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Global Ag News for Apr 19.22

TODAY –  Food Prices Are Intensifying Global Inflation Pressures: Fitch

Wheat prices overnight are down 4 3/4 in SRW, down 2 1/2 in HRW, down 2 in HRS; Corn is down 1 1/2; Soybeans up 3; Soymeal up $0.09; Soyoil down 0.48.

For the week so far wheat prices are up 19 1/2 in SRW, up 29 1/4 in HRW, up 29 1/4 in HRS; Corn is up 22; Soybeans up 31; Soymeal up $0.55; Soyoil up 0.72.  For the month to date wheat prices are up 122 in SRW, up 156 3/4 in HRW, up 99 1/4 in HRS; Corn is up 72 1/2; Soybeans up 98 1/4; Soymeal up $1.80; Soyoil up 8.97.

Year-To-Date nearby futures are up 45% in SRW, up 47% in HRW, up 19% in HRS; Corn is up 37%; Soybeans up 29%; Soymeal up 13%; Soyoil up 42%.

Chinese Ag futures (SEP 22) Soybeans down 38 yuan; Soymeal up 47; Soyoil up 92; Palm oil up 118; Corn up 21 — Malaysian palm oil prices overnight were up 174 ringgit (+2.69%) at 6642.

There were no changes in registrations. Registration total: 2,185 SRW Wheat contracts; 1 Oats; 0 Corn; 99 Soybeans; 98 Soyoil; 0 Soymeal; 154 HRW Wheat.

Preliminary changes in futures Open Interest as of April 18 were: SRW Wheat up 72 contracts, HRW Wheat down 2,028, Corn up 6,904, Soybeans up 7,399, Soymeal up 1,425, Soyoil up 5,110.

Northern Plains Forecast: Isolated showers Tuesday-Thursday. Scattered showers Friday. Temperatures near to above normal south and well below normal north Tuesday-Friday. 6-to-10-day outlook: Scattered showers Saturday-Sunday. Mostly dry Monday-Wednesday. Temperatures below to well below normal Saturday-Wednesday.

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

Western Midwest Forecast: Isolated showers south Tuesday. Scattered showers Wednesday-Friday. Temperatures below to well below normal through Wednesday, near to above normal Thursday, above to well above normal Friday.

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

Canadian Prairies Forecast: Isolated showers Tuesday-Wednesday. Temperatures below to well below normal through Wednesday. Mostly dry Thursday. Scattered showers east Friday. Temperatures below to well below normal Thursday-Friday. 6-10 Day Outlook: Scattered showers east through Monday. Mostly dry Tuesday-Wednesday. Temperatures below to well below normal Saturday-Wednesday.

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

Argentina Grains & Oilseeds Forecast: Cordoba, Santa Fe, Northern Buenos Aires Forecast: Mostly dry Tuesday. Isolated showers Wednesday-Friday. Temperatures near to above normal through Friday. La Pampa, Southern Buenos Aires Forecast: Mostly dry Tuesday. Isolated showers Wednesday-Friday. Temperatures near to above normal through Friday.

The player sheet for 4/18 had funds: net buyers of 10,500 contracts of  SRW wheat, buyers of 16,000 corn, buyers of 10,000 soybeans, buyers of 8,000 soymeal, and  buyers of 3,000 soyoil.


  • SOYBEAN SALE: The U.S. Department of Agriculture on Friday confirmed private sales of 389,000 tonnes of soybeans to China, including 121,000 tonnes for delivery in the 2021/22 marketing year that began Sept. 1, 2021, and 268,000 tonnes for 2022/23 delivery.
  • SOYBEAN SALE: Also on Friday, the USDA confirmed sales of 272,000 tonnes of soybeans to China on unspecified dates, all for delivery during the 2022/2023 marketing year.
  • SOYBEAN SALE: The USDA on Friday confirmed private sales of 177,000 tonnes of soybeans to unknown destinations for 2021/22 delivery.


  • 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
  • FEED WHEAT, BARLEY TENDER: Japan’s Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries said it would seek 70,000 tonnes of feed wheat and 40,000 tonnes of feed barley to be loaded by July 31 and arrive in Japan by Sept. 29, via a simultaneous buy and sell (SBS) auction that will be held on April 20.
  • 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
  • WHEAT TENDER: The Taiwan Flour Millers’ Association issued an international tender to purchase 47,120 tonnes of grade 1 milling wheat to be sourced from the United States

Oilseed Meal Exports From India Jump 29% M/m in March: Group

Shipments climbed to 242,043 tons in March from 187,661 tons a month earlier, the Solvent Extractors’ Association of India said in an emailed statement Tuesday.

