea to release ships trapped in its ports since the start of the war in February 2022 and to circumvent a de facto blockade after Russia abandoned a deal to let Kyiv export grain.
Five vessels have so far left the port of Odesa, using the corridor which hugs the western Black Sea coast near Romania and Bulgaria.
Ukraine, a leading global food producer and exporter, also wants to use the corridor for its food exports.
The Ukrainian Sea Ports Authority, in a post on Facebook, said the bulk carriers “Resilient Africa” and “Aroyat” had arrived in the port of Chernomorsk.
They were due to load almost 20,000 tonnes of wheat for Africa and Asia, Deputy Prime Minister Oleksandr Kubrakov said earlier.
Ukraine’s Agriculture Ministry said on the Telegram messaging app that the wheat would be shipped to Egypt and Israel.
“While the U.N. is not involved in the movement of those vessels, we welcome all efforts for the resumption of normal trade, especially of vital food commodities that help supply and stabilize global food markets,” a U.N. official, speaking on condition of anonymity, told Reuters.
CORN/CEPEA: With harvest beginning if the US and ending in BR, domestic prices continue firm
Corn prices have only fluctuated slightly this week in the Brazilian market. Growers are focused on crop activities, since the harvest has just begun in the United States and is ending in Brazil, where there are only a few areas with the second crop to be harvested.
As for sales, purchasers are buying corn sporadically in Brazil, since many of them have volumes stocked. On the other hand, sellers are prioritizing sales at ports because the international demand for the Brazilian product is currently high, raising the prices in these areas.
PRICES – Between Sept. 6-14, the ESALQ/BM&FBovespa Index for corn (Campinas, SP) rose 0.24%, to BRL 53.99 (USD 11.07) per 60-kg bag on Thursday, 14. On the average of the regions surveyed by Cepea, corn prices dropped 1% in the over-the-counter market (paid to farmers) and a slight 0.2% in the wholesale market (deals between processors), due to the progress of the harvest.
PORTS – With the high volume of corn available to be exported in the current season and the firm prices at ports, deals have been closed in both the spot and the future markets. Not even the dollar depreciation against the Real and international devaluations were able to press down values over the past days.
At the ports of Paranagué (PR) and Santos (SP), the averages on Thursday, 14, surpassed BRL 60/bag, closing at BRL 60.03/bag and at BRL 63.05/bag, respectively. With the price-spread between ports and the interior of Brazil (ESALQ/BM&FBovespa Index, Campinas) over 6 Reais/bag, the interest of agents in trading corn at ports is higher.
In this context, the daily average of corn exports this month is already 29% higher than that from September 2022.
CROPS – According to data from Conab released this week, despite the delay of 5 percentage points compared to 2022, 7% of the national area needs to be harvested, in São Paulo, Minas Gerais, Mato Grosso do Sul and Paraná. Crop activities are being favored by the dry and warm weather.
SOYBEAN/CEPEA: Sowing of the 2023/24 crop begins amid optimism in BR; prices drop
The Brazilian growers of soybean have been optimistic about the 2023/24 season in Brazil, which is expected to influence investments is area. Although the weather is currently favorable to soybean sowing, agents have been concerned about the effects of the El Niño phenomenon on crops. In the market of soybean, prices have dropped steeply in the domestic market this week, due to the dollar depreciation against the Real and the decrease in the demand from abroad.
According to the USDA’s report released on Sept. 12th, the Brazilian area allocated to soybean crops is estimated at 45.6 million hectares, 4% larger than that in the 2022/23 season and a record, if confirmed. The USDA forecasts the average productivity of Brazilian crops at 3.5 tons/hectare, which would lead to an output of 163 million tons, a record too.
Sowing has begun in Paraná, favored by the weather. The fallowing period ends today in other Brazilian states, such as Mato Grosso, Mato Grosso do Sul and São Paulo, according to Embrapa. This sanitary measure is one of the most important to control Asian soybean rust. In western Paraguay, the fallowing period ends today too.
