Grains, Seeds, Vegoils, Meals, Softs, Agri News

Nov 29 - Brazil's 2023/24 soy crop seen at 10 mln T lower than expected - MB Agro
Brazilian farmers are expected to reap 10 million tons less soybeans than initially forecast, after a drought slammed Mato Grosso state farmers who planted their crop early, Alexandre Mendonça de Barros, partner at MB Agro consultancy, said on Tuesday. After a dryer than expected October in Brazil and late November rains, MB Agro projected output at 155 million metric tons of soybeans in the 2023/24 cycle. 


Nov 29 - Australian sheep, cattle prices slump as El Nino scorches pastures
Half the typical amount of rain has fallen this year on Angus Hobson's farm in southeastern Australia. That means he has less grass and will have to sell off as many as one third of his cattle and sheep to make sure the rest have enough to eat. He will be selling into a market that has collapsed.


Nov 28 - Heavy storms bring chaos to Black Sea port logistics (AgriCensus)

- Heavy storms in the Black Sea region have had a major impact on shipping from the vital grains exporting region, raising risks and even preventing normal loading operations over the last few days, trade sources have told Agricensus Monday.

- "éQAIn Russia, the storm has hit the coasts of both the Black Sea and the Azov Sea, reportedly driving the bulk vessel Blue Shark aground after it departed from the port of Taman, while port operations are said to have been either delayed or suspended until the weather improves.

- Ship tracking software shows the 27,000 mt deadweight Blue Shark very close to shore off a Black Sea beach resort, where it appears to have been stuck for three days.

- Local media has also reported that roads and parts of the railways have also been damaged by the weather, but it was not yet clear if the damage could have an impact on grain shipments from the region.

- On the other side of the Black Sea, Romania's Constanta port was also reported to have been closed over the weekend amid winds and a heavy snow storm, but trade sources expect that it will be reopen soon.

Meanwhile, local Romanian media also reported that up to 21 sections of national roads remained closed amid heavy snowfall.

- In Ukraine, the severe weather has also affected port operations in the Black Sea, especially on the Danube.

“Today, ports work mainly for accepting cargo. Sulina and Bystroe are closed, navigation is only inside the canal, and only in special cases. We hope to be able to work tomorrow," one trade source said of the ports along the Danube.

Trade sources also highlighted that even where ports have remained open to accept cargo, and in instances where railway deliveries are being maintained, some terminals are still facing power outages, and operations have been delayed or postponed until the territory is cleared of snow.

- But apart from ports, the roads leading to Black Sea ports were also affected as authorities tried to clear up the consequences of the storm. Thus, currently, the main roads from Odesa to Reni and Odesa to Pivdenniy - key links in the grain export supply chain - are closed for truck movements, which potentially means a delay in cargo deliveries into the ports.


Nov 28 - Unusual Ivory Coast rain could strengthen cocoa main crop - farmers
Above-average rain and some sun in most of Ivory Coast’s main cocoa regions last week could boost the October-to-March main-crop, farmers said on Monday. Ivory Coast, the world’s top cocoa producer, is in its dry season which runs from mid-November to March when rain is scarce.


Nov 28 - Brazil soy planting seen at slowest pace in eight years - AgRural
Brazil's 2023/24 soybean planting had reached 74% of the expected area as of Thursday, agribusiness consultancy AgRural said on Monday, making it the slowest progress for the period in eight years as the country grapples with bad weather. Sowing was up 6 percentage points from the previous week but continued to lag far behind last year's levels, when 87% of the areas had been planted at the same time, and is now the slowest since 2015/16.

Nov 27 - White House stalls ethanol expansion in Midwest amid price concerns
The White House is stalling action on requests by Farm Belt states to allow regional sales of gasoline blended with higher volumes of ethanol after oil industry warnings that the move could cause regional supply disruptions and price spikes, according to two sources familiar with the matter. The decision underscores concerns within President Joe Biden's administration over fuel prices, as opinion polls show inflation and the economy as key vulnerabilities for his 2024 re-election bid.

Nov 27 - Safras, hEDGEpoint cut forecasts for Brazil soy crop on bad weather
Agribusiness consultancies Safras & Mercado and hEDGEpoint on Friday reduced their estimates for Brazil's 2023/24 soybean crop, as consensus grows that bad weather will hamper output in the world's largest producer and exporter. Safras said it now forecasts production this season to total 161.38 million metric tons, down from the 163.25 million it estimated before, while hEDGEpoint cut its projection to 160.1 million tons from 162.3 million.

Nov 25 - Ukraine SPIKE_MARKET at 24/11

Sold in a week

· corn DAP Odessa, a letter of December @148$->150$->151$

· feed wheat DAP Danube ports, sheet

· sunflower (48-50%) DAP Odessa, letter-Dec @14'900 UAH-15'200 UAH



· As of 22.11, the total agricultural exports amounted to 4.7 million tons, in particular: corn - 1.9 million tons, wheat - 950 thousand tons, barley - 181 thousand tons, soybeans - 418 thousand tons, rape - 210 thousand tons, sunflower - 23 thousand tons, soybean oil - 23 thousand tons, sunflower oil - 406 thousand tons, rapeseed oil - 40 thousand tons.

· River freight on the Danube continues to decline due to the redistribution of commodity flows to the ports of the Black Sea.

· International buyers are gradually returning to the market of Ukrainian ports of the Black Sea and competing with each other.

· Prices with delivery to the ports of the Black Sea have increased due to the restoration of trading activity in the Ukrainian maritime logistics chain.

· Continuing the trend of reducing sea freight for Ukrainian ports of the Black Sea creates hope for higher prices in ports for farmers.

- The prices for corn in the ports have reached a temporary maximum at the current rates of freight. Corn was traded in the range from 145 to 150$ with delivery to the ports of the Black Sea.

The simultaneous reduction of tariffs for railway freight in Europe led to an increase in the price of corn in the Western Ukrainian and European markets to levels from 144$ to 148$. Corn, which is loaded in European trains, was traded at a level of 145€ to 150€ FCA border. The final sales markets had the following price range: 222-225$ CIF for Italy, 225-228$ for Spain.


- Wheat prices in the direction of the ports have stabilized in the range from 148$ to 162$, depending on quality, timing and delivery location. The volumes of wheat exports remain limited, which is confirmed by low export volumes in November, amounting to 950 thousand tons compared to the average monthly volume last year in the period November-January at 1.5 million tons, when the grain corridor was operating.

In the European market, in particular in the Baltic market, there is a lack of liquidity on the part of sellers, which leads to an increase in purchase prices from buyers.


- Prices for sunflower oil stabilized in anticipation of correction in the near future. Oil with delivery CIF Turkey traded in the range from 910 to 930$. Active sales from sunflower producers slow down the further increase in prices. Prices for sunflower remain in the range from UAH 14,000 to UAH 14,800 with VAT delivered to the plant in Ukraine, which corresponds to last week's figures.

- Soybeans prices continue to rise in all directions. In the Western Ukrainian and European markets it was possible to sell GMO soybean at prices from 380 to 385€, delivery by wagons or dump trucks to the border. The GMO soybean is traded in a range of 450€ to 465€ DAP of northern Italy. Hungary buys NE-GMO soybeans at a price of around 450€ per ton, delivered to the plant.

Nov 25 - Russian gov lowers the wheat, corn tax for Nov 29-Dec 5 dates


The Russian government has significantly lowered the wheat and corn export taxes for the week of November 29-December 5, an official document from the agriculture ministry showed on Friday.


The wheat export tax was lowered by RUB 575,20/mt to RUB 3820.20/mt, which is equivalent to around $43.50/mt according to the official exchange rate of the Central Bank of RUB88.12 to the $1. At the same time, the underlying index published by the Moscow Exchange (MOEX) has moved down by $1.10/mt to $253.70/mt.

That is still far from the current levels seen on the physical market, even though the prices have been on the increase throughout the week, as currently the highest offer seen in the market was at $245/mt for 12.5% protein wheat for January loading, while the last time FOB ideas for Russian wheat were seen in the $250/mt area was back in August 2023.

At the same time, in recent months trade has switched towards contracts on a delivered basis to avoid showing the physical FOB prices as these can be below the unofficial floor price, which can explain the big gap between the FOB levels seen in the market and the underlying index used for tax calculations.


For corn, the export tariff was moved down by RUB 371.30/mt to RUB 642.00/mt, equivalent to $7.28/mt, while the seven-day average value has moved up by 10 cents to $189.70/mt.


Finally, the government left the barley export tax unchanged at zero, while the basis index went up by 60 cents to $165.80/mt.


When calculating the index for corn and barley, transactions registered with loading in the ports of the Caspian Sea, as well as ports of the Azov and Black Seas are currently taken into account.

Along with that, starting from December 1 Russia has banned the export of durum wheat until June 1.


Also, starting from February 15 and until July 1, Russian grain export will only be possible within the 24 million mt export quota

Nov 24 - Argentina grains trade 'paralyzed' as farmers eye FX adjustment, bean shortage
Argentina's grains trade is largely "paralyzed" by a lack of soybeans due to drought and farmers holding onto produce, anticipating a devaluation of the peso under President-elect Javier Milei, the head of the main export chamber told Reuters. The comments were the first from the crushing and export body CIARA-CEC, which represents major grains firms in Argentina, including Cargill and Bunge, since the election of libertarian outsider Milei on Sunday. He takes office on Dec. 10.

Nov 24 - Dryness lifts Australian wheat quality even as output drops
Dry weather in the growing season has reduced Australia's wheat output this year, but most of the crop is with higher protein content and supplies of lower quality grains for animal feed are limited, analysts and traders said. Premiums earned by farmers in Australia, the world's No. 2 wheat exporter, for higher quality grains will partly offset lost income from a smaller crop, they said.

Nov 23 - Ukraine's farmers pin hopes on export corridor as war cost mounts
Ukraine's efforts to revive sea exports in defiance of Russia's military blockade have given a glimmer of hope to a teetering farm sector in which loss-making producers are abandoning some land in one of the world's biggest grain belts. With no end in sight to the war with Russia, access to the Black Sea is critical if Ukraine is to preserve an agricultural industry that was the fourth-largest grain supplier globally before the conflict and in value terms accounted for half of Ukraine's total exports last year. 


Nov 23 - US court rejects EPA's decision to withhold small refinery biofuel waivers
A U.S. appeals court on Wednesday said it struck down the Biden administration's decision to deny small refiners "hardship waivers" that exempt them from nation's biofuel mandates, in a win for the refining industry. In July, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) denied almost all outstanding petitions from oil refiners that argued the federal requirement that they blend ethanol and other biofuels into their fuel would cause them financial hardship.

Nov 22 - China’s vegetable oil imports rise 4% in October on palm, rapeseed oil purchases


Imports for year touch 8.09 million metric tons, up 82% on year

- China’s vegetable oil imports rose 3.7% on the month to 950,000 metric tons in October on robust purchases of palm and rapeseed oils, showed data from China’s General Administration of Customs Nov. 21. Total imports by the world’s second largest vegetable oil buyer reached 8.09 million metric tons over January-October, up 82% on the year, customs data showed.

- China’s palm oil imports reached 510,000 metric tons in October, up 5.6% on the year and down 2% on the month, the customs data showed.

- Rapeseed oil imports stood at 230,000 metric tons, up 64% from 140,000 metric tons the month before, the data showed.

- Soybean oil imports in October were recorded at 30,000 metric tons, down from 40,000 metric tons the month before.

Low buying appetite ahead

- China’s pace of buying vegetable oils may be slowing in the current month, a market analyst said as its vegetable oil stocks crossed 2 million metric tons in July – the highest level seen in three years.

- The high stock levels are leading to “wash-outs,” a trader told S&P Global Commodity Insights, a process by which buyers cancel their orders via a mutual agreement with the importers at a price that is calculated based on prevailing market prices.

- Chinese buyers washed out a December shipment of 12,000 metric tons of RBD Olein (Refined Bleached and Deodorized) at a price of around $869-$870 per metric tons this week, a source told S&P Global.

- Portside stocks of vegetable oils were seen at 2.11 million metric tons at end-October, according to trade data shared by sources.


Nov 22 - Ukraine could fail to meet future wheat demand if attacks continue, UN agency warns
The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) warned on Tuesday that Ukraine's wheat production may be unable to meet domestic and export demand in the years to come if Black Sea export routes remain blocked and attacks on food infrastructure continue. WFP's Ukraine director, Matthew Hollingworth, said a forthcoming report by the U.N. Human Rights Office (OHCHR) would show that since mid-July there have been 31 documented attacks on Ukraine's grain production and export facilities. 


Nov 22 - Argentina farmers stall soy sales with eye on newly-elected Milei, traders say
Argentine grains traders said on Tuesday that the country's farmers were holding back soy sales and would likely keep doing so ahead of the mid-December inauguration of President-elect Javier Milei, who has pledged to cut taxes and weaken the peso. The South American country is normally the world's top exporter of processed soy and in the top three for corn, though its most recent harvest was battered by the worst drought in decades, already leaving a domestic shortage of supply.

Nov 21 - Argentina's agriculture players bullish Milei policies will bolster sector (Agricensus)

- Representatives of Argentina’s agricultural sector are optimistic that the victory of Javier Milei in the country’s presidential election on Sunday will lead to reforms that should bolster crop production and exports. Milei has pledged to make radical changes to jumpstart growth in the country that’s suffering from numerous woes including triple-digit inflation, with the closing of the central bank, dollarization, spending cuts, privatization and leaving the Mercosur (South America’s Common Market) deemed to be priorities.


- On Monday morning in an interview with a local radio station, Milei reaffirmed that he would attempt to enact these policy changes when he takes power on December 10. Most Argentinean market players reached by Fastmarkets expect positive changes for the agriculture sector will start with dollar devaluation.

“This should help out production and boost farmer selling if the spread between the official and real foreign exchange rates becomes lower,” Pablo Santamaria, a broker at Agrosud SA, told Agricensus.


- Argentina’s government and people have long struggled with the decline of the peso and low foreign exchange reserves by implementing multiple exchange rates and capital controls, which has been a headache for exporters. Currently, the official dollar exchange rate is at 668 pesos while in the parallel market, dollar blue is worth 950 pesos.

“If this devaluation occurs, the producer will triple his earnings, which may have an impact on wheat and barley sales, which are practically frozen, and also on soybean and corn sales if producers have enough product to sell,” analyst Javier Preciado Patiño told Agricensus.


- Having a fluctuating dollar could make products more expensive for the consumer, as well as increase inflation, which is already running at a 140% annual rate.

"At first it will be difficult, but I believe that growth will settle down over time," said Patiño.

Analysts and brokers caution that Milei will be unlikely to be able to implement all the proposed changes because his Liberty Alliance is expected to have seven out of 72 seats in the Senate, and 38 of 257 seats in the Chamber of Deputies.

“I don't know to what extent his lack of congress member support should jeopardize his agenda,” Victor Martins, the Latin America risk manager at Amius Ltd, told Agricensus.


- Argentine analysts said that they believe that despite threats to leave Mercosur and switch the country's alignment from China and Russia to the US, trade relations won't see any changes in the near term.

"At first, the end of Mercosur (or Argentina leaving the economic group) could harm Argentine agribusiness, as it would take away preferential access to Brazil's market, which is huge, but after the initial impact, everyone would win," says Daniele Siqueira, an analyst from Agrural.

"As an adherent of the free market in an even more radical version than we usually see, he would leave Argentina's private entities - producers, exporting companies, etc. - would be free to negotiate with the countries they wanted, on the terms they wanted, even without being 'friends' in diplomatic relations," she told Agricensus. Siqueira believes that a free-market aligned government, which Milei's administration is expected to be, should make Argentine agribusiness more competitive, due to the removal or at least reduction of export taxes and controls on export volumes, as well as other economic measures.

"In this scenario of a more competitive Argentina, Brazil will have to work harder to get our products onto the international market, but I don't see Argentina's improvement as a threat to Brazil," Sequeira added.

- An Argentine broker said that Milei's promised privatizing of state-controlled energy company YPF might come with an increase in the use of biodiesel.


- Argentina’s agricultural sector is suffering after a drought during the previous crop year slashed output, and the slow arrival of rains during the 2023/24 marketing has led to reductions in wheat production estimates by government agencies and exchanges over the last month.

Rosario Grains Exchange (BCR) cut its estimates for Argentina’s 2023/24 wheat crop by 1 million mt to 13.5 million mt, on November 8, while the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) trimmed its projection by 1.5 million mt to 15 million mt in the most recent update to the World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates report on Novembe.

Nov 21 - Ukraine sugar output, exportable surplus seen rising in 2024 – Union
Ukraine's sugar industry, one of the country's few profitable farm sectors, may continue to expand the planted area in 2024 and with good weather the 2024/25 exportable surplus could jump by around 50%, the producers' union Ukrsugar said. Ukraine produced 5 million metric tons of beet sugar during the Soviet era, but has since reduced production to just over a million tons due to export problems and competition with sugar made from cane. 


Nov 21 - Brazil soy planting at slowest pace since 2019/20 hit by bad weather
Brazil's 2023/24 soybean planting had reached 68% of the expected area as of Thursday, agribusiness consultancy AgRural said on Monday, up 7 percentage points from the previous week. Sowing continues to lag behind last year's levels, when 80% of the areas had been planted at the same time, and the current pace was the slowest for the period since 2019/20, AgRural said in a statement.


Nov 20 - Brazil farmers forced to replace soy with cotton as dry weather takes toll
Extremely dry weather is forcing farmers to give up on soy to plant cotton or another crop in Brazil's top farm state Mato Grosso, cotton lobby groups and growers said. Mato Grosso cultivates two annual cotton crops, one during the soy season and another after soy is reaped from fields. 


Nov 20 - Funds pack on more CBOT beans, meal on Brazil weather and US demand -BraunSpeculators ramped up their enthusiasm for Chicago soybeans and soymeal last week as crop concerns for Brazil and a tight U.S. meal market have been raiding the headlines. In the week ended Nov. 14, money managers extended their net long in CBOT soybean futures and options to an 11-week high of 87,913 contracts from 68,598 a week earlier, predominantly on new gross longs.

Nov 18 - Dairy Price Update: European market continues to have a bullish edge as collections continue to drop (IHSmarkit)


The EU Commission butter price made its 9th consecutive gain, clocking a 2.1% increase to stand at €5,081/metric ton

Overall, European markets saw another week of firmer prices this week, although there was some slight weakening in the cheese sector. Raw milk production continues to fall with collections in Germany now 1.3% down y/y and French collections a hefty 6.0% down y/y. Reports suggest collection in Ireland is dropping at a faster-than-usual rate. This weakening in collections is providing a bullish edge.


Over the past week, end users have begun to engage more in the market with Get Fair Dairy describing it as: “the bullish momentum finally dragging end users over the line to engage as lower prices are not to be expected anytime soon.”


The EU Commission butter price made its 9th consecutive gain, clocking a 2.1% increase to stand at €5,081/metric ton, its highest level since late January. Demand for retail packages of butter remains solid ahead of Christmas although there is some concern the high levels ordered may ultimately be cancelled or postponed as consumers grapple with high food prices.

Cream remains pricey and therefore butter will too until the cream prices ease.


The EU Commission WMP price gained 0.9% to €3,651/t, placing the price at 9% above the 5-year average. The SMP price remained stable (-0.1%) at €2,623/t, 6% above its 5-year average. Little WMP is changing hands, with European product exceptionally uncompetitive on the global market. Limited raw materials means WMP is only being produced to order. The SMP market is also quiet with most of the SMP deals being concluded for H1 2024.


Following last week’s hefty gain, the whey price gained a modest 0.3% to stand at €825/t.


While other products saw rises, the cheese sector was mixed – both Emmental and Edam fell on the week. The EU Emmental price fell 0.6% to €6,161/t, its lowest level in 6 weeks. The Edam price lost 0.5% to €4,131/t which leaves it slightly above a fortnight ago’s level. In a similar trend to the Edam price, the cheddar price fell 0.5% but also remained above a fortnight ago’s level, at €3,462/t. Bucking the trend, the gouda price gained 1.5% to €4,172/t.

Nov 17 - Ukraine SPIKE_MARKET report

Resumption of exports through the Black Sea ports reduces the flow of goods through the ports of the Danube. As of 15.11, total exports through the Danube ports amounted to 916 thousand tons, and through the Black Sea ports - 1.226 million tons.


The world market expects confirmation that Ukraine has resumed export activity by large vessels and that part of the trade flow from Ukraine will remain for European logistics by land. Freight rates by overland rail and road transport in Europe have already begun to decline.



On the Italian market, corn is sold at a price of 223$ CIF east coast of Italy. Corn, delivered by road and rail to Italy, is traded at a price of 210-220€.


Fundamentally, the global corn market expects the following: will Ukraine be able to maintain sustainable exports, will Brazilian farmers be able to cope with the Safrin corn harvest on time, and whether rain will return to Argentina. If the positive expectations are met, the world market will be difficult to maintain the current price level, especially with a high volume of corn in the remains of the United States.





Nov 17 - U.S. weekly soybean sales hit 11-year high after Chinese buying

Weekly U.S. soybean export sales last week of more than 3.9 million metric tons marked the highest combined crop year sales total since 2012, after a surge in Chinese buying, U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) data on Thursday showed. USDA reported net soybean export sales in the week ended Nov. 9 of 3,918,400 metric tons for shipment in the 2023/24 marketing year that began on Sept 1, and no sales of soybeans for the 2024/25 marketing year. The total was the largest tally since the week ended Feb. 16, 2012.


Nov 17 - Argentina grains exchange cuts wheat, corn estimates but raises soy forecast

Argentina's Buenos Aires grains exchange on Thursday cut forecasts across its 2023/24 wheat and corn crops but increased its projection for the land it will sow with soybeans, as late rainfall hit farmers across the country's agricultural core. The exchange now expects 17.3 million hectares (42.75 million acres) will be sown with soybeans, compared to a previous 17.1-million-hectare forecast. Some 18% of this new estimate has now been planted, it said in a weekly report.

Nov 16 - Argentina's core farmland sees above average rainfall, more likely 

Argentina's agricultural core saw much higher than average rainfall during the first half of November and will likely see even more moisture in the coming days in a welcome boost for the sector, the Rosario grains exchange (BCR) said on Wednesday. The rains coincide with the weather phenomena known as El Niño, which for Argentina means higher levels of precipitation over key farmland following a dry Southern Hemisphere winter. 


Nov 16 - France raises non-EU wheat export forecast, but stocks still swell 

FranceAgriMer on Wednesday raised its forecast for French soft wheat exports outside the EU in 2023/24, but also lifted its season-end stocks estimate to a six year high on lower forecasts for intra-EU shipments and domestic livestock feed demand. In a monthly supply and demand outlook, the farm office projected soft wheat exports to non-European Union destinations at 10.1 million metric tons, up from 9.8 million projected last month and now just 0.5% below last season's level.

Nov 15 - Brazil’s Mato Grosso farmers hold back soybean forward sales: IMEA (Agricensus)


Farmers in Brazil’s largest agricultural-producing state, Mato Grosso, held back soybean sales in October due to crop uncertainties while locking in more deals for corn to free up storage space, the state’s agriculture institute IMEA said in its weekly bulletin Monday.



- Forward sales for new crop soybeans reached 31.7% in October, up 2.8 percentage points on the month.

“Farmers are waiting for a better definition of crop conditions before locking in deals for larger volumes,” IMEA said.

- The state has been struggling with low rainfall volumes and excessive heat since the beginning of the season, with replanting needs already reported.

- Old crop forward sales, meanwhile, advanced 2.7 points on the month to land 2.2 points ahead of the previous year and 2.7 points behind the previous five-year average at 94.5%.

Average prices increased for both crops in October, with 2022/23 prices up 0.9% and new crop up 1.7% compared with average September levels.



- Forward corn sales gathered some steam in October but continued to lag compared with the prior year and the previous five-year average. Sales for the 2022/23 marketing year advanced 4.9 points on the month, with 76.8% of the crop committed.

“This increase is related to farmers’ need to free up storage space and was only not greater due to the 2.7% backdrop in corn prices compared with September’s levels,” IMEA said.

- That said, forward sales were still 14.4% lower compared with the previous five-year average and 6.8% behind last season’s level.

- Forward corn sales for the 2023/24 marketing year increased 3.4 points on the month to reach 13.9% of the estimated crop in October “thanks to an increase in prices,” according to IMEA.

New crop sales remained 24.7 points behind the previous five-year average and 4.9 points slower than in the previous season.

Nov 15 - NOPA October US soybean crush seen at record 187.237 million bushels

The U.S. soybean crush likely reached an all-time monthly high in October, while soyoil stocks were estimated to have risen for the first time in six months, analysts said ahead of a monthly National Oilseed Processors Association (NOPA) report due on Wednesday. NOPA members, which handle about 95% of all soybeans processed in the United States, were estimated to have crushed 187.237 million bushels last month, according to the average of estimates from nine analysts.


Nov 15 - Funds pile back into CBOT soybeans amid Brazil weather worries - Braun

Unusually hot and dry weather has gripped top soybean exporter Brazil as it plants what is supposed to be a record crop, causing concern for both soybean and corn supplies as soybean problems could bleed onto Brazil’s heavily exported second corn crop next year. Additionally, tightness in U.S. soybean meal supplies related to Argentina’s extreme crop shortfall earlier this year has lent significant support to soybean and soymeal futures lately.


Nov 14 -  India's palm oil, sunoil imports rise to record highs; soyoil drops

India's imports of palm oil and sunflower oil in 2022/23 surged by 24% and 54%, respectively, to record highs on a rebound in consumption and as both oils were available at a steep discount compared to rival soyoil, a leading trade body said on Monday. Higher purchases by the world's biggest importer of vegetable oils could help to lower palm oil stocks in Indonesia and Malaysia and support benchmark futures.

Nov 13 - Dry spell delays Brazil soy planting, spoils second corn outlook - farmers

A lack of rainfall in Brazil's top grain state Mato Grosso has delayed soybean planting by up to 30 days and is compromising the outlook for second corn, which is cultivated after the oilseed is harvested and represents around two-thirds of national production, farmers said. In comments sent to Reuters by state farmer group Aprosoja-MT on Friday, soybean growers also noted dry weather forced replanting on some areas, curtailing soy's yield potential in the world's largest exporter of the commodity.


Nov 13 - Malaysia October palm oil inventories at four-year high

Malaysia's palm oil stockpiles stood at a four-year high at the end of October despite more-than-expected exports, data from the Malaysian Palm Oil Board (MPOB) showed on Friday. Inventories rose 5.84% from September to 2.45 million metric tons, the sixth consecutive month of increases at the world's second-largest palm oil producer. The last time inventories jumped to this level was in September 2019.

Nov 10 - Conab raises Brazil 2023/24 soy forecast despite erratic weather
Brazil, the world's top soybean grower and exporter, will produce an estimated 162.420 million tons of the oilseed in the 2023/24 cycle even as erratic weather disrupts some planting, crop agency Conab said in a new, higher forecast on Thursday. Some farmers remained skeptical of the optimistic forecast from Conab, which cited better yields and a 2.8% rise in the soy area, while recognizing that planting delays and weather uncertainty pose risks. 


Nov 10 - Argentine farmers could plant more land with soybeans after rains, exchange says
Argentine farmers could plant more fields with soybeans than initially estimated, the Buenos Aires Grain Exchange said on Thursday, as rains put an end to a drought that affected large parts of the agricultural heartlands. In a report days after farmers began planting the 2023/24 soybean crop in Argentina, one of the world's leading exporters of soybean oil and meal, the exchange said the planted area could extend beyond the 17.1 million hectares first forecast.

Nov 09 - Australia ships 6.9Mt barley, 2.8Mt sorghum in yr to Sep ( Grain Central )


Combined malting and feed barley exports for September at 485,859t were up 40 percent from 346,213t shipped in August, a hefty upswing unusual for the last month of the marketing year prompted by China’s return to the market.

September figures showed a strong month for barley exports.

“We’ve seen the Chinese shipping program pick up as per our expectations,” Flexi Grain pool manager Sam Roache said.

“We note a significant jump in malting barley exports to China, but this is misleading, with most of the shipments being feed barley.

“We expect barley shipments to ramp up further in October and November, and by December we should be up around the 1Mt-per-month mark.

“Overall, we expect around 3Mt plus has been sold to China since August, with this being over half of our expected exports for the entire shipping year to October 2024.”

“That is a very aggressively sold program and we continue to see that aggressive buying from China in the market today, which is great for Australian barley growers.”

For the year to September 30, Mexico followed by China and Peru were the major malting barley markets, while Saudi Arabia, Japan and Thailand were the biggest feed barley markets.

Sorghum exports also posted an unexpectedly strong result, with 326,412t shipped in September, up 22pc from the August figure of 268,055t.

“China remains the only game in town, with 95pc of exports heading there and little chance of substantive change on that front any time soon.”

In its Australia: Grain and Feed Update released November 2, USDA has forecast Australia’s barley crop now being harvested at 10Mt, with 2023-24 exports of 5.5 Mt, and sorghum production at 1.3 Mt from the crop now being planted.

The forecast sorghum crop is seen one of the lowest in the past 20 years, and exports are forecast at 1.1Mt.

Nov 09 - UN chief says it will be difficult to revive Black Sea grain deal - Reuters NEXT
United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres told Reuters NEXT on Wednesday that it will be difficult to revive a landmark deal that allowed the safe Black Sea export of Ukraine grain, which Russia quit in July over complaints about its own exports. "It will be difficult. We are going on with our efforts. But it will be difficult," Guterres said.  

Nov 09 - US crop yields battle Brazil weather story; 2024 US crops loom - Braun
The U.S. Department of Agriculture is expected to confirm disappointing yields for the 2023 U.S. corn and soybean harvests, but that may be OK if the freshly printed 2024 outlooks are any indication. However, Brazil’s soybean and corn crops are up next, and poor weather in the South American exporter could overshadow the headlining U.S. numbers in USDA’s monthly supply and demand report due on Thursday at noon EST (1700 GMT).

Nov 08 - China makes largest US soy purchases in months
China booked its largest single-day U.S. soybean purchases in at least three months on Tuesday, traders said, offering a glimmer of hope for the most valuable U.S. farm export after overseas sales of the 2023 harvest had fallen well behind the normal pace. Chinese importers bought around 10 cargoes of soybeans, or about 600,000 metric tons, for shipment from Gulf Coast and Pacific Northwest export terminals between December and March, trade sources said. 

Nov 08 - Heavy rains hit French grain crop as sowings come to a halt
Heavy rainfall in France over the past two weeks has brought grain sowing virtually to a standstill in the European Union's largest grain grower and lower yields are to be expected in some regions, technical institute Arvalis said on Tuesday. Concerns about prospects for the 2024 French harvest have contributed to a rise in European wheat prices this month.

Nov 07 - China Oct soybean imports surge 25% y/y on strong Brazilian arrivals
China imported 5.16 million metric tons of soybeans in October, customs data showed on Tuesday, a 25% surge from a year earlier but lower than analysts expectations as Brazilian soybeans continued to arrive at ports later than usual. Freshly harvested U.S. soybeans usually dominate the global export market from September while the Brazilian export season winds down, but a record crop in the South American country is expected to dominate China's imports in the last three months of the year. 

Nov 07 - US wheat ratings top expectations; corn, soy harvest near done
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) on Monday rated 50% of the U.S. winter wheat crop in good-to-excellent condition, up three percentage points from the previous week and the highest for this time of year since 2019 as soil moisture improved in the Plains following a three-year drought. Better production prospects in the world's No. 4 wheat exporter could ease concerns about tightening global grain supplies. However, winter wheat will not be harvested in the United States until mid-2024, and the crop's potential will be highly dependent on springtime weather.

Nov 06 - Palm oil supply seen tight in 2024, biodiesel to drive demand
Global palm oil output is likely to drop next year due to the impact from the El Nino weather pattern while demand from the edible oil and energy sectors is set to grow, supporting prices, leading industry analysts said on Friday. Hot and dry weather is expected to continue into early 2024, worsening a steady downward trend in yields of palm oil from top producers Indonesia and Malaysia in recent years. 

Nov 06 - Ivory Coast sells 2024-25 cocoa export contracts despite price pushback
Ivory Coast has sold at least 300,000 tonnes of cocoa in export contracts for the 2024/25 season despite pressure from multinational companies to lower prices, exporters and regulator sources said on Friday. Ivory Coast is the world's top cocoa producer, and along with neighbouring Ghana, produces about two-thirds of the world's supply. The 2023/24 harvest season started on Oct. 1.

Nov 03 - Ukraine SPIKE MARKET report at 03/11

Sold in a week
· corn DAP Odessa, letter @133$->136$
· corn DAP port Romania (car), December letter @204$
· corn DAP Mon. Italy (car), a letter-Dec @210€
· Soybean GMO DAP Mon. Italy (car), Oct-Dec @420€
· Sunflower DAP Odessa, letter @13'300 UAH

· As of 30.10, winter crops were sown: wheat - 3.7 million hectares against the plan of 4.3 million hectares; rapeseed - 1.1 million hectares against 1.2 million hectares; barley - 402 thousand hectares against 692 thousand hectares.
· Agricultural products exported in October amounted to 4.3 million tons. Resumption of shipment with the support of the Ukrainian Navy by sea corridor allowed to increase exports in October by 1.3 million tons.
· The Cabinet of Ministers' urgent introduction of new rules for the verification of exporters and licensing has caused a slowdown in exports.
· The stable operation of sea shipments increasingly involves the marine fleet from the market as the freight rates are reduced, and the prices of FOB and DAP ports are fixed.

- Due to the resumption of marine exports, the world market is in anticipation of more competition due to the active export of corn by sea from Ukraine. This prospect added pressure on the prices of the final sales markets on the basis of CIF. At the same time, there is support for prices and restoration of activity of FOB trade with delivery at terminals of Odessa, Southern and Black Sea.

- Prices of corn delivered to the ports have risen by an average of 10$ per ton compared to last week. The main reason for this is the introduction of new rules of transparent export, which slowed trading in order to clarify the new mechanism. The USDA representative in Kyiv assesses the export of 2023 corn at 24.7 million tons.

- The wheat complex has stabilized in demand and supply. The prices received little fortification in all directions. Europe remains the most heavily traded market, and access to markets in Africa, the Orient, and the Middle East is limited by the capacity of maritime logistics.

- Prices of sunflower with delivery to processing enterprises reached a peak at the moment of the current situation and were traded in the range of 12’500-13’200 UAH with VAT. The "margin" of sunflower processing excluding the cost of processing has decreased to the lowest rate for the last year and is about $50-60 per ton, subject to 100% VAT refund. Some processing plants resume the processing of rapeseed, which is more expedient.
Recent customer indicators:

- Soybeans prices are fixed up to 10€ per ton depending on the direction. Soybean exports increased by almost half in October this year and amounted to 432 thousand tons against 230 thousand tons in October 2022. The percentage of shipments by sea and river transport was 60% against 72% in September. In October, the largest soybean sales markets were European markets of 198 thousand tons, Turkey 118 thousand tons and Egypt 72 thousand tons.

Nov 03 - New rains in Argentina's farmlands a 'blessing' for corn and soybeans
Argentine farmers received a "blessing" of 50-60 millimeters (2-2.4 inches) of rain in recent hours, providing relief to the country's thirsty corn crop and an opportunity for farmers to begin sowing the soybeans campaign, the Rosario grains exchange (BCR) said on Thursday. Up to 30 millimeters of rain fell in Argentina's agricultural region over the weekend, on top of some 45.5 millimeters the previous week - a needed boost after a drought battered the country's farming heartland in winter and early spring. 

Nov 03 - Erratic weather threatens Brazil’s run at another record soy crop -Braun
Just months after Brazil harvested its largest-ever corn and soybean crops, concerns are already brewing over the next crop as wild weather patterns are disrupting both northern and southern soybean-production areas. As of a week ago, farmers in the top soy exporter had planted 40% of their 2023-24 crop, slower than a year ago. Leading state Mato Grosso’s soy planting reached 70% last week, falling slightly below the historic pace and reversing what had previously been a quicker clip.

Nov 02 - India's smaller rice crop paves way for prolonged export curbs
For the first time in eight years, India's rice output is expected to drop this year, raising the prospect that Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government will extend curbs on exports of the grain to keep a lid on food prices ahead of elections. Production in India, the world's largest rice exporter, is under unusually intense focus after New Delhi banned exports of non-basmati white rice in July, sending global prices surging.

Nov 02 - Ukraine exported 3 mln T food via seaports and Danube in October - brokers
Ukraine exported 3 million metric tons of food in October from its Black Sea ports and ports of the Danube River, Spike Brokers, which regularly tracks and publishes export statistics in Ukraine, said on Wednesday. It gave no comparative figures. Agriculture ministry data showed that 2.3 million tons of agricultural goods left Ukrainian ports in September.

Nov 02 - Russia’s agriculture ministry warns of durum export ban ( Interfax-AgriCensus )

- Russia’s state-backed news agency Interfax reported Wednesday that the country’s agriculture ministry has proposed a ban on durum wheat exports, effective December 1, 2023 through to May 31, 2024, citing a link to the Russian government’s website. The article ‘assumes’ that the only exception to the rule will be exports to Belarus, a close ally of Moscow, and humanitarian aid to foreign states “on the basis of decisions made by the government of the Russian Federation.”
Precise data on the size of Russia’s durum wheat exports is hard to pin down, as the government has stopped issuing official export figures leaving the only clues to the scale of grain and oilseed exports port line up data.

- However, most such shipping information only classifies exports as ‘wheat’, without breaking it down into component classes. Trade sources spoken to by Agricensus suggested that Russia’s exports pace this year had already surpassed the previous year, and the measure was likely being taken to preserve stocks for the domestic market. In 2021, the last year for which official data on exports was available, Russia exported 173,000 mt of durum wheat, but no official data is available for 2022 or 2023.

- Estimates seen by Agricensus suggest exports since the beginning of the marketing year could have reached as much as 424,000 mt in the period to October.
Interfax quoted the total production of the Russian Federation at between 700,000 and 800,000 mt, and referred to a ministry plan to boost the acreage for durum wheat to support production of 1.8 million mt by 2025, and continue to grow from there through to 2030. Currently, Turkey has emerged as a more significant regional exporter, with up to a million tonnes exported per year.