  • NOTE: Exports totaled 322,850 tons in March last year
  • Soymeal exports 23,872 tons in March vs 33,760 tons in February
    • Rice bran extract sales 91,416 tons vs 78,847 tons
    • Castorseed meal exports 32,771 tons vs 32,047 tons
    • Rapeseed meal shipments 93,984 tons vs 42,666 tons

Fertilizer Shipping From Russia to Brazil Keeps Flowing Amid War

At least 11 vessels carrying 364,500 tons of fertilizers left Russian ports en route to Brazil after the war in Ukraine began on February 24, according to line-up data compiled by Agrinvest.

  • “Shipping flow was kept after the war started, which is good news amid concerns of a fertilizer shortage,” Jeferson Souza, fertilizer analyst for Agrinvest Commodities in Brazil, says by telephone
  • Still, the flow must be kept in order to avoid issues in the second quarter
  • Since January 3, at least 23 vessels carrying around 627,000 tons of fertilizers departed from Russian ports en route to Brazil
  • Most of the ships carry potash

One-Third of Ukraine Farmland May Go Unplanted or Harvested: FAO

A third of Ukraine’s crops and agricultural land may not be harvested or cultivated in 2022, the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization said Tuesday in a statement.

  • Agency is calling for $115m to aid farmers in Ukraine through December, more than double its initial $50m request
  • “FAO’s immediate concern is to support the ongoing spring planting season and to prevent the disruption of the upcoming winter crop harvesting, which typically occurs in June-July, and could severely threaten food security in the country,” said Rein Paulsen, FAO director of emergencies and resilience, in the statement
  • Food access and availability is deteriorating in much of Ukraine amid the war
  • Farmers are lacking cash to secure farm inputs, as well as labor

China to further expand soybean production

China will strive to expand soybean production in an effort to keep grain output stable amid concerns of a global food crisis, the country’s top economic planner said Tuesday.

The country will also keep corn and other grain output stable while taking precise measures to sell policy-supported grain to ensure market supply, said Meng Wei, spokesperson of the National Development and Reform Commission.

The country’s grain stock is sufficient and can hedge against risks in the market, Meng said, adding that the stable grain market in China offers a buffer against a potential global food crisis.

Data from the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization showed that the Food Price Index averaged 159.3 points in March, up 12.6 percent from February, the highest since the index was launched in 1990.

China has set a target to ensure that the full-year grain output stays above 650 billion kg in 2022. Last year, China’s grain output hit a new high of 683 billion kg, with grain farmland exceeding 117 million hectares.

China’s Covid Lockdowns Spur Sea Transportation Delays: Carriers

Bottlenecks with China’s inland transportation have started to cause maritime transit delays as cargoes accumulate in depots and warehouses including those at sea terminals, according to Centronave, a Brazilian group representing foreign carriers.

  • About 200 million people in more than 20 Chinese cities are under total or partial lockdown due to a new Covid-19 outbreak, with roads blocked, Centronave says Monday in statement
  • Local transportation of goods has been severely affected and the domestic supply chain is under “high pressure”
  • One of the main international carriers told clients last week that Chinese lockdowns could curb transportation services by as much as 30%
  • Some industries and port companies close to Shanghai have been requiring workers to sleep at their workplaces to avoid infections

Indonesia to Raise WTO Complaint vs EU on Biodiesel Subsidy

Indonesia, the world’s top crude palm oil exporter, will lodge complaint with WTO about EU allegation of biodiesel subsidy, Paulus Tjakrawan, vice chairman of Indonesia Biofuel Producer Association, tells reporters in Jakarta.

  • EU imposes temporary import duties on Indonesian biodiesel over alleged Indonesian govt subsidy for the commodity
  • Separately, Tjakrawan added, Indonesian companies will file suit to EU court regarding the issue
  • Southeast Asia’s biggest economy produced 10.3m kiloliters of biodiesel in 2021, with annual domestic consumption about 9.3m kiloliters and exports at 146,977 kiloliters

Ukraine’s Grain Exports by Rail Face Multi-Week Logjams: UAC

Ukraine’s grain exports via railways are facing congestion at border crossings, Kyiv-based analyst UkrAgroConsult says in a note.

  • “The cars stay in line for up to 26 days on some border crossing points”
  • NOTE: Most of Ukraine’s seaports have been shut since Russia began its invasion, limiting exports to rail and road
  • Neighboring EU countries do not yet have enough unloading facilities for the increased rail-car traffic
  • There is also a shortage of grain rail cars and lack of insurance by European operators
  • Still, there is an upward trend in daily loadings of agricultural products

Quality Matters in India’s Drive to Fill Global Wheat Export Gap

  • War in Ukraine has shut off supply from the Black Sea region
  • Some buyers been cautious of Indian wheat due to impurities

India wants to fill the global wheat export gap left by the war in Ukraine, which means the quality of its grain will matter more than ever.