It is important to highlight that the USDA estimates an increase in demand in the 2023/24 season, since Brazil is expected to export 97 million tons of soybean, a record and 2.11% higher than the 95 million tons forecast for 22/23. Soybean processing is estimated at 55.75 million tons in the 2023/24 season, a record too and 5.19% higher than the 53 million tons forecast for the current season (which ends at the end of September).
Still, supply is expected to overcome demand, pressing down values in the Brazilian market. Between September 6-14, the ESALQ/BM&FBovespa soybean Index (Paranaguá) and the CEPEA/ESALQ Index (Paraná) dropped 2.9% and 3.2%, respectively, to BRL 147.12 (USD 30.18)/bag and BRL 139.08 (USD 28.53)/bag – both the lowest since August 11th. On the average of the regions surveyed by Cepea, soybean prices decreased 2.5% in the over-the-counter market (paid to farmers) and 1.7% in the wholesale market (deals between processors). The US dollar devalued 2.2%, to BRL 4.875 on Thursday, 14.
EU Ends Ukraine Crop Import Ban, Heightening Trade Tensions
- Ukraine agrees to take steps to prevent grain surges, EU says
- Poland, Hungary extend unilteral ban despite bloc’s move
The European Union is ending a ban on Ukrainian crop imports in five of its eastern countries in a move that prompted Poland and Hungary to announce a return to unilateral restrictions.
The bloc will allow the measure — which applies to Poland, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria and Slovakia — to expire as scheduled on Friday, it said in a news release, adding that the market distortions have disappeared. The limited ban was established after several EU nations slapped restrictions on Ukrainian produce earlier in the year, as farmers complained a supply glut was lowering local prices.
Ukraine has agreed to introduce legal steps, such as an export licensing system, within 30 days to avoid grain surges, the EU said. The bloc also said it would monitor the market.
“What’s important right now is that all countries work in spirit of compromise, engage constructively and we are finding a solution,” European Commission Vice President Valdis Dombrovskis told reporters in Spain Friday evening. “Best of course will be for member states to refrain from unilateral measures and work along the lines of this agreement.”
While expiration of the ban may improve relations between Brussels and Kyiv, it’s likely to cause friction between Ukraine and its western neighbors as Russia’s war in the country drags on. Poland pledged to extend its own ban if the EU let the measure lapse — a step Ukraine has warned would trigger a complaint at the World Trade Organization.
“The EU’s decision is a bittersweet gift for us,” Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said at an election campaign event in Elk, in northern Poland. “I would prefer that they extended the ban, but they didn’t do it. Now we will extend it ourselves despite lack of their agreement.”
Morawiecki, who is running for re-election, added, “We will do it because it’s in the interest of a Polish farmer.”
Hungary also moved quickly to re-impose and widen restrictions on Ukrainian agricultural products. Prime Minister Viktor Orban on Friday signed an executive order that bars Ukraine from selling 24 products including wine, beef, corn, sunflower seed and barley. The previous restrictions applied only to four products.
The restrictions don’t apply to Ukrainian products that are in transit to third countries as long as they leave Hungary within 15 days.
Russia’s exit in July from a deal to allow Ukrainian grain exports via the Black Sea has created additional pressure. Agriculture is a vital component of Ukraine’s economy, and its farmers are now looking to clear harvests. Much of Ukraine’s crop exports are currently shipped via the Danube River, and it also relies on rail and truck routes into the EU.
India Aug. Oilmeals Exports Fall to 354,205 Tons
India’s oilmeals exports fell to 354,205 tons in August from 381,302 tons in July, according to the Solvent Extractors’ Association of India.
- Rapeseed meal exports fell to 261,165 tons from 273,379 tons in July
- Soymeal exports rose to 60,494 tons from 56,210 tons in July
- Castorseed meal exports rose to 30,386 tons from 25,554 tons in July
Indonesia Aug. Palm Oil Exports Fall 2.24% M/m: Intertek
Indonesia’s palm oil exports fell 2.24% m/m in August, according to Intertek Testing Services.
