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Global Ag News for Apr 11.22


Wheat prices overnight are up 19 1/2 in SRW, up 16 1/2 in HRW, up 11 in HRS; Corn is up 5 1/4; Soybeans down 7 1/4; Soymeal up $0.12; Soyoil down 0.35.

Markets finished last week with wheat prices up 60 1/2 in SRW, up 79 1/4 in HRW, up 48 1/2 in HRS; Corn is up 27; Soybeans up 81 1/4; Soymeal up $1.74; Soyoil up 2.44.  For the month to date wheat prices are up 75 3/4 in SRW, up 96 3/4 in HRW, up 61 in HRS; Corn is up 33; Soybeans up 63 1/2; Soymeal up $4.40; Soyoil up 4.48.

Year-To-Date nearby futures are up 38% in SRW, up 39% in HRW, up 15% in HRS; Corn is up 30%; Soybeans up 27%; Soymeal up 14%; Soyoil up 33%.

Chinese Ag futures (SEP 22) Soybeans up 36 yuan; Soymeal up 65; Soyoil up 100; Palm oil up 88; Corn down 5 — Malaysian palm oil prices overnight were up 85 ringgit (+1.44%) at 6006.

There were no changes in registrations. Registration total: 2,185 SRW Wheat contracts; 1 Oats; 0 Corn; 132 Soybeans; 98 Soyoil; 0 Soymeal; 154 HRW Wheat.

Preliminary changes in futures Open Interest as of April 8 were: SRW Wheat down 325 contracts, HRW Wheat down 95, Corn up 13,625, Soybeans up 739, Soymeal down 3,530, Soyoil up 2,017.

Northern Plains Forecast: Scattered showers moved through over the weekend. But a significant winter storm is on track to spread moderate to heavy rain and snow across the region this week. Montana and North Dakota will see the heaviest snows and strong winds are likely to develop blizzard conditions that will impact livestock. There will be another system moving through this coming weekend that could bring more moderate to heavy snow. Cold temperatures that occur with the systems going through next week are unfavorable for any fieldwork or planting.

Central/Southern Plains Forecast: Forecast: Scattered showers through Wednesday. Mostly dry Thursday. Scattered showers Friday. Temperatures near to above normal Monday, above to well above normal Tuesday, below normal northwest and above normal southeast Wednesday, below normal Thursday, below normal north and above normal south Friday. 6-to-10-day outlook: Scattered showers Saturday-Sunday. Mostly dry Monday-Wednesday. Temperatures below normal north and above normal south Saturday-Sunday, below to well below normal Monday-Wednesday.

Western Midwest Forecast: Scattered showers through Wednesday, north Thursday-Friday. Temperatures near to above normal through Wednesday, below normal Thursday-Friday.

Eastern Midwest Forecast: Scattered showers through Wednesday, north Thursday-Friday. Temperatures above to well above normal through Wednesday, below normal west and above normal east Thursday, near to below normal Friday. 6-to-10-day outlook: Mostly dry Saturday. Scattered showers Sunday-Tuesday. Mostly dry Wednesday. Temperatures below to well below normal Saturday-Wednesday.

Canadian Prairies Forecast: Days 1-3: Isolated showers Monday-Tuesday. Moderate to heavy snow east Wednesday. Temperatures below to well below normal through Wednesday. Days 4-5: Scattered showers east Thursday-Friday. Temperatures below to well below normal Thursday-Friday. 6-10 Day Outlook: Isolated to scattered showers Saturday-Sunday. Mostly dry Monday-Wednesday. Temperatures below to well below normal Saturday-Wednesday.

 Brazil Grains & Oilseeds Forecast: Rio Grande do Sul and Parana Forecast: Isolated to scattered showers through Tuesday, north Wednesday-Thursday. Mostly dry Friday. Temperatures near to above normal through Tuesday, below normal Wednesday-Friday. Mato Grosso, MGDS and southern Goias Forecast: Isolated showers through Tuesday, scattered showers Wednesday-Thursday, north Friday. Temperatures near to above normal through Thursday, near to below normal Friday.