Indian wheat has become competitive for the first time in years after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine upended the global grains trade, sparking a scramble for alternatives. The world’s second-biggest grower recently won approval from top buyer Egypt as an origin for wheat imports, and is eyeing record exports of up to 15 million tons this year.

All this means is that it has to confront the challenges that had stymied exports before. Quality issues have prompted some buyers to be cautious of Indian wheat because of impurities in the grain. Quality determines whether the grain is suitable for making food like bread and noodles, or for animal feed.

Egypt has imposed its own quality controls. It requires importers to submit a request for inspection of Indian wheat before shipment, according to Ahmed El Attar, head of the Egyptian Agricultural Quarantine.

Grains have to undergo cleaning to separate impurities like dust, sand and stones. In India, that process is generally done manually. Cases of Karnal bunt disease — which reduces flour quality and makes the grain unsuitable for human consumption — as well as the overuse of pesticides in some regions also dimmed the appeal of Indian wheat in the past.

These are issues India will have to work through if it wants to become a major wheat supplier to the world. The government of Prime Minister Narendra Modihas emphasized the country’s readiness to export top quality wheat to Egypt.

Guatemalan Farmers Ditch Corn on Soaring Fertilizer Costs: USDA

Guatemala’s corn area and production are forecast to shrink 1% for 2022-23 season as “some commercial farmers have decided not to plant” due to higher costs for fertilizer and fuel, according to USDA.

  • Rice production will shrink 3% as farmers cut back on fertilizer applications, USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service says in report.
  • NOTE, April 12: Global Fertilizer Shock Means Farmers Learning to Grow With Less

WHEAT/CEPEA: Prices rise abroad; in BR, values continue firm

Wheat prices increased abroad last week, influenced by concerns about the world supply because of the Russia-Ukraine war and the condition of crops in the United States. In Argentina, truckers’ strike ended on Friday, 15, and transportation is expected to get back to normal this week. In Brazil, quotations are still firm in the wholesale market (trades between processors) but dropped in the over-the-counter market (paid to farmers).

As the harvesting of the summer crop advances and sowing of the second crop ends, farmers focus on the new wheat season. Deals have been occasional, and the gap between asking and bidding prices is constraining liquidity.

In Brazil, according to Cepea surveys, the prices paid to wheat farmers remained stable in Paraná (PR) and in Rio Grande do Sul (RS) but dropped by a slight 0.73% in Santa Catarina (SC). On the other hand, in the wholesale market (deals between processors), quotations increased by 1.41% in SC, 1.33% in PR, 0.93% in RS and 0.68% in São Paulo. In the same comparison, the dollar rose by 0.77% against the Real, closing at BRL 4.705 on Friday, 8.

BY-PRODUCTS – Between April 8 and 14, the prices for wheat flour for crackers rose by 5.23% and for dough, by 3.7%. In the market of wheat bran, the prices for the product in bulk decreased by 5.16% compared to that in the previous week, and by 0.53% for bagged bran. Pressure came from higher supply and lower demand for feed. It is important to highlight that the availability of trucks at this time of the year, due to both the transportation of soybean and corn and also the holiday on Friday (Good Friday) constrained deals.

Japan Eyes Measures on Livestock Feed, Lumber Import Costs: NHK

Japan’s government plans to take steps to mitigate the rising cost of importing livestock feed and lumber as part of its upcoming economic measures, public broadcaster NHK reports, without attribution.

  • Will put additional funds toward compensating farmers for purchases of corn and other feed
  • Will shoulder part of cost for housebuilders to switch from imported lumber to domestic supply
  • NOTE: Prime Minister Fumio Kishida has ordered the compilation of economic measures to cushion the impact of rising prices on households and businesses by end-April

Food Prices Are Intensifying Global Inflation Pressures: Fitch

War in Ukraine has pushed up world food costs to record levels, adding to inflationary pressures at a time when global consumer price inflation is already at multiyear highs, Fitch Ratings says in note received Tuesday.

  • Conflict has worsened supply outlook for grains given destruction of Ukraine’s ports and traders’ avoidance of Russian supplies
  • Food accounts for 16% of consumer spending in advanced economies but that proportion is significantly higher in developing countries
  • Emerging markets will likely face higher inflation rates given the heavier weight of food in CPI baskets and their high dependence on wheat imports from Russia and Ukraine
  • For central banks, the rise in food prices is a significant development as it could play a disproportionate role in fueling inflation expectations, Fitch says

Iran and Russia Sign Long-Term Food Security Agreement: Mehr

Agreement prioritizes supply of cooking oil, wheat and barley, semi-official Mehr news agency reports, citing trade official.