- Palm oil exports fell to 2.668m tons from 2.729m tons in July
- Crude palm oil shipments rose to 426,337 tons from 399,941 tons in July
- RBD palm olein shipments fell to 1.096m tons from 1.110m tons in July
- RBD palm oil shipments fell to 402,448 tons from 463,178 tons in July
- Palm oil sales to European Union rose to 406,275 tons from 368,641 tons in July
- Palm oil sales to India fell to 832,941 tons from 1.008m tons in July
- Palm oil sales to China rose to 602,690 tons from 508,893 tons in July
China Plans to Double Imports of Malaysia Palm Oil, Bernama Says
China will double its import of Malaysian palm oil to 500,000 tonnes a year, according to a Bernama report citing the Southeast Asian nation’s Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim.
- Anwar announced the increase after the signing of a memorandum of understanding between Sime Darby Oils International and Guangxi Beibu Gulf, the report said
- He said the deal will help protect the interests of palm oil smallholders
- “This is a perpetual agreement with China, which is a huge achievement for the parties involved,” he was reported as saying
- The MOU was signed as part of Anwar’s one-day working visit to Nanning, where he met Chinese premier Li Qiang and also attended the 20th China-Asean expo
China’s Corn Harvest Escapes Worst of Typhoon Flood Devastation
- High-quality rice production in the northeast did suffer
- China forecasts a 2.7% increase in total corn output
Grain farmers in northern China have escaped the worst impact of the summer’s typhoons on production, with harvests of crops like corn set to rise in the coming year.
The torrential rains that lashed northern regions left dozens dead and fields flooded, raising fears that some agricultural production could be devastated. But broadly favorable weather over the growing season and increases in acreage are likely to more than offset the hit to yields caused by the deluge.
“Even though the rains were heavy, overall weather conditions in the northeast were favorable most of the time,” said Ma Wenfeng, a senior analyst at Beijing Orient Agribusiness Consultant Co. “Output of grains, including rice, corn, soybeans and sorghum, is expected to rise.”
Guolian Futures Co. expects corn production in the northeast to increase by 4.1 million tons to 98.6 million tons in the 2023-24 season, which runs from October, according to a report from the brokerage on Friday. The region typically accounts for almost 30% of China’s total harvest of grains, including substantial portions of the national corn, soybean and rice crops.
High-quality rice production in the area did suffer, according to Beijing Orient’s Ma. But the impact on the market is likely to be limited because prices were already too dear for many of China’s cash-strapped consumers.
Corn yields, particularly in low-lying areas, will have been affected by the rains and may drop by as much as 10% in some parts, according to Citic Futures Co., which surveyed farmers and traders in the region. But overall production is expected to rise due to expanded acreage, it said.
In a report last week, China’s agriculture ministry forecast a 2.7% increase in total corn production to 285 million tons in 2023-24, noting that typhoon rains may have improved soil moisture levels in some northern regions.
Argentina Court Rejects Vicentin Debt Rescue With Viterra-Bunge
Bankruptcy Judge Fabian Lorenzini in Santa Fe province rejected a rescue plan presented by soy exporter Vicentin SAIC, according to a copy of his ruling seen by Bloomberg News.
- Vicentin said in a statement that it will appeal
- NOTE: Bankrupt Vicentin had achieved the creditor approval thresholds for a restructuring of the company featuring a ~70% haircut on debt and a takeover by Viterra, Bunge and local cooperative ACA
- Case will now proceed to a stage called “cramdown,” according to the ruling
Brazil Nitrogen Prices Falter Pending India Tender Results
After Brazil urea jumped $100 a metric ton last week following India’s latest tender call, the market wavered this week pending the release of the tender’s results, with Brazil urea prices softening 7%. Potash and phosphate prices stabilized as buyers move slowly amid soybean 2023-24 preparations.