Nov 01 - India braces for 8% sugar output dip as cane crop suffers - trade body
India's sugar production is likely to fall 8% to 33.7 million metric tons in the 2023/24 marketing year, which starts on Oct. 1, a leading trade body said on Tuesday, as lower rainfall in key producing states could dent yields. Lower sugar production could lead the world's second-largest producer of sweetener to refrain from allocating export quotas and support global prices that are trading near multi-year highs. 

Nov 01 - BrasilAgro has mixed progress planting soy in top grower Mato Grosso
Brazilian listed farm group BrasilAgro has advanced soy planting in some parts of Mato Grosso state but has seen slower progress in others due to irregular rains, an executive said on Tuesday. The company has managed to sow 90% of its soy fields at the Jataí farm, in the northeast of Brazil's biggest grain state. But in towns like Querencia, in the east, and Comodoro, closer to the western border with Rondonia state, the work has not advanced as quickly, according to management.

Oct 31 - China snaps up Australian, French wheat as crop damage spurs buying spree
China is set to import record volumes of wheat this year, trading sources say, with rain damage to its crop and worries over dry weather in exporting nations fuelling Beijing's appetite to buy while prices are low. Traders said China's frantic buying is likely to support global prices, which have dropped more than a quarter this year - based on the Chicago futures benchmark price - amid abundant supplies from top exporter Russia. 

Oct 31 - US winter wheat health starts 2024 season at four-year high -Braun
It has been a few years since the United States has had a truly good winter wheat harvest, though the 2024 crop could be on its way despite lingering drought in top states. In its first assessment of the growing season, the U.S. Department of Agriculture rated 47% of the domestic wheat crop as good or excellent (GE) as of Sunday, the date’s best since 2019 and above the recent five-year average of 44%.

Oct 30 - El Nino disrupts Brazil soy planting in Mato Grosso, threatens second corn
Scarce rainfall due to the El Nino climate phenomenon has caused disparities in the speed of soy planting in Brazil's top grain state Mato Grosso and could impact sowing of second corn, farmers and experts said on Friday. The risk for the second corn, which is planted after soy is harvested, is greater in areas where the oilseed may have to be replanted. 

Oct 30 - Brazil mills to extend sugarcane crushing, adding sugar production capacity
Brazilian mills in the Centre-South region will extend sugarcane crushing operations beyond the traditional period to cope with a record crop this year and take advantage of high sugar prices, according to mill owners and directors. Brazil's sugar season usually ends in November as rains become more frequent - making it more difficult for machines to operate in the fields - and when there is not much more cane left to be harvested.

Oct 27 - Nine vessels enter Ukraine Black Sea ports Friday, proving ports are working (AgriCensus)

Nine new vessels have entered the Great Odesa ports area and four left on Friday, confirming market sources' estimates and proving that Ukraine's humanitarian corridor is still working despite a two-to-three day pause in operations, vessel tracking applications showed. The nine newly arrived vessels have a total summer deadweight of 215,000 mt, including one chemical tanker.

That comes after a misunderstanding on Thursday, October 26, suggested corridor work had been suspended due to military risks, which turned out to be a temporary pause, while trade sources said that the shipments would continue on Friday.

The new movements also pushed the total number of vessels that have already entered the humanitarian corridor to 51, including 25 that have now left the country, according to the data available.

Back on August 10, Ukrainian authorities announced a humanitarian export corridor safeguarding shipments from and to the Black Sea ports of Pivdenniy, Odesa and Chornomorsk (POC), with first vessels arriving on September 17.

Oct 27 - 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. EU soft wheat exports so far in 2023/24 are running 22% below the year-ago level, reflecting stiff early-season competition from Russia. 

Oct 27 - Bunge lifts 2023 outlook as vegoils fuel profit beat; shares rally
Global crop trader and processor Bunge lifted its 2023 outlook on Thursday after its third-quarter profit topped Wall Street expectations, though earnings were lower year-on-year. Solid crushing results in Brazil, Asia and North America, and good vegetable oil demand helped the world's largest oilseed processor offset weaker results in Argentina, where a severe drought slashed crop harvests this year.

Oct 26 - Rumors spread of Chinese crushers washing out Brazilian bean sales (AgriCensus)

- As many as eight to 10 cargoes of Brazilian beans for November shipment to China may have been “washed out” – an industry term colloquially used when deals are canceled or contracts breached – by some major global grain firms, several market sources told Agricensus on Thursday. While the washouts could not be fully confirmed yet, the rumor spread widely on Thursday, with sources believing there were three firms to have taken the move. Meanwhile, some other market participants were skeptical about the information, saying they had not heard anything of these washouts.

- The washout rumor came as Brazilian beans on a CFR China basis for November shipment have been slightly less competitive than sales out of the US Gulf, with the former seeing assessment at around a 5-15 c/bu premium more than the latter this week.
“Crush margins in Brazil seem to be better than in China, which means big corporations that have crushing plants in multiple countries can choose where to crush the beans to get better profits,” said a Chinese trader.
“The washouts might be accepted by exporters as it is currently more attractive to crush beans in Brazil and sell products rather than originate and export,” said another Brazil-based source.

- Sources believe drivers for the washouts also include an attempt by China’s hog producers to cover their losses by reducing the percentage of soymeal, one of the major products of soybean crushers, in feed, as well as potential logistics issues that could slow down the pace of loading for Brazilian beans to China. China’s hog prices have been largely on a downward trend this year partly due to a higher-than-usual sow count, according to China’s Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs, which has warned pig farmers about potential heavier losses after the Lunar New Year 2024 that falls in February.
"I was talking to a local crusher in China. The trader told me he is thinking about washing out too,” said the Brazil-based source.
"[It is] too hard to sell soymeal locally.

- Soymeal sales in China were unusually sluggish in September, a situation many believed was due to stock building of the product by feed producers in previous weeks for fear of tight supplies. Since then, several days recently have seen large volumes of trade in China's domestic soymeal market, mostly for forward sales, including 1.14 million mt traded on Wednesday for May to September, according to sources.

Brazil dominated China's soybean imports in September with 6.88 million mt of products sold to China, which was 23.4% higher than a year ago.

Oct 26 - Rain improves conditions for Ukraine's winter crops

Rain across almost the entire territory of Ukraine has significantly improved conditions for the development of winter crops, which previously suffered from widespread drought, the APK-Inform consultancy said on Wednesday. Drought has become common in Ukraine and farmers sow even in dry soil in the hope that winter precipitation and mild weather will allow the grain to germinate and survive.

Oct 25 - Russia’s Patrushev confirms 93m mt wheat production outlook (AgriCensus)

Russian agriculture minister Dmitry Patrushev has confirmed the country’s wheat production should top 93 million mt, part of a second consecutive huge grain harvest that is expected to reach 140 million mt.

The ministry of agriculture updated its forecasts to bring production outlooks into line with private forecasters and other agencies who had already ramped up their wheat production forecasts.

The official forecast had expected wheat production to reach 90 million mt, with overall grains production expected to hit 135 million mt.

Russian news agency Interfax reported that Patrushev had met with Russian president Vladimir Putin to update the government on the official outlooks, with confirmation of the increase coming later in the day.

The estimates come as production has already reached 93.3 million mt from 96% of the planted area according to government data released earlier in the week.

While the forecast is still behind last year’s 100 million mt plus harvest, it is still the second largest harvest ever produced by Russia.

The figures represent production expectations for the disputed region of Crimea, but do not include any production from the regions of Ukraine currently occupied by Russian forces

Oct 25 - China signs US agriculture purchase agreements in first ceremony in years
A delegation of commodity importers from China on Monday signed agreements to buy billions of dollars' worth of agricultural goods, mostly soybeans, during a ceremony in Iowa, the U.S. Soybean Export Council (USSEC) said on Tuesday. The agreements, signed at the China-U.S. Sustainable Agricultural Trade Forum, were the first such bulk signings since 2017 between top soybean importer Beijing and the U.S., the world's second-largest supplier of the oilseed. 

Oct 25 - ADM profit beats on ethanol margins, shares dip as key segments lag expectations
Global grains merchant Archer-Daniels-Midland beat Wall Street expectations for third-quarter profit on Tuesday on good ethanol and sweetener margins and strong Brazilian crop exports, although results were lower year on year. Shares fell, bucking broader stock market gains, as a weaker-than-expected profit in ADM's large Ag Services and Oilseeds segment and its high-margin Nutrition unit overshadowed a strong quarter in Carbohydrate Solutions, which includes ethanol and sweeteners.

Oct 24 - Ukrainian Danube prices rise amid complex logistics, tax inspections (AgriCensus)

- Prices for corn and wheat in the Danube shallow water ports increased late last week amid the rising complexity of logistics along with inspections held in the ports by Ukrainian authorities, trade sources told Agricensus.

- Despite the freight rates decreasing for vessels leaving Danube ports, the cargo flow has not improved due to other problems such as weather conditions limiting navigation in a move that has not helped to ease huge queues of vessels waiting to exit or enter the Sulina canal. Trade sources say at least 75 vessels are currently waiting. But that has come alongside an increase in checks carried out by the Ukrainian authorities in the fight against incorrect taxation in Danube ports - a measure that has piled extra pressure on the activity.

- Current circumstances have led to a significant reduction of FOB basis offers in the Danube shallow water ports, traders are now mostly closing previously signed contracts, according to the trade sources. The lack of offers forced buyers to reconsider their bid ideas, pushing levels higher as they try to tempt sellers out.

- Buying ideas for corn on a FOB basis rose from $155-157/mt to $160-165/mt for spot delivery, and the interest ideas for feed wheat also have moved higher to $160-mid $160/mt FOB Reni/Izmail in the space of a week.

- Buying interest for corn on a domestic CPT Reni basis was seen at $137/mt amid the $118-125/mt CPT deep-sea ports basis.

While the Ukrainian authorities were said to be holding inspections to check the tax documentation for companies operating in ports for export, the measures are mostly focused on companies trading in cash, trade sources have said. The investigation is asking companies to supply the documents confirming that tax has been paid, although it appears that other companies were also affected, with vessels being stopped from loading and some cargoes have not been able to be delivered on time.

Oct 24 - As farmers await more rains, Brazil's 2023/24 soybean planting hits 30%
Expected rain this week, if realized, will improve prospects for Brazilian soy farmers, who have been sowing their new crop at a slower pace amid unusually hot and dry weather, experts said on Monday. Marco Antonio dos Santos, a meteorologist at Rural Clima, noted that a cold front will bring much needed humidity between Wednesday and Thursday to central Brazil, benefiting crops immediately . 

Oct 24 - EU crop monitor cuts maize yield forecast on parched southeast
The European Union's crop monitoring service on Monday further reduced its yield forecast for the EU's grain maize harvest after a warm, dry start to autumn worsened drought in the southeast of the bloc. This year's EU grain maize yield was expected to reach 7.13 metric tons per hectare (t/ha), down from 7.26 t/ha projected last month, the MARS service said in a report.

Oct 23 - China hogfarming losses to worsen, grain acreage up, say officials
China's pig production is still growing, a farm ministry official said on Monday, with a higher than normal number of breeding sows set to maintain downward pressure on prices.China had 42.4 million sows at the end of September, unchanged from the previous month, and 3.4% higher than the normal level, Chen Guanghua, head of the animal husbandry and veterinary bureau at the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs told a press briefing. 

Oct 23 - Louis Dreyfus to build Ohio soy crush plant, add to processing boom
Louis Dreyfus Company will build a soybean-processing plant in Ohio, the global crop merchant said on Friday, adding to a booming expansion of oilseed crushing in North America encouraged by biofuel use. Dreyfus will start construction in early 2024 on the facility in Upper Sandusky that will have annual soy-crushing capacity of 1.5 million metric tons, the company said in a statement.

Oct 20 - IGC raises forecast for 2023/24 world wheat crop
The International Grains Council (IGC) on Thursday raised its forecast for global wheat production in the 2023/24 season with upward revisions for Ukraine, Russia and the United States outweighing a deteriorating outlook for the crop in Australia. The inter-governmental body's monthly update put the global wheat crop at 785 million metric tons, up from a previous forecast of 783 million but still well below the prior season's record of 803 million. 

Oct 20 - Bumper US corn harvest sinks prices, pushes global supply to surplus
After a dry spring threatened to wither the U.S. corn crop in the fields, farmers are harvesting what will likely be the country's third-largest crop ever. A bumper harvest will strain storage capacity and hold down prices of the world's most traded commodity crop.

Oct 19 - French growers see grain maize crop rebounding above average
Good growing conditions will push this year's grain maize crop in France, the European Union's largest producer, above the five-year average despite farmers turning away from the grain after a poor 2022 harvest, growers group AGPM said on Wednesday. In a first estimate, done in collaboration with technical institute Arvalis, AGPM forecast that the French 2023 grain maize crop, excluding crops grown for seeds, would rise to at least 13.1 million metric tons, up about 23% on last year's drought-hit crop, and above the average of 13 million tonnes. 

Oct 19 - Brazil unveils plan to subsidize wheat trades
The Brazilian government has allocated 400 million reais ($79 million) to subsidize wheat trades from the 2023/2024 crop year in a bid to shore up prices, according to a statement on Wednesday.  "History shows that when you launch (such a program), the market heats up," Agriculture Minister Carlos Favaro said in the statement as he sought to highlight the importance of boosting Brazil's wheat marketplace.

Oct 18 - Drought across Ukraine affects winter sowing
The prolonged absence of rain across most Ukrainian regions has created unfavourable conditions both for the ongoing sowing of winter crops and for the plants already sown, APK-Inform consultancy quoted weather forecasters as saying on Tuesday. Ukraine is a traditional grower of winter wheat, barley and rapeseed. 

Oct 18 - Indian wheat prices at 8-month high on festival demand, tight supply
Indian wheat prices surged to an eight-month high on Tuesday, propelled by strong demand for big festivals, limited supplies and as import duty makes overseas buying unfeasible for domestic flour mills. The increasing prices may prompt the government to release more stocks from inventories and eliminate import duties on the cereal to bolster supplies and control prices ahead of important state assembly elections and a general election next year.

Oct 17 - NOPA September US soybean crush at 165.456 million bushels
The U.S. soybean crush jumped last month to the highest-ever level for September, while end-of-month soyoil stocks thinned to the lowest in nearly nine years, according to National Oilseed Processors Association (NOPA) data released on Monday. NOPA members, which account for around 95% of soybeans crushed in the United States, processed 165.456 million bushels of soybeans last month, up 2.5% from the 161.453 million bushels processed in August and up 4.6% from the September 2022 crush of 158.109 million bushels. 

Oct 17 - US soy harvest 62% complete, ahead of expectations; corn 45% -USDA
U.S. farmers had harvested nearly two thirds of their soybean crop and 45% of their corn by Sunday, while soybean condition ratings improved, according to weekly data from the U.S. Agriculture Department released on Monday.  The brisk harvest pace has kept a lid on U.S. grain futures in recent weeks.

Oct 16 - Argentina soybean sales drop by 85% in October ( BCR - AgriCensus )

- Argentina's average daily sales of soybeans dropped by 85% in October when compared to the level seen in September, Rosario Grain Exchange (BCR) said.

From September 5 to September 30, the average sales per day was 202,000 mt, while from October 1 to 12, the volume dropped to 31,000 mt.  
Up until last Thursday, domestic sales of soybeans under the soy dollar 4 preferential exchange rate scheme amounted to 4.9 million mt.

According to BCR, sales declined in October due to the low availability of soybeans, as only 3.4 million mt are left to be traded, with 77% of the 2022/23 crop sold. At the same time last year, 73% of the 2021/22 crop has been sold, while the average for the past five crops was 69%.
“On the other hand, the economic and political ups and downs of the last few weeks have increased uncertainty regarding the cost of inputs and rents, among others, at a time when producers are finalizing their sowing plans for the new season,” BCR said.

The presidential elections are scheduled for next Sunday, October 22.  
As the new crop is beginning, the water deficit continues to affect large productive areas, along with early frosts this week.

Oct 16 - EU wheat and barley area seen holding steady as sowing advances
Warm weather has helped European Union farmers make progress in sowing grains for next year's harvest, with the area devoted to wheat and winter barley expected to be similar to this year, but rapeseed perhaps a little lower, analysts said. Dry conditions, however, remain a risk to planting and crop development, particularly in Spain, Romania and Bulgaria, while new biodiversity requirements for EU subsidies may also sway farmers' crop decisions.  

Oct 16 - Funds cover CBOT corn shorts ahead of USDA’s monthly update -Braun
Speculators scrapped short positions in Chicago-traded corn before last week’s crop outlook from the U.S. government, but money managers narrowly clung to the bullish soy views they have held since early 2020. The days leading up to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Oct. 12 reports featured quiet trading in CBOT corn and soybean futures, which both drifted fractionally lower in the week ended Oct. 10.

Oct 13 - Dairy Price Update: Either EU cheddar is undervalued or gouda is overvalued (IHSmarkit)

- The gouda price is currently at €4,093/t, while the cheddar price is at €3,584/t
- The butter rally continues with the price up 1.3% this week
- Demand for whey continues to bounce back, but the inventories from earlier in the year will take a while to clear

The rally for European dairy product prices continues. Supply continues to contract with the outlook for global raw milk supply now looking firmly on the tight side.

The Emmental price was stable w/w at €6,150/metric ton and maintains a small y/y premium. Meanwhile, the Edam price gained 0.7% to €4,128/t, which leaves it 22% below year-ago levels. The gouda price is currently at €4,093/t, while the cheddar price is at €3,584/t. This price ratio is larger than we have seen historically and therefore while sustainable in the short-term either cheddar is undervalued or gouda is overvalued. We are likely to see a price correction later in the year, however, the current price position is likely to be sustainable for another month or 2.

Cheese supplies remain tight and inventories are light. Demand continues to be good.

After the blip a fortnight ago, the whey price continues to gain and has now hit a 26-week high. This week the price gained 2.9% to €753/t which is 18% below its late August low. Demand for whey continues to bounce back, but the inventories from earlier in the year will take a while to clear.

The WMP price gained 1.3% to €3,458/t, which is the smallest w/w rise in 3 weeks. This puts the WMP price at 6.3% above its early September low.

Demand for WMP has calmed slightly following a flurry of activity a fortnight ago, however, prices at the GDT Pulse have continued to move up and it is likely European prices will continue to follow.

The SMP price was relatively stable w/w at €2,463/t, however owing to a large increase last week the price is 8.7% above its early September low.

The improved demand for SMP continues, with some nearby orders also being received. Buyers are certainly less cautious than a month or 2 ago and are stocking up, anticipating higher prices moving forward. Stocks are depleting.

Demand for both WMP and SMP from Southeast Asia has been good through the past week.

The butter rally continues with the price up 1.3% this week to €4,626/t. This puts the price 5.7% above its recent low and 2% below the 5-year average. The erosion of butter inventories continues, which is firmly placing the market in the bull-zone ahead of the baking season. Cream prices have sharply increased which has once again made butter production unattractive, and therefore butter prices are likely to see further rises in the coming weeks.

Oct 13 - Brazil’s cereal output grows 14.5% y/y in 2023, reaching a record high of 159.3 million metric tons: FAO

- Corn output expected at record 132 million metric tons (+16.6% y/y)
- Wheat production estimates grow slightly y/y, but higher rainfall poses challenge
- Paddy output on steady decline since 2006, shrinks 7% y/y and 11% over 5-year average

The latest FAO Country Briefing for Brazil highlights that cereal production is likely to hit a record level in 2023, which consolidates the country as a major exporter worldwide. The country showed a 14.5% growth y/y to 159.3 million metric tons, representing a 34% increase from the 5-year production average. In terms of exports, these totalled 55.5 million metric tons, with corn accounting for 92% of Brazil’s cereal exports.

Brazil’s main season corn crop was recently harvested and the FAO expect output to reach a record high of 102 million metric tons, more than a 40% increase than the 5-year average. This was helped by the 33% growth (over 2018-23) in planted area, with farmers responding positively to solid domestic demand from the feed industry and rising consumption worldwide. According to the Ministry of Agriculture, total 2023 corn output is expected to reach a record 131.8 million metric tons (+17% y/y).

The annual wheat harvest is ongoing and output is projected to increase by 2.5% y/y to 10.8 million metric tons. If realised, this would represent an almost 50% increase from its 5-year average. Brazilian wheat has received more interest in recent years from both the domestic market and abroad, especially since the start of the Russia-Ukraine conflict. Despite the positive estimates, El Niño is likely to impact southern regions due to unusual and excessive rainfall in October until December and could diminish production.

Paddy harvesting in Brazil concluded in May and, according to local authorities, annual production estimates are at 10 million metric tons. Rice output has been steadily decreasing due to successively smaller planted areas since 2006, when farmers began to shift to more profitable crops, such as corn and soybeans.

Planting for rice and minor grains have been delayed due to heavy rainfall in the southern region. However, official forecasts point to a 10% y/y growth in output owing to soaring domestic prices. Contrary to paddy, corn planted area for 2024 is forecasted to wane 3.6% at 21.19 million hectares, as prices have eased in local and international markets.

Brazilian Paddy Rice prices from Rio Grande do Sul have increased by 18% since the start of 2023 and Brazilian Corn has decreased 21% since. Paddy was most recently recorded at $404.20/t EXW and corn at $222.50/t FOB, according to data from S&P Global Commodity Insights.

Corn exports in the 2023/24 marketing year (March-February) are forecast at a record level of 51 million metric tons, more than 50% above the 5-year average. This was caused by a spike in crop productivity, which led Brazil to a surplus. Contrary to corn, paddy exports are forecast below average in 2023 (Jan-Dec), due to high local consumption and the output slump. Combined cereal exports are estimated at 55.5 million metric tons in 2023/24.

Oct 13 - Still narrow palm olein-sunflower oil spread weighs on palm buying (AgriCensus)

The spread between refined bleached deodorized (RBD) palm olein and crude sunflower oil has remained narrow in the past few weeks, dampening buying sentiment for palm oil as buyers switch to sunflower instead. Price-sensitive buyers in key destination markets such as China, India and the Middle East are likely to purchase more sunflower oil as it is priced more attractively.

On a CNF India basis, sunflower oil was offered at a premium of $45/mt to RBD olein today for October and November shipments.

The spread for December shipments is smaller, with sunflower at a $35/mt premium to RBD palm olein, according to Fastmarkets data.

This spread has been at similar levels since end-September but was at around $150/mt in July and around $400/mt a year ago.

Lower sunflower oil offers have been prompted by higher availability of sunflower seeds from Russia and Ukraine, which has contributed to greater crushing and oil supply.

In the 2023/24 season, Ukrainian crushers expect to harvest 13-14 million mt, which is on average 10% higher than last year.

Similarly, higher production from the world’s second largest exporter of palm oil, Malaysia has also kept palm olein offers from rising.

Malaysia’s crude palm oil (CPO) production in September rose by 4.3% to 1.83 million mt amid Malaysia’s seasonal peak production season, with the state of Sabah registering the highest monthly production growth at 8.3% higher to 418,052 mt.

Oct 13 - China Sept soybean imports fall 7.3% on year
China imported 7.15 million metric tons of soybeans in September, customs data showed on Friday, falling 7.3% from a year ago after high stocks and a spike in global prices curbed recent purchases. China's oilseed purchases from top producer and exporter Brazil have surged this year as buyers jumped on cheaper beans following a record harvest in the Latin American country. 

Oct 13 - USDA makes large revision to Brazil cotton projections
The United States Agriculture Department on Thursday announced a large revision to Brazil's cotton production numbers that goes back to 2000, leading to significant changes in its ending stocks numbers for both Brazil and the world market. It also said Brazil's cotton production in 2023/24 will exceed that of the United States for the first time, and that the South American country is close to surpassing U.S. cotton exports for the first time since the 19th century.

Oct 12 - FranceAgriMer raises wheat, barley export forecasts on China demand
French soft wheat and barley sales to China prompted farm office FranceAgriMer on Wednesday to increase its forecasts for exports outside the European Union in 2023/24, but it cut projected intra-EU shipments, citing Black Sea competition. In a supply and demand outlook, the office pegged French soft wheat shipments outside the bloc at 9.80 million metric tons from 9.50 million projected last month, but still 3.5% below last season's level. 

Oct 12 - Cheap sunflower oil from Russia, Ukraine rattles palm oil market
A flood of cheap sunflower oil from Russia and Ukraine is putting downward pressure on palm oil prices as the two top producers take advantage of currency depreciation to grab a larger share of the edible oils market. Last year, palm oil prices soared after Russia's invasion of Ukraine disrupted sunflower oil supplies from the Black Sea region.

Oct 12 - South Korea’s MFG buys about 136,000 T corn in tender
South Korea's Major Feedmill Group (MFG) purchased an estimated 136,000 metric tons of animal feed corn in an international tender on Wednesday, European traders said. The tender sought corn in two consignments for arrival in South Korea in February 2024.

Oct 11 - Iran bans soybean, sunflower oil imports; regional market tumbles (IHSmarkit)

- Ban from Oct. 23 until further notice
- Purchase ban likely to dampen Russian sunflower oil prices
- Most of Iran’s edible oil need met by imports

Iran has imposed an immediate ban on soybean and sunflower oil imports, according to multiple media outlet reports on Oct. 10.
The reports cited a letter written to the Iran Customs Administration from the agriculture ministry’s deputy for commercial development on Oct. 9.

According to the state Fars news agency, the letter says, “Considering the necessity of planning to adjust and regulate the edible oil market, the clearance of crude sunflower oil and crude soybean oil is not allowed from Oct. 23 from all executive customs offices of the country until further notice.”

The reason behind the purchase ban was not clear -- whether it was caused by an oversupply of oil in the market and to prevent further price reduction. Iran imports 90% of its edible oil needs. However, the officials of the agriculture ministry have announced a 15% drop in vegetable oil prices in market.

Oct 11 - EU olive oil production set to plunge 39% y/y (IHSmarkit)

- EU olive oil production forecast to fall 39% y/y to 1.385 MMt for 2022/23
- Extreme weather across Europe sets back olive harvests for second year in row
- Estimated 2022/23 EU ending stocks forecast below average at 309,000 metric tons

Olive oil production in the EU is forecast to fall by 39% y/y to 1.385 million metric tons (MMt) for 2022/23, down from 2.272 MMt in 2021/2022 according to data from the International Olive Council and the European Commission. EU production in 2022/23 is expected to be 35% below the five-year average, as extreme weather such as soaring temperatures across Southern Europe have set back olive harvests for the second year in a row. Wildfires ravaging several olive groves have also compounded the issue.

Spain, the largest olive oil producing EU member, is forecasted to see its production decline 56% y/y to 0.663 MMt for 2022/23 from 1.491 MMt in 2021/2022. Italy is forecasted to have a 27% y/y decline to 241,000 metric tons from 329,000 metric tons a year prior.

The huge reductions in production have raised several concerns within the region, with lower EU availabilities and uses in 2022/23. Estimated EU ending stocks are forecast to be below average in 2022/23 at 309,000 metric tons, down from 671,000 metric tons in 2021/22.

Disappointing production and Italy and Spain have led to higher prices. European Commission prices for Spanish Jaen extra virgin olive oil rose by 111% y/y to €833 per 100 kilograms at the end of September while virgin oil prices were up 98% y/y to €767/100kg at the end of September. Italian Bari extra virgin olive oil rose by 78% y/y to €908/100kg at the September.

Global production is projected to decline by 26% y/y to 2.505 MMt in 2022/2023 due to the setbacks in the EU. Tunisia and Morocco are forecasted to have significantly declines of over 20% y/y to 180,000 metric tons and 156,000 metric tons respectively in 2022/23. While Syria’s production is forecasted to grow 27% y/y from 106,000 metric tons to 135,000 metric tons in 2022/23. Turkey’s production is forecasted to grow 17% y/y to 275,000 metric tons in 2022/23. Despite the boost in production from Syria and Turkey, non-EU production itself is expected to decline by 1% y/y to 1.12 MMt. Due to the continued shortfall, olive oil prices are likely to be bullish moving into Q4 2023 and in early 2024.

Oct 11 - Brazil's Conab sees record soy output; lower corn plantings as prices fall
Brazilian farmers will harvest a record soybean crop in the new season but will reap less corn, the government's crop agency Conab said on Tuesday in the first forecast report for the 2023/24 grain cycle. Farmers in the South American food powerhouse, which have already began planting their new soy and first corn, are expected to produce 162 million metric tons of soybeans, 4.8% more than last year, Conab said. 

Oct 11 - US soy harvest 43% complete, corn 34%; soy ratings dip -USDA
The U.S. soybean harvest was 43% complete by Sunday and the corn harvest 34% finished, data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) showed on Tuesday, both slightly ahead of their respective five-year averages, while soybean condition ratings declined. Swift harvest progress amid mostly dry weather has been pressuring U.S. grain futures prices, although persistent dryness during the growing season is believed to have hurt yields in the world's No. 2 exporter of corn and soy.

Oct 10 - Ukrainian grain export line up builds, with 800k mt already booked (AgriCensus)

- Analysis of shipping line up data suggests that activity in Ukraine's deep sea ports has now increased to levels that are comparable with the early days of the original grain deal, with approximately 800,000 mt already seen as loaded or expected to load in the coming days.  Ukrainian authorities announced a humanitarian export corridor back on August 10, safeguarding shipments from and to the Black Sea ports of Pivdenniy, Odesa and Chornomorsk (POC) and, after a slow start, activity has picked up.

- Since the first vessels to enter the ports arrived on September 17, the lineup has significantly increased, wth eight vessels now managing to leave the port carrying around 242,000 mt of grains and iron ore. Another 14 vessels have already arrived or are expected to arrive into Ukrainian ports in the near future, with at least 560,000 mt of cargo expected to be moved out of the country. However, trade sources expect the flow further increase as more confidence appears among market participants and more vessels enter the ports.

That compares with the first month after the grain deal was first brokered between Ukraine and Russia by authorities from the United Nations and Turkey, back on July 22, 2022.

Back then, the first vessels started to move out on August 1.

By the end of August, 1.55 million mt of agricultural commodities had been shipped, but the figure also included around 1 million mt of cargo that was loaded on vessels that had been stuck in ports since the Russian invasion began on February 24, 2022.

As such, the total volume that was delivered by the freshly booked vessels was closer to 500,000 mt - meaning the humanitarian corridor is already ahead of that early pace. For now, it is not clear if the Ukrainian humanitarian corridor can maintain the same results, or even grow in the same way as the grain deal did when it was first signed - and there are some notable challenges, not least the presence of Russian naval forces in the Black Sea. Alongside that, turning the initial 800,000 mt of expected exports into a more consistent flow will also prove to be a challenge - by the end of September 2022, the Black Sea grain initiative had reported 3.9 million mt of cargo had been shipped.

That comes as there remains a number of risks associated with loading from Ukrainian ports, and the trade is most likely to be able to trade only those cargoes that have been already loaded, which limits the activity.

Oct 10 - Crop Watch: Harvest pace quickens, beans in spotlight - Braun
Most of the U.S. Crop Watch producers reported quick harvest progress in the first week of October, and soybeans were the prime beneficiary as many areas are close to wrapping up those efforts. Five Crop Watch soybean fields were harvested between last Monday and Sunday, three with slightly better than expected results and two with notably worse ones. Just two Crop Watch soybean fields await harvest: Ohio and North Dakota. 

Oct 10 - Ivory Coast weather boosts farmers' hopes for cocoa main crop
A mixture of rain and strong sunny spells over most of Ivory Coast’s main cocoa growing regions last week should help small pods develop and extend the October-to-March main crop, farmers said on Monday. Ivory Coast, the world’s top cocoa producer, is in its rainy season which usually runs from April to mid-November.

Oct 09 - Russian wheat, corn export taxes revised up for October 11-17

- The Russian government has increased export taxes on wheat and corn for the coming week of October 11 to 17, while the tax on barley has been reduced, the agriculture ministry said in an official notice Friday. The export duty on wheat increased by RUB 659.40/mt to RUB 5,224/mt, which corresponds to $52.40/mt at the official Central Bank exchange rate set at RUB 99.67 to $1.

The basic seven-day average index published by the Moscow Exchange rose by $4.30/mt and settled at $248.8/mt.

For corn, the export duty increased by RUB 267/mt to RUB 3,120.80/mt or $31.30/mt.

The average MOEX index amounted to $206.80/mt, having decreased by $0.60/mt compared to last week.

Finally, the export duty on barley fell by RUB 85/mt to RUB 1,166.10/mt, corresponding to $11.7/mt at current exchange rates, while the benchmark index fell by $5.20/mt to $178.40/mt.

When calculating the index for corn and barley, transactions registered with loading in the ports of the Caspian Sea, as well as ports of the Azov and Black Seas are currently taken into account.

Oct 09 - New drought in Argentina threatens 'massive losses' for wheat, little rain seen
Argentina's core agricultural farmland could suffer "massive losses" in wheat yields due to another drought, the Rosario Grains Exchange warned late on Thursday, even as the country reels from a drought in the last cycle deemed the worst in 60 years. The exchange has not yet changed its forecast for a 15 million metric ton wheat harvest for the current 2023/2024 harvesting season. 

Oct 09 - Russian grain deliveries to Africa to start within a month - Ifax cites agriculture minister
Russia will start delivering its grain to African countries within a month to six weeks, the Interfax news agency cited Agriculture Minister Dmitry Patrushev as saying on Friday. "We are now finalising all the documents. I think that within a month - or a month and a half - they will start," Interfax quoted Patrushev as saying.

Oct 06 - Argentina's soy crushers face 'disaster' as bean shortage sharpens, chamber head says
Argentina's giant soybean processing plants are running out of soybeans after a historic drought cut the crop in half, the head of the country's grains export chamber told Reuters, and this will leave well over two-thirds of factory capacity idle. "We are in a disastrous year," said Gustavo Idigoras, president of the grain exporters and crushing chamber CIARA-CEC, adding he expected idle capacity at the country's crushing plants along the Parana river to shoot past the current 65%. 

Oct 06 - Asian wheat millers seen boosting imports on higher price expectations
Asian flour millers are likely to step up purchases as global wheat supplies are forecast to tighten in the months ahead, with dry weather reducing production in some key exporting countries. Wheat importers, including from Indonesia, the world's No. 2 buyer, and China were actively seeking cargoes this week for shipment in December and early 2023, three trade sources said.

Oct 05 - Russia's wheat export pace rises by 33% to 1 m mt, YTD 15m mt, up 59% (AgriCensus)

- Russian wheat exports from Black Sea ports increased pace by 30% to 1 million mt in the week ending October 4, Agricensus analysis of port line-up data showed Thursday. However, wheat export flows are still expected to fall in October against a backdrop of declining sales by Russian exporters due to falling demand from major importing countries, and an unofficial floor price for Russian wheat that does not help trade and has limited sales in tenders.

The forecast for wheat exports in October 2023 is about 4.5 million mt, lower than the record 5.5 million mt in September and lower than a year ago when exports amounted to 4.9 million mt, according to Rusagrotrans. Total wheat exports, including rail and small port shipments, have now moved to around 15 million mt, which is 59% higher than last year.

- Egypt was the biggest importer of wheat in the repoting week with 176,273 mt headed there, followed by Bangladesh with 163,583 mt, and Iran with 111,200 mt.
- Some 67,000 mt meanwhile was exported to Oman, 64,500 mt to Italy, 55,500 mt to Indonesia, 55,000 mt to Yemen, 54,993 mt to Turkey, and 53,000 mt to Israel.
- In addition, 52,976 mt of wheat was exported to Pakistan, 38,500 mt to Angola, 34,000 mt to Libya, 30,600 mt to Brazil, and 22,000 mt to Spain, while the destination for 45,500 mt was not specified.

Official Russian statistical office Rosstat estimated wheat stocks at 28.8 million mt as of September 1, 9% lower than the same date last year, when stocks were at a record level for post-Soviet times. The main reason for the decrease in stocks was the record export in the new season.

Sovecon estimates exports in 2023/24 at 48.9 million mt, 2 million mt more than a year earlier.

It was also affected by the worsening of forecasts for the wheat harvest, which the company estimates at 91.6 million mt against 104.2 million mt a year earlier due to less favorable weather conditions.

Analysts also suggest that wheat quality could be the lowest since 2018 when the share of milling wheat fell to 70% due to rains, while in 2022, the final share of milling wheat was around 80%.

Oct 05 - Dairy Price Update: EU prices hitting multi-month highs (IHSmarkit)

- EU butter and WMP prices have hit 9-week highs
- Cheese vats continue to be prioritized over the butter churns
- Whey prices bounce back to hit a 19-week high

For a second consecutive week, there has been notable firming in European dairy prices. Milk collections in France are reported to have fallen to 6% below year-ago levels.

For a third consecutive week the EU Commission butter price rose to reach a 9-week high, up 2.0% w/w to €4,562/metric ton. This is the highest weekly gain in this latest upward trend. Despite the gain prices remain slightly below the 5-year average and 37% below year-ago levels.

Demand for butter remains stable, while supply is tight. There are some frozen supplies, but the availability of fresh butter is low. The butter churns remain relatively quiet which is keeping the supplies low, but current margins mean it is not attractive to run churns at full capacity. Continuing the trend seen throughout 2023, cheese vats are being prioritized over butter churns.

Although being prioritized, the cheese vats are not quite managing to keep up with demand. The EU Edam price gained 0.4% this week, to €4,062/t. This puts the Edam price a touch below the price recorded in the w/ending September 10, but barring that one week the price is at a 19-week high. The price maintains a 12% premium over the 5-year average. The Emmental price did slip 2.2% this week to €6,151/t, however, the price maintains a premium to year-ago levels and therefore remains expensive on historic terms.

WMP gained 1.9% this week, to €3,405/t, putting it at a 9-week high. In a similar move, the SMP price gained 3.0% to €2,397/t which is a 3-month high. Demand for milk powders from within the EU has picked up, with the calls from import also increasing. Asia is back, although opinions are divided over whether this is a more permanent return or not. Demand from the Middle East and North Africa is active. Supply is somewhat tight but is sufficient for demand.

After last week's drop, whey prices have bounced back. Demand for whey continues to improve although the large inventories from earlier in the year will continue to impact prices until cleared. In the latest week, the price gained 4.8% w/w to €731/t which is a 19-week high.

Oct 05 - EU soybean oil purchases nearly double on year y/y (IHSmarkit)

- Sunflower oil purchases increase 41% y/y
- Brazil’s share of soybean meal imports at 68.5%
- Spain leading soybean oil buyer in bloc

The EU’s soybean oil imports in marketing year 2023-24 (July-June) soared to 198,149 metric tons as of Oct. 1, up from 100,052 metric tons during the same week a year earlier, European Commission data showed Oct. 3.