Argentina Grains & Oilseeds Forecast: Cordoba, Santa Fe, Northern Buenos Aires Forecast: Mostly dry through Friday. Temperatures near normal Monday, below normal Tuesday-Friday. La Pampa, Southern Buenos Aires Forecast: Mostly dry through Friday. Temperatures below normal through Friday.

The player sheet for 4/8 had funds: net buyers of 15,000 contracts of  SRW wheat, buyers of 9,000 corn, buyers of 15,000 soybeans, buyers of 4,000 soymeal, and  buyers of 5,000 soyoil.


  • WHEAT TENDER: Bangladesh’s state grains buyer issued an international tender to purchase 50,000 tonnes of milling wheat
  • BARLEY TENDER: Jordan’s state grains buyer issued an international tender to purchase 120,000 tonnes of animal feed barley
  • WHEAT TENDER: Jordan’s state grain buyer issued an international tender to buy 120,000 tonnes of milling wheat which can be sourced from optional origins,

Ukrainian Crops Pile Up as War Closes Ports: WASDE Takeaways

Here are the key takeaways from the April USDA World Agricultural Supply and Demand report.

  • GRAIN PILE-UP: Black Sea port closures due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine prompted a cut to Ukrainian wheat and corn export estimates. Yet while global wheat stocks are seen at a five-year low, corn stockpiles are projected to be up. Bottom line: Expect a major rerouting of trade flows, including corn export increases for India, Canada and Brazil, according to USDA.
  • RUSSIA FLOWS: While Ukraine’s shipments of grain were slashed, USDA’s report indicates Russia is still shipping wheat out at “competitive prices,” leading the agency to raise the country’s export outlook 1 million tons to 33 million. Bloomberg has reported that Russia’s wheat shipments in March exceeded the same month last year, despite the war.
  • WHEAT WATCH: The May WASDE could be much more telling on where things are headed globally with the staple food crop. USDA usually begins forecasting the new-crop season at that time, giving a first look at how severely Ukraine’s next harvest could be affected by the war, as well as its exports.
  • FOOD INFLATION: Even with forecasts for higher corn output in big producers like Brazil and the EU, Chicago grain futures were all up robustly almost an hour after the report, continuing gains from earlier after Russia’s strike against a Ukraine rail evacuation hub killed dozens of people and rattled the market anew. That adds to nervousness about food shortages and hunger rates. Food prices are jumping to the highest on record, even though stockpiles are higher now than during the last big food crisis in 2008.
  • MORE UNCERTAINTY: The war in Ukraine — along with drought, surging farm inflation and pandemic flare-ups worldwide — is going to keep stoking uncertainty and market volatility as key growing regions start planting staple crops in the Northern Hemisphere. We’ll have to wait for more clarity in future WASDE reports.

Ukraine Corn, Wheat, Sunflower Harvests to Slump This Year: UGA

Ukraine’s corn harvest is expected to drop 39% to 23.1m tons this year, according to the Ukrainian Grain Association.

  • Corn exports may total 20m tons in the next marketing season
  • Wheat harvest seen down 45% at 18.2m tons, with exports potentially at 10m tons for next season
  • Barley harvest may slide almost 40% to 6.2m tons; exports pegged at 2m tons for next season
  • Sunflower-seed output estimated to fall 42% to 9.8m tons
  • Total grains and oilseed exports may total 35m tons next season if Ukraine can widen its exports routes beyond blocked ports
  • Country can currently export 600,000 tons a month through alternative routes, and can increase that to 2 million tons

Ex-UN Food Chief Urges Calm as Food Prices Jump Most on Record

  • Food stockpiles bigger than 2008 crisis, former official says
  • ‘No reason’ for spike in prices, Graziano da Silva says

Global food prices have surpassed those of the 2008 crisis even though stockpiles are higher, underscoring the need for calm and market transparency as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine roils supply chains, the former head of the United Nations’ Food & Agriculture Organization told Bloomberg Television.