Brazil Urea Prices Fall; Potash and Phosphates Stabilize
Prices for Brazil urea dropped an average of $30 a metric ton (mt) on limited sales this week after last week’s $100 upward surge, fueled by India’s unexpected tender call. Record volumes were offered in the tender, which closed on Sept. 15. Though tender prices weren’t disclosed, the high volume offered could ease pressure on urea prices short term; uncertainty about China’s export policy may also affect the Brazil market before corn safrinha demand ends. Urea purchases in Brazil have halted amid unfavorable barter ratios and falling corn prices, but inventories are expected to rebuild during 4Q, with imports currently down 11% from last year.
Potash and phosphates remained stable in Brazil on slow market activity, with suppliers focused on fertilizer deliveries to farmers preparing for soybean planting in the coming weeks.
Urea Wavers as Market Awaits India’s Tender Price Results
The global urea market is in flux until details of India’s latest tender are disclosed on Sept. 18, with lower prices reported at New Orleans and Brazil after last week’s rapid run-up. China is limiting urea exports in 4Q, setting up a scramble for tons as India sources material. US inland ammonia and UAN firmed this week amid the urea pricing volatility.
Ammonia, UAN Prices Higher on Urea Volatility
US ammonia prices strengthened at New Orleans (NOLA) and inland, fueling expectations of a significant hike in Tampa for October. Ammonia prices also jumped in several international markets, including India, the Middle East and Europe. India’s latest urea tender closed on Sept. 15, with the highest tonnage offered in three years. Prices won’t be disclosed until next week, but expectations are for an increase from the previous contract in August. NOLA urea drifted lower after last week’s sudden spike in the wake of the Indian tender call. US UAN prices were up $20 a short ton (st) following a new round of postings from CF.
Phosphate prices were mixed, with NOLA offers widening from last week but inland terminals staying flat. Potash was also steady in a thinly traded market at NOLA and inland.
Brazil’s Lula launches ‘Fuel of the Future’ program to reduce emissions
- Seeks to boost ethanol-gasoline blend
- Implements national program for SAF
- Will require airlines to cut emissions
The administration of President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva launched its “Fuel of the Future” program in the government’s latest effort to expand the use of renewable fuels and reduce emissions in Latin America’s largest economy as part of the global energy transition.
“The measure brings a series of initiatives to promote sustainable, low carbon mobility that will help Brazil meet international targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions,” the Mines and Energy Ministry said Sept. 14. The measure was sent to Brazil’s Lower House, where congressional debate on the bill will start.
The Fuel of the Future program continued the Lula administration’s efforts to expand Brazil’s use of renewable energy and biofuels, which had trended downward under lackluster policies implemented by the previous administration of former president Jair Bolsonaro. The program, which replaces previous initiatives such as the RenovaBio program for biofuels, includes measures to increase the country’s ethanol blending mandate, reduce airline emissions and establish national policies for green diesel, synthetic fuels and carbon capture and storage.
“We need to integrate public policies, provide incentives for renewable energies and attract investments to make biofuels competitive versus fossil fuels,” Mines and Energy Minister Alexandre Silveira said during a signing ceremony. “We can’t just be exporters of commodities and importers of processed products.”
Brazil’s advantaged position in biofuels and renewable energy sources would allow the country to “promote decarbonization at the lowest cost to society,” the minister added.
Two of the Fuel of the Future program’s key initiatives will result in substantial changes to current fuel consumption, according to government and industry officials.
The measure proposed an increase to the volume of anhydrous ethanol blended with gasoline at the pump to 30%, up from 27.5% currently, the ministry said. In addition, the range of Brazil’s ethanol-gasoline blending mandate would be raised to 22%-30%, up from 18%-27.5% currently.
The program also includes creation of a national program for sustainable aviation fuel, or SAF, that will require airlines to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in 2027-2037, the ministry said. Airlines will be required to reduce emissions a minimum of 1% in 2027 through gradually increased blending of SAF with jet fuel. The emissions-reduction target will rise to a minimum of 10% by 2037.