The bloc’s sunflower oil purchases increased 41% to 592,986 metric tons over the same period.

According to market sources, the surge in soybean and sunflower oil purchases by the bloc was led primarily by an earlier slump in the supply of palm amid environmental concerns.

The region’s rapeseed oil purchases remained unchanged on the year at 130,777 metric tons, while palm oil imports declined by 11% to 873,393 metric tons, the data showed.

The EU’s soybean purchases decreased slightly on the year to 2.854 million metric tons as of Oct. 1 in MY 2023-24 (July-June), while soybean meal imports declined by 2% to 3.79 million metric tons.

Spain replaced Poland as the largest soybean oil buyer in the bloc in the most recent reporting week, while the Netherlands emerged as the leading buyer of raw soybean and meal derivatives, the data showed.

The share of Brazil-origin products in the EU’s raw soybean imports stood at 52.5%, while its contribution of soybean meal stood at 68.5% in the most recent reporting week.

The EU is the world’s top soybean meal importer and the second-biggest buyer of soybeans.

Oct 05 - Australian farm incomes set to fall 41% as El Nino limits rains
The Australian government said it expects dry weather and low livestock prices to reduce average farm incomes by 41% in the 2023–24 financial year, taking them back to levels last seen three years ago. Average cash income per broadacre farm is expected to fall to A$197,000 from a record-breaking A$350,000 in 2021-22 and A$332,000 in 2022-23, the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences said in a report. 

Oct 05 - Argentina wheat productivity at risk after recent rains disappoint
Argentina's agricultural heartland needs more rain soon to avoid wheat productivity losses and finish planting early season corn, after showers last week failed to quench parched farmlands, the Rosario grains exchange said on Wednesday. In a report, the exchange said that between 15-20 milliliters of water are needed "to maintains the crops' potential," but that in general less than half of the agricultural area has received this much rain.

Oct 05 - Grain sources cast doubt on Black Sea grain initiative talks, but rumors persist (AgriCensus)

- Black Sea trade sources have cast doubt on rumors that talks are set to resume on the export grain initiative on October 5, with most arguing that there is little point to restoring the four-way agreement that allowed exports from Ukraine's deep water ports of Odesa, Pivdenniy and Chornomorsk. Rumors have been circulating among market participants that Russia could be poised to make a return to the grain deal initiative from October 5, after pulling out of the deal back in July 2023.

- The deal had originally been signed between Ukraine, the United Nations and Turkey, with a mirror deal signed between Russia, the UN and Turkey, but was allowed to lapse when Russia declined to resign. The trade rumours, most of which seem to come from Russia-based sources, expect Turkey will guarantee the safety of vessels operating in the Black Sea and, as such, will allow unhindered export of grains and sunflower from both Ukraine and Russia. More controversially, the rumors also suggest a guarantee for the export of petrol, oil and lubricants from Russia would be included, in return for exports of the same products from the EU into three Ukrainian deep sea ports.

- Also, key Russian demands for readmission to the international electronic banking system, SWIFT, and a guarantee of Russian fertlizer exports via Ukrainian ports has been dropped by Russian authorities amid acceptance that there is no possibility of implementing such an arrangement. Along with that, it was also said that Turkey will process payments for Russian sunseeds and grains through its two state banks, with a 12% commission.

- However, trade sources spoken to by Agricensus also suggested that such reports were untrue and claimed there is no reason or incentive for Ukraine to return to the grain deal and give control over the flow of exports back to Turkey, the UN and especially Russia.

Ukraine's use of marine and aerial drones against Russian ports and shipping in the mainland and in the disputed territory of Crimea has proved a consistent irritant to Russian naval forces and spurred more confidence.

On the back of that, Ukraine declared the opening of its own humanitarian corridor - allowing a wider selection exports than simply grains - in August, initially enabling ships that had been stuck in port since the Russian invasion began to leave.

Since the opening of the humanitarian corridor, eleven vessels have already arrived in Ukraine, and eight of those have left successfully, but there are more expected to enter the region soon, but trade sources expressed fears that recommitting to the grains initiative could slow building momentum.
“The UN only will put the process into frames, which nobody really needs,” a source said.

Another Ukrainian source familiar with the matter said that for now there were only talks about the current humanitarian corridor, while the UN said that for now they could only confirm that negotiations are “ongoing”.
“The UN remains determined to ensure that Ukrainian grains can be exported and reach the global market, for the sake of Ukrainian farmers and the world’s poorest people who need affordable food. These efforts continue in that regard, including through talks with the Russian Federation,” UN representatives said in response to an official request from AgriCensus.

Trade sources also agreed that it was possible that there remain negotiations underway, but still did not expect a final result to be agreed upon and certainly not within the next 24 hours. Along with that, Russian media RIA News reported that more clarity regarding the status and continuation of the grain deal initiative may appear closer to the end of 2023, but for now there is no significant progress.

The grain deal initiative was stopped on July 17, 2023, after Russia withdrew from the deal - although significant delays at inspection stages meant that shipments were already significantly delayed - with some ships facing months waiting at Istanbul.

That had brought accusations from Ukrainian authorities that Russian inspection teams under the Joint Coordination Centre were effectively sabotaging the arrangement by holding up their approvals for as long as possible.  

But on  August 10, Ukrainian naval forces opened a humanitarian corridor for commercial vessels, with few vessels that had been stuck since the Russian invasion leaving Ukrainian ports in August, before the arrivals of eight vessels to load iron ore and grains in September.

Oct 04 - Australian farmers survey finds little more than half expect higher output
A little over half of Australia's farmers expect the country's agricultural output to grow over the next decade, according to a survey published on Wednesday, with optimism in short supply among livestock farmers particularly. A survey of 1,600 farmers by the National Farmers Federation and communications agency Seftons pointed to frustration with issues including the pricing power of supermarkets, environmental laws and poor infrastructure.

Oct 04 - World's biggest palm oil exchange sets sights on soyoil futures
Bursa Malaysia Derivatives Exchange, known for offering the most liquid crude palm oil futures in the world, is planning to launch soyoil futures in the first quarter of the next year, a senior exchange official said. The exchange has been working on finalising the contract specifications, which will be completed this year before the contract's launch in early 2024, said Mohd Saleem, director, derivatives market at Bursa Malaysia.

Oct 03 - Drastic fall in potato prices in Europe (IHSmarkit)

- Prices hovering around €105/t in Belgium and the Netherlands
- Decline due to oversupplies on the free market
- First crop estimates suggest an increase in the seasonal output

Initial quotes of potato for processing have dropped sharply in Belgium with spot prices for Fontane variety currently hovering around €100-106 ($105-112) per metric ton, less than half the price reported for the same variety in October 2022 (€257.5/t) and much lower than the over €600/t quoted ahead of the start of the season.

In the Netherlands, prices of the same variety were in the range of €110/t as of 25 September (latest quote available), down by 24% from the previous week and by 56% on a year-on-year comparison.

The decline in price is linked to the low demand on the free market due to much larger contracted volumes. Given the uncertainty of the past few seasons, processors have contracted more potatoes and their prices are higher (between €170-180/t in Belgium) than those traded on the spot market. At the same time, the potato regrowth was higher than expected so factories are well supplied by contracted volumes and less dependent on the free market. In addition, there has been an earlier release of stocks as some volumes of potatoes are unsuitable for storage due to issues including phytophthora.

Pressure on prices might be also linked to higher-than-expected yields. First estimates from France and Germany indicate an increase in harvested volumes in 2023 by 12% and 2% y/y, respectively.
“Producers must take all necessary precautions when considering these quotations, and not succumb to ‘panic’, as the market fundamentals remain robust over the long term of the campaign, hence the importance of storage,” the North-Western European Potato Growers organization wrote on a statement.

It is estimated that the European potato processing industry will need 2.0 million metric tons more than in the past two seasons and, according to market sources, the prospected harvest of 22 million metric tons in the top- European production countries (Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany and France), would be just enough to cover the industry’s needs. Within this scenario prices are expected to rebound once the harvest is over. The NEPG warns that current low prices might act as a deterrent to increase investments in the potato planted area for the 2024 season across Europe.

Oct 03 - Freight rates for grain exports via new Black Sea route fall sharply, Ukraine says
A new corridor allowing cargo vessels to carry Ukrainian grain and iron ore from Black Sea ports has significantly lowered freight rates and they are likely to fall further, Ukraine's farm minister said on Monday. Kyiv launched what it calls a temporary humanitarian corridor in August to allow agricultural exports as an alternative arrangement after Russia blocked the U.N.-backed Black Sea grain deal that had been in place for a year. 

Oct 03 - Argentina extends soy export incentives to shore up foreign reserves
Argentina's government said on Monday it will extend a program to boost grain exports to shore up the country's meager foreign reserves, as it looks to meet International Monetary Fund targets amid an economic crisis.The Buenos Aires grains exchange said on Monday that the PIE boosted last month's soy sales in Argentina by 5.1 million metric tons.


Oct 02 - India's monsoon rains hit five-year low due to El Nino

India's monsoon rainfall this year was its lowest since 2018 as the El Nino weather pattern made August the driest in more than a century, the state-run weather department said on Saturday. The monsoon, which is vital for India's $3 trillion economy, brings nearly 70% of the rain the country needs to water crops and replenish reservoirs and aquifers.  

Oct 02 - US raises wheat harvest view; futures fall to 3-year low
The U.S. wheat harvest was bigger than previously estimated despite drought in key production areas of the U.S. Plains, the government said on Friday. The surprise forecast pushed futures prices at the Chicago Board of Trade to their lowest levels in three years, adding a fresh challenge for farmers as they finalize winter wheat planting decisions.

Sep 29 - USDA soybean, wheat quarterly stocks exceed expectations, corn tighter (USDA & AgriCensus)

- The US Department of Agriculture (USDA)’s September quarterly stocks outlook update delivered tighter than expected corn reserves, while both soybean and wheat stocks were slightly higher than projected by market participants.

- Starting with corn, the USDA reported that corn stocks in all positions on September 2023 totaled 1.36 billion bushels, 4.8% below market expectations and 1.1% lower than at the same point last year.
- Prior to the report analysts projected that the department would report that reserves would come in at 1.439 million mt.
- Of the total stocks, 605 million bushels are stored on farms (up 19% YOY) and 756 million bushels are off-farm stocks (down 13% YOY).
- The June-August 2023 indicated disappearance is 2.75 billion bushels, compared with 2.97 billion bushels during the same period last year.
- Apparent consumption (or disappearance) is calculated by the difference in stocks at the beginning of each quarter subtracting supplies during the period (production and imports).

- Soybean stocks on September 1, 2023, totaled 268 million bushels, down 2% from 274 million bushels on September 1, 2022.
- The total exceeded the expectations of market participants polled before the report who projected stocks would total 242 million bushels.
- On-farm stocks are estimated at 72 million bushels (up 14%), while off-farm stocks were listed at 196 million bushels (down 7%)
- Indicated disappearance was at 528 million bushels, down 24% from the same period a year earlier.

- The USDA reported that stocks stood at 1.78 billion bushels, up by a minimal 0.1% from a year ago, and slightly higher than the 1.77 million projected by market participants before the report’s release.
- Durum stocks specifically were at 57 million bushels, up 6% from September 2022.
- Wheat stocks being held by farmers are estimated at 598 million bushels, up 1% from last year, while off-farm stocks stood at 1.18 billion bushels, down by less than 1%.

The June-August 2023 indicated disappearance is 614 million bushels, up 8% from the same period a year earlier.

Sep 29 - Ample supplies in Chinese corn market to weigh on global prices
A large domestic corn crop and surging imports from Brazil are set to flood the Chinese market in coming weeks, reducing demand for other grains and pressuring global corn prices already near three-year lows, analysts and traders expect. The world's No. 2 corn producer has begun its harvest, with output likely to surpass last year's total, even after the summer's typhoons damaged crops in some northern provinces. 

Sep 29 - Dry weather threatens Argentine wheat, but rain on the horizon
Argentine wheat yields during the 2023/24 season in western farmland could continue to fall if much-needed rains do not arrive quickly, the Buenos Aires grains exchange (BdeC) warned in a report on Thursday. Agricultural powerhouse Argentina is a top global exporter of the grain used to make bread and pasta, but a historic drought severely hit the previous 2022/23 crop as the country's western agricultural areas still await rainfall that has helped restore humidity levels in eastern wheat-growing farmland.

Sep 28 - EU 2023-24 corn imports down 41% y/y (IHSmarkit)

- Ukraine, Brazil top corn suppliers to EU in MY 2023-24
- S&P Global analyst forecast EU 2023-24 corn output at 61.4 million metric tons
- Export volumes down 10% on year at 286,549 metric tons

The EU’s corn imports during the 2023-24 marketing year (July-June) stood at 3.9 million metric tons as of Sept. 24, down 41% from the corresponding period last year, EU Crop Observatory data showed Sept. 26. So far during the year, Ukraine has been the largest supplier of corn to the EU at 1.9 million metric tons, followed by Brazil at 1.4 million metric tons.

Spain was the EU’s largest importer of corn at 1.5 million metric tons, followed by Netherlands (538,158 metric tons) and Italy (498,680 metric tons).

The EU is one of the world’s top corn importers. In MY 2022-23, it imported 6.61 million metric tons, largely from Brazil and Ukraine.

The European Commission’s Directorate-General for Agriculture and Rural Development on Aug. 24 forecast total corn production at 61.9 million metric tons for MY 2023-24, compared with 53 million metric tons harvested in MY 2022-23.

According to Victoria Sinitsyna, senior grains analyst at S&P Global Commodity Insights, the EU’s corn output in MY 2023-24 is estimated at 61.4 million metric tons. Sinitsyna forecast corn imports for MY 2023-24 at 21.3 million metric tons, down from actual imports of 26.4 million metric tons in the previous year.
Exports dip 10%

The EU exported 286,549 metric tons of corn so far in MY 2023-24, down 10% year on year, according to EU Crop Observatory data.
The top export destinations were the UK (120,047 metric tons) and South Korea (49,636 metric tons).
Sinitsyna estimated EU corn exports for MY 2023-24 at 4 million metric tons, up from realized exports of 3.7 million metric tons in MY 2022-23.

Platts, part of S&P Global, assessed corn FOB CVB basis Constanta price at $221 per metric ton Sept. 26, up $1/t on the day

Sep 28 - EU soybean oil purchases nearly double on year (IHSmarkit)

- Brazil's share of soybean meal imports at 68%
- EU sunflower oil purchases increase 42%
- Spain leading soybean oil buyer in bloc

The EU’s soybean oil imports in marketing year 2023-24 (July-June) soared to 187,681 metric tons as of Sept. 24, up from 94,926 metric tons during the same week a year earlier, European Commission data showed Sept. 26.

The bloc's sunflower oil purchases increased 42% to 553,306 metric tons over the same period. According to market sources, the surge in soybean and sunflower oil purchases by the bloc was led primarily by a slump in the supply of palm as the EU tries to phase out purchase of the commodity over environmental concerns.

The region’s rapeseed oil purchases remained largely unchanged on the year at 120,954 metric tons. Palm oil imports declined by 9% to 821,115 metric tons, the data showed.

The EU’s soybean purchases increased slightly on the year to 2.69 million metric tons as of Sept. 24 in MY 2023-24 (July-June), while soybean meal imports declined by 2% to 3.512 million metric tons.

Spain replaced Poland as the largest soybean oil buyer in the bloc in the most recent reporting week, while the Netherlands emerged as the leading buyer of raw soybean and meal derivatives, the data showed.

The share of Brazilian-origin products in the EU’s raw soybean imports stood at 53.7%, while its contribution of soybean meal stood at 68.8% in the most recent reporting week.

The EU is the world’s top soybean meal importer and the second-biggest buyer of soybeans.

Sep 28 - Ukrainian corn competes into China, amid talk of 15 vessels fixed (AgriCensus)

- The potential reopening of Ukraine's deep water ports has galvanized export indications for the country to the point where price levels look competitive enough to supply corn into the key global importer of China, in a move that will give further creedence to reports of ships already being fixed.  Rumors appeared late last week that around 12 and potentially as many as 15 vessels have been fixed to be loaded from Ukrainian Black Sea ports into China, and the first physical offers appearing in the market for delivery into the country look competitive, according to trade sources.

- The move comes after the collapse of the Black Sea grain initiative earlier this year, when Russia pulled out of a four-way agreement with Turkey, the United Nations and Ukraine. Since then, Ukrainian authorities have been testing the resolve of the Russian military, who issued a warning to all civilian shipping in the Black Sea heading to Ukrainian waters after the grain deal's collapse, but a series of arrivals and departures from the key deep water ports has raised hopes that a resumption of exports is possible.

- Even though there were wide spread reports around the number of bulk vessels booked from Ukraine for October-November shipment, it proved impossible to confirm, although trade sources warned that - even if true - not all cargoes would be grain shipments. Currently any cargoes can be shipped from Ukraine, and currently a vessel with a summer deadweight of around 75,000 mt is currently loading iron ore most likely bound for China. Nonetheless, the offers that have started to circulate in the market for Ukraine-originated corn for delivery into China look competitive compared to other origins - and that means it is possible that some volume has been traded.

- Current offers were seen at $275-280/mt CFR China on Wednesday, with buying ideas heard at $260/mt CFR and possibly rising to $265/mt CFR, all for October shipment.

- However, it is expected that as more vessels head to Ukraine, freight rates would likely continue to drop, making the origin look more attractive. Since the first vessels entered Ukraine's deep sea ports of Pivdennyi, Odesa and Chornomorsk two weeks ago, freight ideas for Chinese destinations have already dropped by around $10/mt.

- That compares to offers seen from Brazil for December shipment at around $232/mt FOB Santos and freight seen at $43.50/mt, making the CFR level at around $275.50/mt.

- Meanwhile, US-origin corn is currently offered at around $235/mt FOB USG which with the freight idea at around $58/mt which might push the CFR levels to $293/mt. Both North and South American exporters have domestic issues that are likely to leave little space for either to ramp up exports, with the US facing significant issues with the Mississippi, and Brazil facing a shortage of farmer selling that is starving supply to the primary export hubs. China is the world's biggest corn importer, with the USDA’s projection for imports in the 2023/24 marketing year at 23 million mt, and used to buy up to 30% of its corn supply from Ukraine. China was also the main destination of Ukrainian corn exports in 2022/23, as the grain corridor deal enabled the supply of 5.55 million mt of corn, but since the end of thedeal, China has been forced to switch to other suppliers.

That has led to reports of large volumes of Brazilian corn rumored to have traded. Brazil supplied 902,111 mt of corn into China in July 2023 and 2.3 million mt in August, making it the main destination for its corn exports so far

Sep 28 - Ukraine grain corridor should not replace broader deal - UN trade chief
Ukraine's move to create a shipping channel for grain exports is a positive step for global food security, although efforts continue to reach a new agreement over a broader Black Sea corridor, the top U.N. trade official said on Wednesday. Russia in July quit a U.N.-backed deal which had enabled exports from Ukraine to sail from three approved ports. 

Sep 28 - US top sugar state Louisiana begins harvest expecting losses
Louisiana, the state that produced the largest amount of sugar in the United States last season, kicked off the harvest of the new crop expecting losses as drier-than-normal weather in the second half of this year hurt sugarcane development. The Alma Mill in Lakeland, southeastern Louisiana, started operations Wednesday, and other mills in the state are expected to follow through next week, said Kenneth Gravois, sugarcane specialist at the Louisiana State University.

Sep 27 - EU 2023-24 wheat exports fall 27% y/y (IHSmarkit)

- Romania, Poland, France top EU wheat suppliers in 2023-24
- EU wheat imports jump 106% on year to 2.5 million metric tons
- Ukraine and Canada main wheat suppliers to the EU

EU wheat exports in marketing year 2023-24 (July-June) reached 7.1 million metric tons as of Sept. 24, down 27.1% from the same period a year ago, EU Crop Observatory data showed Sept. 26.

The biggest exporter was Romania with 1.8 million metric tons, followed by Poland 1.4 million metric tons and France 1.3 million metric tons.
Top importer of EU-origin wheat were Morocco with 1.3 million metric tons, followed by Nigeria 725,519 metric tons and Algeria 471,841 metric tons.
In MY 2022-23, the EU exported a total 32.98 million metric tons of wheat.

The European Commission’s Directorate-General for Agriculture and Rural Development on Aug. 24 pegged total wheat output in MY 2023-24 at 134.3 million metric tons, down from 134.7 million metric tons forecast in the previous month. The EU harvested 133.9 million metric tons in MY 2022-23.
The EU Joint Research Centre’s Monitoring Agricultural Resources unit, or MARS, lowered its soft wheat yield forecast to 5.78 metric tons per ha in August, from 5.80 t/ha in July.

According to Victoria Sinitsyna, senior grains analyst with S&P Global Commodity Insights, the EU's wheat output in MY 2023-24 has been estimated at 135.2 million metric tons, up from 134.7 million metric tons in MY 2022-23. Sinitsyna forecast wheat exports for MY 2023-24 at 33 million metric tons, up from actual exports of 32.98 million metric tons the previous year.
Imports surge

The EU imported 2.5 million metric tons of wheat so far in MY 2023-24, jumping 106.4% from the previous marketing year. Imports so far in the current marketing year have come mainly from Ukraine and Canada, while Spain and Italy remained the biggest importers of wheat in the region, EU Crop Observatory data showed.

Sinitsyna forecast EU wheat imports for MY 2023-24 at 6 million metric tons, down from realized imports of 11.4 million metric tons in MY 2022-23.

The pace of imports may be sluggish over the next few weeks despite the European Commission removing restrictions on imports of Ukrainian agricultural products, including wheat, as Poland, Hungary, and Slovakia have retained their unilateral regulations.

Platts, part of S&P Global, assessed EU CPT 11% protein wheat from France at $250.25 per metric ton on Sept. 26, up 25 cents/t on the day. Platts assessed EU wheat with 11.5% protein from Romania FOB at $243/t on Sept. 26, unchanged day on day.

Sep 27 - Brazil sugar output up 8.5% in early September, says UNICA
Brazil's center-south sugar production rose 8.54% in the first half of September when compared with a year earlier, totaling 3.12 million metric tons, data from industry group UNICA showed on Tuesday. UNICA said in a report that 41.76 million tons of sugarcane were crushed in the period, up 5.35% from a year ago. 

Sep 27 - East European countries want more EU checks on Ukraine grain corridors
Countries from the EU's eastern wing on Tuesday called on the European Commission to boost checks on solidarity lanes for Ukrainian grains and introduce a deposit system for exports. Ukraine has been in dispute with neighbouring allies over restrictions on its grain, which it has been forced to send overland since Russia's invasion last year.

Sep 26 - Soy dollar likely to meet expectations, domestic sales at 3.6m mt (AgriCensus)

- From the beginning of Argentina's fourth soy dollar scheme on September 5 to September 25, producers traded 3.6 million mt of soybeans in the domestic market, data from the Rosario Grain Exchange (BCR) showed on Tuesday. New trades amounted to 2.4 million mt, while price fixation for contracts made before the program amounted to 1.2 million mt. The goal of 4.5 million mt of soybean trade is likely to be achieved, as it would require only 1.2 million mt to be traded by the end of this week, considering the 265,000 mt average daily trade since it started, analyst Javier Preciado Patiño said.

- The amount is compatible with the $2.5 million dollar income targetted by the government, Patiño added.  The program is valid until next Saturday, September 30, and unlike the previous version, it is unlikely it will be extended.
"It's logical that it won't be extended because the objective was to collect dollars before the elections and that objective has been achieved; besides, there isn't much soybean left," Patiño told Agricensus.

- The country’s presidential elections will take place in October amid a shortage of dollar inflows and Economy Minister Sérgio Massa is running for office. The fourth soy dollar scheme started on September 5 and stipulates that crushers can freely use 25% of their export proceeds in foreign exchange while the remaining 75% would be exchanged at the official rate of 350 pesos per dollar.
- During the first soy dollar scheme implemented in September 2022, sales amounted to 13.2 million mt, while in the second soy dollar scheme in December 2022, they reached 5.3 million mt.
- During the third soy or agri dollar scheme, which ran from April to June this year, sales totaled 8.4 million mt.

- From September 5 to 25, soybean export license applications (DJVEs) amounted to 729,355 mt while soyoil exports reached 7,744 mt and soymeal 1,350 mt, also according to BCR. That means 99.7% of the DJVE is for soybeans and only 0.3% for soymeal and oil, the exchange said.

With low crush margins, most exports within the program were of soybeans, while the program aimed to boost crushing as the industry is currently operating with a high rate of idle capacity.

Since the beginning of the calendar year, 42% of the crushed soybean in Argentina was imported. Soybean imports reached 8.17 million mt from January to August, with 52% coming from Paraguay and 44% from Brazil, according to Patiño.

Sep 26 - US corn harvest 15% complete, soy 12%; soy ratings fall -USDA
The U.S. corn harvest was 15% complete by Sunday and the soybean harvest 12% finished, government data showed on Monday, both slightly ahead of five-year averages, while soybean condition ratings fell to their lowest since 2013 as dry conditions persisted in much of the Midwest. The soy ratings add to concerns over production prospects after the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) on Sept. 12 forecast U.S. soybean production would fall to a four-year low of 4.146 billion bushels this year.  

Sep 26 - Ivory Coast cocoa farmers hope for sunny spells in October
A sunny spell would be needed next month to strengthen the October-to-March main crop and help fight the fungal black pod disease, farmers from Ivory Coast's main cocoa growing regions said on Monday. Rains were below average last week but soil moisture content was enough to help with the growth of the main crop, farmers said.

Sep 25 - Brazil's corn sectors faces strain as margin woes challenge top export spot (AgriCensus + Conab)

The view that Brazil would eventually overtake the US as the world’s biggest corn exporter has long been an accepted fact – a sign of the growing power of the South American country and its prodigious agricultural potential.

But unleashing millions of tonnes of corn and soybeans into global markets comes with stresses and strains and means that – even backed by such export firepower – the country’s producers and exporters face challenges even as Brazil consolidates its place in the spotlight.

Poor net corn margins are the latest reward for Brazil’s industrious farmers, where the returns for their expansive production have been besieged by high input costs, poor demand outlooks and ongoing sparring with still potent US export capacity.

The Brazilian food supply agency, Conab, has already warned that the poor returns are likely to result in a smaller planted area next year, and that could have consequences for the contested position as the world’s number one exporter.

Sep 25 - China to hold first reserve sugar sale in seven years amid supply squeeze
China will hold an auction of its first sale of state sugar reserves since 2016 next week amid tightening supply and rocketing prices of the sweetener. The state reserve's management body in a notice on Friday said it would auction 126,700 metric tons of sugar on Sept. 27 to ensure the stability of domestic sugar supply and prices. 

Sep 25 - EU's bid to save bees stings sugar beet farmers
Europe's sugar beet growers are turning away from the crop in a move that could drive soaring prices even higher, as the EU's environmental rules clash with its bid to stem food inflation and secure supplies. Farmers are switching crops after the European Union's top court ruled in January they can no longer be granted exemptions to a ban on so-called neonics - insecticides which protect against diseases like virus yellows in sugar beet but are toxic to bees and other pollinators vital to food production.

Sep 22 - Three more commercial vessels bound for Ukraine's Black Sea ports (AgriCensus)

- Another three commercial vessels are approaching Ukraine's Black Sea ports to be loaded with agricultural products and iron ore, according to the Minister of Community Development, Territories and Infrastructure of Ukraine, Oleksandr Kubrakov. Oleksandr Kubrakov published a note on Friday saying that three bulk vessels are heading towards Chornomorsk and Pivdennyi ports using the so-called temporary corridor for civilian vessels created at the initiative of the Ukrainian authorities.

After loading more than 127,000 mt of agricultural products and iron ore, the vessels will be heading to China, Egypt and Spain, the note said. The first two vessels to use the temporary corridor established by the Ukrainian Armed Forces Navy, Resilient Africa and Aroyat, were successfully loaded in Chornomorsk port and dispatched earlier this week. Those vessels are carrying more than 20,000 mt of grains. The Resilient Africa has already safely passed the Bosporus Strait.

- However, for now, the increase in vessel movements has not led to a revival in trade on a CPT basis in Ukraine or on the acceptance of new product shipments in Pivdennyi, Odesa or Chornomorsk (POC) ports.
All the vessels have been loaded with products already available at the terminals, according to trade sources.

Sep 22 - Egypt’s GASC picks up 63k mt of sunoil at $880/mt (AgriCensus)

- Egypt’s state-backed importing agency, General Authority for Supply Commodities (GASC) is thought to have picked up over 60,000 mt of sunflower oil after concluding a tender, trade sources have told Agricensus Thursday. The agency was thought to have booked five cargoes of sunflower oil with all sold at a price at sight of $880/mt.

Each cargo was sold by a different trade company, with TOI Commodities selling 12,000 mt, InterGrain SA supplying another 18,000 mt, and Green Suppliers selling 12,000 mt.

Alongside that, Aston Agro Industrial sold 11,000 mt with the final volume coming from Bulgaria-based Oliva AD with another 10,000 mt.

The cargoes are expected to arrive between December 15-31, according to the sources. Initially, GASC had tendered on September 18 for soybean oil and sunflower oil, inviting offers for both international and local supply.

Sep 22 - IGC raises corn crop forecast, wheat outlook trimmed
The International Grains Council (IGC) on Thursday raised its forecast for 2023/24 global corn production, boosted by an improved outlook for Ukraine's crop. The inter-governmental body, in a monthly update, raised its 2023/24 global corn crop forecast by 1 million metric tons to 1.222 billion tons, with Ukraine's output seen at 28 million tons, up from a previous projection of 27 million.

Sep 22 - South Korean mills buy 94,400 T of US wheat
- traders
A group of South Korean flour mills bought an estimated 94,400 metric tons of milling wheat to be sourced from the United States in an international tender on Thursday, European traders said. The purchase involved several different wheat types and was all bought on an FOB basis in two consignments.

Sep 21 - Australia faces further wheat crop losses as September heat dents yields
Australia's wheat production is likely to decline further as hot and dry weather in September, a crucial month for crop development, curbs yields, threatening to tighten global supplies. Analysts have cut their forecasts for Australia's wheat harvest by at least a million metric tons from the official forecast made earlier this month and said more crop losses were likely if the dryness continued.

Sep 21 - Heat wave at end of Brazil's winter raises concerns for coffee crop

A strong heat wave moving over most of Brazil this week, amid the last days of winter in the Southern Hemisphere, is raising concerns among farmers and agronomists about the health of the coffee fields in the world's largest producer and exporter. Forecasters expect temperatures above 40 Celsius (104 Fahrenheit) in many coffee producing regions in Brazil this week, with no rains seen until at least the end of the month.

Sep 21 - Algeria bought total of around 600,000 T wheat in tender - traders
Algeria’s state grains agency OAIC has purchased a total of around 600,000 metric tons of milling wheat in an international tender which closed on Tuesday, European traders said on Wednesday. Purchases on Wednesday were reported at between $274 and $275 a ton cost and freight (c&f) included, with the main weight on Wednesday’s purchases seen at $275 a ton, traders said.

Sep 21 - South Korean mills buy 50,000 T wheat from Australia
A group of South Korean flour mills bought an estimated 50,000 metric tons of milling wheat to be sourced from Australia in an international tender on Wednesday, European traders said. The purchase involved several wheat grades for shipment between Dec. 16 and Dec. 31.

Sep 21 - Ukrainian sunflowers will not be supplied to Bulgaria's market, despite crushers' pleas (AgriCensus)

- Bulgaria's government has held lengthy negotiations with the country's farmers over proposed imports of Ukrainian sunflower seeds as the country attempts to plug a potential gap in supply, trade sources have told Agricensus Wednesday.  The talks are understood to have concluded late Tuesday with a decision to block any imports amid strike action from Bulgarian farmers - and against a backdrop of wider discontent over the impact of cross-border trade in the region.
“Difficult negotiations between farmers and the government took place last night,” one Bulgaria-based broker told Agricensus, Wednesday.
“Our prime minister stated that there will be no import of sunflower seeds from Ukraine, especially until some kind of quarterly or licensing system is established between Bulgaria and Ukraine,” the broker added.

- That comes despite the fact that Bulgaria needs Ukrainian sunflowers after hot, dry conditions pared back the country's production prospects and left the country's crushers repeatedly calling for help to secure supply.  However, the government caved in to the farmers amid an ongoing disagreement over the impact that imports of Ukrainian agricultural commodities - displaced by Russia's invasion of Ukraine - have had on neighbouring EU markets.
“Bulgaria needs the seeds, but the farmers are in a strong position to bargain - they have money and political influence on a local level and we have local elections in a month,” a trader based in Bulgaria said.

- That comes against the backdrop of the fact that EU countries, and Bulgaria in particular, expect a reduction in the sunflower harvest due to the hot summer conditions. According to September estimates of the sunflower harvest by local Bulgarian companies, Bulgaria in the 2022/23 season will harvest a sunflower crop of 1.7-1.8 million mt, and in Romania around 2.3 million mt, which is lower than August expectations by 17% and 11 .5% respectively. At the same time, contracts that were concluded for the supply of sunflower seeds to Bulgaria are frozen at this stage and are awaiting a final decision from the Bulgarian government.

- A week earlier, on September 14, the Bulgarian government voted to lift the temporary ban on the import of Ukrainian grains and oilseeds from September 15, and this decision had to be approved by the European Commission. After Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine and the blockade of Ukrainian ports, which made exporting sunflower oil by sea impossible, Ukrainian farmers were forced to sell sunflowers for export. According to the Ministry of Agrarian Policy, in the 2021/22 and 2022/23 seasons, Ukraine exported 1.63 million mt and almost 1.9 million mt of sunflower, respectively. In the first half of the 2022/23 season, before the introduction of a temporary ban on imports from five EU countries bordering Ukraine, 79% of the total volume of Ukrainian sunflower exports for the season, or 1.5 million mt, went to EU countries. According to the Ministry of Agrarian Policy of Ukraine, supplies of Ukrainian sunflower to Bulgaria in the 2022/23 season amounted to 493,027 mt, which is 33% of the total volume of Ukrainian sunflower exports to EU countries.

Sep 20 - Kyiv acts on 'compromise' plan after filing WTO trade complaint over food ban
Ukraine appealed to three neighbouring countries in the European Union on Tuesday to embark on "constructive dialogue" to end a dispute over agricultural trade, and approved what it called a "compromise scenario." Poland, Slovakia and Hungary announced restrictions on imports from Ukraine on Friday after the European Commission decided not to extend a ban on sales into Ukraine's five EU neighbours, which also include Romania and Bulgaria.

Sep 20 - Brazil's 2023/2024 grain production to shrink slightly
- Conab
Brazil's overall grain production in the 2023/2024 cycle is set to shrink 1% compared with the previous season, totaling 319.5 million metric tons, the food supply and statistics agency Conab predicted on Tuesday. The lower forecast was driven by an expected 9.1% drop in Brazil's total corn crop, to 119.8 million tons, fueled by a predicted 4.8% drop in harvest area to 21.2 million hectares, Conab said in its first forecast for the 2023/2024 cycle.

Sep 20 - South Korea’s MFG bought some 68,000 T corn in private deal
- traders
South Korea's Major Feedmill Group (MFG) purchased an estimated 68,000 metric tons of animal feed corn expected to be sourced from South America or South Africa in a private deal on Tuesday without issuing an international tender, European traders said. It was bought at a premium estimated at 185 U.S. cents a bushel c&f over the Chicago March 2024 corn contract.

Sep 20 - Algeria bought about 30,000 metric tons feed barley last week - traders
Algerian state agency OAIC is believed to have purchased about 30,000 metric tons of animal feed barley to be sourced from optional origins in a tender which closed on Thursday, European traders said on Tuesday. No purchase was reported of 80,000 tons of corn from Argentina also sought in the tender, traders said.

Sep 19 - US corn harvest 9% complete, soy 5%; ratings lowest in a decade - USDA
The U.S. corn harvest was 9% complete by Sunday and the soybean harvest 5% complete, government data showed on Monday, both ahead of five-year averages, however crop condition ratings hovered at their lowest in a decade, reflecting dry conditions in much of the Midwest. Market players have been waiting to learn more about the crops since the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) on Sept. 12 forecast that U.S. soybean production would fall to a four-year low of 4.146 billion bushels this year.

Sep 19 - Extreme Brazil heat in last week of winter a risk to soybean planting

A large part of Brazil is expected to suffer from extreme heat this week, with meteorologists warning of temperatures above 40 degrees Celsius (104°F), which could hamper the country's soybean planting. Atmospheric conditions will prevent the arrival of cold fronts in most of the country over the next few days, prompting a long sequence of sunny days with heat well above the normal levels for the last week of winter in the Southern Hemisphere, said independent weather forecaster Climatempo.

Sep 19 - Farm trade dispute creates rift between Ukraine and its allies
A dispute over agricultural trade created a rift on Monday between Ukraine and some of its strongest allies in the European Union after three member states imposed unilateral measures to restrict imports from the war-torn country. Poland, Slovakia and Hungary announced restrictions on imports on Friday after the European Commission decided not to extend a ban on sales into Ukraine's five EU neighbours, which also include Romania and Bulgaria.

Sep 19 - Cargo vessel leaves Ukraine's Chornomorsk after loading grain
- industry source
One cargo vessel carrying grain has left the Ukrainian Black Sea port of Chornomorsk for the first time since a grain deal collapsed, an industry source told Reuters on Tuesday, in a test of Ukraine's ability to unblock its seaports for grain export. Ukraine last month announced a "humanitarian corridor" in the Black Sea to release ships trapped in its ports since the start of war in February 2022 and to circumvent a de facto blockade after Russia abandoned a deal to let Kyiv export grain.

Sep 18 - Malaysia says China to increase imports of Malaysian palm oil - report
China will increase its imports of Malaysian palm oil by 250,000 metric tons a year, state news agency Bernama reported on Sunday, citing Malaysian Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim. Anwar's announcement was made after he witnessed the signing of a memorandum of understanding between Malaysian palm oil firm Sime Darby Oils International Ltd and China's Guangxi Beibu Gulf International Port Group, Bernama said.