  • War on Ukraine and sanctions on Russia prompted agreement, head of Trade Promotion Organization of Iran, Alireza Peyman-Pak, says
  • Mehr doesn’t give any more details on agreement or exact duration
  • Russian Caspian Sea port of Makhachkala also reopened following recent Iran-Russia trade event in Moscow, Peyman-Pak says

Food Crisis to Worsen as Fertilizer Costs Threaten Rice Output

  • War has severely disrupted Russian exports of crop nutrients
  • Farmers dealing with inflated costs and subdued rice prices

Soaring fertilizer costs have rice farmers across Asia scaling back their use, a move that threatens harvests of a staple that feeds half of humanity and could lead to a full-blown food crisis if prices aren’t curbed.

From India to Vietnam and the Philippines, prices of crop nutrients crucial to boosting food production have doubled or tripled in the past year alone. Lower fertilizer use may mean a smaller crop. The International Rice Research Institute predicts that yields could drop 10% in the next season, translating to a loss of 36 million tons of rice, or the equivalent of feeding 500 million people.

Freshly harvested rice in the Philippines, on April 10.

That’s a “very conservative estimate,” said Humnath Bhandari, a senior agricultural economist at the institute, adding that the impact could be far more severe should the war in Ukraine continue.

Fertilizer prices have been rising globally due to supply snags, production woes, and more recently the war, which has disrupted trade with Russia, a big supplier of every major type of crop nutrient. The surge in fertilizer costs is threatening to stoke food inflation assuming farmers continue to cut back and crop yields suffer. If that happens, global supply chains are likely to take a major hit: Practically every plate of food makes it to the dinner table with the help of fertilizers.

Rice farmers are particularly vulnerable. Unlike wheat and corn, which have seen prices skyrocket as the war jeopardizes one of the world’s major breadbaskets, rice prices have been subdued due to ample production and existing stockpiles. That means rice growers are having to deal with inflated costs while also not getting more money for their grains.

Nguyen Binh Phong, the owner of a fertilizer and pesticide store in Vietnam’s Kien Giang province, said the cost of a 50-kilogram sack of urea — a form of nitrogen fertilizer — has jumped three-fold over the past year. He said some farmers have slashed fertilizer use by 10% to 20% because of soaring prices, leading to a lower output.

“When the farmers cut fertilizer use, they accept that they will get lower profit,” he said.

Governments in Asia, where much of the world’s rice is harvested, are keen to avoid this scenario. Keeping prices under control is important for politicians, given rice’s importance as a staple for hundreds of millions of people, especially lower income groups. Many nations provide fertilizer subsidies to increase yields of improved varieties of cereal crops.

The fertilizer rally is increasing their fiscal burden. India, which relies heavily on fertilizer imports, is set to spend about $20 billion to shield farmers from higher prices, up from about $14 billion budgeted in February. The South Asian nation is the world’s second-biggest producer of rice and exports to countries like Saudi Arabia, Iran, Nepal and Bangladesh.

Somashekhar Rao, 57, a farmer who grows rice on a 25-acre plot in Telangana, in southern India, said he’s struggling with the increased cost of fertilizer. He expects yields to fall by 5-10% for his winter-sown crop because of the delay in securing enough supplies. Fertilizer is most effective when used on plants at their peak growing cycle.

The crunch is not all bad. Overuse of chemical fertilizers is rife in the region. The surge in prices is incentivizing farmers to use resources more efficiently, according to the International Rice Research Institute, which is working with growers to achieve optimal results. Solutions include utilizing a combination of chemical and organic inputs to maintain yields while improving soil health.

Still, these steps will take time to implement. And as the war in Ukraine continues to disrupt economies across the world, farmers and the rice institute say the hardest days are perhaps yet to come.

India’s milk production highest in world, more than wheat and rice: PM Modi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday said India produces milk worth ₹8.5 lakh crore annually, more than the turnover of wheat and rice, with small farmers being the biggest beneficiaries of the dairy sector.

“Today, India is the world’s largest producer of milk. When the livelihood of crores of farmers depend on milk, India produces milk worth ₹8.5 lakh crore annually, something that many people, including big economists, do not pay attention to,” the prime minister said while addressing a gathering at Diyodar in the Banaskantha district after inaugurating a new dairy complex and a potato processing plant of the Banas Dairy.

“Decentralised economy system of villages is an example of this. As against this, even the turnover of wheat and rice is not equal to ₹8.5 lakh crore. And small farmers are the biggest beneficiaries of the dairy sector,” he said.

The new dairy complex and the potato processing plant of Banas Dairy are aimed at empowering local farmers and giving a boost to the rural economy in the region.

The Prime Minister also dedicated to the nation the Banas Community Radio Station and the expanded facilities for the production of cheese products and whey powder at Palanpur, and organic manure and biogas plant established at Dama.

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