New national policies
The program also will establish the creation of much-needed regulatory regimes for new national policy programs for green diesel, synthetic fuels and carbon capture and storage, the ministry said. Brazil currently lacks adequate regulatory regimes for the segments.
State-led oil company Petrobras has called for clearer regulations on green diesel, which includes co-processing diesel made from crude with renewable components such as soy oil and beef fat at the company’s refineries. Petrobras is in the process of increasing output of diesel containing 5% renewable content at the Refinaria Presidente Getulio Vargas, or REPAR, in Parana state to 12.3 million liters/d from 5 million l/d currently.
Petrobras also plans to install co-processing plants at the Refinaria Presidente Bernardes, or RPBC, and Refinaria de Paulinia, or REPLAN, in Sao Paulo state and the Refinaria Duque de Caxias, or REDUC, in Rio de Janeiro state. The company also plans a plant dedicated to produce SAF and diesel with 100% renewable content at RPBC.
Brazil’s National Energy Policy Council, or CNPE, will establish minimum green diesel obligations for each year during the 2027-2037 period, according to the ministry. Diesel sold at the pump is currently blended with 12% biodiesel, with the biodiesel mandate expected to rise to 15% by 2026.
The program also will create regulations for production of synthetic fuels, or e-Fuel, in an effort to kick-start the industry in Brazil, the ministry said. Brazil’s National Petroleum Agency, or ANP, would be tasked with establishing rules and specifications related to the production and distribution of synthetic fuels.
The government also wants to unlock investments in carbon capture and storage in Brazil, with the ANP expected to establish rules and regulations for the industry, the ministry said. The ANP would authorize companies to collect, compress and transport carbon dioxide for injection into underground reservoirs for isolation.
Brazil expects the new regulatory regime to help establish a domestic carbon capture and storage industry, developing dedicated projects and increasing investments in new technologies, the ministry said.
Petrobras is currently the country’s leader in carbon capture and storage and has utilized the process at offshore oil fields since 2008, according to the company. Petrobras expects to reinject a total of 40 million metric tons of carbon dioxide back into reservoirs by 2025.
Australia swelters in spring heat wave, temperatures set to break records
A spring heat wave across large parts of Australia’s southeast, including Sydney, will intensify on Monday, the weather bureau said, with temperatures expected to peak up to 16 degrees Celsius (60 Fahrenheit) above the September average.
Australia is baking through a rising heat wave which has been building in the country’s outback interior over the weekend and is likely last until Wednesday across the states of South Australia, Victoria and New South Wales.
The Bureau of Meteorology said it expected several early spring records were likely to be broken over the next few days, calling the heat “very uncommon for September”.
“A reprieve from the heat is not expected until Wednesday onwards, as a stronger cold front crosses the southeastern states,” the weather bureau said in a Facebook post on Sunday.
The heat took its toll on runners in the Sydney marathon on Sunday with 26 people taken to the hospital and about 40 treated for heat exhaustion by emergency services.
Temperatures in Sydney’s west are expected to hit 36 degrees Celsius (96.8 F) on Monday before dropping to about 22 degrees Celsius (71 F) on Thursday, the weather bureau forecasts showed.
The heat wave has also elevated the risks of fires with several regions given ‘high’ fire danger ratings, and authorities urging residents to prepare for bushfires. About 50 grass or bushfires are burning across New South Wales but all have been brought under control.
Australia is bracing for a hotter southern hemisphere spring and summer this year after the possibility of an El Nino strengthened and the weather forecaster said the weather event could likely develop between September and November.
El Nino can prompt extreme weather events from wildfires to cyclones and droughts in Australia, with authorities already warning of heightened bushfire risks this summer.
A thick smoke haze shrouded Sydney for several days last week as firefighters carried out hazard reduction burns to prepare for the looming bushfire season.
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