Sep 18 - Soaring rice prices sow hope - and trouble - for indebted Thai farmers
Thailand's centuries-old rice cultivation system is under severe stress from climate change, unsustainable farm debts and a lack of innovation, according to interviews with two experts and a review of government data. These pressures on the sector, reported in detail for the first time by Reuters, are squeezing debt-laden Thai farmers despite tens of billions of dollars in subsidies over the past decade.

Sep 18 - Two ships headed to Ukraine's Black Sea ports to load grain - official
Two cargo vessels were headed to Ukrainian ports on Saturday, the first to use a temporary corridor to sail into Black Sea ports and load grain for African and Asian markets, a senior Ukrainian government official told Reuters. Last month Ukraine 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 circumvent a de facto blockade after Russia abandoned a deal to let Kyiv export grain.

Sep 18 - Poland, Hungary, Slovakia to introduce own bans on Ukraine grains

Poland, Slovakia and Hungary announced their own restrictions on Ukrainian grain imports on Friday after the European Commission decided not to extend its ban on imports into Ukraine's five EU neighbours.Ukraine was one of the world's top grain exporters before Russia's 2022 invasion reduced its ability to ship agricultural produce to global markets. Ukrainian farmers have relied on grain exports through neighbouring countries since the conflict began as it has been unable to use the favoured routes through Black Sea ports.

Sep 16 - EU export ban to lapse as Ukraine agrees to ‘avoid grain import surge’ (AgriCensus)

- A statement from the European Commission has confirmed that the bloc will allow the current restrictive measures imposed on Ukrainian grain exports to expire after the country agreed to introduce legal measures to monitor the pace of imports to the European Union. A press release hailed the “constructive attitude of all participants” with the decision coming after the bloc’s executive body stating that it had analysed data relating to four key categories of agricultural exports – corn, wheat, rapeseed, and sunflower.

- The embargo was introduced following complaints from five neighbouring EU member states that complained that the flow of Ukrainian exports into their markets had depressed prices. Spearheaded by agricultural powerhouses of Poland, Bulgaria and Romania, the quintet were completed by Hungary and Slovakia who successfully lobbied the bloc’s governing bodies into imposing a ban on May 2. Initially the exceptional and temporary measures were expected to last through to June 5 but were subsequently extended to September 15 amid ongoing complaints from bordering states.

- However, the press statement agreed that the work of the Coordination Platform and the imposition of the temporary measures “the market distortions” had been addressed and that cross-border flows were now successfully operating, and volumes increasing. Under the terms of the agreement, Ukraine has undertaken to introduce unspecified legal measures within 30 days to avoid a surge in grain imports to neighbouring states. Ukrainian authorities have until September 18 to put a proposed action plan to the Coordination Platform – an agency that brings together high-level officials from Ukraine, the European Union and members of the G7 economies.

- The EC and Ukraine will continue to monitor the performance for any “unforeseen situations” and no further restrictions will be imposed until as long as the measures introduced by Ukraine are deemed to be working. The export of Ukrainian product through EU-established ‘solidarity lanes’ has provided a vital outlet for the country’s grain and oilseed supplies in the face of Russian aggression in the Black Sea.

- The blockade of the country’s deep water ports and the assault by Russian forces since the invasion began in February 2022 have curtailed free flowing exports from the country, although the UN and Turkey brokered grain export initiative re-opened three major Ukrainian ports. However, the agreement lapsed in July when Russia refused to agree to an extension. That has brought even greater pressure on Ukraine’s other export options, with the country reliant upon a slim export channel in the deep south of the country, along the Danube, and then cross-border exports into the EU. But that option has brought controversy as farmers and agricultural lobby groups from the five bordering nations accused the influx of grain and oilseed exports of weighing on domestic prices.

- Initially, the EU sought to calm the situation by trying to ensure that the cross-border flows headed on to European export ports without hurting domestic markets, but ultimately was forced to introduce restrictions earlier in the year.

Sep 15 - Strategie Grains cuts EU soft wheat export forecast
Consultancy Strategie Grains has made a sharp cut to its forecast for European Union soft wheat exports, citing a sluggish start to the season because wheat from EU origins is proving uncompetitive against Russian wheat. In its monthly report, the consultancy said it now expects EU soft wheat exports to reach 30.1 million metric tons this season, down 700,000 tons from its August forecast and well below 2022/23 exports revised upwards to 32.3 million tons. 

Sep 15 - India tightens wheat stocks limits, no plan to axe import tax
India will reduce the limit on the amount of wheat stocks that traders and millers can hold but it has no immediate plans to abolish the import duty on the grain, a top government official said, indicating sufficient local supplies. Traders, wholesalers and big retailers will be allowed to hold only 2,000 tons of wheat against 3,000 tons allowed earlier, said Sanjeev Chopra, the most senior civil servant at the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution.

Sep 14 - EU states disagree over extension of temporary ban on Ukraine imports (AgriCensus)

- Five European member states that instigated a temporary measure to block imports of agricultural products back in May appear to disagree on whether the move should be extended beyond the current deadline of September 15. Bulgaria is now insisting the measure should be lifted as the local market faces a shortage of sunflower supply to crushers, while Poland, Hungary, and Slovakia are still taking a strong position on extending the temporary ban, possibly until the end of the year, and Romania is hesitating in making a decision, local media and market sources have said.

- On Monday, September 11, three Bulgarian parties of the ruling coalition – GERP, PP, and DPS – radically changed their decision regarding the measure to prevent imports and submitted to parliament a draft decision to lift it, which, if passed would oblige the government to start allowing imports of Ukrainian agricultural products again.

- In May, the European Commission agreed to allow a temporary restriction on imports of wheat, corn, rapeseed, and sunflower into Bulgaria, Hungary, Poland, Romania, and Slovakia until September 15, while maintaining transit through these countries, after farmers protested the increase in imports since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022 had put pressure on their local markets. Whether Bulgaria’s decision will apply all four commodities or just sunflower seeds, which has caused the most controversy, remains to be seen. However, market participants assume that if the ban is lifted it will apply to all goods, as sunflower imports are of fundamental importance for Bulgaria, and grain imports are not so big an issue for farmers.
“[We are] still waiting to see it officially but I think it will be for all grains and sunflower seeds,” a broker based in Bulgaria told Agricensus.
“I think that [it will be for] all products but still need to clarify it,” another market source said.
“Usually, we import very little corn or wheat, so I suggest this is not an obstacle for local farmers/traders.”

- Poland's position remains firm and unequivocal, meanwhile, that the measures should be extended, as evidenced by statements from Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki this week.
“Poland will not open its borders to Ukrainian grain, regardless of the decision of the European Commission,” Morawiecki wrote on his Twitter page.
“Poland will not allow us to be flooded with Ukrainian grain. No matter what the decision of Brussels officials, we will not open our borders.”

- According to Bulgarian and Romanian sources, Romanian farmers and the government are also in active discussions, with the possibility of the ban being lifted.
“Farmers are against lifting the ban; the government offers support for Ukraine flows, transit of 4 million my per month,” said Cezar Gheorghe, founder of AGRI Column.
“Romania will respect in full the European Commission decision, as we did in the past when other countries took unilateral decisions to stop transit and imports from Ukraine,” he added.

- Meanwhile, since rumors the ban might be lifted emerged, Bulgarian buyers have began to take an active interest in Ukrainian sunflower, prices for which have been falling. To date, according to Agricensus monitoring data, prices have decreased by on average $15-20/mt compared with last week. Sellers' levels fell to on average $400-405/mt CIF Ruse, Selistra against buyers’ ideas at $395/mt on the same basis, while a trade of Ukrainian sunflower at $382/mt DAP Bulgaria was heard with delivery in September.

- According to the Ministry of Agrarian Policy, Ukraine exported almost 1.9 million mt of sunflower in the 2022/23 season, of which 1.5 million mt went to EU countries, mostly in the first half of the season before the temporary import ban was introduced. Deliveries of Ukrainian sunflower to Bulgaria in the 2022/23 season amounted to 493,027 mt, according to the ministry, which represents 33% of the total volume of Ukrainian sunflower exports to EU countries. Ukrainian exports of rapeseed to EU countries in the 2022/23 season amounted to 3.4 million mt, of which 3 million mt went to EU countries, according to the ministry.

Sep 14 - Argentina's Rosario exchange trims 2023/24 wheat harvest forecast
Argentina's Rosario grains exchange on Wednesday trimmed its forecast for the 2023/2024 wheat harvest to 15 million metric tons, down from 15.6 million tons previously estimated, as some of the country's agricultural areas strain under dry conditions. Argentina is a key global wheat exporter, and farmers are trying to recover from a disappointing 2022/23 season, a historic drought cut the harvest by 50% year-on-year to 11.5 million tons. 

Sep 14 - Tight global wheat story is stuck on repeat, supporting market bears -Braun
Chicago wheat futures this week hit their lowest levels in almost three years, yet relative to demand, exportable global wheat supplies are expected to approach historic minimums by mid-2024. In theory, that news should limit further slippage in world wheat prices, but there is one problem: this is a recurring story that has yet to become reality.

Sep 13 - China raises import estimates for 22/23 soybeans, corn (CASDE)

- China’s agriculture outlook committee has raised its estimates for the country’s imports of corn and soybeans for the 2022/23 marketing year, while also increasing its forecast for soybean imports for the 2023/24 marketing year, according to the monthly update of its China Agriculture Supply and Demand Estimates (Casde) published on Tuesday. China’s 2023/24 marketing year runs from October to September the following year for corn, soybeans and vegetable oils.

- The committee’s estimates for the output of soybeans remain unchanged from last month for both 2022/23 and 2023/24, with production estimated at 20.29 million mt and 21.46 million mt, respectively.
- But it raised the estimates for imports of both 2022/23 and 2023/24 to 99.86 million mt and 97.25 million mt, respectively.
- In August, the previous month, the estimates for 2022/23 and 2023/24 stood at 95.2 million mt and 94.22 million mt.
- The expected increase in 2023/24 soybean imports is mainly due to a high demand for feed protein raw materials from China’s livestock and poultry industry, according to Casde analysts.
- Despite the estimated growth in imports, the analysts say due to disruptive factors such as high temperatures during the critical growth period of the new season of US soybeans, global soybean prices have remained relatively high.

This, coupled with a decline in the exchange rate of the CNY against the US dollar, has pushed up the costs for soybean imports, they say.
- The estimates for soybean consumption have also been raised for both 2022/23 and 2023/24 to 115.07 million mt and 116.92 million mt, respectively, partly due to an increase in crushed soybean consumption thanks to China’s gradually improving live hog breeding profits that will support demand for soymeal, according to the analysts. In August, the 2022/23 and 2023/24 consumption levels were 112.87 million mt and 114.14 million mt, respectively.

- Estimates for corn production for 2022/23 remain unchanged from August at 277.2 million mt, while they have increased by 2.6 million mt to 284.94 million mt for 2023/24.
- The largely favorable weather conditions in China’s northeastern and northern regions in August, including heavy rains brought by typhoons, had boosted corn growth, while the expected late first frost in the northeastern region will also help with the ripening of the crop, according to Casde analysts.
- Corn imports for 2022/23 meanwhile are estimated to increase by 500,000 mt to 18.5 million mt, while the estimate for 2023/24 imports remains unchanged at 17.5 million mt from last month.
- Lastly, corn consumption is estimated to be unchanged for 2022/23 to remain at 290.51 million mt, while the 2023/24 consumption is forecast to increase by 2 million mt to reach 295 million mt for 2023/24, mainly due to an estimated increase in feed consumption.

Edible vegetable oils
- The estimates for vegoil production have increased for both 2022/23 and 2023/24 to reach 30.5 million mt and 30.25 million mt, respectively, compared with 30.09 million mt and 29.7 million mt for the two periods in August.
- The increases in its production are mainly because of the rise in estimated soybean imports, which could boost soybean oil output, according to Casde analysts.
- In addition, the stable harvesting of new season peanuts in China’s main peanut-producing areas including Henan and Shandong provinces and Inner Mongolia, coupled with better light temperature and normal precipitation in those areas, will be conducive to peanut harvesting and drying, they say.
- The estimates for imports of vegoil, meanwhile, remain unchanged for 2022/23 and 2023/24 at 8.63 million mt and 8.43 million mt, respectively.
- Estimates for vegoil consumption also remain unchanged for both periods to stand at 36.32 million mt and 36.61 million mt, separately.

Sep 13 - Hot, dry weather cuts into US soy harvest; corn production raised
The U.S. government cut its forecast for the soybean crop on Tuesday after hot and dry conditions during key growth stages but raised the corn harvest view due to expectations for large acreage harvested despite adverse weather this summer. The cut to the soybean harvest outlook will help push domestic supplies to their lowest in eight years even as surging demand for biofuel boosts the amount of soybeans required by the crush industry.  

Sep 13 - Brazil's soy exports to reach nearly 100 million tons in 2023
Brazil's soybean exports should reach 99 million metric tons in 2023, up by 500,000 from a month ago, oilseed group Abiove said on Tuesday, as the country counts on solid demand from China and a record harvest this year. Abiove's estimate for soybean output from the world's largest producer and exporter of the oilseed was raised by 300,000 tons to a record 157.3 million tons.

Sep 12 - Argentina's domestic soybean sales soar after federal currency boost
Soybean sales in Argentina totaled almost one million metric tons in the last seven days, the Buenos Aires grains exchange said on Monday, as farmers take advantage of a federal price-boosting initiative. The figure is well above the nearly 240,000 tons of soybeans sold over the last week of August across the South American country, which is one of the world's largest exporters of processed soy oil and meal. 

Sep 12 - Russian wheat export prices dip, deal reported below AgMin "floor"
Russian wheat export prices inched lower last week, tracking global benchmarks, as analysts continue to raise crop and export forecasts for this season. The price of 12.5%-protein Russian wheat scheduled for free-on-board delivery in October was $240 per metric ton last week, down from $245 a ton week earlier, the IKAR agriculture consultancy reported.

Sep 11 - Russia to return to grain deal once all Moscow's conditions met, Lavrov says
Russia will return to the Black Sea grain deal 'the same day' as Moscow's conditions for export of its own grain and fertilisers to the global markets are met, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told reporters on Sunday. Russia quit the deal in July, a year after it was brokered by the United Nations and Turkey, complaining that its own food and fertiliser exports faced obstacles and that insufficient Ukrainian grain was going to countries in need. 

Sep 11 - Philippine ministers propose cut in rice tariffs to curb retail prices
The Philippines' finance ministry has recommended a series of measures, including a cut in tariffs on imported rice, to curb surging retail prices that are fuelling inflation, its secretary said. The ministries of finance and economic planning are proposing a reduction in the 35% rice import tariff rates to between zero and 10%, Finance Secretary Benjamin Diokno told reporters.

Sep 08 - Australia 2023/24 wheat forecast down 36% y/y ( IHSmarkit - Abares )

- Australia’s wheat forecast is down 36% y/y to 25.4 million metric tons
- Wheat exports forecasted down 40% y/y to 18.8 million metric tons
- The decrease in expected production and exports is due to unfavorable weather conditions

Australia’s wheat production for 2023/24 is forecast at 25.4 million metric tons, according to the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences (ABARES), a significant decrease in yield with dry conditions across key cropping regions.
This forecast is a 36% y/y decrease from the 2022/23 estimate of 39.7 million metric tons and 4% below the 10-year average. This drop has been primarily attributed to hot and dry conditions in Queensland, northern South Wales, and parts of Western Australia.

Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology’s latest three-month rainfall outlook showed that rainfall will be below average in cropping regions across Australia between September and November, further deteriorating crop yield prospects across the country.

ABARES’ 2023/24 wheat export forecast is also down 40% y/y, 18.7 million metric tons compared to the 2022/23 estimate of 31.5 million metric tons.

Global grains prices have fallen in the past months, with increased global supply stemming from the Black Sea Grain Initiative. However, since its expiration, global grain prices have started increasing. Furthermore, Canada and the EU – both key grain exporters - have been experiencing serious drought that have reduced crop output. This, in addition to the decrease of expected production and exports from Australia, is likely to put further upward pressure on global wheat prices.

Sep 08 - China's August soybean imports soar 31% on year ( IHSmarkit )

- Brazilian oilseeds comprise bulk of the shipments
- Platts SOYBEX FOB Santos at $553.48 per metric ton
- September imports likely to be higher on year

China imported 9.36 million metric tons of soybeans in August, up 31% on the year, customs data showed Sept. 7, signaling robust demand for the oilseed. According to the customs data, Chinese demand for soybeans has soared in 2023, with the country importing 71.65 million metric tons through August, up 18% higher on the year. Despite the Chinese government’s efforts to reduce soybeans imports by substituting with cheaper alternatives for the animal feed, it seems that protein-rich yellow oilseed will remain the core of the country’s animal feed sector, market analysts said. The world’s top soybean purchaser, China has been buying cheaper yellow oilseed from Brazil, which were very price-competitive as late as June.

However, the basis prices of Brazilian and the US-origin soybeans have converged since August, just before the beginning of harvest season in North America in September. As a result, the US soybeans have regained their price competitiveness since mid-July, which has attracted a lot of buying interests from China-based crushers, analysts said. Platts, a part of S&P Global Commodity Insights, assessed SOYBEX FOB Santos for October deliveries at $553.48 per metric ton Sept. 6 and SOYBEX FOB New Orleans at $546.10/t.

Soybean demand looking robust
- China’s soybean imports in September are likely to be higher on the year amid stable demand from animal breeders, China-based traders said.
- China typically processes over 80% of imported beans into protein-rich animal feed, catering to the country’s enormous pork sector. Hence, a rise in China’s hog population is seen as a direct boost for the country’s soybean import demand.

According to the latest data from Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs, China’s hog inventories soared 1.1% on the year to 435.17 million heads in the first half of the year.

However, China’s soybean demand in the last quarter of the year, starting in October, is forecast to slacken amid expected poor hog margins, market analysts said.

Sep 08 - UN working on guarantees for Russia to restore grain deal but Moscow skeptical
The United Nations is "actively engaged" in trying to improve Russia's grain and fertilizer exports in a bid to convince Moscow to again allow the safe Black Sea export of Ukraine grain, Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said on Thursday. "We believe that it's necessary to create a system of mutual guarantee," Guterres told reporters on the sidelines of the Association of South East Asian Nations summit in Jakarta.  

Sep 08 - Argentina 2023/24 grains crops forecast above previous season as El Nino brings rains
Argentina's grains production for 2023/24 is expected to be higher than the previous season as the El Nino weather phenomenon is expected to bring rain to the area, the Buenos Aires grains exchange said on Thursday. The country's 2023/2024 soybean crop is estimated at 50 million metric tons, the highest level of the last five yearsand up from the 21 million tons produced in the previous season.

Sep 07 - Heat, drought spur early corn harvest in US corn belt
Corn harvesting in parts of the western U.S. Midwest is starting sooner than normal after a recent stretch of hot, dry weather sped the crop to maturity, analysts and agronomists said on Wednesday. The crop's rapid finish may lower crop quality or reduce grain yields in the main growing areas because more weather-shrunken kernels are needed to fill each bushel, they said. 

Sep 07 - Brazil's Conab raises grain crop projection on bumper corn, soybean production
Brazilian farmers will reap almost 323 million metric tons of grains in the 2022/23 season, Brazil's food supply agency Conab said on Wednesday, reflecting expected rises in the production of corn and soybeans in the season that is drawing to a close. Brazil's total corn production is projected to be a record 131.8 million tons, driven by an abundant second corn crop, which farmers have nearly finished harvesting, according to the agency.

Sep 06 - More rain may delay crops in top Chinese corn, soy region - weather bureau
Heavy rain in northeastern China's Heilongjiang province this month could delay grain ripening and harvesting, the country's weather bureau said on Tuesday, after flooding in August also hurt the area's crops. Precipitation in eastern part Heilongjiang is expected to be 20% to 50% higher than normal in September, the China Meteorological Administration said at a monthly briefing.  

Sep 06 - Turkey's Erdogan says to discuss grain deal with UN's Guterres this month
President Tayyip Erdogan said Turkey is in close contact with the United Nations on reviving the Black Sea grain initiative and he will discuss it with Secretary-General Antonio Guterres at its general assembly this month, Turkish media reported. Speaking to reporters after talks in Russia with Vladimir Putin, Erdogan was quoted as saying the latest U.N. proposal sought to address some Russian demands, and he repeated he believed a solution could be found soon.

Sep 05 - Argentina makes soy dollar 4 official, producers disapprove (AgriCensus)

- Argentina’s government published a decree Tuesday formally announcing its fourth soy dollar scheme in a year, but only after the government denied a preferential exchange rate program would be implemented last Friday. The new program will be valid until September 30 and is different from the previous editions of the soy dollar, when the government established an exchange rate for buying soybeans.

- This one stipulates that crushers can use 25% of their export proceeds in foreign exchange freely, which means using the so-called financial dollar (contado con liquidación, in Spanish) currently worth 754,27 pesos per dollar, or the MEP dollar (Mercado eletrônico de pagos), currently quoted at 680.35 pesos per dollar.  The remaining 75% would be exchanged at the official rate of 350 pesos per dollar, leaving an average of 455 pesos per dollar rate in today’s exchange rate.

- The government plans to generate revenues of $2.5 billion by the end of this month. Tuesday's announcement means essentially that the government has returned to it's original version of the scheme, which was announced by minister and presidential candidate Sergio Massa on August 29. Last Friday, however, Massa said it would not be a preferential exchange program but an incentive for soybean imports, for which crushers would be allowed to use 25% of their export proceeds to import beans directly without needing to convert it through the official exchange rate.

- The decree does not say if purchases must be made in the domestic market or through imports. According to data from Buenos Aires Grain Exchange (BCR), 7 million mt of soybeans from the 2022/23 crop are available to be traded, while a further 3.9 million mt of soybeans have already been sold with prices yet to be fixed. The decree also obliges exporters who adhere to the program to exchange the dollars during September but gives them until September 2024 to register the exports, while at the same time obliging them to pay 50% of the export duties in advance.
“Given that the mechanism is new, we will have to wait and see how both exporters and farmers react to the new scheme,” analyst Javier Preciado Patiño told Agricensus.

The measure was not well received by Argentinian producers.

Sep 05 - Turkey's Erdogan says Black Sea grain deal can be restored soon
Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said after talks with Russia's Vladimir Putin on Monday that it would soon be possible to revive the grain deal that the United Nations says helped to ease a food crisis by getting Ukrainian grain to market. Russia quit the deal in July - a year after it was brokered by the United Nations and Turkey - complaining that its own food and fertiliser exports faced serious obstacles.

Sep 05 - Rains relieve Argentina's drought-hit agricultural heartland, especially wheat
Recent rainfall over Argentina's agricultural heartland has brought significant relief to the wheat crop in particular, raising hopes for a good season after continued harsh droughts which caused huge losses in the 2022/23 season, the Rosario grains Exchange said Monday. A large part of the region received between 30 mm and 100 millimeters of rain, Cristian Russo, head of the BCR's Strategic Guide for Agriculture, said in a statement.

Sep 05 - Egypt's GASC made no purchase in direct talks about buying wheat - traders
Egypt's state grains buyer GASC is believed to have no purchase in direct talks with trading houses on Monday about buying wheat without issuing an international tender, traders said. GASC had bought around 480,000 metric tons of Russian wheat and one cargo of Bulgarian wheat in private talks last week without issuing international tenders, traders said.

Sep 04 - EU pig price sinks to six-month low (IHSmarkit)

- European pig prices have fallen to their lowest level since March as the bearish tone which has now been evident for several weeks has reinforced itself.
In the week ending 27 August, the EU average price for Class E pigs was €232.66 ($xxx) per 100kg, down by 1.8% on the previous week, and 6.5% lower than the price at the end of July.

Prices are heading downwards in all of the major producer countries.
- In Poland, the price fell by 3.3%, capping a decline of 16.5% over the past two months.
- Denmark has registered a price decline of 1.3% - the first meaningful shift in the official Danish price for more than three months.
- The average price fell week-on-week by 2.1% in both Belgium, the Netherlands and France, by 1.5% in Germany, and by 0.7% in Spain.

Purchasers are reported to be buying with a very short horizon in the expectation of continuing lower prices, and sellers have been unable to keep prices up. This is despite continuing concerns about levels of throughput which remain well below the levels of previous years.

Sep 04 - European whey prices hit five-year low

- Whey demand remains lower and coupled with strong cheese production the price in the EU and US is low. In the week ending August 27, the EU Commission whey price fell a further 2.7% to €640/metric ton ($689.44/t). This puts the price at its lowest level since February 2018.

- Lower demand is also dampening whole and skimmed milk powders. The WMP price fell 1.8% to €3,301/t. The SMP price remained relatively stable w/w at €2,274/t. The WMP price is 1% above its 5-year average, while the SMP price is at a 6% discount.

The milk powder market continues to be calm, with European products uncompetitive on the global market.

Sep 04 - Australia set for lower wheat output as El Nino curbs yields
Australia is likely to lower its wheat production forecast for 2023/24 by about a million metric tons as dry El Nino weather reduces yields, traders and analysts said, tightening global supplies hit by poor harvests in rival exporters. The world's second largest exporter of the grain, Australia is a key supplier to top buyers such as China, Indonesia and Japan, but a strengthening of the El Nino weather event suggests more dry weather in store after the warmest winter on record.  

Sep 04 - 'A bit extreme': Indonesian rice prices surge as drought crimps harvest
Some rice plants with empty husks stand among the crop on Indonesian farmer Akma Rangga's fields in West Java, which has received barely any rain since April, and must rely on irrigation channels that have nearly dried out. "We don't know what's going to happen in the next month or two," said Akma, 50, who worries that he may have to delay the next planting cycle if his plot gets no rain by October, amid Indonesia's driest weather in four years.

Sep 01 - South Korea’s NOFI buys estimated 135,000 T corn in tender
Leading South Korean animal feed maker Nonghyup Feed Inc. has bought an estimated 135,000 metric tons of animal feed corn in an international tender for up to 138,000 tons on Thursday, European traders said. It was expected to be sourced from either South America or South Africa. 

Sep 01 - Algeria said to buy durum wheat in tender – traders
Algeria’s state grains agency OAIC is believed to have purchased durum wheat in an international tender which closed on Thursday, European traders said. Initial volumes were estimated at between 550,000 to 600,000 metric tons.

Sep 01 - Philippines curbs rice prices as inflation worry mounts
The Philippines announced price ceilings for rice on Friday to protect consumers, as the rising cost of the national staple probably caused August inflation to accelerate for the first time in seven months. One of the world's biggest rice importers, the Southeast Asian nation is cracking down on domestic price manipulation at a time of rising pressure from events such as the Russia-Ukraine conflict, India's export ban, and unpredictable oil prices. 

Sep 01 - UN chief sends Russia bid to revive Black Sea grain deal
United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres said on Thursday that he had sent Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov "a set of concrete proposals" aimed at reviving a deal that allowed the safe export of Ukrainian grain via the Black Sea. Russia quit the deal in July - a year after it was brokered by the United Nations and Turkey - complaining that its own food and fertilizer exports faced obstacles and that not enough Ukrainian grain was going to countries in need.

Aug 31 - Turkish buyers renew interest in Ukrainian wheat as freight drops (AgriCensus)

- Turkish importers have renewed their interest in Ukrainian wheat amid lower freight rates from Danube shallow water ports, market sources told Agricensus. The price of Ukrainian feed wheat on a CIF Marmara basis has become more competitive after freight rates dropped from $49/mt to $40-43/mt, while a continued increase in freight rates from Russian Azov ports made Russian origin less attractive.

The rate from Russian Azov ports to Marmara has hit $57-58/mt, up from $51-52/mt last week. However, this revived interest is only true of low-protein wheat, as when it comes to wheat with an 11.5% to 13.5% protein content, Turkish buyers still prefer Russian origin.

- The latest trade in Ukrainian 10.5% wheat on a CIF Marmara basis was heard at $218/mt, while Russian-origin 10.5% wheat was offered at $225-228/mt on the same basis.
"People prefer Russian origin, but the Kerch Strait problem can push buyers to start looking for Ukrainian origin," a Turkish-based trader said.

- Currently, vessels have to wait 5-10 days to pass the Kerch Strait, which is among the reasons for the continued freight price increase in the region.
"Ukrainian 10,5-11,5% wheat is priced better, however for higher protein, Russian wheat is preferable," another trader told Agricensus.

- So far, not everyone sees Ukrainian wheat as more attractive, however, and some would like to see Ukrainian milling wheat offered at a more competitive price compared with Russian origin.
"We finally see Ukrainian milling wheat offers but [they are] not cheaper than Russian," a Turkish-based trader said.

- At the same time, Ukrainian sellers are still limited in how far they can lower their offer price levels, as even though there has been a slight weakening in the freight rates recently, ongoing delays in passing the Sulina Canal and strong flows in that direction have prevented them from falling more significantly.

Aug 31 - China snaps up Australian barley after tariffs lifted -traders
China has bought around 600,000 metric tons of Australian barley since Beijing lifted punishing duties on the grain earlier this month, traders said, underlining strong pent-up demand for the grain from its former top supplier. China ended anti-dumping tariffs on Australian barley on Aug. 5, roughly three years after the 80.5% duties first hit exports once worth up to A$1.5 billion annually. 

Aug 31 - Scant deliveries seen against CBOT Sept corn, soy futures; wheat, oats eyed
Deliveries against Chicago Board of Trade September corn and soy futures should be light on Thursday, the first notice day, traders and analysts said on Wednesday, but soft cash markets could spur moderate deliveries against wheat and oat futures. Traders predicted zero to 500 September corn deliveries, with most expecting none.

Aug 31 - First vessel of Australian barley loads for China, 1m mt sold so far (AgriCensus)

- The first vessel of Australian barley heading to China has been loaded after import restrictions were lifted on August 4, while the total amount sold is estimated to be up to 1 million mt, trade sources said. The vessel, called Majestic Island, sailed from CBH’s group terminal in Kwinana carrying barley for the first time in three years, according to local media.  It was loaded with an initial 49,262 mt of barley and is headed to another Australian port, Lincoln, to load an additional 10,738 mt, according to lineup data available. Although the vessel was loaded at the CBH terminal, the shipper of the grain was the Australian Grain Export (AGE), according to the data available.

- Meanwhile, trade sources said that overall some 700,000 to 1 million mt of old crop and new crop barley has been sold to China since the restrictions were lifted, which includes previously signed deals for optional origin.

- In 2020, China imposed an 80.5% import duty on Australian barley, effectively blocking imports from the country, but in April 2023 it agreed to review all its tariffs within three months, leading the Australian government to suspend a dispute it had lodged with the WTO over the duties. China also imposed an additional 3% import tax on Australian barley in 2020, putting this origin in the same position as all other origins from which China imports.

- However, with the elimination of the restrictions on August 4, 2023, the 3% import tax also was canceled, putting Australia once again in a more beneficial position. China is one of the world's leading barley importers, with annual imports of 7.2 million mt on a five-year average basis, and Australia's share was the biggest before the restrictions came into force.

Aug 30 - EU dairy commodity prices weakened during the latest week.(IHSmarkit)

The weakening was more moderate than the declines observed in Oceania.

The WMP price fell 1% to €3,361/t, which is a 31% y/y fall but remains a touch above the 5-year average. This is the price's lowest level since October 2021. Meanwhile, the SMP price fell 0.8% to €2,269/t and therefore remains just €3 above where it finished July.

Demand for milk powders is weak, with prices uncompetitive on the global market but a tight domestic supply/demand balance is giving sellers little incentive to discount the product they have on offer.

European whey price is unchanged on the week but the price is 38% lower y/y. This week the EU Commission whey price stood at €658/t.

Aug 30 - EU pig prices have continued to fall over the past week, as markets continue to adjust to weaker demand for pigmeat. (IHSmarkit)

Many member states saw abattoirs closed for a public holiday on 15 August, and this contributed to a further reduction in demand for livestock. Pigs were accordingly held over to the following week, placing further pressure on prices.

In the week ending 20 August, the EU average price for Class E pigs was €236.90 per 100kg, down by 1.9% on the previous week. This benchmark value has now fallen by more than 5% since hitting an all-time high in mid-July.

All major markets registered downturns, notably Poland (down by 3.4% week-on-week), France (-2.5%), Germany (-2.3%), and the Netherlands (-2.0%).

Only Denmark maintained a virtually unchanged price, for the twelfth week in a row. This reflects the Danish industry’s reliance on export trade and on longer-term supply contracts.

Aug 30 - Thai white rice prices resumed rising in the week to 24 August amid local covering for shipments to Indonesia. (IHSmarkit)

Platts Parboiled 100% STX rose by $11 week-on-week to $625 per metric ton FOB, while Thai 5% broken white rice ended up $13 w/w at $620 per metric ton FOB. Another bullish factor for prices was the tight supply of white rice. One trader said that “millers are holding stock,” making it difficult for some exporters to provide firm offers. Any white rice stocks available were used to cover shipments for Indonesia, which should leave by the year’s end.

In contrast, Hom Mali head rice prices ended the week lower amid quiet demand. Platts Hom Mali 100% Grade B was assessed at $909/t FOB FCL, down $10 from the previous week.

Meanwhile, the Fragrant broken rice market remained unchanged during the week with Platts Hom Mali A1 Super 100% broken rice ending at $519/t FOB FCL.

Thai rice exports totaled 604,310 metric tons in July, 5.6% more month-on-month and 4.5% year-on-year, according to data from the Ministry of Commerce. Total exports between January and July 2023 reached 4.64 million metric tons, up 13% y/y.

Aug 30 - Low Mississippi water levels raise red flags for US soybean, corn exporters (AgriCensus)

- Low water levels in the Mississippi waterway in the US are again raising red flags for the country’s Gulf export hub, a key source of soybean and corn exports, trade sources have told Agricensus. Water levels are near historical lows for August/September and weather models calling for dry conditions through the coming weeks are adding further concerns and feeding into barge premiums that have risen sharply since the end of last week.
“I suspect that freight is the driving factor [for rising barge premiums], with freight sellers perhaps nervous that water levels could continue to drop with the forecast for the first half of September remaining dry for most of the Midwest,” Grain Service Corporation’s vice president Diana Klemme told Agricensus.

- The situation in the Mississippi barge market has the potential to jeopardize US Gulf’s export competitiveness on an FOB and CFR basis as higher costs are passed downstream.
- Soybean FOB front-month premiums in the Gulf hub increased 17 c/bu between Wednesday and Monday while CFR China premiums for beans originated in the Gulf lifted 30 c/bu during the same period.
- Corn premiums also spiked in the Gulf with the FOB front-month basis up 17 c/bu between Wednesday and Monday.

The spike in barge premiums at the end of last week recalled disruptions linked to low water levels at the end of 2022 that brought significant headwinds to US exporters during the country’s main export window last year. Concerns around low Mississippi water levels coupled with disruptions linked to low water levels in the Panama Canal could also jeopardize export prospects from the US Gulf, with businesses potentially shifting to Brazil and to the US Pacific Northwest (PNW) hub.
“If barge freight gets high enough… it could definitely raise the cost of shipping corn and soybeans from the Gulf,” Advance Trading’s Larry Shonkwiler told Agricensus.

- Shonkwiler added that low water levels in the Panama Canal, where waiting times have increased to an average of 21 days, add to the mix and could hamper the US Gulf’s export competitiveness for both corn and beans.
“While one would think that Brazil more or less has a lock on Chinese and other Asian business this fall for corn and, to a lesser extent, beans, low water for both the Mississippi River and the Panama Canal could really shift export demand to the PNW,” Shonkwiler said.

Aug 30 - India allows exports of non-basmati white rice trapped at ports
India has allowed traders to ship out their non-basmati white rice cargoes sitting at ports due to a sudden ban on exports of the category, a government order said late on Tuesday. On July 20, India surprised buyers by banning exports of widely consumed non-basmati white rice to control rising domestic prices. The move followed a ban on broken rice exports last year. 

Aug 30 - From rice to palm oil, Asian crops output forecast lower as El Nino strengthens
An unusually dry August has taken a toll on cereal and oilseed crops in Asia as El Nino intensified, and forecasts for lower rainfall in September are further threatening to disrupt supplies. While wheat output forecasts are being revised lower due to dry weather in Australia, the world's second largest exporter, record-low monsoon rains are expected to reduce the volume of crops, including rice, in India, the world's biggest shipper of the grain, meteorologists and analysts said.

Aug 29 - Argentina announces fourth soy dollar scheme to boost sales (IHSmarkit)

- Argentina’s Economy Minister and candidate for presidency Sergio Massa announced on Sunday a new preferential exchange rate program to boost soybean sales and increase soybean crushing in the country. The new program allows crushers to buy 25% of beans using the financial dollar, a 785 pesos to the dollar exchange rate, while the remaining 75% will be traded at the official rate of 350 pesos per dollar, resulting in an average of 440-450 pesos to the dollar exchange rate. A decree detailing the timing of the new soy dollar and other measures is yet to be released, but some observers speculated it might be announced on Friday, September 1.

- Unlike the previous versions of the soy dollar, there is no goal for revenues or traded volumes so far.
“I think this is good news for the crushing industry, since liquidation is very low, at around 1 million mt per month, and there are 5 million mt with prices yet to be fixed,” analyst Javier Preciado Patiño told Agricensus.

- The goal is to boost crushing as soybean processing reached the lowest volume in the past 15 years in the first quarter of the 2023/24 crop year, with 11.9 million mt processed between April and July, the Rosario’s Exchange (BCR) said. Around 8-10 million mt of soybeans are available to be traded in Argentina, including the ones with prices yet to be fixed.
 “This will allow the industry to maintain its activity and benefit the producers who need to sell, while it's also positive for the government because it's generating an influx of foreign currency in the middle of an election campaign,” Preciado Patiño said.
"The question is how much soybeans would the producers be willing to sell with an exchange rate of around 450 pesos."

- The first soy dollar scheme was implemented in September 2022 with a 200 pesos per dollar exchange rate, the second one was launched in November 2022 at a 230 pesos exchange rate while the third soy dollar was implemented in April 2023 at 300 pesos per dollar.
- A corn dollar was implemented in July 2023 at a 350 pesos per dollar rate.

Aug 29 - Ukraine opposes further grain restrictions by neighbouring countries -minister
Ukraine strongly opposes the imposition of any restrictions on the import of its grain by neighbouring countries after a European Union ban ends on Sept. 15, Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said on Monday. After the Russian invasion blocked Ukraine's Black Sea ports, large quantities of the country's grain - which is cheaper than EU crops - stayed in Central Europe due to logistical bottlenecks, hitting prices and sales for local farmers. 