Jose Graziano da Silva says the 2008-11 crisis was the worst he ever saw and the world is in a “much more comfortable position” now on food inventories.

If the war drags on and — in a worst-case scenario — nations put bans on exports, food prices could surge well over the additional 22% that the UN currently is warning about, he said.

Political and financial instability is driving food prices and there’s a strong need to “calm down the market,” he said. “There is no reason for this spike of prices,” Graziano da Silva added.

La Nina, Pricey Fertilizer Pose Risk to Argentina Wheat: Rosario

Rains in March haven’t fully compensated for a drought over the southern-hemisphere summer and another La Nina, which brings dryness to Argentina, is forecast for the months ahead, the Rosario Board of Trade says in its weekly newsletter.

  • NOTE: Argentina is a top-seven wheat exporter and starts planting at the end of May
  • “Another season with water shortages puts wheat planting at serious risk”
  • Eroded profitability will also discourage farmers
    • The rise in costs of fertilizer and other planting inputs is outstripping a jump in wheat prices amid the Russia-Ukraine war
  • Still, at the end of March farmers seeking to lock in high prices had already made commitments to sell 1.8m metric tons of the 2022-23 wheat crop to exporters
    • Pre-season farmer selling for the end of March never surpassed 600,000 tons in the previous five years
    • In turn, agriculture traders have already pre-registered 5.8m tons of shipments

SOYBEAN/CEPEA: End of the harvesting presses down soybean quotations in BR, but devaluation is limited

Soybean prices have dropped in the Brazilian market this week, influenced by the dollar fluctuation, the end of the harvesting in Brazil and lower demand for the national product. However, devaluations were limited by recent rainfall in southern Brazil (which has hampered the harvesting), by Conab’s new estimates for supply and demand and by the absence of sellers in the market.

Many farmers are opting for postponing sales in the spot market. And with purchasers’ lower interest, the gap between asking and bidding prices widened, reducing liquidity.

Between March 31 and April 7, the ESALQ/BM&FBovespa Index Paranaguá decreased by 2.2%, to BRL 182.22 (USD 38.40) per 60-kilo bag on Thursday (7). The CEPEA/ESALQ Index Paraná dropped by 2.5%, to BRL 177.84 (USD 37.48)/60-kilo bag on Thursday.

On the average of the regions surveyed by Cepea, prices decreased by a steep 3.7% in the over-the-counter market (paid to farmers) and by 5.4% in the wholesale market (deals between processors) in the last seven days. The US dollar dropped by 0.3% in the same period, to BRL 4.745 on Thursday.

SUPPLY AND DEMAND – According to a report from Conab (Brazil’s National Company for Food Supply) released on Thursday, April 7, the Brazilian output of soybean is expected to total 122.3 million tons, 0.28% down from that estimated last month and a steep 11.4% below the volume produced in the previous season.

According to Conab, 81.2% of soybean crops had been harvested in Brazil by April 2, up from the 79.1% harvested in the same period last season. In the central-western region, activities have ended.

Still according to Conab, domestic consumption between January and December 2022 is forecast at 49.97 million tons, 7.72% higher than that previously estimated but 1.93% lower than that last crop. Exports are estimated at 77 million tons, 3.95% down from that forecast in March and 10.58% lower than that shipped in 2021.

Thus, ending stocks are forecast by Conab at 2.53 million tons by December 2022, 4.74% up from that estimated in March, but 59.03% down from that in the 2020/21 crop.

According to Secex, in March, Brazil exported 12.25 million tons of soybean, 3.47% less than the volume shipped in Mar/21. In the first quarter of 2022, Brazil exported 20.97 million tons of soybean, a record for the period.

CORN/CEPEA: Amid the possibility of a record second crop, values continue to fade

The Brazilian output of the second crop of corn is expected to be higher than that initially expected, possibly setting a record. This scenario is driving purchasers away from the national spot market, and prices continue to fade.

The steepest devaluations have been observed in the States of Minas Gerais, Mato Groso and São Paulo. In the southeastern region, the harvesting of some areas with the summer crop is leading famers to sell part of the output, due to cash flow needs, helping to press down values. Still, many sellers are selling corn sporadically. On the other hand, in central-western BR, estimates for a high second crop are influencing devaluations.

On the average of the regions surveyed by Cepea, the prices paid to corn farmers (over-the-counter market) decreased by 2.7 between March 31 and April 7; in the wholesale market (deals between processors), values dropped by 3.1%. The ESALQ/BM&FBovespa Index for corn (Campinas, SP) decreased by 4.3%, closing at BRL 89.06 per 60-kilo bag on Thursday, 7, and returning to the levels from late 2021. In São Paulo, many purchasers reported to have stocks enough for the short term.

At ports, quotations decreased in the last days, influenced by the dollar depreciation and decreases in the export premiums. At the port of Paranaguá (PR), values, which hit BRL 110/bag in mid-March, have decreased to BRL 90/bag this week. In March, Brazil exported a slight 14.27 thousand tons of corn, according to Secex. In the first quarter of the year, shipments totaled 3.52 million tons, 2.9% up from that exported in the same period last year (Secex).

ESTIMATES – According to data from Conab released on Thursday, April 7, the 2021/22 second crop of corn in estimated at 88.53 million tons in Brazil, a record and 45.8% higher than the 2020/21 season. This increase reflects the larger area and favorable weather.

As for the first crop, supply is forecast to be 0.6% higher than that last season, at 24.88 million tons. Despite the larger area, the hot and dry weather in southern Brazil constrained crops’ productivity. The third crop is estimated at 2.18 million tons, 34% higher than that in 2021. Considering the three crops altogether, the output is estimated at 115.6 million tons, 32.7% higher than that in 2020/21.

Domestic consumption is estimated to be 7% higher in the current season, boosted by the firm demand from the livestock sector and the production of ethanol from corn. Exports between Feb/22 and Jan/23 are forecast to total 37 million tons.

In this context, considering the initial stock, exports and imports, by the end of the 2021/22 season, ending stocks may total 10.84 million tons, 41% higher than that in the 2020/21 crop, but 8% lower than the average of the last five seasons.

CROPS – Corn crops are in good conditions in Brazil, and the possibility of rainfall in the next two weeks has raised expectations of higher productivity. However, in Mato Grosso do Sul, where sowing lasted longer and ended out of the ideal period, productivity may be lower.

In Paraná, 89% of the first crop of corn had been harvested by April 4, according to data from Seab/Deral. As for the second crop, 99% had been sown by April 4. In Mato Grosso do Sul, 98% of the second crop had been sown by April 1st, according to Famasul. In Brazil, 99.5% of the area allocated to the second crop of corn had been sown by April 2.

Ukraine export corn prices fall as conflict blocks ports – APK-Inform

Export prices for Ukrainian corn have fallen due to large stocks and limited demand for the grain, which due to Russia’s invasion can only be exported by rail across Ukraine’s western border, analyst APK-Inform said on Saturday.

One of the world’s leading grains suppliers, Ukraine used to ship most of its agricultural goods via Black Sea ports, but with war raging along much of the coast, traders have been scrambling to transport more grain by rail.

“Large surpluses of corn and the prevalence of supply over demand continued to put pressure on prices,” the consultancy said in a report.

APK-Inform said demand corn prices with April-May delivery stood at $240-$250 per tonne DAP on the Polish border, down by as much as $15 a tonne from a week earlier.

Demand prices for corn on the border with Slovakia also fell to $245-$260 per tonne, while the price for delivery to the Romanian port of Constanta stood at $300-$315 per tonne. APK-Inform did not provide comparative figures.

Ukrainian officials have said the country’s corn stocks totalled about 13 million tonnes at the end of March, with only 300,000 tonnes of the grain exported during the month.