Aug 29 - Smaller German 2023 grain harvest expected after poor weather
Germany’s grain harvest will fall after suffering from unfavourable weather swinging from drought to rain which fell on crops just before they were gathered, the agriculture ministry estimated on Monday. But overall harvest volumes were satisfactory, the ministry said.

Aug 28 - India sets floor price for basmati rice after restricting non-basmati
India has imposed a $1,200 per ton minimum export price (MEP) on basmati rice shipments, the government said on Sunday, as the world's biggest exporter tries to calm local prices ahead of key state elections. The south Asian country in July banned exports of non-basmati white rice and on Friday imposed 20% duty on the exports of parboiled rice. 

Aug 28 - Second vessel leaves Odesa through temporary Black Sea corridor: Minister
A vessel carrying steel products to Africa has left Ukraine's Odesa port through a temporary Black Sea corridor, the second ship to do so since Russia withdrew last month from a U.N.-brokered deal that allowed for grain to be safely exported, a senior Ukrainian government official said on Sunday. Deputy Prime Minister Oleksandr Kubrakov said the Liberian-flagged ship PRIMUS had begun sailing through a temporary corridor set up for civilian vessels, confirming a report on Saturday by a Ukrainian lawmaker.

Aug 25 - VEU’s eastern "frontier" states seek longer ban on Ukraine imports (AgriCensus)

- The agriculture ministers of the five "frontier" European Union states of Poland, Hungary, Slovakia, Romania, and Bulgaria have agreed on a common position in favor of extending a ban on grain imports from Ukraine until the end of this year after a meeting Friday, a statement from the Polish government has said.

- Transit of grains through these states is still allowed, and the five ministers also agreed that the EU should launch subsidies for grain transiting from Ukraine.

In May, the European Commission agreed to implement a ban on Ukrainian imports of wheat, corn, rapeseed, and sunflower into Bulgaria, Hungary, Poland, Romania, and Slovakia until September 15. While the five states have pushed for longer, the most recent decision of the Commission, on July 25, was that the bloc would await the result of the current harvest before further decisions, while the next EU informal meeting of agriculture ministers will be from September 3 to 5. The majority of other EU member states are understood to be against extending the ban.

- The five ministers further agreed to a joint demand that the European Commission direct funds to build infrastructure to help Ukraine transport grain, and suggested the list of Ukrainian products that cannot enter their markets should be “flexible.”

- The Polish Minister Robert Telus also presented data which showed that 9 million mt of grain has been exported from Poland since January. This may ease some fears about overly high Polish stocks after a backlog from last year’s harvest.

Aug 25 - EU 2023-24 soybean oil imports more than double on year (IHSmarkit)

- Brazil's share of soybean meal imports at 68 %
- Spain leading soybean oil buyer in bloc
- The Netherlands emergs as the main buyer of raw soybean and meal derivatives

The EU’s soybean oil imports in marketing year 2023-24 (July-June) soared to 115,524 metric tons as of Aug. 20, up from 51,873 metric tons during the same week a year earlier, European Commission data showed Aug. 22.

The bloc's sunflower oil purchases increased 24% to 290,535 metric tons over the same period. According to market sources, the surge in soybean and sunflower oil purchases by the bloc was led primarily by a slump in the supply of palm as the EU tries to phase out purchase of the commodity over environmental concerns.

The region’s rapeseed oil purchases remained unchanged on the year at 53,051 metric tons. Palm oil imports declined by 21% to 434,810 metric tons, the data showed.

The EU’s soybean purchases decreased slightly on the year to 1.76 million metric tons as of Aug. 20 in MY 2023-24 (July-June), while soybean meal imports declined by 7% to 1.95 million metric tons.

Spain replaced Poland as the largest soybean oil buyer in the bloc in the most recent reporting week, while the Netherlands emerged as the leading buyer of raw soybean and meal derivatives, the data showed.

The share of Brazilian-origin products in the EU’s raw soybean imports stood at 59.5%, while its contribution of soybean meal stood at 68.8% in the most recent reporting week.

The EU is the world’s top soybean meal importer and the second-biggest buyer of soybeans.

Aug 25 - Hungary wants EU to extend Ukrainian grains import ban beyond Sept 15
Hungary wants the EU's ban on domestic sales of Ukrainian grain to be extended in the five EU member states bordering Ukraine after the current measure ends on Sept. 15, Prime Minister Viktor Orban's chief of staff told a briefing on Thursday. "Hungary will ask the EU to extend the ban from September 16," Gergely Gulyas said, adding Hungary was ready to reimpose a national import ban if the EU does not extend the measure.

Aug 25 - India will decide on sugar exports after assessing cane availability
India will decide on sugar exports for the 2023/24 season once firm estimates of total sugar cane production become available, the government said on Thursday. "Government's priority is to ensure sufficient availability of sugar for consumption, ethanol production and maintaining closing stocks of 6 million tonnes for 2023/24 season," the Department of Food and Public Distribution said in a statement. 

Aug 25 - China says GMO soy, corn trials show 'outstanding' results
China's farm ministry on Thursday said large trials of genetically modified corn and soybeans showed "outstanding" results and that the technology was safe and essential. China has not yet approved commercial planting of GMO corn and soybeans, but has been studying the crops for years, and this year significantly expanded the acreage of its pilot programme.

Aug 24 - India set to ban sugar exports for first time in 7 years
India is expected to ban mills from exporting sugar in the next season beginning October, halting shipments for the first time in seven years, as a lack of rain has cut cane yields, three government sources said. India's absence from the world market would be likely to increase benchmark prices in New York and London that are already trading around multi-year highs, triggering fears of further inflation on global food markets. 

Aug 24 - Argentina grains exchange sees dry start to 2023/24 corn season
Argentina's farmlands planted with corn should reach an estimated 7.3 million hectares for the 2023/24 cycle, the Buenos Aires grains exchange said in a pre-season report on Wednesday, though dry conditions could delay the crop's sowing. Farmers are expected to start planting corn in September. The projected planting area would be 2.8% times larger than the area planted in the previous campaign, which was hit hard by a historic drought across Argentina's agricultural heartlands. 

Aug 23 - Chinese soy buyers see imports peaking at 100 mln tns for coming yearsChinese soybean buyers attending a large U.S. soy export conference believe imports for 2023 will be a bit larger than some projections, but they don't see import volumes growing much more in the coming years. Sun Lige, vice-president of China's Wellhope Foods Company Ltd, said on the sidelines of Soy Connext conference that the Asian country will probably import 100 million metric tons of soybeans in 2023, more than the 98 million tons projected by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). 

Aug 23 - New technology to boost US crops in coming seasons; labor shortage a challenge, farmers say
U.S. farmers see the flow of new technologies coming to farms boosting production in coming years, but worry about labor availability, according to comments by participants at a soybean conference on Tuesday. Farmers said technological developments, including new soy and corn seeds and equipment to sample soil, will drive higher agricultural yields in coming seasons as they allow for a better understanding of what is needed to boost output.

Aug 22 - Egypt's GASC books 60k mt Romanian wheat at $270.25/mt CFR (AgriCensus)

- Egypt's General Authority for Supply Commodities (GASC) has closed a tender issued earlier Tuesday and awarded it to Agro Chirnogi, one of Romania’s leading wheat exporters, an official note said Tuesday. GASC paid $256/mt FOB Constanta and $270.25/mt CFR Egypt, given $14.25/mt freight rate, for 60,000 mt of Romanian-origin wheat.

- The wheat was sold for October 5-20 loading, with payment to be made at sight and sponsored by the Islamic Trade Finance Corporation (ITFC). According to lineups seen by Agricensus, GASC received a total of 32 offers from various global suppliers in the range of $265-269.80/mt FOB for Romanian and Bulgarian wheat, $266.82-296.60/mt FOB for French grains and $270-280/mt FOB Russian ports.

- In its latest tender that closed August 8, GASC booked 235,000 mt of Russian wheat paying on average $262.76/mt FOB and $278.33/mt CFR.

Aug 22 - US spring wheat, corn ratings fall unexpectedly; soybean ratings flat
The condition of the U.S. spring wheat crop dropped in the latest week, the government said on Monday, as forecasts for hot and dry weather continued in the northern Plains this week. The stress on the high-protein spring wheat crop could add to concerns about production shortfalls in key growing areas such as Canada and the European Union. 

Aug 22 - Mexico says it won't modify decree on GM corn ahead of USMCA panel
Mexico won't make any further changes to a decree on genetically modified (GM) corn ahead of a dispute settlement panel requested by the United States through the USMCA trade pact, Mexican economy minister, Raquel Buenrostro, told Reuters on Monday. Buenrostro's comments come after the United States last week escalated its objections to the restrictions imposed by Mexico on imports of GM corn and requested a dispute settlement panel under the North American trade pact, the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement.

Aug 21 - 'Watch out pasta lovers' as drought slashes Canada durum output (AgriCensus)

- The mounting drought conditions in Canadian provinces of Saskatchewan and Alberta is expected to severely hamper durum wheat production in the country and should lead the government to trim production forecasts, market participants have told Agricensus Monday.
"Watch out pasta lovers; what appeared this spring [to be] a planted acreage capable of supporting maybe 5.5 million mt of production, has deteriorated significantly," said Mike Jubinville, a senior market analyst at MarketsFarm.
"In July, we were forecasting a durum crop of 4.1 million mt, but are currently in the process of trimming that number to below 4 million mt, maybe in the 3.7 to 3.9 million mt area," Jubinville said.
"The trade is likely thinking Canada's crop size is 4-4.5 million metric tons," another Canadian analyst said.

- While durum wheat is more drought resistant than other wheat varieties, crop conditions are suffering in prime growing areas in southwestern Saskatchewan and southern Alberta, which have been experiencing unusually hot and dry weather since May.
"There’s been some light showers in southwest Saskatchewan and southern Alberta over the past week, but that is far too late to help - in fact, it hurts as harvest is well underway," Jubinville said.
"There is potential for quality downgrades with the recent rains on any crop still standing," Jubinville added.

- The Canadian government pegged the 2023/24 durum harvest at 5.695 million mt, up from the prior crop year's 5.443 million mt, in a July 21 report.  During the severe 2021 drought, the country harvested 3.03 million mt, according to government data. Statistics Canada will release its first crop estimates on August 29.

- The price of Canadian durum has surged because of concerns about the crop, leaving 14.5% FOB Vancouver cargoes at $500/mt, up 43% from $350/mt in late June, while St Lawrence cargoes are $510/mt, up 42% from $360 in late June.

- Canada is the world’s biggest durum producer and exporter, with Saskatchewan responsible for 77% of Canada’s durum production in 2022 while Alberta was responsible for the vast majority of the remainder.

Aug 21 - India faces record low August rains, threatening summer crops
India is heading for its driest August in more than a century, with scant rainfall likely to persist across large areas, partly because of the El Niño weather pattern, two weather department officials told Reuters on Friday. August rainfall, expected to be the lowest since records began in 1901, could dent yields of summer-sown crops, from rice to soybeans, boosting prices and overall food inflation, which jumped in July to the highest since January 2020. 

Aug 21 - Funds sell CBOT corn, soy and wheat as supply fears wane -Braun
Speculators have ramped up their comfort with global corn supplies this month, though U.S. crop uncertainties continue lingering as the Corn Belt will be gripped by hot and dry weather this week, possibly impacting yield. In the week ended Aug. 15, money managers increased their net short in CBOT corn futures and options to 72,580 contracts from 26,656 a week earlier and a net long of 16,741 two weeks earlier.

Aug 18 - DairyNZ says New Zealand milk prices are below the break-even point (IHSmarkit)

- DairyNZ forecasts a national break-even price of $7.51 per kg/MS for this season, down from $8.16/kg MS
- Milk prices are forecast as between $7 and $7.34

DairyNZ has warned that some New Zealand farmers will not break even this season as they grapple with a falling milk price and continued high on-farm costs. DairyNZ describes this season’s reduced income as causing real concern on many farms.

DairyNZ forecasts a national breakeven of $7.51 per kg/MS for this season, down from $8.16/kg MS. The revision has been made to reflect the changes farmers have made.
“The updated breakeven milk price reflects that farmers are working really hard to reduce their spending in the face of extremely high costs. We know farmers are looking at budgets line-by-line and analysing where spending can be reduced, including pausing non-essential capital expenditure and carefully evaluating feed, fertiliser and other spending,” explains Mark Storey, Dairy NZ Head of Economics.

Despite lowering the breakeven milk price, it remains above the DairyNZ forecast milk price which currently stands at $7.34/kg MS. The Fonterra forecast milk price has a midpoint of $7/kg MS. The breakeven milk price is higher than both of these forecasts. This does mean a number of farms are likely to make a loss this season which will affect business viability.
Storey goes on to say: “This will also have significant flow-on effects to New Zealand’s regional and national economy.”

The outlook does not point towards improvement. “Given the further drop in the Global Dairy Trade this week we are looking at 12-18 months of reduced income, so it is important to consider changes carefully,” says DairyNZ general manager of farm performance, Sarah Speight.

Aug 18 - Dairy Price Update: EU product uncompetitive on the global market (IHSmarkit)

- The EU Commission WMP price has fallen 3.9% over the past month, while the GDT WMP price has lost 17.8%
- The EU butter price is at €4,538/t while the GDT price is equivalent to around €4,176/t
- Milk powder demand is muted, while internal butter and cheese demand is stable

This week European dairy markets drifted lower, butter demand is stable while milk powder demand is muted. The whey market continues to be described as inconsistent. European product is lacking competitiveness on the global market.

The European WMP price remains uncompetitive on the global market with the price differential only increasing. In the week ended 13 Aug the EU Commission WMP price stood at €3,392/metric ton, a 0.6% w/w decline. Compared to a month ago this is a 3.9% decrease. Meanwhile, WMP at the GDT has lost 17.8% over the past month and in euro terms stands at around €2,344/t.

The recent downward trend in prices has not spurred any additional demand, most likely because of the lack of competitiveness on the global market. Demand within Europe is quiet with much of the market still on summer breaks. As raw milk supply tightens over the summer, processors are only really making WMP to order rather than to lay down stocks.

SMP is plagued by the same challenges as the WMP market. The price lost 1.3% this week to €2,275/t.

The EU whey price fell 2.0% to €663/t, which is 41% below year-ago levels and 21% below the 5-year average. Overall the market remains quiet and inconsistent. There has been some pickup in animal feed demand but not by enough to give the market a clear direction. As with other products, Europe remains uncompetitive on the international market.

The EU Commission butter price fell 1.0% to €4,538/t which is a similar level to a month ago. Compared to a year ago the price is down by 37% and is 4% below the 5-year average. Demand is somewhat mixed with retail demand robust but demand for block butter is subdued. However, inventories are being pulled and reduced. Processors are running active churning schedules and the subdued block butter demand is being met by limited block butter supply. Production is not able to keep ahead of demand owing to lighter summer milk as fat levels have fallen. The EU is marginally more competitive in the butter market than in other markets. While European butter is more expensive, the difference is smaller than in other dairy commodities. At this week, GDT the butter price was equivalent to around €4,176/t.

Cheese prices were relatively flat this week. The Edam price was at €4,055/t while the gouda price stood at €4,178/t. The cheddar price remained steady at €3,581/t. The Emmental price was alone in moving, gaining 1.5% to €6,178/t. Again European cheese is at a significant premium on the global market, with cheddar at the GDT this week standing at around €3,797/t in euro terms.

Aug 18 - IGC boosts forecast for 2023/24 world corn crop
The International Grains Council (IGC) on Thursday raised its forecast for 2023/24 global corn production, with an improved outlook for Ukraine's crop only partially offset by a downward revision for China. The inter-governmental body, in a monthly report, put global corn production at 1.221 billion metric tons, up from a previous forecast of 1.220 billion and the prior season's 1.160 billion.

Aug 18 - El Nino could delay rains in Argentina until October, hitting corn and wheat

Heavy rainfall linked to the weather phenomenon known as El Nino likely will kick off in Argentina in October, experts said on Thursday, which could affect the corn planting season in some parts of the country. Water is needed in many main corn growing areas where soil moisture levels are low, following a crippling drought that curtailed agricultural production during the 2022/23 season.

Aug 18 - India considers wheat imports from Russia at discount to calm prices - sources
India is in talks with Russia to import wheat at a discount to surging global prices in a rare move to boost supplies and curb food inflation ahead of state and national elections next year, according to four sources. The imports would allow New Delhi to intervene more effectively in the market to drive down wheat prices that stoked inflation to a 15-month high in July.

Aug 18 - Ukraine's August grain exports via Danube at 820,000 T so far
- analyst
Ukraine in the first half of August exported 820,000 metric tons of grain via its ports on the Danube River, which is currently its main export route, the APK-Inform consultancy said late on Wednesday. APK-Inform gave no comparative figures.

Aug 17 - Vietnamese exporters renegotiate higher rice prices after Indian ban - traders
Vietnamese exporters have renegotiated higher prices for around half a million metric tons of rice, two trade sources said, as global prices climbed to 15-year highs following India's ban on overseas sales last month. This is the first confirmation of rice prices climbing in the wake of India's surprise ban, with importers paying more for one of the world's most widely consumed staples amid tightening supplies.

Aug 17 - Russian attack damages grain silos at Ukraine's Danube port of Reni – Kyiv
Russian drone strikes damaged grain silos and warehouses at the Ukrainian river port of Reni on the Danube, a vital wartime route for Ukrainian food exports, senior officials said on Wednesday. Russian strikes on port infrastructure on the Danube in recent weeks have piled pressure on Ukrainian food exports after Moscow quit a year-old deal that had allowed Kyiv to ship out grain via the Black Sea.

Aug 17 - US says working to identify alternative paths for Ukraine grain exports

The United States on Wednesday condemned Russia's continued attacks on Ukraine's grain infrastructure and said it was working with partners to identify alternative options to ensure Ukrainian grain exports. "The United States ... calls for Russia to immediately return to the Black Sea Grain Initiative," State Department deputy spokesperson Vedant Patel said in a briefing, referring to a pact that had allowed export of Ukraine grain by the Black Sea. Russia quit the deal on July 17.

Aug 16 - Argentina backtracks on temporary beef export ban (IHSmarkit)

- Agriculture Secretary denies ban and says government is instead negotiating prices of beef for the domestic market
- Argentine beef exports generate US$1.4 billion in first half of 2023
- Government wrestling with runaway inflation and currency weakness

Argentina has rolled back on plans to suspend beef exports for 15 days, opting instead to pursue a new price accord with industry representatives. Reports early on Tuesday (15 August) quoted Argentine customs officials as saying exports would be temporarily suspended in a bid to ensure supplies of affordable beef to the domestic market.

This was subsequently refuted by Agriculture Secretary Juan Jose Bahillo, who said the government is instead ‘negotiating prices for meat for the internal market’, adding that ‘there is no suspension of meat exports’.

Argentine governments have a long history of intervening in markets for beef – a product that traditionally has a central place in the diet of local consumers. For a country with serious economic difficulties, beef is also an important source of foreign exchange – generating around US$1.4 billion in the first half of this year. While exports are important to the industry however, the government is prioritizing efforts to contain inflation, which is currently among the highest in the world.

Argentina devalued the currency by nearly 18% on Monday while the benchmark interest rate was hiked to 118% after a surprise result in a primary vote. The central bank also tightened controls on access to the parallel currency market.

Miguel Schiariti, head of Argentine beef industry group Ciccra recently called on the government to let the currency float freely, arguing that the global competitiveness of Argentine beef is harmed by efforts to artificially prop up the peso.

Aug 16 - Philippines recommends 500,000 MT rice imports to cover El Nino-related crop losses
The Philippines' Department of Agriculture is recommending additional rice importation of about 500,000 metric tons to cover potential crop losses from the El Nino dry weather condition, a senior official said on Wednesday. The additional importation by one of the world's biggest buyers of the staple grain, which should be brought in by private traders, must arrive between November and January next year, agriculture undersecretary Mercedita Sombilla told a congressional hearing. 

Aug 16 - Have US corn, soy yields already marked their lows for 2023? -Braun
Recent improvements in weather had market participants thinking the U.S. government’s latest corn and soybean yield outlooks were likely too conservative, a significant shift in attitude considering earlier comparisons with the 2012 drought. The trend is somewhat mixed as to whether the survey-based August yields are ultimately too high or low, but widespread precipitation across the Corn Belt so far this month could offer clues as to where these yields are headed next month.

Aug 15 - India’s vegetable oil imports to set new record in 2022-23, July imports up 46% (IHSmarkit)

    Imports may cross 15 mil-15.5 million metric tons in MY 2022-23
    Palm oil imports cross 1 million metric tons mark in July
    Platts assessed CPO CFR WC India at $899 per metric ton on Aug 14

- India’s vegetable oil imports in July rose 46% year on year to 1.77 million metric tons, driven by surging palm oil and sunflower oil purchases, the Solvent Extractors’ Association of India said Aug. 14. Judging from the frenetic pace of imports in the first three quarters of the 2022-23 marketing year (November-October), India’s vegetable oil imports may cross 15 million metric tons-15.5 million metric tons, the trade body said -- a record high for the world’s largest buyer of vegetable oil.

- Over November-July of MY 2022-23, total vegetable oil imports rose to 12.25 million metric tons, up 23% year on year, the SEA said. Previously, India’s highest annual import number was 15.1 million metric tons in MY 2016-17.

- Palm oil imports in July crossed the 1 million metric tons mark, reaching 1.09 million metric tons, up 59% from the previous month and almost double the 530,420 metric tons imported in July 2022, SEA data showed. Platts, part of S&P Global Commodity Insights, assessed crude palm oil CFR West Coast India at $899 per metric ton on Aug. 14, down 5% from the start of the month.

- Soybean oil purchases by India in July were down 21.79% month on month at 342,670 metric tons from 437,658 metric tons in June and 519,566 metric tons in July 2022, according to SEA data.
- Sunflower oil imports in July surged by 71.53% month on month to 327,295 metric tons, according to SEA data. Sunflower oil purchases in July 2022 totaled 155,300 metric tons.

- In terms of origins, Indonesia is currently the largest supplier of vegetable oils to India, sending 3.99 million metric tons of palm oil products in MY 2022-23, followed by Malaysia at 2.17 million metric tons, the SEA said.

- On an overall basis, India imported 1.56 million metric tons of soybean oil from Argentina, accounting for 55% of purchases, while Brazil supplied 1.08 million metric tons, for a 38% of share. For sunflower oil, Russia is the leading supplier with 661,191 metric tons and a 30% share, followed by 447,304 metric tons from Ukraine at 21% and 301,352 metric tons from Argentina, the SEA said.

Aug 15 - Russian wheat harvest half completed, winter sowing starts (AgriCensus)

- The Russian wheat harvest has reached the half way point as 50% of the estimated areas were complete, while the first hectares have been planted with winter crops, data from the country's agriculture ministry showed on Tuesday. Russian farmers have already finished the gathering of wheat on 14.8 million ha and harvested 59.7 million mt, while the average yield was slightly up week-on-week to 4.2 mt/ha, which is also still well below last year’s 4.42 mt/ha at the same stage of the season.

- That comes along with local analysts’ estimates that have increased in recent weeks, with the current highest figure set by IKAR at 89.5 million mt, while the ministry’s idea is still stable at 78 million mt. The barley harvest has also got closer to the midpoint of the campaign, with 45% of the fields already completed and 11.4 million mt already in the bins from 3.59 million ha. The average yield has dropped again by 6% for the week to the current 3.18 mt/ha.

- The harvest of rapeseeds was limited with currently only 20.9% complete, which accounts for 1.3 million mt, while the yield stayed stable at 2.9 mt/ha.

- At the same time, Russian farmers also started the winter crop planting campaign, with a total of 69,700 ha sown, including 27,300 ha covered with rapeseeds, 4,900 ha with wheat, and the rest with rye.

- The data does not include the area under Ukrainian territories that are currently occupied by Russian forces, apart from annexed Crimea.

Aug 15 - India's July palm oil imports hit 7-month high as refiners boost purchases
India's palm oil imports in July jumped 59% from the previous month to 1.08 million metric tons, the highest in seven months, as refiners took advantage of lower prices to increase purchases, a trade body said on Monday. Higher imports by India, the world's biggest buyer of vegetable oils, would help top producers Malaysia and Indonesia bring down stocks and support Malaysian prices. 

Aug 15 - Rains lift soy prospects before warm and dry weather returns -Braun
More cool weather across the U.S. Corn Belt last week had a mostly positive impact on the Crop Watch corn and soybeans, and many locations received beneficial rain ahead of a less favorable incoming weather pattern. Forecasts early on Monday suggest minimal rain chances for most of the Corn Belt over the next week, save some opportunities in eastern areas mostly on Monday. Milder temperatures are expected to turn hot by the weekend.

Aug 14 - From too wet to bone dry: Indonesian coffee crop faces El Nino jolt
El Nino's dry weather threatens to further dent coffee production in Indonesia, the world's fourth largest grower, after excessive rains dragged down output to its lowest in more than a decade, driving global prices to all-time highs. Lower coffee output in Indonesia, which mainly produces robusta beans - having a bolder and more bitter flavour than the arabica variety - could trigger more gains in prices which have climbed more than 40% in 2023 and hit a record high in June.  

Aug 14 - US corn, soybean harvest forecasts cut on dry growing season -government
U.S. corn and soybean harvests will be smaller than previously expected as dry conditions early in the growing season robbed the crops of yield potential, the government said on Friday. Both forecasts fell below market expectations, but the corn crop, if realized, would still be the second biggest on record due to large acreage and as growing conditions improved during the key development month of July.

Aug 12 - EU 2023-24 wheat exports drop 17% y/y (IHSmarkit)

    Romania, Bulgaria, Poland top EU wheat exporters in 2023-24
    EU wheat imports rise 109% on year to 669,947 metric tons
    EU allows ban on Ukraine wheat sales in five countries until Sep 15

- The EU’s wheat exports in the marketing year 2023-24 (July-June) reached 2.98 million metric tons as of Aug. 6, down 17% from the corresponding period a year ago, EU Crop Observatory data showed Aug. 9. The largest exporters were Romania with 752,642 metric tons, followed by Bulgaria at 649,461 metric tons and Poland at 639,717 metric tons.
- The top importers of EU-origin wheat were Morocco with 652,033 metric tons, followed by Algeria at 456,716 metric tons and Nigeria at 228,693 metric tons, data showed.
- In MY 2022-23, EU had exported a total of 32.98 million metric tons wheat.

- Meanwhile, the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Agriculture and Rural Development July 27 pegged total wheat output in MY 2023-24 at 134.7 million metric tons, down from 137.1 million metric tons seen in the previous month. EU had harvested 133.9 million metric tons in MY 2022-23.
“The output is seen falling as higher temperatures and lack of moisture during the development stages had weighed on the crop’s growth,” a trader based in France said.

- The EU Joint Research Centre’s Monitoring Agricultural Resources unit, or MARS, lowered its soft wheat yield forecast to 5.8 metric tons per ha in July, from 5.92 metric tons per ha in June. However, according to Victoria Sinitsyna, senior grains analyst with S&P Global Commodity Insights, EU’s wheat output in MY 2023-24 is estimated at 136.3 million metric tons, up from 134.7 million metric tons in MY 2022-23.

- Wheat exports for MY 2023-24 are forecast at 34 million metric tons, up from actual exports of 32.98 million metric tons in the previous year, according to Victoria Sinitsyna, senior grains analyst with S&P Global.

Imports rise sharply
- The EU has imported 669,947 metric tons of wheat so far in MY 2023-24, up 109.1% from the previous marketing year. Imports so far in the current marketing year have come mainly from Ukraine and the UK, while Spain and Italy remained the largest importers of wheat in the EU, according to the EU Crop Observatory data.
- EU wheat imports for MY 2023-24 are forecast at 6 million metric tons, down from realized imports of 11.4 million metric tons in MY 2022-23, according to Victoria Sinitsyna, senior grains analyst with S&P Global.
- The pace of imports may be sluggish over the next few weeks as the European Commission allowed five member states -- Poland, Hungary, Slovakia, Romania and Bulgaria -- to restrict sales of Ukrainian wheat, as well as corn, oilseed and sunflower seed, into their domestic markets until Sept. 15.

Platts, part of S&P Global, assessed CPT of EU 11% protein wheat from France at $260.25 per metric ton Aug. 8, up $2/t on the day. Platts assessed EU wheat with 11.5% protein from Romania at $249.75/t Aug. 8, unchanged on the day.

Aug 12 - Malaysia’s July palm oil exports rise 15.6% on month, beat market expectations (IHSmarkit)

    End stocks rise marginally but lower than market expectations
    Markets turn positive in afternoon session after trading in red
    Platts assesses CPO FOB Indonesia at $874 per metric ton Aug 9

- Malaysia’s palm oil exports rose 15.6% on the month to 1.35 million metric tons in July, Malaysian Palm Oil Board said Aug. 10, exceeding market expectations of 1.26 million metric tons over the same period at the world’s second-largest palm oil producer. Palm oil inventories at end-July were pegged at 1.73 million metric tons, up marginally from June, MPOB said, but well below traders’ expectations of 1.85 million metric tons. After the data release, the most active October crude palm oil contract on the Bursa Malaysia Derivatives exchange was up two points in the afternoon trading session to MR3,773 per metric ton ($825.06/t), reversing a 51-point dip (1.5%) at the end of the morning session Aug. 10.

- A drop in end stocks could be constructive for long-term bulls, as the latest data suggests that the stocks will not cross the psychological level of 2 million metric tons at the end-month-end, said Tajgir Rahman, general manager of trading and procurement at Dubai-based Savola Foods Company. This means buffer stocks would be very low during low production season early next year, Rahman added.

- Over January-July, month-end stocks averaged 1.78 million metric tons, up 6.5% from 1.67 million metric tons for the corresponding period last year, MPOB data showed. In July, the production of crude palm oil at 1.61 million metric tons, which rose 11.2% on the month, according to MPOB data, was in line with market expectations.

- Markets will now focus more on production owing to a seasonal upward trend, Anilkumar Bagani, head of research at Mumbai-based vegetable oil brokerage Sunvin Group said. Bagani added that export demand is likely to recover in the absence of sunflower oil supplies from Ukraine due to the stalled Black Sea Grain corridor.

Platts, part of S&P Global Commodity Insights, assessed crude palm oil FOB Indonesia at $874/t Aug. 9, down 3.4% from end-July

Aug 11 - ISO forecasts global sugar deficit of 2.12 million tons next season
The International Sugar Organization (ISO) forecast on Thursday a global sugar deficit of 2.12 million metric tons in 2023/24 (October-September), its first estimate for the upcoming season. The deficit forecast is due primarily to an expected decline in production in top producer Brazil, as well as the seasonality of Brazil's harvest, the sugar industry body said.  

Aug 11 - Tough-to-predict US corn, soy yields in the spotlight on Friday -Braun
Despite earlier volatility, Chicago-traded corn futures have struggled to find direction over the last several sessions, though a fresh U.S. crop forecast from the government could help sort that out on Friday. The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s August reports, which most prominently feature survey-based yield forecasts for U.S. corn and soybeans, have not historically been gentle on the futures market.

Aug 10 - Wasde preview: US soybean stocks expected to be cut again (AgriCensus)

- Market participants expect the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) will reveal another round of cuts in its US soybean production and ending stock figures when it updates its August supply and demand estimates later this week, an Agricensus poll of traders and analysts has showed.

- The USDA will release its influential World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (Wasde) report on Friday 11 and poll participants believe it will show a decrease in the supply side of the US’s soybean balance sheet both on ending stocks and production. On average, the poll expects the US 2023/24 soybean ending stocks at 266 million bushels (bu), below the 300 million reported at July’s Wasde.

- Poll participants look for maintenance on the acreage compared to the last report but for a decrease in yields to 51.3 bushels per acre (bpa) from the 52 bpa in July’s report and, consequentially, lower production to 4.24 billion bu from the 4.3 billion bu in the same comparative.

- That was supported by the persistent dry weather over the main US production areas, 51% of which is experiencing drought according to the last available US Drought Monitor report. In other regions, the pool expects Brazilian and Argentine soybean production to remain unchanged at 163 million mt and 48 million mt respectively, on the 2023/24 crop. However, when it comes to the 2022/23 crop, analysts and traders expect the Argentine crop to be reduced by 1 million mt, to 24 million mt in USDA’s August Wasde.

Finally, world ending stocks are expected to be decreased by 2 million mt, to 119 million mt, on the 2024/23 crop and by 1 million mt, to 102 million mt, regarding the 2022/23 crop.

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) will release its August 2023 Wasde report at 1200 Eastern Time on Friday, August 11.

Aug 10 -  French soft wheat may see some quality loss after rain - FranceAgriMer
Rain delays to the end of the soft wheat harvest in France may affect milling quality, though crop gathered before the wet spell was generally showing satisfactory readings, farm office FranceAgriMer said on Wednesday. Frequent showers and cool temperatures since late July in northern France and a swathe of northern Europe have raised concern about quality loss. That has added to doubts about global milling wheat supply as war in Ukraine threatens Black Sea trade and drought hurts North American crops. 

Aug 10 -  Almost 2% of sown area in China's grain belt hit by typhoon Doksuri
Continuous rain caused by the remnants of Typhoon Doksuri has affected 3.87 million mu (258,000 hectares) of the sown area in China's largest grain producing province Heilongjiang by midday on Wednesday, state broadcaster CCTV said. The affected areas, in northeast China's Heilongjiang, known as the nation's "great northern granary", account for around 1.77% of the province's total of 219 million mu of sown area in 2023, according to data from a state-backed information website.

Aug 09 - Brazil's January-July soybean exports to China touch record high (Secex & IHSmarkit)

- China imports 50.4 million metric tons of Brazilian soybean
- Brazilian soybeans more price competitive in H1 2023
- US becoming more competitive in recent weeks

Brazil’s soybean exports to China over January-July rose to an all-time high of 50.4 million metric tons, according to the country’s foreign trade ministry, or Secex, report released Aug. 7. According to Secex data, Brazil exported 72.47 million metric tons of soybeans between January and July this year, up 19.7% on the year, with China accounting for a lion’s share of the shipments at 69.5% in this period, the data showed. Compared with previous years, volumes of Brazilian oilseed to China rose significantly amid price competitiveness, commodity analysts said. Between March to early July, Brazilian soybeans were sold at a steep discount in the range of $20-$60 per metric ton to soybeans from its top competitor, the US, analysts said.

China-based crushers generally prefer protein-rich Brazilian beans over US-origin oilseed. As a result, the opportunity to buy the Brazilian soybeans in large volumes amid steep discounts was too good to let go for the local crushers and traders, analysts said.

In addition, 2023 so far has been an exceptionally good year for Brazilian soybean farmers. Buoyed by a record harvest of over 156 million metric tons in the marketing year 2022-23 (January-December 2023), the Brazilian oilseed prices have been very competitive in the international market, leading to robust export numbers.

The South American country is forecast to export a record 96 million metric tons of soybeans in MY 2022-23, up 25% on the year, Brazil’s National Agricultural Supply Company, or Conab, said.

US becoming price competitive
- In recent weeks, China has started purchasing more US-origin soybeans, as the prices have become more competitive. According to Platts assessments, the basis prices from both Brazil and the US have started converging in recent days as the harvest season approaches for the US beans in September. Platts, part of S&P Global Commodity Insights, assessed SOYBEX FOB Santos for September deliveries at $537.68 per metric ton and SOYBEX FOB New Orleans at $537.19/t Aug. 7.

Typically, the US soybeans sales soar between October and January, while the Brazilian beans are sold at elevated volumes for the rest of the year.

Aug 09 - U.S. farmers expect corn harvest could be second-biggest ever
The U.S. corn harvest could be the second-largest on record as rains during July shepherded the crop through its critical development phase, offsetting dry conditions early in the season and hot summer temperatures, analysts and farmers said. A strong harvest would add to domestic stockpiles that are expected to balloon as demand for U.S. corn exports wilts due to a massive harvest in Brazil, which is expected to overtake the United States as the world's top corn supplier. 

Aug 09 - Phillips 66, ADM in talks on biofuels joint venture – sources
U.S. oil refiner Phillips 66 and grain trader Archer-Daniels-Midland are discussing a biofuels joint venture with an aim toward producing lower-carbon jet fuel, three people familiar with the matter said. The oil and corn-based ethanol industries, which were at odds for years over blending mandates, have increasingly become allies amid a series of partnerships aimed at securing crop feedstocks to produce lower-carbon biofuels without costly refinery upgrades.

Aug 09 - Brazil to export 8.7m mt of soybean in August; 8.8m mt of corn ( Anec + AgriCensus)

- Brazilian soybean exports are projected to reach 8.7 million mt in August, up 74% year on year, while corn and soymeal shipments are also projected to surpass last year’s levels for the month, the country’s grain exporters' association Anec said in a report on Tuesday.
- Anec is considering the possibility of shorter cargo loading for both soybean and corn exports in August.

- That said, soybean exports could reach between 7- 8.7 million mt by the end of this month while last year Brazil exported 5 million mt in August. Brazilian corn shipments are expected to reach 8.8 million mt in August, up 27.5% from the 6.9 million mt sent abroad in the same month last year.

- However, Anec considers the possibility of shorter cargo loading, leading to shipment volumes between 7.8 – 9.8 million mt. Soymeal exports are forecast at 2.2 million mt in August, 29.4% higher than the 1.7 million mt from the same month last year.

Aug 09 - Australian chickpea exports surge in June, lentils drop (GrainCentral)

- Australia exported 157,371 tonnes of chickpeas and 158,971t of lentils in June, according to the latest data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

- Pakistan was the biggest market for chickpeas on 122,350t followed by Bangladesh on 20,631t and the United Arab Emirates on 5989t.
- On lentils, India was the volume destination for 127,620t, ahead of Sri Lanka on 27,046t and Nepal on 2498t.
- As Pakistan consolidates as a bulk rather than a containerised destination, its buying has lifted Australia’s total June chickpea exports to more than six times the level seen in June last year of 25,892t.
- For the shipping year which started October 1, Australia has shipped 604,518t of chickpeas to June 30, up 21pc from the 499,132t shipped in the comparable 2021-22 period.
- On lentils, the 2022-23 (Oct-Jun) figure of 1,299,719t is up 84pc from the 707,581t shipped in the corresponding 2021-22 period.