Malaysia March Palm Oil Production 1.41m Tons: MPOB

Malaysia’s palm oil production was 1.41m tons in March, according to Malaysian Palm Oil Board.

  • Palm oil exports were 1.27m tons
  • Palm oil stocks at 1.47m tons in March

Malaysia March Palm Oil Exports to India +20.8% M/m: Details

Malaysia’s palm oil exports to India rose 20.8% to 0.22 million tons in March from a month earlier, the Malaysian Palm Oil Board posted on its website.

  • Exports to India +20.8% m/m to 224,394 tons
  • Exports to China +63.8% m/m to 144,196 tons
  • Exports to EU +48.3% m/m to 164,759 tons

Malaysia March Palm Stockpiles -3% M/m to 1.47M Tons: MPOB

Palm oil stockpiles in Malaysia, the world’s second-largest producer, fell 3% to 1.47 million tons in March from a month earlier, Malaysian Palm Oil Board says in statement today.

  • Palm oil exports +14.1% m/m to 1.27m tons
  • Imports -43.3% m/m to 84,871 tons
  • Crude palm oil production +24.1% m/m to 1.41m tons

Palm Oil Imports by India to Rise on Firmer Soy and Sunseed Oils

India’s palm oil purchases are expected to increase for a third month as traders and importers are preferring the tropical commodity over expensive soybean and sunflower oils, according to an industry official.

  • Imports may climb to 625,000 tons in May from an estimated 575,000 tons this month, said Sandeep Bajoria, chief executive officer of Mumbai-based Sunvin Group. India bought 769,602 tons of palm oil in May last year
    • Palm imports in March probably rose to 561,381 tons from a one-year low of 454,794 tons in February
  • India’s soybean oil imports may total 350,000 tons in May, down from an estimated 370,000 tons in April
    • Purchases likely totaled 328,056 tons in March: Bajoria
    • Soybean oil for May shipments, including freight charges, is available to Indian buyers at $1,830 per ton, compared with $1,680 for palm oil
  • Sunflower oil imports by India, the world’s biggest buyer, may fall to 100,000 tons next month, compared with a forecast of 110,000 tons in April, as supplies from top producer Ukraine has suffered
    • Inbound shipments in March likely at 205,484 tons
    • Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has hit supplies of sunflower oil from Ukraine to India, says Bajoria

China Food Security at Risk From Growing List of Farming Issues

  • Growers contend with strict Covid curbs, high fertilizer costs
  • Complaints mount as rules against waste-burning add to delays

Chinese farmers in the country’s most important region for corn, soybeans and rice are facing a myriad of challenges as the spring planting season kicks off, endangering the nation’s ability to secure enough grains for this year.

Already hit by soaring fertilizer and fuel costs, growers in some areas of the northeast have had to contend with strict Covid curbs that prevent them from plowing their fields and sowing seeds. The region produces more than a fifth of China’s national grain output.

Those who can go out to work have encountered another problem: strict anti-pollution rules against stubble burning. The practice — still widely used around the world — is seen by farmers as the quickest and cheapest way to clear land of leftover straw and waste from the previous harvest before the next planting season. But it is also seen as a major source of dangerous air particles and the Chinese government has urged farmers to instead use machines to collect the waste and send it to nearby power plants where it can be burned for fuel.

Many farmers have pushed back on the campaign on social media. They argue that the machines leave behind poorer land conditions and more pests, meaning there’s a risk that fewer seeds will turn into seedlings. While it’s still uncertain how the move will ultimately impact output, the fears feed into larger concerns that China could face a shortage of domestic grain production and need to boost imports.

Chinese Vice Premier Hu Chunhua, the highest-ranking agricultural official, earlier this month called for “solid efforts” to boost corn and rice production to stabilize the output and supply of the crops, according to the official Xinhua News Agency. Northeastern provinces including Heilongjiang, Jilin and Liaoning are responsible for about a third of China’s corn production.