Aug 08 - Canada 2022-23 wheat exports rise 75% y/y (IHSmarkit)
- MY 2022-23 common wheat exports rise 71%; durum wheat up 94% on year
- MY 2023-24 wheat output seen at 35.3 million metric tons, up 5% on year
- Wheat exports in 2023-24 seen slightly down on year at 24.6 mil metric tons

- Canada’s total wheat exports during the marketing year 2022-23 (August-July) rose 75% on the year to over 24.8 million metric tons in the week to July 30, showed Canadian Grain Commission data Aug. 5. During the July 24-30 period, overall wheat exports rose 103.6% on the week to 596,700 metric tons, the data showed. Canada exported 19.7 million metric tons of common wheat in MY 2022-23, up 70.7% from MY 2021-22, the AAFC said. Shipments of durum wheat were at 5.1 million metric tons, 93.7% higher on year.

- Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada July 21 had raised its total wheat export forecast to 24.7 million metric tons in MY 2022-23, over 63.6% higher on the year. For MY 2023-24, total wheat exports are expected to remain slightly lower on year at 24.6 million metric tons, the AAFC said. The country is expected to ship out 19.9 million metric tons common wheat and 4.8 million metric tons durum wheat estimated for last season.

- Platts, part of S&P Global Commodity Insights, assessed 13.5% Canadian Western Red Spring wheat for 30-45 days forward at $335.38/t FOB Vancouver August 4, down $3.6/t on the day.

Output scenario
- Canada is expected to harvest 33.8 million metric tons wheat in MY 2022-23, up from 22.4 million metric tons the previous year, the AAFC said.
- Common wheat output for the year has been pegged at 28.4 million metric tons, up from 19.4 million metric tons in MY 2021-22. The agency estimated production of durum wheat at 5.4 million metric tons for MY 2022-23, up from 3 million metric tons the previous year.
- For MY 2023-24, Canada is projected to produce 35.3 million metric tons of wheat, up 4.5% on the year, the AAFC said, pegging the output of common wheat at 29.6 million metric tons and durum wheat harvest at 5.7 million metric tons.
- Canadian farmers have planted wheat across 26.9 million acres (10.9 million hectares) for MY 2023-24 (August-July), the biggest area under the crop since 1997, Statistics Canada data showed June 28.
- Total area under wheat rose 6.7% on the year, led by an increase in spring wheat acreage, according to the data. The total acreage area was higher than market expectations of 26.5 million acres.

Aug 08 - Australia’s June exports muted amid lower competitiveness (AgriCensus)

- Australian wheat, barley, and rapeseed (canola) exports decreased in June, as the country lost price competitiveness versus Northern Hemisphere suppliers, official customs data showed Monday. Line-up data studied by Agricensus suggests that muted export rates will continue in July and through the next few months of the year as the seasonal trend for this period of the marketing year is felt.

- That comes as Northern Hemisphere producers start harvesting. However, unlike last year, the Northern Hemisphere has started the new marketing year with high stocks, which has also pushed down prices and made the region even more competitive as it runs into harvest.

- Meanwhile in Australia prices have been relatively stable amid quality concerns within the upcoming new crop.  Australia exported 2.57 million mt of wheat through June 2023, which is 22% lower compared to May figures and also 5% below the level seen in June 2022, when the previous record was set for this period.

- Indonesia took the lead as the main destination in monthly exports, with a market share of 20% - equivalent to 509,026 mt. That was followed by Thailand with 381,275 mt, Vietnam with 311,335 mt, and Iraq, which imported 265,000 mt of Australian canola. In turn, that meant that total exports since the beginning of the local 2022/23 marketing year, in October 2022, have now reached 25.47 million mt, up 21% year-on-year.

- Meanwhile, the latest available line-up data, including information from the country's three biggest grain operators (approximately 80% of the country's share), showed around 1.6 million mt of wheat had already loaded in July with around 830,298 mt nominated to leave through August.
- Barley exports dropped in June by 22% to 465,891 mt, which is also down 11% compared with the same period in 2022. The two biggest importers were Saudi Arabia with 184,000 mt or 39% of the shipped volume, and Japan with 155,090 mt or 33%. This lifted total barley volumes exported from Australia since the start of the marketing year in November 2022 to 5.48 million mt, 5% below the result seen during the same period a year ago.

- Meanwhile, the available line-up data implies stable rates in barley export flows are likely to maintain during July, as at least 259,924 mt of barley was already nominated for loading with another 216,723 mt during August. It is also expected to see an improvement of barley export as China has officially eliminated all the restrictions on Australian-origin imports on August 4, but this might be seen mostly for new crop starting in December, as nearby months' trade is not expected the big surge in such trade flow amid already booked port capacities.

- As for rapeseed, monthly exports again decreased by 35% to 329,162 mt, putting them also 39% lower than the same month last year. Pakistan remained the main importer with 120,599 mt or 37%, followed by Japan with 71,804 mt, Belgium with 62,065 mt, and France with 54,897 mt. Cumulative exports of rapeseeds for the marketing year in October have now reached 4.9 million mt - 2% up year-on-year.

Aug 07 - WMP at the GDT falls below $3,000/t (IHSmarkit)

- Dairy prices at the GDT collapsed. This reflects the continued weak demand globally. Production indications are mixed with some regions showing growth and others seeing production contract.
- At the GDT event on August 1, the WMP price plummeted 8% to $2,864/metric ton. This is the first time the WMP average has fallen below $3,000/t since October 2020 and is the lowest average price since June 2020. The price is now 19% down y/y.
- For several consecutive events, the WMP price has fallen by less than the futures market had been pegging. That changed at this event, with the futures market expecting a 3% decline rather than the 8% decline achieved.

Aug 07 - Chinese pig prices start to rebound (IHSmarkit)
- Prices of pigs and pork are showing signs of recovery in mainland China after a prolonged period in the doldrums. Monitoring from the Chinese Agriculture Ministry showed the average purchase price of live hogs rising to 15.91 yuan per kg in the week to July 30. This was 5% higher than the previous week, but was still 28% down on the same period last year.
- Analysis from local pig industry website indicates that national prices for lean hogs rose further to stand at CNY17 per kg on 3 August – a jump of 20% in just two weeks.
- For pork, Chinese Agriculture Ministry figures show wholesale prices jumping to CNY21.60 per kg on 3 August – up 14% from CNY19/kg just two weeks ago.
- These increases will help ease pressure on hog producers, who have been losing large sums of money in recent months. The average producer was losing around CNY200 per animal in mid-July, but if recent price increases can be sustained they could soon be seeing positive margins.

Aug 07 - Soybeans claw back losses on Black Sea supply concerns
- Soybean futures closed higher on Friday (4 August) following other ag commodities after Ukrainian drone attacks near Russian a grain port export facility in the Black Sea triggered concerns about potential disruption to global grain and vegoil supplies.
- September 2023 soybeans finished up 5 cents at $13.87 per bushel.
- Favorable weather forecast for the US Corn Belt limited advances and meant the gains failed to fully recover losses seen earlier in the week.
- For the week, September 2023 soybeans lost 3.2%, while soybean meal lost 2.5% and soybean oil was down 0.4%.

Aug 07 - India might cut or abolish wheat import tax to boost supply, check prices
India is considering cutting or even abolishing a 40% import tax on wheat and lowering a limit on the amount of wheat stocks millers and traders can hold, a government official said on Friday, as part of efforts to boost supplies. "We have options like lowering or abolishing the wheat import duty and tweaking the stock holding limits to control prices," Sanjeev Chopra, the most senior civil servant at the federal food ministry, told reporters. 

Aug 07 - Philippines may extend reduced import tariffs on rice, other commodities
The Philippines may extend reduced import tariffs on rice and other commodities beyond 2023 to ease pressure on inflation, which remained above target last month, officials said. The lowered tariffs, also applying to corn and pork imports, are due to expire by the end of the year.

Aug 04 - Polish PM declares Ukrainian grain will not flow into Poland after Sept 15 (AgriCensus)

- Poland's Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Robert Telus, has sought to reassure the country's Independent Self-Governing Trade Union of Individual Farmers and the National Union of Farmers that grain imports from Ukraine would not be permitted after September 15, but that transit of product would continue. In a meeting held in Warsaw on August 3, Telus said, “We will do everything to help Ukraine in the transit of grains from Ukraine, but grain will not be able to enter Poland.”

- This came seemingly despite a decision from the European Commission, passed on July 25, that stated the bloc would await the results of the current harvest before deciding on an appeal made by five member states to extend a temporary import ban on Ukrainian agricultural products beyond the current September 15 deadline. In May, the European Commission agreed to impose a ban on Ukrainian imports of wheat, corn, rapeseed, and sunflower into Bulgaria, Hungary, Poland, Romania, and Slovakia until September 15.

- Poland has exported over 4.5 million mt of cereal over the last four months, which has relieved some of the fears around mounting stock levels after a backlog of grain from the 2022 harvest built up in farmers' warehouses.
“In January 299,000 mt [was exported], in February 539,000 mt, in March 628,000 mt, in April 704,000 mt, in May 882,000 mt and in June almost 940,000 mt,” said Telus.

- At the same time, transit volumes of grain from Ukraine had also increased from 114,000 mt in February to 262,000 mt in June. Telus also proposed to facilitate the transportation of Ukrainian cereals to seaports in Lithuania and Latvia – and that these ports should also enable the export of Polish grain.

Aug 04 - China to lift tariffs on Australian barley as trade ties improve
China's Ministry of Commerce said on Friday it would drop anti-dumping and anti-subsidy tariffs on Australian barley imports that had been in place for three years affecting billions of dollars of trade, as the two nations repair strained ties. China and Australia agreed in April to resolve their dispute over barley imports, with Canberra to suspend a case at the World Trade Organization (WTO) over Beijing's anti-dumping and countervailing duties on barley, while China promised to speed up a review into the tariffs. 

Aug 04 - India rice stocks at three times target, easing supply concerns
India's rice stocks were at nearly three times its target at the start of August, two government sources in the world's second biggest producer country said on Thursday. Coupled with the new season crop that is due to start trickling into the market by October, the surplus will raise market hopes of New Delhi relaxing a recent export ban.

Aug 03 - Trade sources cast doubt on Russia-India wheat flows (AgriCensus)

- Trade sources have cast doubt on reports that India could allow the import of up to 9 million mt of Russian wheat via a state-to-state deal, amid concerns that the country's import infrastructure could struggle to cope with such volume. However, despite another huge crop itself, India is battling food inflation and a pick up in imports is expected - the question is just how much.

- Trade sources in India have told Agricensus that such a large volume would be impossible to consider being imported under a state-to-state deal, but conceded that total imports - both private and state - could reach that level. The prospect of increased imports has been on the radar for some time already amid firming domestic wheat prices and the government failing to reach its minimum procurement level - leaving stocks well below usually expected levels. The biggest annual volume of wheat India has imported in the last ten years was 3.97 million mt back in 2017, according to government customs’ data, and the sources spoken to by Agricensus have expressed doubts that in general it would be possible for India to handle such a volume through its current state and private ports.

- If such a figure was to be achieved it would propel India into the top tier of Russia's biggest buyers, landing between Turkey and Egypt – with 12.6 million mt and 8 million mt of annual imports respectively. Such a sharp increase is another reason why traders see the figure as unlikely, with such a substantial volume likely to have a major impact on the domestic market and potentially alienate Indian farmers.

Meanwhile, domestic prices have again started to firm after the relief brought about by the government's ban on rice exports leading to renewed talk about a possible reduction in the import duty. Fresh rumors are focussing on expectations that the current 40% import duty could be halved in the coming months.
“There are recommendations already sent by FCI (Food Corporation of India) and concerned bodies to concerned ministries to reduce import duty from 40% to 15% or 20%,” Rajesh Paharia from Commodity Traders Delhi told Agricensus.

While that measure is expected to cover any private import trade, Paharia expected the cut to have been implemented by the end of August or early September.

Aug 03 - UK dairy prices fall as ample supply weighs on market (IHSmarkit)

- Butter price falls 5% at the same time as cheddar loses 3%
- Bulk cream is the only wholesale price to avoid posting a decline
- The absence of a heatwave in the UK keeps production above year-ago levels

Reflecting a weaker European market, UK dairy wholesale prices have weakened. With the summer holiday period underway activity is low.

Butter demand is weak and availability is plentiful, so reflecting this the butter price fell 5% to £3,990/t.

Weakening prices at the GDT have pressured UK SMP prices. In July the UK SMP price fell 8% to £1,900/t. Compared to a year ago the price is 42% lower.

Cheddar prices were stabler than either butter or SMP but did not escape the pressure. The average cheddar price fell 3% to £3,470/t. Interest in buying is low

Bulk cream prices moved in contrast to the other dairy products. During the month there was a small lift with the price gaining 1% to £1,644/metric ton. The price reported at the end of the month was weaker at £1,610/t.

GB milk production continues on its seasonal descent. In the latest week, there was a step change in the y/y trend. During the first 2 weeks of July production was marginally (0.4% and 0.6%) above year-ago levels. During the 3rd week, the y/y increase jumped to 1.2%, however, the driving factor behind the change was the heatwave of 2022. During the 3rd week of July in 2022, UK temperatures reached 40℃ which was negative for cow comfort levels, and therefore production plummeted. Without that impact in 2023, collections have continued on a more typical seasonal decline trend.

The Agriculture & Horticulture Development Board (AHDB), is forecasting for milk collections to maintain a premium over the year-ago levels until the end of August. After then though collections are likely to be in-line or below year-ago levels.

Aug 03 - US pork firms split over Congress bill to overturn California animal welfare law
Some big U.S. pork producers that have spent money to comply with a California law requiring more living space for certain farm animals are lukewarm about legislation proposed in the U.S. Congress that would overturn the state law. The National Pork Producers Council (NPPC), the pork industry trade group, supports the Ending Agricultural Trade Suppression (EATS) Act, a bill introduced by U.S. Senator Roger Marshall and Representative Ashley Hinson that would curb the ability of states to regulate agricultural products sold within their borders.

Aug 03 - Weather woes, Russia upend outlook for global wheat suppliers

Drought is expected to send global wheat stockpiles for major exporters to the lowest levels in more than a decade, a Reuters analysis shows, a decline coming as top supplier Russia intensifies its conflict with Ukraine and creates more uncertainty for importers. Farms in areas of North and South America, Europe and Australia are facing crop losses as extreme weather spreads over an unusually wide geographic area, making food production increasingly vulnerable. Escalating tensions between Russia and Ukraine have also returned concerns over food security to the forefront of grain trading and diplomacy.

Aug 02 - Reduced rainfall to limit Argentina rice harvest for second year in 2023-24 (IHSmarkit)

- Milled rice production expected to rise 3.3% y/y
- Reservoir levels are likely to only have water to support 15-20%
- Argentina rice exports projected to rise 4.5% y/y

-Argentina’s rice production will be limited for a second consecutive year in the marketing year 2023-24 (April 2024-March 2025) by insufficient rainfall, the USDA said in a country update.

Milled rice production is forecast at 685,000 metric tons, rising 3.3% from 663,000 metric tons in MY 2022-23, the USDA said. While harvested area is anticipated to contract by 1.3% to 158,000 hectares, the average field yield is expected to rise to 6.67 metric tons per hectare from 6.38 metric tons per hectare in MY 2022-23.
“The lack of good rains that could refill the level of the main rivers and water reservoirs in Corrientes and northern Entre Rios is expected to significantly limit the planted area in the next season which begins in early September,” the USDA update said.

The mentioned regions usually account for about 64,000 hectares or roughly one third of Argentinian rice planted area and rely to varying degrees on irrigation from reservoirs as opposed to other regions irrigated mainly from rivers or wells.

The USDA estimates that planted area will fall by 50% in these areas because reservoir levels are likely to only have water to support 15-20% of this acreage. Steady prices and lower production costs are likely to prompt farmers to plant beyond what reservoir levels can support in the hope that El Nino conditions will provide the necessary rainfall to complete crop development.

Argentina is forecast to export 230,000 metric tons of rice in 2023-24, up 4.5% from 220,000 metric tons in MY 2022-23, meaning it will have a lower profile in the international rice trade for a further year. Exports in 2021-22 are estimated at 422,000 metric tons.

The forecasts provided by the USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) were all significantly below USDA official forecasts with the exception of beginning and ending stocks which it put at 147,000 metric tons and 151,000 metric tons respectively for 2023-24.   

Aug 01 - South Africa due to harvest bumper corn crop ( IHSmarkit )

- South Africa expected to harvest 17 million metric tons of corn in 2022/23: USDA
- 5.3% y/y increase comes from higher yields, despite lower harvested area
- USDA projects output will fall to 16.8 million metric tons in 2023/24

South Africa is currently harvesting another bumper corn harvest for the 2022/23 marketing year, according to the USDA, and is poised to produce 17 million metric tons. This represents a 5% y/y increase. Even though harvested area is down y/y, the spike in output is linked to higher yields following favorable weather conditions. Additionally, the usage of new production technologies and more effective farming techniques, such as precision farming, have been credited for rising corn yields.

The USDA stated that the South Africa’s corn production has doubled over the past two decades as a result of these technologies and techniques. Indeed, the body reported that this would be the country’s second largest corn harvest on record. South Africa’s five largest corn harvests on record were produced in the past seven years.

Large harvests have weighed on prices in the country, with the SAFEX Yellow Maize nearby contract closing the week to July 28 at Rand 3,595 per metric ton, down by 19% from the start of 2023.

The caveat of this season’s output expansion is that it may limit opportunities for 2023/24. This, in addition to an expected increase in soybean planting, is the reason the USDA forecast 2023/24 output at 16.8 million metric tons, down by 1.2% y/y.

South Africa is the continent’s largest corn producer, ahead of both Nigeria and Ethiopia. Although there have been reports of poor infrastructure in addition to poor economic performance, the country is home to Africa’s most modern, productive, and diverse agricultural sector. It boasts approximately 32,000 commercial farmers, and its grain industry contributes more than 30% to the nation’s agricultural output.

Aug 01 - Wheat prices continued to fall yesterday, but will rise again after today port attacks (UAGrainTrade)

- Speculative jumps in wheat prices continue on the world market, provoked by the Russian Federation, which is trying to sell its harvest at the best prices, for which it blocks exports from Ukraine. Chicago soft wheat prices rose 12% in the week before last amid shelling of Danube and Black Sea ports, but fell 16.9% last week, including 8.2% over the last two sessions on news of the so-called breakout of the three ships to the ports of Ukraine, although in fact they did not go to the Black Sea ports, but to the Danube ports.
- On the night of August 2, the Russian Federation once again attacked the Danube ports with drones, the damage to which will once again stop supplies from Ukraine to Constanta, and will also lead to an increase in the cost of freight.
- The Russian Federation published official harvest data, according to which on July 31, 37.4 million tons of wheat were threshed from 9.2 million hectares or 31% of the area with a yield of 4 tons/ha, although 19% of the area was threshed last year. Areas of winter wheat sowing decreased, and spring wheat - increased by 6%. The state of spring wheat in the east of the Russian Federation has improved thanks to the July precipitation, so local agencies have increased the harvest forecasts to 87-87.5 million tons.
- The state-owned Algerian company OAIC purchased 590,000 tons (according to some reports, up to 800,000 tons) of soft wheat of Black Sea origin (mainly Russian, Romanian, and Bulgarian) at a tender on July 31 for delivery on October 1-31 at a price of $276/t C&F.
- The war in Ukraine remains the main factor affecting world wheat prices. However, Russian wheat is the cheapest on the market, so many countries continue to buy it despite sanctions, as well as cheap Russian oil.

Aug 01 - India basmati rice exporters get requests for early shipments
Indian rice exporters have been receiving requests from buyers to advance shipments of basmati rice after New Delhi banned exports of non-basmati white rice to dampen local prices, industry officials told Reuters. The world's biggest exporter of rice surprised buyers earlier this month by imposing a ban on exports of non-basmati white rice after retail rice prices climbed 3% in a month after late but heavy monsoon rains caused significant damage to crops. 

Aug 01 - Strategie Grains cuts EU oilseed crop estimates after dry weather
Crop consultancy Strategie Grains lowered its forecast for this year's oilseed harvests in the European Union by a total of over 1 million metric tons, mainly to take account of damage caused by scorching weather in several parts the bloc. Brutally high temperatures in many EU member states and excessive rains elsewhere over the past few months have prompted several forecasters to reduce their outlook for the bloc's grain and oilseed crops this week.

Jul 31 - India's rice planting gathers pace as monsoon rains revive
Indian farmers have planted 23.7 million hectares with summer-sown rice so far, according to the farm ministry's latest data, up 1.71% year-on-year, as crucial monsoon rains revived in July and helped farmers accelerate sowing. Higher rice planting in India, the world's second biggest producer of the grain, will ease concerns about the lower output of the staple. 

Jul 31 - Funds ejected from bearish corn bets amid Black Sea escalation -Braun
Speculators a week ago appeared content with their bearish views in Chicago-traded corn, but damage to Ukrainian river ports early last week forced them into bullish territory, especially with Chicago wheat soaring the daily limit. Several terminals at Ukraine’s Black Sea ports, which handles most of the country’s grain exports, had been struck by Russian missiles in the prior week following Moscow’s withdrawal from the year-old grain export deal.

Jul 29 - Argentinian domestic corn sales reach 2.4 mi mt under corn dollar ( BCR & AgriCensus )

- In the first four days of the corn dollar in Argentina, 2.4 million mt were sold in the domestic market, of which 950,000 mt were traded on Thursday alone, the Rosario Grains Exchange (BCR) said late Friday. Announced Monday, the preferential exchange rate program runs through August 31 and sets an exchange rate of 340 pesos to the dollar for agricultural exports. The program is part of the agreement between Argentina's government and the International Monetary Fund (IMF), after weeks of negotiations and rumors, a staff-level agreement was settled on Friday.  

- With the corn dollar - which also includes sunflower, barley, and sorghum - the Argentine government hops to generate $2 billion in revenue. From Monday to Thursday, revenues amounted to $519 million, or 26% of the expectation. On Tuesday, domestic corn sales totaled 650,000 mt while on Wednesday they had risen to 820,000 mt, the update showed.

- No volumes were reported for Monday. In the previous month, the average weekly traded volume ranged from 600,000 to 700,000 mt.

- According to BCR, the increase in prices boosted sales, as the price paid to producers increased to $125/mt on Tuesday, a 25% increase from the previous day, using the previous unofficial dollar to peso exchange rate as a reference. BCR data showed before the inclusion of corn in the preferential exchange program, 47% of the 34.5 million mt surplus available to offer had been sold versus 63% at the same point last year and 57% on average in the past five years.  The exchange also noted a sharp increase in the number of trucks arriving at Argentine Up River ports, marking the busiest week so far in 2023, warning that not only were domestic prices rising as a result, but the increase had begun "to pressure the logistics of the Up River port of Gran Rosario." BCR also estimated that there remains 9.8 million mt still to be sold, with that volume rising to 13.7 million mt when factoring in the volumes that have been sold but are yet to be priced.

- From Monday to Thursday, corn exported volumes amounted to 360,795 mt, with a total of 500,486 mt volume when considering sunflower, barley, and sorghum. Before the beginning of the program, corn exports totaled 14.6 million mt, with exports amounting to 14.9 million mt on Thursday. It represents 58% of the 26 million mt volume allowed to be traded.

Jul 28 - Market Briefing: Dairy (IHSmarkit)

- Milk production by the major exports has hit its second-highest level on record
- Chinese dairy demand continues to be reduced although imports did increase in June
- EU butter prices hits lowest level since October 2021

- Milk production by the six key exporters has hit its highest level since May 2021 in May 2023. During May, production by the six largest exporters of dairy products totaled 24.17 million metric tons, a 1.2% y/y growth. Production was 2.0% above the 5-year average.
- US milk production fell short of year-ago volumes in June, upending expectations for modest growth. US milk output totaled 18.916 million pounds last month, a negligible 4 million pounds lighter than June 2022 and 0.1% less than June 2021.
- The lingering impacts of drought continue to limit Argentine milk production. During June, Argentine milk production totaled 906.28 million liters, a 0.9% y/y contraction. Although a y/y contraction this volume is 3.7% above the 5-year average. Due to strong production in January and April, Argentine H1 milk production stands at 5.22 billion liters, a 0.4% y/y contraction.

- Chinese dairy imports increased compared to a year ago, according to data from China Statistics. This is largely a change in trend compared to other recent months. Demand in China has been lackluster at best over the past year and currently, demand is not recovering due to poor economic circumstances. According to S&P Global Market Intelligence: “2022–23 average growth and quarter-over-quarter growth showed notable economic deceleration in the second quarter of 2023.”
- Overall consumer inflation within the Eurozone stood at 5.5% for June 2023. Overall food inflation came in at 12.6% which is the slowest rate since June 2022. Inflation of fresh whole milk remained at a hefty level, 14.8% in June 2023, although this is notably almost half the rate that was observed in December, and January. Preserved milk inflation was more stubborn remaining above the 20% mark at 26.2%. During June, butter deflated and was down 3.9%, which is a change from H2 2022 when butter inflation was topping 30% for several months. This is a contrast to the margarine and oil inflation figure was reported at 16.7%, having recorded similar inflation to butter during H2 2022.

- For an eleventh consecutive month, Chinese whey imports increase compared to year-ago levels. This matches the increase in Chinese pork production which has been seen in recent months. During June, whey imports increased 2% y/y to 52,700 t. Although total whey imports grew, volumes from the US collapsed by 22.4% y/y. This was to the benefit of Belarus which almost trebled its shipments.
- In 2022, Japanese imports of dairy products declined compared to 2021. This is a trend that has persisted into 2023. In the first 5 months of 2023, Japanese cheese and curd imports fell 9.2% y/y to 103,900 metric tons, according to data from the Japan Ministry of Finance. This decline builds on a 2.9% y/y fall recorded in the same period of 2022.

- After last week’s respite during the w/ending 16 July, the EU butter average fell 1.8%, to €4,577/t. The price continues to trend a third below year-ago levels and is 4% below the 5-year average. This is the lowest butter price since October 2021.
- After several weeks of tracking sideways and lacking direction, the GDT index has made a decisive move. At the GDT event on July 4, the overall index plummeted 3.3% to $3,334/metric ton.

Forward View
- The supply outlook continues to be mixed. Within Europe and the US, production is stagnating and is expected to fall. In contrast, production in New Zealand, Australia, Argentina, and Uruguay is showing signs of recovery. The drought in South America is having a lingering impact, which is slowing the recovery although not completely impending it. Demand is overall remaining robust in Europe and the US but an increase in domestic supply through H1 and lackluster rest of world demand has weighed on the markets. Demand from the Middle East is slow, while Chinese consumer demand remains low and is expected to remain low for the coming quarters. The lower Chinese consumer demand is compounding with an increase in Chinese production, to reduce Chinese imports exacerbating the drop in demand for the major exporters.

Jul 28 - Market Briefing: Meat and Livestock (IHSmarkit)

- Pork production increases in China but falls in Europe
- Inflationary pressures weight on beef consumption in Europe, but have less impact on lamb
- EU egg prices down 20% from pre-Easter peak

- Chinese pigmeat production has increased this year but production in Europe continues to decline, keeping prices there at record high levels. Pork production in China reached 30.32 million metric tons in the first half of 2023, an increase of 3.2% y/y. The rise was driven by a combination of increased slaughterings (up 2.6% y/y) and higher slaughter weights.
- The situation is very different in Europe, where pigmeat production fell to 6.95 million metric tons in the first four months of 2023, down by 8.8% y/y. Production in down 20% in Denmark, down 12% in the Netherlands and down 9% in Germany. Beyond the EU, production in the UK was down 13% in the first half of this year.


- Inflation and high living costs continue to weigh on beef consumption in Europe, as consumers reduce their purchases of beef, and switch from eating-out to eating-in. This has put downward pressure on benchmark prices for adult male cattle, which last week fell below the year-before level for the first time since February 2021. The high temperatures which have affected large parts of Europe over the past week have also contributed to the slump in consumer demand for beef.
- EU sheep meat consumption is expected to be less impacted by inflationary pressures given the importance of the product in religious and cultural contexts, with expected growth of 1.4% per capita in 2023.

- The European Commission has rejected calls to limit poultry imports from Ukraine but says it stands ready to adopt safeguard measures if and when this is deemed necessary. The EU executive denied that imports of Ukrainian broiler meat have destabilized the EU market, noting that prices are at historically high levels. The Commission says EU poultry meat imports from Ukraine reached 125,740 metric tons in the first 27 weeks of 2023, an increase of 87% y/y.
- Elsewhere, Brazilian exports of chicken meat (fresh, frozen and processed) totaled 2.63 million metric tons in the first half of 2023 – up 8.5% y/y. Fears that Brazilian exports would be seriously disrupted by outbreaks of avian flu have so far not materialized as the disease has still not appeared on commercial poultry farms.

- EU egg prices have fallen sharply once again over the past month, as the corrections from the record high levels seen earlier in the year continues. Demand for eggs is currently at or around its seasonal low point, and the pressure on supplies which characterized the market through most of last winter has gone. Prices are accordingly dropping back closer to historically normal levels – although the EU benchmark price remains 17% above the level seen at this point last year.
- In the week ending 23 July, the EU average price for Class A eggs was €211.27 per 100kg, down by 9% in the past four weeks. This is the sixteenth consecutive week of price decreases and takes the price some 20% below its pre-Easter peak.

Forward view
- After being dragged into loss-making territory in 2022, pig producers in Spain returned to profitability in the first half of 2023. The Spanish Union of Unions of Farmers and Livestock Producers (UUAG) said producers made average profits of around €35 per animal in the January-June period after losing €7 per animal in 2022.
- In recent months, margins for European pork and poultry producers have been boosted by high prices and also by the fact that feed costs have eased back from the peaks seen last year. But this is now threatened by developments in Ukraine, where the suspension of the Black Sea grain deal and Russian attacks on Ukrainian ports are pushing up the price of feed materials once again.

Jul 28 - Putin promises African leaders free grain despite 'hypocritical' Western sanctions
Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday told African leaders he would gift them tens of thousands of tons of grain despite Western sanctions, which he said made it harder for Moscow to export its grain and fertilisers. Speaking at a Russia-Africa summit in St Petersburg, Putin said Russia was ready to replace Ukrainian grain exports to Africa on both a commercial and aid basis to fulfil what he said was Moscow's critical role in global food security. 

Jul 28 - Argentina's wheat gets boost from good conditions after rains
Recent rains in Argentina's agricultural region have allowed soil moisture to recover and 72.1% of the planned wheat harvest has now been planted under good and optimal conditions, the Buenos Aires grains exchange said on Thursday. This marks a dramatic turnaround from last season, when the worst drought on record hit Argentina's agricultural heartland and halved the cycle's wheat harvest to just 12.4 million metric tons, according to the exchange.

Jul 27 - NATO says it's boosting Black Sea surveillance, condemns Russian grain deal exit
NATO said on Wednesday it was stepping up surveillance of the Black Sea region as it condemned Russia's exit from a deal assuring the safe passage of ships carrying Ukrainian grain. The announcement came after a meeting of the NATO-Ukraine Council, a body established earlier this month to coordinate cooperation between the Western military alliance and Kyiv. 

Jul 27 - Agritel estimates French 2023 soft wheat harvest at 34.8 mln T
The soft wheat harvest in France, the European Union's main grower, will rise 3.3% to 34.82 million metric tons this year, a "disappointing" volume mainly due to dry weather in large parts of the country, consultancy Agritel said on Wednesday. The 2023 crop would still be 1.3% above the average of the past five years, Agritel, Argus Media's agriculture analytics arm said, based on a survey of industry players on July 20-25.

Jul 26 - Global rice market set for government deals as India's ban curbs supplies
Global rice importers are likely to seek direct deals with governments in exporting countries as India's ban on shipments of a key variety is squeezing supplies and igniting concerns over food security. Buyers from Africa to Asia are likely to scramble for rice shipments as supplies tighten in coming months following India's decision last week to ban non-basmati white rice exports. 

Jul 26 - Russia's Danube attacks tighten noose on Ukraine's grain sector
Russian air strikes on Ukrainian grain facilities on the Danube this week threaten a vital river route for Kyiv's exports, as Moscow seeks to tighten the noose around a key sector of the economy days after abandoning the Black Sea shipping deal. Last week, air strikes caused tens of millions of dollars of damage to the grain sector in Odesa region, and Monday's strikes on infrastructure along the Danube brought back memories of the export gridlock that followed Russia's February 2022 invasion.

Jul 25 - Ukraine grain transit through Baltics only workable with preferential tariff (AgriCensus)

- Russia once again attacked Ukraine's port infrastructure Monday, increasing concerns around future shipments from the Danube, currently the key route for agriculture products after the Black Sea Grain Initiative stopped working, and causing stakeholders to consider alternative routes, including transit through Baltic and Polish ports. However, trade sources said this route was currently not really workable, with one of the main reasons being the high costs associated with it, which means it will only be a viable option only if the EU can agree on a preferential rail tariff for Ukrainian exports.

The price question is currently very painful, unlike a year ago when Ukraine also had limited choices for export as the Black Sea ports were still blocked. Back then world prices were at historical highs, giving Ukrainian sellers an opportunity to include expensive logistics in the price while still remaining competitive. But this year, inland prices in Ukraine are already at very low levels, close to or even at the level of costs of production, and any further decline will hit farmers' ability to plan the upcoming planting.
"This option can work if you go through Belarus (which will not happen) or if there will be subsidies from the EU for transportation to more distant ports (which is currently being discussed),” one analyst said.

- Other sources agreed that without discounted tariffs from European transporting companies, it was “senseless.” In addition, rail logistics in the EU are planned well ahead, and this has caused delays for Ukrainian shipments, as the rail track is a different gauge in the EU and all exports have to be reloaded onto EU wagons at the border.

- Another factor is the capacity at the border, which is still fairly limited – Ukranian rail shipments stood at 1.2 million mt per month back in 2022 before the opening of the Black Sea export corridor. This means putting in a lot of effort to export a relatively low volume. Finally, currently, the world prices are significantly lower than last year, so even if Ukrainian grain can be transited to Baltic ports, the price at which it is likely to be offered from there is unlikely to be competitive.
"Logistic costs including freight from the Baltic to the importers out of the EU kills the business," a broker said.

- At the same time, if activity in Danube ports drops significantly amid higher risks, this could push commodity prices higher.
"Logistics are expensive for Baltic ports. But on the other hand, if we work only through EU borders, then the market will rise and maybe it will be again possible to calculate this according to the costs of production in Ukraine,” a trader said.

- The president of the Ukrainian Grain Association (UGA), Mykola Gorbachov, has already called on European Commission to increase the export through its so-called solidarity lanes to 1.5 million mt per month by subsidizing the costs of the European transporting companies and port transshipment. This could help lower overall logistics costs for Ukrainian traders and allow farmers to deliver grain without making a loss. Gorbachov also said that the transfer of sanitary, phytosanitary and veterinary control from checkpoints at the EU border with Ukraine to the country of destination might ensure a significant increase in exports.

Jul 25 - Russia-Africa summit to discuss Moscow's grain and fertiliser exports – RIA
Russia and nations taking part in this week's Russia-Africa summit will discuss Moscow's grain and fertilisers exports, Oleg Ozerov, ambassador at large at the Russian foreign ministry, told the state RIA news agency in remarks published on Tuesday. Last week, Russia withdrew from the year-long Black Sea grain deal that ensured the safe export of Ukrainian grains, saying that Russia's conditions for the extension of the deal had been ignored. 

Jul 25 - EU crop monitor further trims 2023 yields after dry weather
The European Union's crop monitoring service on Monday further reduced its crop yield forecasts for this year's harvest in the bloc, including grains, oilseeds and sugar beet, citing dry and hot weather conditions. Crop prospects in the EU have taken on extra significance since Russia's invasion of Ukraine - a major wheat, corn and sunflower exporter - has disrupted Black Sea exports and raised uncertainty over Ukraine's harvest.

Jul 24 - Danube drone strikes raise stakes for Black Sea ship insurers (AgriCensus)

- Ukrainian ports and infrastructure along the Danube river in the south of the country were subjected to Russian missile and drone strikes overnight, in a move that has increased again the concerns around what is now Ukraine's primary grains export route. According to Ukrainian officials, grain silos and ground storage capacity were destroyed along with stocks intended to be loaded into cargoes and a fire reported in some buildings, although no further details were given. Authorities have not said officially which port was affected, but trade sources spoken to by Agricensus have said it was the port of Reni, a location right on the border with Romania.

- The strikes have raised fears of potential escalation, with drones said to have landed close to the country's border, despite it being a member of both the EU and the NATO military bloc. Along with the facilities in the port being damaged, according to trade sources the port has been partially working but hours of operation will be limited to 0800 through to 1900 local time, rather than the 24-hour operations that had been in place. All the other ports in the Danube region (Izmail, Kylia) were said to be operating normally, alongside the Sulina canal, controlled by Romania, and the Bystre canal - both of which link the Danube river with the Black Sea and were also said to be operating normally.

- However, along with photos believed to show the damage at the port, and reports from trade sources who suggested that some of the barges - some owned by Romanian operators - were also affected and had suffered slight damage. Agricensus could not confirm the reports, but trade sources have said that some ship owners have already partly moved their fleet to the Romanian Danube port of Galac, 26 kilometres from Reni.

- As such, the risk associated with moving grain out of the Danube ports has increased - with the capacity the only sea-based alternative available to allow Ukranian shipments if the Great Odesa region ports remain unable to load following Russia's withdrawal from the Black Sea grain deal initiative. That escalation may also impact the number of vessels willing to go to the region, but may also push up freight prices amid heightened risk. Late on Friday, Agricensus contacted the International Union of Marine Insurance (IUMI) regarding the position of insurance coverage for vessels entering the Danube ports - amid mounting tensions following bellicose statements from both Russian and Ukrainian defense ministers.
“There is still cover for vessels in the Ukrainian Danube but this may change quickly if more traffic uses that route and the threat continues to increase,” the organization said.

- The Danube ports have emerged as the key gateway for Ukrainian agricultural shipments over the last month, and has been a significant outlet for many months prior to the signing of the Black Sea grain corridor. With relations between Ukraine and Russia breaking down after Russian inspectors were accused of undermining the agreement by dragging their heels on clearing inbound vessels and stopping the grain deal from working normally. Working with just the Danube ports alone, Ukraine could potentially still export more than 3 million mt of grains and oilseeds per month - a result that the country has already achieved back in March 2023, but there remains potential to increase the flows even further.

Jul 24 - Russia's Putin: Black Sea grain deal became meaningless
Russia withdrew from the Black Sea grain deal that ensured the safe export of Ukrainian grains because the agreement lost its meaning, President Vladimir Putin wrote in an article published early on Monday. "The continuation of the 'grain deal' - which did not justify its humanitarian purpose - has lost its meaning," Putin said, according to the article on the Kremlin's website. 

Jul 24 - India's rice export curbs put contracts for 2 mln tons at risk
India's decision to ban non-basmati white rice exports will spur traders to cancel contracts to sell around 2 million metric tons of the grain, worth $1 billion, on the world market, dealers said on Friday. India, which accounts for 40% of world rice exports, on Thursday ordered a halt to its largest rice export category to calm domestic prices, which climbed to multi-year highs in recent weeks as erratic weather threatens production.

Jul 21 - Brazil's 2023 soybean crushing set for record highs driven by oil, meal demand (IHSmarkit)

- Soybean meal exports seen at 22 million metric tons
- Oil derivative sales projected at 2.4 million metric tons
- Soybean output expected to reach 156.5 million metric tons

- Brazil's soybean crushing is estimated to reach a record high 53.5 million metric tons in 2023 from the previous month's estimate of 53.2 million metric tons, driven by a greater demand for soybean oil and meal, according to the latest release from the Brazilian Association of Vegetable Oil Industries, or Abiove, on July 20. In the 2022 campaign, raw bean crushing stood at 50.932 million metric tons.

- Projections for exports of soybean oil and meal derivative in 2023 were also increased from June's estimates. Sales of Brazil's soybean meal were pegged at 22 million metric tons, up from 21.9 million metric tons in June estimates. This was up 8.05% year on year from 20.36 million metric tons in 2022. Latest estimates for Brazil’s soybean oil sales stood at 2.4 million metric tons, up from 0.1 million metric tons in the June forecast.

- The country's soybean production and exports were also projected to hit a new record high in the 2023 campaign. Soybean production in the current harvest was estimated to reach 156.5 million metric tons, an increase of 500,000 metric tons compared with last month's projections.
“The international market will continue to increase the demand for products from the Brazilian soy complex this year," Abiove said in its statement. "The export of soybeans in grain grows from 97 million metric tons measured in the previous projection to 97.5 million metric tons in the current balance sheet.”

- The supply projections for Brazil's soybean derivatives also showed a slight increase. Meal production was estimated at 41 million metric tons, up 300,000 metric tons from the previous evaluation. Soybean oil production was estimated at 10.8 million metric tons, a 100,000 metric tons increase from June's projections.

- Brazil is traditionally the world’s largest producer and exporter of soybean. With surging demand from China and supply constraints from drought-hit Argentina, Brazil is expected to be the leading supplier and exporter of raw beans and meal derivatives in marketing year 2023.

- Platts assessed Brazilian soybean oil FOB Paranagua for August loading at $1,006.19 per metric ton July 20, $24.03/t higher on the day, S&P Global Commodity Insights data showed, while Brazilian soybean meal FOB Paranagua for September loading was assessed at $485.67/t July 20, $4.08/t lower on the day.

Jul 21 - China June corn imports rise 11.1% on month, wheat imports drop 29.2% (IHSmarkit)

- China H1 corn imports down 12.9% on year
- US and Ukraine top corn origins
- H1 wheat imports rise 61.4% on year

- China imported 1.85 million metric tons corn in June, 11.1% higher than May’s imports of 1.66 million metric tons, while wheat imports in the same period fell to 806,853 metric tons, the country’s customs data showed. China’s corn imports continued to rise on the month mainly due to sharp increases in US shipments, according to the data. However, China’s January-June corn imports are about 12.9% lower on the year at 12.03 million metric tons. The largest volumes during this period were from the US, followed by Ukraine, the data showed. China had been actively seeking US and Brazilian corn for forward shipments in recent weeks amid reports of erratic weather threatening domestic corn production, trade sources said. Platts assessed the CFR Northeast Asia corn price at $272 per metric ton July 20, S&P Global Commodity Insights data showed.

- Meanwhile, China’s wheat imports in June eased 29.2% on the month versus May imports of 1.14 million metric tons, Chinese customs data showed. Wheat imports from most destinations fell, with a marked decrease in Australian shipments. Overall, China’s first-half 2023 wheat imports stand 61% higher on the year at 7.92 million metric tons and consuming 82.2% of the 2023 tariff-rate quota of 9.636 million metric tons, the customs data showed. Trade sources expected China’s wheat imports in 2023 to exceed the TRQ volume.

- The National Bureau of Statistics had pegged China’s total wheat production in the 2022-23 season (July to June) at 134.53 million metric tons, down 0.9% on the year despite a 0.4% increase in wheat acreage. Yields were seen 1.3% lower on the year, according to the statistics bureau.

The downgrade was smaller than market expectations after torrential rains delayed harvests and damaged crops in the main winter wheat-producing province, Henan, and its neighboring wheat-growing provinces in late-May. However, market sources had previously noted that a loss in quality instead of quantity was more likely for China’s 2023 wheat production.

Platts, part of S&P Global, last assessed Australian Premium White wheat at $296/t FOB Australia and Australian Standard White at $276/t FOB Australia July 20.

Jul 21 - Grain buyers refuse to panic as Ukraine corridor closes
Major grain importers in the Middle East and North Africa have reacted calmly to the end of the safe shipping corridor for Ukraine's exports through the Black Sea this week, European commodity traders said on Thursday. "There has not been panic buying by importers this time around on the scale as we saw last year when prices skyrocketed after the Russian invasion of Ukraine," one European grain trader said. "Buyers want to watch a few days and assess the situation, nobody seems to be rushing or panicking." 

Jul 21 - India imposes major rice export ban, triggering inflation fears
India on Thursday ordered a halt to its largest rice export category in a move that will roughly halve shipments by the world's largest exporter of the grain, triggering fears of further inflation on global food markets. The government said it was imposing a ban on non-basmati white rice after retail rice prices climbed 3% in a month after late but heavy monsoon rains caused significant damage to crops.

Jul 21 - Ukraine responds to Russia with similar stance on Black Sea vessels (AgriCensus)

- Ukraine’s Ministry of Defence has responded to a statement from the Russian Defence Ministry Wednesday, announcing it would take the same stance on ships moving towards Russian ports in the Black Sea as Russia said it would take on those headed to Ukraine. In a note published Thursday afternoon, the Ukrainian ministry said that from midnight local time on July 21, all vessels in the Black Sea heading to Russia and to Ukrainian ports in territories currently occupied by Russia would be treated as potentially carrying military cargo, with all the associated risks.

- In addition, the note said navigation in the northeastern part of the Black Sea and the Kerch-Yenikal Strait of Ukraine would be prohibited from 0500 local time on July 20, 2023, as it was considered dangerous.
“By openly threatening civilian ships transporting food from Ukrainian ports, launching missile attacks and drone attacks on civilian infrastructure in peaceful cities, deliberately creating a military threat on trade routes, the Kremlin has turned the Black Sea into a danger zone,” the note said.
“The responsibility for all risks lies entirely with the Russian leadership,” it added.

- The statement follows a third night of Russian attacks on Odesa, where Ukraine’s main deep sea ports are located, as well as Russia’s withdrawal from the Black Sea Grain Initiative on Monday.

- It appears to be a direct retaliation to Russia’s statement Wednesday that all vessels in the Black Sea moving towards Ukrainian ports would be considered as carrying military cargoes and thus targets, which led to a spike in worldwide wheat futures and concerns in the market as to whether this meant ships going into Danube ports would also potentially be in danger.

- The grain corridor deal, signed between Russia, Turkey, Ukraine, and the United Nations in July 2022, has facilitated the export of almost 33 million mt of agricultural products from Ukraine to global markets, but it has become increasingly less effective in the last months as Russian authorities were accused of deliberately slowing down the rate of inspections of in- and outbound vessels.

Jul 20 - Top buyer India's sunoil imports to fall as Black Sea grain deal expires
India's imports of sunflower oil are likely to fall in the coming months as it becomes uncompetitive against rival oils due to rising prices after Russia withdrew from the Black Sea grain deal, industry officials told Reuters. The drop in sunflower oil imports would force the world's biggest buyer of vegetable oils to increase purchases of palm oil and soyoil to compensate. 

Jul 20 - Asian wheat buyers to seek alternative supplies after attacks on Ukraine ports
Asian millers, which have bought more than 1 million metric tons of Black Sea wheat for shipment in coming months, will seek alternatives as attacks on Ukrainian ports after the collapse of a safe passage deal spark longer-term supply risks, traders and analysts said. Supply constraints from the key Black Sea region add further uncertainty amid the prospect of dry El Nino weather threatening crops across Asia, exacerbating worries over food inflation.

Jul 19 - Russia warns of Black Sea closure as grain deal end stokes attack fears (AgriCensus)

- Russia’s defense ministry has issued a statement declaring that, effective midnight Moscow time on the morning of July 20, any shipping identified as heading towards a Ukrainian port would be regarded as “potential carriers of military cargo.” The statement, released on the ministry’s website, follows Russia’s withdrawal from the Black Sea grain corridor initiative and comes after two days of missile and drone strikes carried out against ports in the Odesa region. Following Russia’s suspension of its participation, the ministry declared “areas in the north-western and south-eastern parts of the international waters of the Black Sea” to be “temporarily dangerous for navigation.”

- The move is the latest in a rapidly escalating stand-off between Ukraine and Russia and ramps up uncertainty in the Black Sea region after a year in which a four-way agreement has brought stability and facilitated exports of corn, wheat and other oilseeds to world markets.

- The corridor deal, signed between Russia, Turkey, Ukraine and the United Nations, has become increasingly less effective as Russian authorities were accused of deliberately slowing the rate of inspections of in- and outbound vessels. The inspections were a key part of the deal and overcame Russian concerns that ships approaching Ukrainian ports could be used to smuggle weapons into the country – but also introduced a vulnerability where Russian authorities could control access to Ukraine’s deep water ports. Ultimately, as Russia was accused of increasingly exploiting that control and effectively starving vessels into the Black Sea, the deal had proved less and less effective – but an attack on a key bridge linking the Russian mainland with the disputed Crimea region has seen events rapidly escalating.

- In declaring all shipping heading towards the Ukrainian ports as potential carriers of military cargo, the statement warned that “such vessels will be considered involved in the Ukrainian conflict on the side of the Kyiv regime.” The implicit threat is likely to alarm ship owners and insurers and could also affect shipping using the Danube ports in the extreme south of Ukraine – an alternative export route that has been shouldering increasing responsibility for maintaining Ukraine’s export flows.

Jul 19 - Brazil grain exports at record levels yet July soy shipments to drop - Anec
Brazil is poised to export a record 18.3 million metric tons of soybeans, soymeal, corn and wheat in July, revised data from exporters association Anec showed on Tuesday, even though soybean shipment projections fell from last week. The previous record for July was set in 2020 for the four commodities, when 14.8 million metric tons were exported, Anec said. 

Jul 19 - Cocoa prices hit highest in 12 years in New York
Chocolate-making raw material cocoa's prices rose to the highest in more than 12 years in New York on Tuesday, only a few weeks after its prices jumped to the highest in 46 years in London, as traders and chocolate producers face restricted supplies. Prices for the benchmark cocoa contract at the Intercontinental Exchange in New York rose to $3,429 per metric ton earlier in the trading session, the highest since mid-March 2011, closing later at $3,407, or up 1.4%.

Jul 19 - Russian gov considers preferential tax for export into "friendly" countries (AgriCensus)

- The Russian government is working on amendments to its export policy that would allow a temporary reduction or even the elimination of export taxes for products heading to a list of countries deemed to be 'friendly', Russian local media outlet RBC has reported, citing a government document it has seen. The proposed amendment would still need to be formally approved at a meeting of the Cabinet of Ministers, after which it can be submitted to the State Duma - but details have not been made available in the public domain.

- This change was done in accordance with instructions from the Russian president, who has ordered the amendments in a bid to promote economic development and strengthen ties with countries whose trade and political relationships will elevate them to “most favored nation” status, to the exclusion of other countries. As such, export taxes for grains and vegetable oils, along with other commodities Russia typically exports, could be lowered from the current official levels, or even zeroed for the period of up to half a year.

- According to an explanatory note, quoted by the news agency, such preferential tariffs could be used for export to friendly countries - that is, those countries that have not imposed sanctions against Russia after its invasion of Ukraine, or countries with which Russia is currently building strategic, economic or political relations. It was not immediately clear how this new proposal could affect the grain and oils markets and what impact it could have on the local and international prices for grains and vegetable oils.

- Especially, as almost all grain and oils exports from Russia goes towards countries that are friendly to Russia or have been neutral on the invasion, with very little share taken by European buyers who are now considered unfriendly. Russia's biggest export destinations for agricultural products in 2022/23 have been Turkey, Egypt, Iran, and Saudi Arabia.

Jul 18 - Black Sea grain deal expires after Russia quits
A deal allowing the safe Black Sea export of Ukraine's grain for the past year expired on Monday after Russia quit and warned it could not guarantee the safety of ships in a move the United Nations said would "strike a blow to people in need everywhere." Moscow suggested that if demands to improve exports of its own grain and fertilizer were met it would consider resurrecting the Black Sea agreement.  

Jul 18 - Small U.S. refiners plan to challenge biofuel blending waiver denials
A group of refiners plan to file a lawsuit challenging the Biden administration's rejection of waivers to exempt oil refiners from biofuel blending mandates which has left some on the hook for hundreds of millions of dollars, Par Pacific told Reuters on Monday. The Environmental Protection Agency, which has the authority to issue the waivers, on Friday denied exemption requests from 15 small refineries in a move that corn farmers and ethanol producers welcomed.

Jul 17 - Black Sea export of grain from Ukraine for the past year is set to expire (Reuters)
- A pact that has allowed the safe Black Sea export of grain from Ukraine for the past year is set to expire. Russia said that it had halted participation in a landmark deal which allowed Ukrainian grain to be exported through the Black Sea just hours after Moscow said Ukraine had attacked the Crimean Bridge. The Kremlin said the halting of the deal had nothing to do with the attack.
- The Ukrainian military suggested it could be some kind of provocation by Russia itself but Ukrainian media cited unidentified sources as saying that Ukraine's Security Service was behind the incident.
- Meanwhile, extreme heat hits several parts of the world, including the US, China and Europe.

- An extreme heatwave peaked in the western US on Sunday, with temperatures reaching 128 Fahrenheit (53 Celsius) in the California desert, while flash flooding continued to menace the Northeast, killing at least five people. Nearly a quarter of the US population fell under extreme heat advisories.
- A remote township in China's arid northwest endured temperatures of more than 52 Celsius (126 Fahrenheit), state media reported, setting a record for a country that was battling minus 50C weather just six months ago. Since April, countries across Asia have been hit by rounds of record-breaking heat.
- Meanwhile, Italy issued hot weather red alerts for 16 cities, with warnings that temperatures will hit record highs across southern Europe in the coming days. Spain, Italy and Greece have been experiencing scorching temperatures for several days, damaging agriculture and leaving tourists scurrying for shade.

Jul 17 - Black Sea grain deal to expire Monday if Russia quits
A pact that has allowed the safe Black Sea export of grain from Ukraine for the past year will expire at the end of Monday if Russia does not agree to extend the agreement brokered by the United Nations and Turkey to combat a global food crisis worsened by Russia's invasion of its neighbor. The last ship left Ukraine under the deal on Sunday. Russia's February 2022 invasion and blockade of Ukraine's Black Sea ports sent global grain prices soaring.  

Jul 17 - China wheat output falls 0.9% after rain damage ahead of harvest
China's summer wheat output fell 0.9% this year, official data showed on Saturday, the first decline in seven years after heavy rain hit key growing areas just ahead of the harvest. Output in the world's top grower of the grain fell to 134.53 million metric tons, the National Bureau of Statistics said, although it added that this year still brought a bumper harvest.

Jul 14 - Malaysia raises Aug ref price for CPO export tax, rate stays at 8% (AgriCensus)

- Malaysia has maintained its crude palm oil (CPO) export tax rate for August at the maximum level of 8% while raising its reference price, the Malaysian Palm Oil Board (MPOB) said in a circular issued Friday. The CPO reference price for August will be raised to MYR3,614.28/mt ($793/mt) from MYR3,604.73/mt previously, with the resulting payable export duty raised to MYR289.14/mt ($63.5/mt) from July’s MYR288.38/mt.

- The export duty rate remains unchanged at the maximum rate of 8% as the reference price remains above the threshold of MYR3,450/mt based on the current tax structure. Malaysia’s export tax for CPO works on a progressive rate structure, starting from 3% for when CPO prices are between MYR2,250-2,400/mt.

- Meanwhile, neighbouring producer Indonesia has raised its CPO reference price for July 16-31 to $791.02/mt from the previous $747.23/mt, effectively raising its export duty and levy to $33/mt and $85/mt from $18/mt and $75/mt with taxes for other palm products also due to be raised. The increase in Indonesian taxes further narrows the discount against Malaysian palm products, which has seen an improvement in exports this month with July 1-10 exports rising between 17.2-26.09% from the same period in June, based on estimates by cargo surveyors.

Jul 14 - UN scrambles to save Black Sea grain deal, with EU help, ahead of Monday deadline
The European Commission is helping the United Nations and Turkey try to extend a deal allowing the Black Sea export of Ukraine grain and is open to "explore all solutions," a European Union spokesperson said on Thursday, ahead of the deal's possible expiration on Monday. The U.N. and Turkey brokered the Black Sea Grain Initiative with Russia and Ukraine in July 2022 to help alleviate a global food crisis worsened by Moscow's invasion and blockade of Ukrainian ports.  

Jul 14 - Smaller German wheat and rapeseed crops forecast due to dry weather
Germany's 2023 wheat harvest will fall 3.2% on the year to 21.79 million metric tons, the country's association of farm cooperatives said on Thursday, repeating its earlier forecast of a smaller harvest this year after dry weather stressed grains. This was down from its previous forecast in June of a German 2023 wheat crop of all types of 21.87 million metric tons as rain often came too late to help crops.

Jul 13 - Wheat offers fade in Russia amid rumors on floor price (AgriCensus)

- Offers of physical wheat cargoes disappeared from the Russian export market on Thursday, as talk again surfaced that the government will set an unofficial floor price of $240/mt for the country's FOB market, trade sources have told Agricensus Thursday. The news came along with a note from industry group the Russian Grain Exporters' Union that they consider $240/mt FOB to be an "economically justified price" for Russian wheat.

- At the same time, the CPT Novorossiysk price index for 12.5% was seen at RUB16,100/mt, which means the equivalent FOB price is at around $235/mt considering a tax level of around $33/mt and transshipment costs in Black Sea ports at around $25/mt. Domestic prices have picked up since late June by around RUB1,240/mt after the basis price in the export tax formula was pushed up by RUB2,000/mt.
"Here again government wants to limit everyone to $240/mt for August, but traders resisting it, as now it is a challenge to sell at $230/mt FOB even,” a broker said.

- Other sources agreed that they do not expect this to be followed strictly and for a long period, as it is not the first time the Russian government has tried to control the market unofficially, with the first “floor” price being set at around $275/mt, but then slowly dropped to $240/mt in June. Nonetheless, offers continued to be shown below this level. It also comes as trade sources have said that there has been a lack of firm demand in recent days and, as such, 12.5% wheat offers were placed at $230-235/mt FOB NTTK officially - close to the price floor.

- However, in the event a seller finds a firm buyer at a lower level, sellers would be tempted to give further discounts, trade sources told Agricensus. Meanwhile, Russian origin wheat remains the cheapest in the world with the price spread to the next cheapest origin - EU Black Sea 12% - at least around $15/mt. But at the same time, Russia harvested its biggest-ever wheat crop in 2022/23, weighing in at 104.5 million mt.

- Even though the export levels have also set new records, the country's wheat stocks are also huge, plus the forecast for the just-started marketing year has also come in at a high level – with ideas of crop indicated at up to 87 million mt by local analysts. This also means that Russia is able to show record exports in the 2023/24 marketing year, in a dynamic that is known and anticipated by buyers.

Jul 13 - Brazil’s soybean exports surge 38% on year (IHSmarkit)
- Brazilian soybean exports reach 3.6 million metric tons
- Brazilian soybeans very price-competitive
- Shipments to remain higher on year for rest of July: analysts

- Brazil’s soybean exports so far in July have comfortably outpaced the shipped volumes in the same period last year amid strong trade momentum, commodity analysts said, likely supporting basis prices. According to the latest data from Brazil’s foreign trade department, Secex, the country shipped out 3.6 million metric tons of soybeans between July 1-10, up 38.4% year on year. On the back of ample domestic supplies and competitive pricing, along with steady demand from China, Brazil has been shipping out the yellow oilseed in large volumes in 2023, market analysts said.

- Since March, Brazilian soybeans have been sold at a steep discount of nearly $40 per metric ton to soybeans from the US, its top competitor, analysts said. Platts, part of S&P Global Commodity Insights, assessed SOYBEX FOB Santos for August deliveries at $529.68/t and SOYBEX FOB New Orleans at $569.71/t July 10.

July exports likely to remain elevated

- After a slow start to the year, Brazilian soybean exports have accelerated since March as the harvest progressed.
- Brazil shipped out 6 million metric tons of soybeans in January and February, down 31% year on year, Secex data showed. But in March export volumes started to show an uptick, wiht 13.3 million metric tons shipped in the month, up 9% year on year, while in April volumes rose 25% year on year to 14.34 million metric tons, the data showed. In May, the world’s top soybean supplier exported 15.6 million metric tons of soybeans, also marking a 9% increase month on month, Secex data showed, while June volumes surged 39% year on year to 13.87 million metric tons.

- So far in the calendar year 2023, Brazil has exported 63 million metric tons of soybeans, up 14% year on year, the data showed, with 70% headed for China. The export momentum is expected to continue in July, analysts said, with 70%-75% of the oilseed heading for China, the world’s top importer of the product. Steady demand from China, coupled with supply woes in drought-hit Argentina, suggests Brazil is on course for a hefty export volume in the 2022-23 marketing year (January-December 2023).

- Brazil is forecast to produce a record 154.81 million metric tons in MY 2022-23 and to export an all-time high 95.07 million metric tons, up 23.3% year on year, according to the latest estimates form Brazilian national supply company CONAB. In fact, some local commodity consultancies are forecasting Brazil’s soybean exports will surpass 96 million metric tons in MY 2022-23 amid sharp cuts in US acreage.

Jun 13 - UN asks Putin to extend Black Sea grain deal in return for SWIFT access
U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has proposed to Russian President Vladimir Putin that he extend a deal allowing the safe Black Sea export of grain from Ukraine in return for connecting a subsidiary of Russia's agricultural bank to the SWIFT international payment system, sources told Reuters. Russia has threatened to ditch the grain deal, which expires on Monday, because several demands to dispatch its own grain and fertilizer abroad have not been met. The last two ships traveling under the Black Sea agreement are currently loading cargoes at the Ukrainian port of Odesa ahead of the deadline. 

Jun 13 - US farmers to harvest bumper corn, soy crops despite dryness
The government said on Wednesday that U.S. farmers will harvest massive crops of both corn and soybeans this year, boosting the supply base despite drought conditions stressing plants during early stages of development. The unexpectedly large forecasts immediately pushed down corn and soy futures, potentially easing inflation and making U.S. exports more competitive with South America in coming months.

Jul 12 - Australia disappointed with China move to extend barley tariffs review
Australia said on Wednesday it was disappointed that China has asked for another month to complete a review needed to lift tariffs on barley and warned it would resume a case at the World Trade Organization (WTO) if there was further delay. Australia on April 11 agreed to temporarily suspend a case at the WTO over China's anti-dumping and countervailing duties on barley after Beijing said it would hasten its review on tariffs. 

Jul 12 - All analysts banking on lower US corn yield on Wednesday - Braun
After one of the driest-ever Junes in the U.S. Corn Belt, grain market participants already believe corn and soybean yields will not reach the government’s record-high targets. It is always risky when all analysts are leaning the same way, though recent weather and the already-lofty nature of the corn yield seem to validate this thinking. However, lower yields may not be printed in the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s report on Wednesday.

Jul 12 - Brazil's outright prices surge after USDA report and China demand (AgriCensus)

- Outright prices for Brazilian soybeans loading in August rose sharply on Tuesday, amid expectations of higher Chinese demand for the country’s beans in the second half of 2023 following the release of the USDA’s prospective planting report on June 30. The report caught the market by surprise after it lowered the US soybean planted area to 83.5 million acres, 5% under last year’s 87.45 million acres and well below analysts’ expectations that ranged from 87 to 88.5 million acres prior to the report.

- That was said to be one of the reasons pushing CME’s soybean futures up all along the curve, with the August futures contract rising $1/bu since June 29 to $14.64/bu on Monday, July 10. At the same time, the Brazilian August loading basis was slightly down 10 c/bu during the same period, assessed at 50 c/bu on Monday. However, that was not enough to offset the higher futures influence on the outright price, which rose $33/mt at the same time, from $486.50/mt on June 29 to $519.50/mt on July 10.

- A trader mentioned that many cargoes were sold last week, while the lower area in USDA’s prospective planting report should boost Chinese demand for Brazilian beans.

- Agricensus heard that last week, between 15 and 20 cargoes were traded from Brazil on a CFR China basis from August to November loading, with a basis ranging from 165 c/bu to 194 c/bu over November CME’s future contract, depending on the shipment month. The buying was likely to be a sign importers are trying to guarantee their supply in the domestic market, while Brazil could probably expect to have year-round soybean exports, depending on what happens with the US soybean crop, a trader said.

- In the FAS Paranaguá hub, “many trades happened on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday as prices are surrounding BRL150/bag ($512.29/mt)”, said Aldo Lobo, Granopar’s market analyst. Even yesterday, FAS Paranaguá trades were reported as high as BRL149/bag ($508.87/mt) with August loading.

- China might need to shift part of its buying intentions from US to Brazil for September and October loadings after the US lowered its sown area, Lobo added. However, the US drought and its effects on the country’s soybean crop will also play a role in the demand shifting in the coming weeks.
“For October loading, Chinese buyers could shift part of its US demand to Brazil, but they would wait for a further US crop definition in August before boosting their buying activity,” Daniele Siqueira, AgRural’s senior market analyst, told Agricensus.
“China is refilling their stocks after the great volumes shipped during May and June,” Siqueira added.

Jul 11 - Malaysia’s June palm oil exports rise 8%, beating trade expectations and market rallies (IHSmarkit)

- End-June stocks come in below market view
- Crude palm oil futures rise 3% post MPOB data
- Prices see support from low stocks, July export pace

- Malaysia’s palm oil exports rose to 1.172 million metric tons in June, up 8.6% from May, defying market expectations that exports would stagnate at May-levels of about 1.1 million metric tons, the Malaysian Palm Oil board or MPOB said July 10. End-June palm oil stocks rose to 1.721 million metric tons, up 1.6% on the month, according to the MPOB, but lower than the 1.85 million metric tons expected by analysts due to robust exports and a fall in production. Lower-than-expected inventories at the world’s second largest palm oil producer suggest an “ideal tailwind” for palm oil prices, given that the export pace has picked up further in July, Lingam Supramaniam, director at Malaysia-based commodities firm Pelindung Bestari, said July 10.

- The most active September crude palm oil contract rose about 3% on the dayto MR 3,917 per metric ton ($838.76) at the close of afternoon trade July 10 on the Bursa Malaysia Derivatives exchange. June production at the world’s second largest palm oil producer fell to 1.448 million metric tons, down 4.6% on the month, and below market expectations, MPOB said.
”With lower stocks and better exports, in the near term we expect restocking activities to pick up in destination markets especially for pack products”, Supramaniam said.

- Malaysia’s palm oil consumption for June was up 15% on the monthat 378,904 metric tons and imports grew 67% to 135,271 metric tons compared to the previous month, MPOB data showed. The MPOB report is surely a surprise for most market participants and will force them to reassess supply and demand and their trade flow books, Anilkumar Bagani, head of research at Mumbai-based vegetable oil brokerage Sunvin Group said.

Physical prices of crude palm oil FOB Indonesia had slipped last week to $884 per metric ton on July 7, after hitting a 1.5-month high of $900/t earlier in the week, data from S&P Global showed.

Jul 11 - Fertilizer company OCI bets big on climate-friendly ammonia
Without a single sales contract in hand, Dutch fertilizer company OCI is building a $1 billion plant in Texas to produce ammonia with low greenhouse gas emissions, a gamble requiring heavy government subsidies, new markets and a contingency plan. OCI's plant would be the world's first new commercial facility to capture and sequester 95% of the emissions produced from making ammonia. The hydrogen and nitrogen compound is mostly used as fertilizer.  

Jul 11 - India's ethanol program will cap future sugar exports - BMI report
India, the world's second-largest sugar producer and a major exporter in recent years, will likely have a smaller role in the sugar export market going forward as its government-led ethanol program continues to expand, a report said on Monday. According to the report Asia Biofuel Outlook, produced by research firm BMI, a unit of Fitch Solutions, India's pursuit of increased ethanol blending in gasoline, as a way to cut the oil products' import bill and reduce carbon emissions, will continue to support global sugar prices.

Jul 10 - EU egg prices still spiraling downwards; broiler prices edge lower (IHSmarkit)

- Seasonal drop in demand pulls egg prices lower once again
- Prices down by 15% since late March
- Broiler prices record third consecutive fall

EU egg prices have fallen sharply over the past week as demand heads towards its seasonal low point. The EU benchmark egg price has now fallen by almost 15% since reaching its peak in late March.

Egg prices traditionally hit their nadir in July and August before rising in the latter part of the year, but this year’s decline has been accentuated by the record high values which were achieved in the first quarter.

Egg producers have continued to destock following the losses caused by last winter’s avian flu outbreaks. But since April this year demand has weakened to the point where even currently restricted supplies are perfectly adequate to cover requirements.

The exception is for free-range and organic eggs, where consumers continue to pay a premium for the limited supplies available.
In the week ending 2 July, the EU average price for Class A eggs in packing stations was €226.89 per 100kg, down by 2.2% week-on-week.

Particularly sharp falls were noted in Belgium (-8.6%), France (-5.0%), Germany (-4.6%) and the Netherlands (-4.5%).

- EU broiler prices are also continuing to track lower, with prices falling for the third consecutive week.

- As in the case of eggs, there has been a slowdown in consumer demand which has taken the edge off prices. These now stand only 3% above the level recorded this time last year. The EU average broiler price for the week was €267.06 per 100kg, down by 0.9% on the previous week.

Jul 10 - World food prices fall again in June - UN food agency
The United Nations food agency's world price index fell in June to its lowest level in more than two years, pushed down by a drop in the cost of sugar, vegetable oils, cereals and dairy products. The Food and Agriculture Organization's (FAO) price index, which tracks the most globally-traded food commodities, averaged 122.3 points in June against a revised 124.0 for the previous month, the agency said on Friday. 

Jul 10 - India's summer-sown crop planting lags on uneven monsoon rains
Farmers in India have fallen behind in planting key summer-sown crops such as rice, cotton, corn and soybeans due to the uneven distribution of monsoon rainfall, although they could catch up in the coming weeks if sufficient rain occurs. Millions of Indian farmers plant summer crops mainly in the monsoon months of June and July, with the harvest starting in October.

Jul 08 - Corridor delays bring sluggish export pace to Ukraine as new MY hits 500,000 mt (AgriCensus)

- Ukraine's new marketing year has got off to a sluggish start in terms of grain export pace, as most cargo exports travel through the shallow water Danube ports of Ukraine, government data showed Friday. Despite reaching the half million tonne mark since the start of the 2023/24 marketing year on July 1, exports via deep-sea ports have been limited by the absence of inbound inspections on the Black Sea grain corridor as the expiration of the critical gets closer. Nonetheless, at 500,000 mt as of July 7, the volume of grains and leguminous exports from Ukraine in the new marketing year are 56% higher than the same period of the previous season, which had reached 318,000 mt.

- That is a marker of the growing expertise and capacity that Ukraine has developed through the Danube corridor to the Black Sea - as well as ongoing utilisation of cross-border links with surrounding EU nations. But the pace of bulk exports via the grain corridor has slowed amid renewed accusations that Russian inspectors have slowed their inspection activity for inbound vessels, and continue to refuse to inspect vessels bound for the key port of Pivdennyi. In detail, 177,000 mt of wheat has been shipped since the beginning of the season, which is more than three times the volume in the same period of the previous year.

- Turkey was the leading destination for Ukrainian wheat, with 50,423 mt declared for export during the first week of June, followed by Romania (41,270 mt), and Spain (37,129 mt).
- Corn exports reached 273,000 mt, which is 9% more than shipments in the same period last season.
- China and Italy were the leading destinations for Ukrainian corn during June, with 65,443 mt proceeding to China and 62,741 mt to Italy.
- Barley deliveries to foreign markets amounted to 46,000 mt, which is also three times higher than the same period of the previous year.

- Finally, barley deliveries to foreign markets amounted to 46,000 mt which is also three times higher than the same period of the previous year. The lion's share of the volume (87%) was taken by Romania (21,777 mt), Spain (9,003 mt), and Israel (8,834 mt). As of July 8 last year, 318,000 mt in total had been exported from Ukraine, of which 52,000 mt was wheat, 15,000 mt was barley, and 249,000 mt was corn.

- The data was provided by the Ukrainian customs authorities and shows the goods that have been declared for export, but the figures do not always correspond to the volumes that physically left the country during the period.

Jul 07 - Romanian port key for Ukraine grain faces overflow as Black Sea deal on edge
Ukraine's on-off Black Sea grain deal has made the nearest port of Constanta in neighbouring Romania a key alternative that is set for volumes doubling its record years and months of delays with a domestic crop looming, industry experts and traders said. Ukraine, one of the world's leading grain and oilseed exporters, saw its Black Sea ports blocked after Russia's invasion in February 2022.  

Jul 07 - Rains in Argentina's agricultural south delay wheat planting
Fresh rains in the south of Argentina's agricultural region have delayed wheat sowing in the last week, the Buenos Aires grains exchange said on Thursday. Argentina, a key wheat exporter, is expected to plant six million hectares of the grain for the 2023/24 season, the exchange said, as producers are looking to recover from a harsh drought which halved production.

Jul 06 - Ukraine lost its elevator capacity of 8 million tons of simultaneous storage.

- As of July 1, 2023, the volume of elevator capacities in Ukraine decreased from the pre-war 57 million tons to 44 million tons of simultaneous storage. That is, as a result of the occupation, shelling and flooding, the capacity of 8 million tons of simultaneous grain storage was lost, reported after studying the site's Map of Elevators data and information on the destruction of granaries from open sources. The largest losses of elevator capacities were recorded in the southern regions:

    Mykolaivska - 1832.5 thousand tons,
    Zaporizhzhia - 1828.7 thousand tons,
    Khersonska - 1686.5 thousand tons.

- At the same time, it is worth noting that terminals are being actively built on the Danube to ensure Ukrainian agricultural exports. Along the Ukrainian coast of the Danube, 12 terminals are being built at the same time, which will significantly increase the capacity of the ports. The Deputy Minister of Community Development, Territories and Infrastructure Yuriy Vaskov told the USM publication that the construction of new terminals is now taking place according to the simplified law adopted last year. And local authorities are ready to allocate land plots for construction.
"Currently, many participants in agrarian business are investing in the logistics infrastructure of the Danube, as the available capacities for grain storage and export are insufficient. For example, Nibulon is building a new terminal in Izmail, Kernel acquired the river terminal "Danube Prom Agro" in the port of Reni. UDP, Asket-Shipping, Danube Logistics Group, etc. are also involved in infrastructure development," Vaskov said.

- It will be recalled that Kernel plans to build a new transshipment terminal "Reni Terminal Development" in the Reni seaport by the end of 2023, which will allow the company to increase export volumes to 600,000 tons per year.

Jul 06 - Kremlin yet to decide on Black Sea grain deal as UN calls for extension
Russia said on Wednesday that it has not taken a final decision on whether to extend the Black Sea grain deal, while the United Nations pledged to make every effort to prolong the pact before it expires on July 17. "We have not yet officially announced the decision, we will announce it in a timely manner," Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said of the deal, which allows for the safe export of grain from Ukraine despite the conflict now in its 17th month.

Jul 06 - Rice to get costlier as weather, India's farm perks threaten supply
Global rice prices, now at their highest in 11 years, are set to rally further after India moved to boost payments to farmers, just as El Nino threatens yields in key producers and alternative staples get costlier for poor Asians and Africans. India accounts for more than 40% of world rice exports, which were 56 million tonnes in 2022, but low inventories mean any cut in shipments will fuel food prices driven up by Russia's invasion of Ukraine last year and erratic weather.

Jul 06 - Spread between German, Polish and Baltic 12.5% wheat disappears (AgriCensus)

- German 12.5% protein wheat offers have fallen to parity with other Baltic exporters over the last week, despite a period of bad weather that has raised concerns over potential production figures. German wheat premiums peaked at plus €10/mt over the Euronext milling wheat contract at the end of May, but have eroded as harvest picked up steam and as rivals priced more competitively. However, weather worries meant German 12.5% values have been slow to soften versus rivals - until a combination of poor demand and increased competition raised fears that the country could be frozen out.

- Faced with the reality of the situation, German traders were compelled to reassess their pricing strategy to remain competitive. German 12.5% was assessed at a €4/mt discount to the December Euronext contract on Tuesday, which equates to $252.25/mt, based on offers heard at a €1-3/mt discount to December.

- Polish and Baltic 12.5% wheat was also assessed at a €4/mt discount to the December Euronext contract, putting them all at parity for the first time since late December 2022.
“Old crop stocks are fairly exhausted by now, but traders in Germany are still keen on putting new crop logistics on,” said one market participant, warning that sellers “can’t afford to have a wide spread against the Baltics and Poland at the moment, considering that we are seeing little demand.”

- Against that, Russian 12.5% wheat continues to price even more competitively, assessed at $232/mt, $20.25/mt lower than that of the northern European countries as the country continues to try and place a record-breaking wheat crop.  By contrast, German soft wheat production is set to reach 22.3 million mt in 2023, on par with last year's level and 2% higher than the 21.8 million mt five-year average, according to the latest data from the European Commission. Polish soft wheat production is expected at 13 million mt, slightly below last year’s production level of 13.4 million mt but 9% higher than the five-year average of 11.9 million mt. The Baltic soft wheat projection is forecast at 7.2 million mt, below the 2022 forecast of 7.8 million mt.  