The provincial government of top grower Heilongjiang urged farmers to accelerate the clearing of fields by removing straw and other leftover materials, while reiterating that burning is strictly prohibited, according to a statement on its official Weibo account.

China Port Congestion Worsens as 477 Bulk Ships Waiting to Berth

  • Ship queues rise at Shanghai and Ningbo amid trucking shortage
  • Vessels divert to Qingdao, Tianjin to avoid congestion

Dotting the sea off Chinese ports are 477 bulk cargo ships waiting to deliver resources from metal ore to grain into the country.

Queues of vessels carrying raw materials have jumped after Shanghai initiated a city-wide lockdown at the end of last month to combat Covid-19. More than two weeks on, the congestion has expanded to nearby Ningbo-Zhoushan as ship-owners desperately divert ships to other ports in the country to avoid the trucker shortage and warehouse closures in Shanghai.

There were 222 bulkers waiting off Shanghai as of April 11, 15% higher than a month earlier, according to Bloomberg shipping data. At Ningbo-Zhoushan there were 134 carriers, 0.8% higher than last month, while further north, the combined ports of Rizhao, Dongjiakou and Qingdao saw a 33% increase to 121 vessels.

Adding to the snarl, there were 197 container ships either loading or waiting to load in Shanghai’s combined anchorage with Ningbo, a 17% increase from a month ago.

A shortage of port workers at Shanghai is slowing the delivery of documentation needed for ships to unload cargoes, according to ship owners and traders. Meanwhile, vessels carrying metals like copper and iron ore are left stranded offshore as trucks are unable to send goods from the port to processing mills, they said.

Some of that congestion is rippling out to other ports, with ships being diverted further north to ports in Qingdao and Tianjin where trucking services haven’t been as impacted, the people said. At Tianjin, there were 54 ships waiting on April 11, a 29% rise in a month.

Congestion was lower in Hebei and Liaoning provinces, where trucking has also been hampered by compulsory mass testing of truckers and workers in March and April. Ship queues were 36% lower than last month at Liaoning’s Dalian port and 35% lower in Hebei’s Tangshan.

Xi says China needs own seeds to guarantee country’s ‘food bowl’ -Xinhua

China’s President Xi Jinping said the country needs to be independent in seeds to achieve food security, state media reported.

Xi made the remarks on Sunday while visiting the Yazhou Bay Seed Laboratory in the southern island of Hainan, a major breeding base for the seed sector, Xinhua reported.

Fertilizer Imports Are Beginning to Slow as Soaring Prices Bite

Urea and phosphate prices backed off at New Orleans (NOLA) as wet weather delays North American demand, USDA projects a significant drop in corn acreage and growers indicate application rate cuts amid high input costs. India’s potash imports are slowing, and the country has yet to call its next India tender. Potash remains strong at NOLA and Brazil, with prices at almost 2x last month’s annual China contract.

Brazil’s Phosphate Supply May Be Under More Pressure Than Potash

The risk of a phosphate shortage in Brazil may be higher than for potash in the near term, highlighting the severity of supply constraints and resulting price pressure. Phosphate imports and lineups (ships carrying supply en route or waiting to dock) suggest purchases have been light in 2022. By contrast, potash purchases appear to be in-line with the elevated levels of 2021, when the country imported 1.2 million tons more in 4Q than the previous year.

Brazil’s fertilizer market and negotiations have halted due to lower barter ratios. As phosphate and potash prices remain high, urea reference prices have declined $50 a ton, reflecting another week of diminished demand. Prices may fall until India’s pending tender offer for urea is called.

U.S. Beef Production Up 5.4% This Week, Pork Down: USDA

U.S. federally inspected beef production rises to 564m pounds for the week ending April 9 from 535m in the previous week, according to USDA estimates published on the agency’s website.

  • Cattle slaughter up 5.8% from a week ago to 676m head
  • Pork production down 0.1% from a week ago, hog slaughter falls 0.2%

For the year, beef production is 1% above last year’s level at this time, and pork is 6.2% below

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