- Between July 1, 2022, and July 2, 2023, the data from the European Commission reveals that the Baltics exported 5.06 million mt of wheat, while Germany and Poland exported 3.9 million mt and 3.5 million mt, respectively. The price moves have come despite unpredictable weather patterns across Germany, that have caused industry sources to warn of potential trouble.
“In many parts of the country, a prolonged drought in May and June caused significant damage to crops, so yield expectations this year are again below the long-term average,” said Joachim Ruckwid, president of the German Farmers Association.

- Possible damage to protein content is expected although barley, which is harvested later, does not seem to have been as badly affected.

Jul 05 - Russia rejects bank compromise as Black Sea grain expiry looms
Russia on Tuesday restated a demand for its state agricultural bank to be reconnected to the global SWIFT payments system to avert the collapse of the Black Sea grain deal, and said it would not accept a reported compromise proposal. With 13 days remaining until the expiry of the deal, which has allowed Ukraine to export grain from its Black Sea ports despite Russia's invasion, Moscow said there had been no progress on any of its key demands, including the banking issue. 

Jul 05 - Mexico says corn production will rise in 2023 amid U.S. trade tensions
Mexico's corn production is estimated at about 28.5 million metric tons this year, its agriculture ministry said Tuesday, as the Latin American country defends its plan to limit the use of genetically-modified corn. The production, which represents both white and yellow corn, marks growth of more than 2 million metric tons, the ministry said in a statement.

Jul 04 - Brazil needs to invest $207.3 million to support corn prices ( Imea )

 - The Brazilian government will likely need to invest BLR1 billion ($207.3 million) in support of prices to corn producers to address the low prices in Mato Grosso, Cleiton Gauer, superintendent at the state’s agriculture institute IMEA, said in a press conference on Tuesday. The figure would be necessary so that 8 million mt could be sold - the same volume as the last time the government supported corn sales to elevate prices, in 2017 - and compensate for the BLR8/bag ($1.66) difference between current prices and minimum price levels, he calculated. The minimum price is established by the government for farmer selling to guarantee producers will receive a price that covers their production costs.

- Back in 2017, the 8 million mt were auctioned with a BLR 500 million ($103.41 million) investment. The production increased 6.3 million mt from 2021/22 to 2022/23 in the state, from 43.8 million mt to 50.1 million mt, respectively. In Mato Grosso state, Brazil’s agricultural powerhouse, the government established BRL43.26/per 60-kilo bag ($8.97) as the minimum price for the current crop, higher than average prices in the state at BRL35.29/bag ($7.32/mt) seen in June.

“That’s the amount we calculate will be necessary for government purchases to balance prices and we believe the government will intervene,” he said. Gauer also said mechanisms of production disposal and premium payments to compensate for the difference between the minimum and the market value would be the most adequate modalities for the needs of the producer today.

- On June 22, Brazil’s food agency Conab announced it will buy 500,000 mt of corn - of which 250,000 mt are expected to come from Mato Grosso -  to support domestic prices and build up public stocks, a move producers have not seen in the past six years.  That would require a BLR 400 million investment.

“Government acquisitions like this allow the recomposition of estate stocks and allow sales to happen in a better moment price-wise, however, 500,000 mt helps but is not enough,” Gauer said.

- The corn and soybean producers’ association Aprosoja president, Antonio Galvan warned acquisitions announced must be made rapidly as well as the removal of the product from the state.

“Otherwise, our lack of storage issues will intensify,” Galvan warned.

- Brazil is expected to harvest 312 million mt of beans and grains in 2023 while storage capacity is 194 million mt, a 118.5 million mt deficit.

Jul 04 - Russia's 22/23 MY live up to forecasts, exports up 50% to 45m mt

- Russian wheat exports reported a 51% year-on-year increase in the 2022/23 marketing year up to the end of June 30, according to shipping data analysed by Agricensus, at the end of a campaign still marked with a series of disruptions that have threatened to undermine the country's position as a major global supplier.

Nonetheless, total exports reached at least 44.7 million tons of wheat, as country has benefited from a large volume of shipments, record opening stocks, and record production.

Despite the lack of transparent trade data, additional data sources confirm high export volumes amid low, global prices. The figure corresponds to the official estimate that the Russian ministry announced back in March, which stood at 45 million mt.

Russia has expanded its geography of exports, attracting non-standard destinations with competitive prices, with the top five importers of Russian wheat accounting for 55% of the total export volume, down from 66% last year.

At the same time, some rotation took place in the top five, in particular Algeria, which in terms of purchases exited the top five of the Russian export market last season, now on the list of biggest importers, along with Pakistan.

- Otherwise, the major markets remained the same, although Turkey surpassed Egypt as the top importer with 9.1 million mt, a 32% increase versus last year.

- Egypt followed with 8.1 million mt, up 61% compared with last year, and Iran moved into third place at 2.7 million mt as the country's wheat imports fell 56% season-on-season.

- While Ukraine has often priced more competitively on an FOB basis, the cost of insurance has surged for the region amid the Russian invasion, meaning that Russia often undercuts its Black Sea rival into destination markets.

- However, Russia continues to apply measures to restrict trade, such as quotas and taxes - and even a potential minimum export price - without which exports could be larger. The vessel data does not fully capture exports via land transportation routes (truck or rail) where Russia has shipped significant quantities to Eurasian Economic Union countries, principally Kazakhstan.

- Data reported by the Kazakhstan Customs Control Committee show imports of Russian wheat for July 2022 through February 2023 nearly on par with imports for all of 2021/22. However, in 2021/22, Kazakhstan had a reduced crop, necessitating imports to offset the shortfall. In 2022/23, Kazakhstan’s production was much larger but has continued to import price-competitive Russian wheat. Recently, the Kazakhstan government imposed a 6-month ban on imports of wheat by road, aimed at halting imports of low-priced Russian wheat by truck.

- Russia stopped publishing its customs data in March 2022, meaning the latest publicly available statistics are from January 2022. Therefore, AgriСensus used alternative data sources to track exports of grains and oilseeds from Russia. Port loading and ship data is one source of information, collecting information about the destination of ships, as well as mirror data of key trading partners.

Jul 04 - AgRural, StoneX increase estimates for Brazil's 2023 corn crop
Brazil's second corn crop is expected to hit 102.9 million metric tons in 2023, agribusiness consultancy AgRural said on Monday, increasing its May forecast of 97.9 million metric tons because of favorable weather. Farmers in the center-south region have harvested through last Thursday 17% of the area planted for their second crop, up 8 percentage points from the previous week although still lagging last year's levels of 31%. 

Jul 04 - Argentina's grain export revenue plunges 59% in June, chamber says
Argentina's exports of grain, oilseeds and their derivatives totaled $1.58 billion in June, down 59% from a year earlier as the country struggles with the impact of a major drought, the CIARA-CEC grains exporters and crushers chamber said on Monday. June export revenues were down 62% when compared with the previous month, the chamber said, and fell 42% in the first half of the year on an annual basis.

Jul 03 - Russia's envoy: No grounds to maintain grain deal status quo
Russia's envoy to the United Nations in Geneva said there were no grounds to maintain the "status quo" of the Black Sea grain deal that is set to expire on July 18, the Russian news outlet Izvestia reported on Monday. In a wide ranging interview, envoy Gennady Gatilov told the outlet that the implementation of Russia's conditions for the extensions of the agreement was "stalling." Those conditions included, among others, the reconnection of the Russian Agricultural Bank (Rosselkhozbank) to the SWIFT banking payment system.

Jul 03- Funds avoid heavy selling in CBOT grains, oilseeds despite price skid - Braun
Speculators continued covering short positions in U.S. grains and oilseeds through June 27 despite a sizable tumble in futures from the week’s highs. However, selling in corn may have been revived late last week on a highly bearish U.S. supply outlook. Chicago corn, wheat, soybean and soybean meal futures began rallying sharply in mid-June as expanding U.S. drought and disappointing rain events hammered crop conditions. Corn, soybeans and meal topped on June 21 but eased significantly in the following sessions on improved weather forecasts.

Jul 01 - Hammersmith Weekly USA Grain and Protein Report.

- Quite a week for USA grains and oilseeds. The USDA acreage estimate report combined with a four day weekend in the US to give us an exciting ending to the week.

 -Old crop corn prices were down by about USD 30 m/t while new crop corn dropped by close to USD 37 m/t. Even after the price drop, old crop corn is still at a USD 25 premium to new crop. Old crop soybeans ended the week up by USD 23 m/t with new crop soybeans up by USD 13 m/t. Old crop soybeans are at a USD 40 m/t premium to new crop.
- Soymeal had a quieter week with price increasing between USD 5 and 9 m/t with old crop soymeal up the most.
- Soft red winter wheat dropped by about USD 35 m/t while both hard red winter and US spring wheat were down between USD 20 and 23 m/t.   

- The USDA acreage report showed corn acres as higher than expected which immediately got prices moving lower while lower acres for soybeans did just the opposite and pushed prices higher. The acreage report for wheat wasn't much different but the market still moved lower on wheat. Experts say the drop in wheat was due to its competitive position with corn in animal feed rations. Wheat had to drop just to stay in the feed formulations.

- The US is closed for a couple of days next week due to the Independence Day holiday on Tuesday July 4. Chicago grain trading is open on the 3rd, but most businesses will be closed so activity will be light in the US until Wednesday.

Jun 30 - Argentina expects major recovery for current wheat harvestArgentina's wheat harvest for the 2023/2024 season is estimated at 18 million-19 million metric tons, according to a government forecast issued on Thursday, up by about half compared to the previous drought-stricken harvest. The wheat harvest during the previous 2022/2023 crop totaled just 12.6 million metric tons.

Jun 30 - US Midwest drought expands, but forecast rains offer relief to crops
The most intense drought to hit the U.S. Midwest farm belt since 2012 deepened over the past week, sapping soil moisture and threatening crop yield potential in the heaviest corn and soybean production areas of the United States. But a series of rain storms forecast over the next two weeks in the southern and central Midwest could help stabilize or improve crop conditions that have been eroding for weeks and recharge soil moisture just ahead of the corn crop's critical pollination period in late July.

Jun 30 - South Korean MFG buys 68k mt corn at $249.99/mt CFR (AgriCensus)

- South Korea’s Major Feedmills Group (MFG) has bought a corn cargo from Sierentz in a private purchase, trade sources told Agricensus Thursday.
- MFG paid $249.99/mt CFR Pyeongtaek port, plus $1.50/mt second port discharge premium, for 68,000 mt of corn of South American or South African origin.

If the corn is sourced from South Africa, the cargo size should be 52,000 mt.
The shipment dates were September 20 to October 9 for South America or September 30 to October 19 for South Africa, with arrival in South Korea by November 18.
- MFG’s last purchase was reported on June 8, when they bought two 66,000 mt cargos of South American corn from ADM for $243.33/mt and $244.33/mt for delivery by October 28 and November 5.

Jun 29 - Canadian farmers plant most wheat in 22 years, more than expected
Canadian farmers seeded the most wheat in 22 years, slightly more than expected, and also planted more canola than the industry was forecasting, a government report showed on Wednesday. Canada is the world's fourth-largest wheat exporter and the biggest shipper of canola, which mainly produces vegetable oil. The country's wheat production is especially important this year with heavy rain and drought hitting wheat crops in China and the United States respectively.

Jun 28 - Ukraine must be ready to export mostly via Danube ports - sea ports authority
Ukraine must be ready to export grain almost exclusively via its Danube River ports because Russia is effectively blocking Black Sea shipments, the Ukrainian Sea Ports Authority said on Tuesday. The United Nations and Turkey brokered a deal between Moscow and Kyiv last July on the safe passage of Black Sea grain to help tackle a global food crisis worsened by Russia's invasion of its neighbour and a blockade of Ukrainian Black Sea ports.

Jun 28 - EU 2022/23 soft wheat exports up 11% at 30.79 mln T by June 25
Soft wheat exports from the European Union in the 2022/23 season that started last July had reached 30.79 million metric tons by June 25, up 11% compared with 27.66 million a year earlier, data published by the European Commission showed on Tuesday. EU barley exports so far in 2022/23 totalled 6.34 million tons, down 10% against 7.02 million a year ago, while EU maize imports were at 25.52 million tons, 57% above a year-earlier 16.28 million.

Jun 27 - Brazil's soybean exports to hit 97m mt, output 156m mt ( Abiove & AgriCensus )

- The Brazilian Association of Vegetable Oil Industries Abiove has increased its soybean export estimates to 97 million mt, while also raising the country´s 2022/23 output projection, both at record levels, the association said Tuesday.

Last month’s estimate for Brazil´s shipments was 95.7 million mt. The new estimate is 23.2% higher than the previous year´s 78.7 million mt. Abiove also raised once again its projection for Brazil’s 2022/23 soybean output to a record 156 million mt, up 1 million mt from the previous estimate and 20% higher than the prior year.The association previously estimated Brazil’s production at 155 million mt, while in 2021/22 Brazil harvested 129.9 million mt.

- The soybean crushing was pegged at 53.2 million mt, up 200,000 mt from the previous report and also an all-time high. The new estimate represents a 4.5% increase from 2022’s 50.9 million mt. From January to April, Brazil's soybean crushing reached 16.6 million mt, up 3.5% from the 16.1 million mt in the first four months of 2022.

- Abiove cut ending stocks to 7.6 million mt from the previous 8.1 million mt projection, while in 2022 ending stocks totaled 3.9 million mt.

Soymeal and oil
- Soymeal production estimates rose to a record 40.7 million mt from the previous 40.6 million mt, up 3.8% from last year’s 39.2 million mt.
By the end of the year, soymeal export is expected to reach 21.9 million mt, an all-time high and above the previous 21.4 million mt projection. The new figure is 7.8% higher than 2022’s 20.3 million mt.

- Brazil’s 2023 soyoil export estimates rose to 2.3 million mt from the prior 2.1 million mt projection while the output forecast remained unchanged at 10.7 million mt. In 2022, Brazil exported 2.6 million mt and produced 9.9 million mt of soyoil. Domestic demand is projected at 8.8 million mt, below the 8.9 million mt previous estimate but 20.3% above last year’s 7.3 million mt.

Abiove slashed ending stocks to 158,000 mt from the previous 324,000 mt projection, while in 2022 they reached 508,000 mt.

Jun 27 - UN agencies warn of impact if Black Sea grain deal ends
An end to the Black Sea grains deal would hit the Horn of Africa hard, aid officials said on Monday, warning that another hike in food prices would add to the tens of millions of people facing hunger. Moscow has been threatening to walk away from the deal known as the Black Sea grain initiative - brokered by the UN and Turkey in July last year - if obstacles to its own grain and fertilizer shipments are not removed. A Ukrainian envoy has said he was 99.9% certain Russia would quit when it comes up for renewal on July 18.  

Jun 27 - Brazil sugar output seen hit by rains in June, sugarcane yields up
Brazil's Centre-South sugar production in the first half of June is likely to have been capped by rains, according to estimates by analysts, but sugarcane agricultural yields are seen sharply up from last season. Brazil's sugar and ethanol industry group Unica is expected to release official data on production for the period on Tuesday at 1000 ET.

Jun 26 - US drought fears clash with Brazil's huge crop, basis fall all along the curve (AgriCensus)

- Brazil’s Paranaguá soybean basis fell deeper into negative territory all along the forward curve last week amid further signs that the world's two biggest bean producers were pulling in opposite directions. Key to the diverging dynamics was the landing of Brazil's largest ever bean crop at a time when US investors in the Chicago futures market were fretting over dry conditions across the Midwest. Investors have bought into the US complex, sending prices higher at the same time as Brazil's burgeoning supply sent bids for deferred positions into three digit discounts to Chicago.

- In the middle of last week, FOB Paranaguá August loading was traded at 65 c/bu under the August CME future, while bids for September loading reached 15 c/bu discount to the September CME future and Agricensus assessed the month at parity to the Chicago contract. However, August's outright price was virtually flat during the week at $498.25/mt the highest price since May 15, with the surge in the CME soybean futures mostly compensating the basis downward trend. Into 2024, and bids for March were heard at a 105 cent discount to the March 2024 contract.

- Drought concerns over the US supported the movement as the US Department of Agriculture stated that 57% of the soybean production is within an area experiencing drought, a 6% increase from last week.

- At the same time, the US soybean crop rated in good-to-excellent condition decreased to 54% from the prior’s week 59%.
These higher CME futures and sustained flat prices stimulated trades in Brazil’s domestic market as farmers were still digesting recent months’ sharp drop in prices.
“This Chicago’s (CME futures) highs come in a good time, at least to limit a little the effects of lower premiums and US dollar against Real”, said Daniele Siqueira, analyst from Brazilian consultancy AgRural.

- The movement was not limited to 2023, as many traders also reported large volumes sold domestically throughout the week for 2024, despite buying levels being in three digits discounts for the year.
“Even with these low basis levels for 2024, great volumes were traded FAS Paranaguá”, Aldo Lobo, Granopar’s analyst told Agricensus.

- Higher CME’s futures compensated for the lower basis, while the spread from July to November and July 2023 to July 2024 got tighter and also facilitated new crop trades, a trader said. On Thursday last week, FOB Paranaguá positions were heard changing hands for February 2024 loading at minus 80 c/bu and March loading at minus 90 c/bu, both discounts to CME’s March soybean future. At the same time, March loading bids reached as low as 105 c/bu discount to March CME future, greatly lower than the same point last year when March 2023 loading was assessed at a 53 c/bu premium over the March 2023 future. When asked why farmers would not wait for further, higher prices before selling more soybeans from their stocks, as US drought concerns increased, Siqueira said: "Indeed, Chicago's (CME futures) have an increasing potential to higher prices in case the US drought gets worse, but Brazil still has soo much soybean to sell that the export basis would not allow prices to surge that much."

"With these doubts, they are opting to sell," Siqueira said.
“There is an exchange relation between soybean prices and the inputs needed for the next crop planting, which is considerably greater when compared to the same time last year,” Lobo told Agricensus.
“As farmers are also still scared by the market’s turn-around - the sharp drop in soybean prices last months - there are great volumes being sold for 2024, something that did not happen last year”, he added.
“Even with minus 80 c/bu being traded for February loading FOB Paranaguá, theoretically, there is still space for importers to 'test' new lows on prices until the break point. Which no one knows where it is,” Lobo said.

Jun 26 - Mexico announces 50% tariff on white corn imports
The Mexican government has decided to implement a 50% tariff on white corn imports, pursuing more protectionist measures and trying to keep genetically modified grain out of the country's tortillas after a six-month waiver on duties. In a bid to ease inflationary pressures, Mexican authorities began removing import duties on 21 basic goods last year, before adding white corn to the list in January and implementing a 50% export tariff on the grain - a staple in the Mexican diet. 

Jun 26 - US lawmaker to re-introduce bipartisan bill to get EV industry into biofuel program
A U.S. Democratic lawmaker plans to reintroduce a bipartisan bill next month that would allow electricity generated from renewable biomass to qualify for credits under the nation's biofuel blending program. The Biden administration abandoned a similar scheme over concerns that it could trigger lawsuits.

Jun 23 - US lawmakers float possible farm bill extension amid delays
The U.S. Congress may need to pass a short-term extension of the country's current farm bill, the largest food and nutrition spending package, amid delays drafting the next one, the top lawmakers on the Senate and House farm committees said on Thursday. The farm bill funds U.S. nutrition, conservation and commodity programs and is passed every five years. The current bill expires on Sept. 30.  

Jun 23 - EU-backed green auditor cracks down on China island biofuel trade
An auditing company empowered by the European Union to verify sustainable fuel has suspended the certification of three Chinese biofuel exporters after an audit found the precise source of their waste products from Malaysia and Indonesia could not be verified. Germany this month triggered a European Union investigation into a large volume of biofuels imports into Europe from China to assess whether the fuel meets EU sustainability criteria.

Jun 22 - Turkey's wheat imports could face further obstruction on import system change (AgriCensus)

- Turkey's wheat imports could face another obstruction, as the country's government has announced it is amending its import policy from June 25, according to a document seen by Agricensus on Thursday. The document suggests Turkish authorities have confirmed earlier suggestions about an amendment to the wheat import system, which is designed to protect the balance sheets of the domestic wheat market and currently stipulates that millers have to export flour first to be able to get a license to import wheat further.

- From June 25, wheat imports will be prohibited for any companies with old import licenses except those that have import declarations registered before June 25. Penalties could also be imposed if any of the special conditions regarding exports are violated. The companies that have not received new licenses will be forced to pay a 130% import duty. In addition, the Central Bank of Turkey raised the policy rate from 8.5% to 15%.

- Despite the fact that the increase was almost double the current requirement times, it has turned out to be significantly less than previous expectations that had feared it could be hiked to around 20%, but the move is already negatively affecting the exchange rate for the lira on international currency markets.
"The lira is weaker after the elections, the euro and US dollar exchange started increasing, prices of [imported] goods increased, and this increase is not going to be compensated by a 15% increase on the interest rate," one trader told Agricensus.

The moves is expected to slow trading activity and could be compounded further as the upcoming Eid holiday further slows down market activity.

Jun 22 - Spanish piglet imports surge as disease dents domestic supply (IHSmarkit)

- Imports of piglets surpass one million head in first four months of 2023
- Majority of imported animals brought in from Netherlands and Belgium
- Domestic supply of piglets hit by disease issues in Spanish herd

Spain’s pork industry is becoming increasingly reliant on imported piglets as animal health issues harm the productivity of the domestic sow herd.
Imports of pigs below 50kg in weight reached 1.076 million head in the first four months of 2023, up 50% on the same period last year.

Purchases from the Netherlands increased by 36% y/y to 761,162 head while imports from Belgium jumped by 600% y/y to 165,120 head. Imports from Portugal increased by 77% y/y to 55,551 head.

Due to its own supply constraints however, Denmark was unable to capitalize on Spanish demand for piglets – shipping 13% fewer animals than in the same period last year.

The rise in Spanish piglet imports can be linked to the spread of a particularly harmful variant of Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome (PRRS), which has hit sow productivity while also causing the loss of suckling pigs.
Although increased imports have gone some way to offsetting these losses, Spanish pig slaughterings fell to 14.12 million head in the first quarter of 2023, down 9% y/y. Over the same period, pork production in Spain fell by 7% y/y to 1.33 million metric tons.

Spain is the EU’s largest pork producer, ahead of Germany, where production fell by a similar percentage in the first quarter of this year.

Jun 22 - US boosts biofuel mandates over next 3 years, but biofuel groups feel shortchanged
The Biden administration on Wednesday increased the amount of biofuels that oil refiners must blend into the nation's fuel mix over the next three years, but the plan has angered the biofuel industry, which says mandates for corn-based ethanol and biodiesel are not high enough. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has finalized biofuel blending volumes at 20.94 billion gallons in 2023, 21.54 billion gallons in 2024 and 22.33 billion gallons in 2025. That compares with the initial proposal announced in December of 20.82 billion in 2023, 21.87 billion in 2024, and 22.68 billion in 2025. 

Jun 22 - India's wheat output 10% lower than government estimates
India's wheat harvest in 2023 is at least 10% lower than the government's estimate, a leading trade body told Reuters on Wednesday, amid a sharp rise in local prices during the past two months. Lower wheat production for a second straight year could complicate New Delhi's efforts to keep a lid on prices of the staple and overall food inflation, a major concern amid forecasts of an El Nino weather pattern.

Jun 21 - Flat GDT results, as butter rises and milk powder falls (IHSmarkit)

- The overall GDT index was unchanged at this week GDT auction, with butter gaining 5.5% and SMP falling 2.3%
- Middle Eastern buyers purchased most of the butter on offer
- China continued to be largely absent purchasing just 23% of the WMP sold

- At the GDT on June 20 results were overall flat. Volumes offered were low which is likely to have prevented further falls in milk powder prices. The GDT index was unchanged.
As seen in other recent GDT results butter prices were robust, although the cheddar price did fall. The WMP price was unchanged, while the SMP price weakened.

- The WMP price was unchanged at $3,172/metric ton, although if you put the price in euros there is a hefty decline.

- The SMP price fell 2.3% to $2,667/t.

- The cheddar average fell 3.3% to $4.533/t. The decline was weighted towards nearby contracts with those further out recording more modest declines.

- The butter price made a fifth consecutive increase hitting its highest level since July 2022. The price averaged $5,379/t, a rise of 5.5%. The rise was driven by contract prices for August to October delivery. Most of the butter purchases were made by Middle Eastern buyers.

- The AMF price gained 05% to $4,758/t. This yet again put the AMF price below the butter price. This position is unsustainable and therefore a price correction is likely to be observed in the coming weeks. What 8is unclear however is if AMF is being undervalued or butter overvalued.

China remained largely absent from the auction, purchasing just 23% of the WMP sold, a step change from 50% to 75% which was usual through 2018-2021. The purchasing percentage and absolute volumes were lower than was seen last year when China was in COVID-19 restrictions.
Demand from Southeast Asia is showing more resilience which is offering some underpinning to prices. Middle Eastern buyers and turning on and off at will, driving most of the fluctuations in prices. Overall demand is soft.

Jun 20 - Algeria's OAIC buys 630k of mostly Russian wheat at $261.50/mt CFR (AgriCensus)

- Algeria’s state grain importer booked up to 630,000 mt of milling wheat for August in a tender closed on Monday, with the bulk of the amount expected to be sourced from Russia, trade sources said. The Office Algerien Interprofessional des Cereales (OAIC) has booked optional origin milling wheat for shipment during August, paying 261.50/mt CFR on average.

- Trade sources expect that most of that will be supplied from Russia, as the price paid currently works only for this origin, given that FOB levels for French, German, and Baltic wheat are the same or even higher.

- EU-origin 12% wheat offers were only slightly below $260/mt FOB, compared with Russian 12.5% offered at $230/mt FOB Novorossiysk, Taman or Tuapse (NTT).

But as the origin is optional, it is possible for the traders who sold to decide what fits better at the time of execution.
According to market sources, Solaris sold 180,000 mt, Aston 120,000 mt, Casillo 90,000 mt, and Viterra, Sierentz, Al Ghurair and GTCS 60,000 mt each.

- In its last tender closed on May 11, OAIC booked at least 660,000 mt of milling wheat for July 1-31 shipment paying around $275-276.50/mt CFR, with most of the amount expected to be shipped from the European Black Sea region.

- The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) estimates Algeria’s wheat imports in 2023/24 at 8.7 million mt, slightly up from those in 2022/23.
This current purchase moved the total amount booked for 2023/24 to 1.2 million mt.

Jun 20 - If grain deal ends, UN pledge on Russian exports will go on
Russia's deputy foreign minister said on Monday that even if a deal allowing shipments of Ukrainian grain via the Black Sea ends, Russia's agreement with the United Nations to ease its own exports will stay in force, Russian state news agency RIA reported on Monday. Moscow has repeatedly said it sees little chance of agreeing an extension of the Black Sea Grain Initiative beyond July 18, because it says Western sanctions are thwarting its own U.N.-backed attempts to export both grain and fertiliser. 

Jun 20 - EU crop monitor cuts nearly all 2023 grain yield forecasts
The European Union's crop monitoring service on Monday reduced nearly all its average yield forecasts for this year's grain and oilseed crops in the bloc, citing adverse weather conditions. In its monthly outlook the MARS service cut its yield projection for soft wheat, the most cultivated cereal in the EU, to 5.92 tonnes per hectare (t/ha) from 6.01 t/ha seen last month. That is still above the 5.79 t/ha average last year.

Jun 19 - Russian officials say Black Sea grain deal can't be extended
Senior Russian officials said on Friday the Black Sea grain deal could not be extended under current circumstances but that Moscow was working to ensure that poorer countries would not suffer food shortages when it ends. The deal, brokered by the United Nations and Turkey in July 2022, allowed Ukraine to resume sea-borne grain exports to help tackle a global food crisis the U.N. said had been exacerbated by Europe's deadliest conflict since World War Two.  

Jun 19 -Coffee research group progresses on naturally decaffeinated varieties
A Brazilian coffee research institute has started a decisive stage in a two-decade project to develop arabica coffee varieties that are naturally decaffeinated, a development the researchers think could have significant commercial potential. The program is being developed at the Instituto Agronomico de Campinas (IAC), a leading coffee research center that has provided many of the high-yield coffee plants that have helped Brazil become a powerhouse in the global coffee market, supplying more than a third of the trade.

Jun 16 - US corn, soy crops struggle through early development; yields threatened
A stretch of dry weather following planting season has stressed crops across the U.S. Midwest, raising concerns that the forecasted record corn and soybean harvest will fall below expectations. A bumper harvest is needed to replenish global stockpiles and restore competition on the export market that has been dominated by cheap Brazilian crops in recent months. 

Jun 16 - US sugar prices seen weakening from peak levels, analysts say
There are indications that sugar prices in the United States could start to fall from the elevated levels of the last three years, analysts said, although better weather is needed to avoid any problems with local production. U.S. sugar users, both industrial and retail, have been dealing with historically high prices since the beginning of the pandemic in 2020.

Jun 16 - Russia ships rare wheat cargo to Spain while overall exports stable (AgriCensus)

- Russia's wheat export pace remained stable for the week ending June 14, partly supported by tenders, with a rare wheat cargo noted heading to Spain, Black Sea port line-up data showed on Thursday. A wheat cargo dubbed Agia Filothei carrying 34,532 mt of wheat was shown loaded in Kavkaz before heading to Spain, pushing the total wheat exported to that destination in 2022/23 to 93,610 mt, the highest level on record since 2018/19. While not confirmed, trade sources estimated that the cargo might have a protein value of 15.3% or higher, as feed and milling wheat are currently subject to significant EU import taxes.

- During the week an additional 633,199 mt left the Russian ports, with the lion’s share headed to Egypt (189,200 mt), 112,422 mt to Turkey, and 59,000 mt for Algeria, partly from recent tenders.

- Brazil also continued to import wheat from Russia and a total of 58,722 mt amid production issues in neighboring Argentina. 61,000 mt left for Syria, 53,215 mt for Israel, 46,267 mt for Kenya, and 15,733 mt for Uganda. Trade overall continued to be slow on a combination of low demand and uncertainty over the regulation of wheat prices in Russia.

Total wheat exports, including via rail, truck and shipped from Azov sea ports have already reached 43 million mt, while the official export estimate for 2022/23 stands at 45 million mt.

Jun 15 - Russia's unofficial wheat export floor price sows confusion among trade (AgriCensus)

- An update to an unofficial minimum price cap on Russian wheat exports is causing confusion among traders across the sector, as there is no clear understanding of whether it exists, how it works or is regulated, or what the consequences are for breaking the rule, trade sources have told Agricensus.

- The collapse in wheat prices in recent months has created a headache for the Russian goverment, which has been hit by economic sanctions in the wake of its invasion of Ukraine. However, wheat is excluded from sanctions and the country's treasury had hoped to see coffers boosted by good export returns from a huge wheat crop estimated at over 100 million mt. With the opening of the grain export corridor in late July, and with Russia and Australia boasting record breaking harvests, many of the supply fears that had underpinned higher prices have been eroded. That prompted the Russian government to attempt to impose a floor on export prices which was thought to have been set roughly in line with the cost of production, at around $275/mt. The informal launch was accompanied by an uptick in rhetoric, but world prices have continued to slide forcing Russian exporters to have to discount as orders showed signs of slowing.  

- Last week, trade sources told Agricensus that the Russian government had unofficially updated the level to $240/mt on a FOB NTT basis, and expectations surfaced that any exporters selling below this level could face issues - with the potential withdrawal of phytosanitary certificates thought to be one of the most likely punishments. But, a lack of any official statement or explanation means market participants have been left to guess what the consequences could be - with difficulties securing phytosanitary documentation one method used in the past as an unofficial mechanism to delay exports.

- Trade indications and offer levels received by Agricensus suggest a large proportion of the companies that are marketing Russian wheat have been following the new policy, with most offer levels heard at around $240/mt. However, there have still been a few sellers heard offering below the set level - with some as low as $230-235/mt FOB NNTK.
"It doesn't work at all," one broker told Agricensus of the concept of the floor price.
"The person that needs to sell - sells... somebody [who] does not need to sell urgently waits for the market to catch up with the minimum [price]. Also, those who know how will sell on a CFR basis, meaning the price sold is always above the minimum," the source said.

Jun 15 - Bunge boosts oilseed dominance, renewable diesel potential with Viterra deal
Bunge's planned acquisition of Viterra would make the world's biggest oilseed crusher even more dominant and secure a larger role in the expanding renewable diesel industry, although it may face competition hurdles. Under the deal to create an agricultural giant worth about $34 billion including debt, Bunge's crushing capacity will increase by nearly one-third, to 75 million metric tons annually, adding plants in Europe, Canada and Argentina. 

Jun 15 - Russian 'goodwill' on Black Sea grain deal is 'not endless' – Kremlin
Russia's "goodwill" cannot last indefinitely when it comes to renewing the Black Sea grain deal, the Kremlin said on Wednesday, a day after President Vladimir Putin said that Moscow was considering withdrawing from the accord. The deal allowing Ukraine to resume sea-borne grain exports was brokered by the United Nations and Turkey in July last year to help tackle a global food crisis the U.N. said had been exacerbated by Europe's deadliest conflict since World War Two.

Jun 14 - Bunge finalizes merger deal with Glencore-backed Viterra (AgriCensus)

- US agribusiness Bunge has finalized a merger with private Canadian company Viterra to create a major diversified global agribusiness solutions company, the company said in an official statement Tuesday. Under the terms of the agreement, shareholders of Viterra, which is affiliated with Glencore, will receive around 65.6 million in Bunge stock with an approximate value of $6.2 billion, as well as roughly $2.0 billion in cash, representing a consideration mix of about 75% Bunge stock and 25% cash, according to the statement. It also said that St. Louis, Missouri, headquartered Bunge would assume $9.8 billion of Viterra’s debt as the part of transaction.

- The first attempts by the two companies to merge were reported back in 2017. The merger will create a global business rivaling that of Cargill Inc. and Archer-Daniels-Midland Co (ADM), fellow members of the so-called ABCD big four agriculture companies along with Louis Dreyfus company. Bunge said it planned to buy back $2.0 billion of Bunge’s stock (the “Repurchase Plan”) to enhance accretion to adjusted earnings per share and expects to complete the plan in no later than 18 months post-transaction close. Meanwhile, it is expected that Viterra shareholders would own 30% of the combined company on a fully diluted basis upon the close of the transaction, and approximately 33% after completion of the Repurchase Plan.

- Among the key goals of the merger, according to Bunge, is to create an enhanced global network able to meet the complex needs of the market and better serve farmers and end-customers, increased diversification of assets, crops, geographics, supply chain, and strategical position and accelerating investments into sustainable solutions into the main food challenges in the 21st century. Additionally, it will create a compelling financial profile with a strong investment-grade balance sheet that supports shareholder returns.

Viterra is majority owned by Switzerland-based Glencore and Canada's CPP Investments and British Columbia Investment Management Corporation.

Jun 14 - Putin says Russia thinking of ditching grain deal due to West's 'cheating'
President Vladimir Putin said on Tuesday that Russia was considering withdrawing from the Black Sea grain deal because the West had cheated Moscow by implementing none of the promises to get Russian agricultural goods to world markets. The deal allowing Ukraine to resume seaborne grain exports was brokered by the United Nations and Turkey in July last year to help tackle a global food crisis the U.N. said had been exacerbated by Europe's deadliest conflict since World War Two.

Jun 13 - US corn rating slips to 61% good/excellent, soy down to 59% - USDA
The U.S. Department of Agriculture rated 61% of the U.S. corn crop in good to excellent condition in its weekly crop progress report on Monday, down 3 percentage points from a week ago and below the average of estimates in a Reuters poll. Twelve analysts surveyed by Reuters on average had expected corn ratings to fall 2 percentage points to 62% good-to-excellent, with estimates ranging from 59% to 64% good-to-excellent. 

Jun 13 - Coceral cuts EU grain harvest outlook on dry weather
Grain trade association Coceral lowered on Monday its outlook for this year's cereal harvest in the European Union, hit by dry weather in northern Europe and Spain. In northern Europe, crop expectations had been reduced for Denmark, Germany, Sweden and the Baltic states, while the crop outlook had also been cut in Spain, where rains came too late for wheat and barley, Coceral said.

Jun 12 - Malaysia’s May palm oil output rises 26% on month, beats trade expectations ( IHSmarkit )

- End-May stocks at 1.68 million metric tons vs 1.58 million metric tons trade view
- Exports drop on cheaper soybean and sunflower oil
- Crude palm oil FOB Indonesia price at $795/t June 9

- Malaysia’s palm oil production rose 26.8% on the month and 3.8 % on the year to 1.518 million metric tons in May, data from the Malaysian Palm Oil Board showed June 12.
The jump in production was significantly higher than the median forecast of an 11% rise to 1.33 million metric tons, according to an S&P Global Commodity Insights survey June 7.
The quick ramp-up in supply increased Malaysia’s palm oil stocks at the end of the month to 1.687 million metric tons, up 12.6% on the month, MPOB said, compared with trade expectations of 1.586 million metric tons.

Malaysia is the second largest producer and exporter of palm oil after Indonesia. The two countries account for about 85% of the world’s palm oil exports.

The benchmark August crude palm oil contract on the Malaysian commodity exchange was down 30 points or 0.9% to 3,337 Malaysian ringgit per metric ton ($722.45/t) at the close of morning trading, with analysts citing the unexpected bump in supply, higher end stocks and slower exports as a reason for the dip in prices.
Meanwhile, palm oil exports in May were lower than expected at 1.079 million metric tons, down by about 0.8% on the month.

Demand is still uncertain, analysts told S&P Global, adding that poor export performance by Malaysian palm oil has continued into June as well.

In the first 10 days of June, cargo surveyor data showed that Malaysian palm oil exports fell as much as 17% over the corresponding period in May.
“Palm oil’s tight spread over soft oils, and sunflower oil’s cheaper prices were the key reason behind palm oil’s lower exports,” Anilkumar Bagani, head of research at Mumbai-based vegetable oil brokerage Sunvin Group said in a note June 12, adding that the MPOB data was bearish for the palm oil market.

Platts assessed crude palm oil at $795/t FOB Indonesia June 9, down 1.6% from the start of the month, according to S&P Global data.

Jun 12 - Coceral lowers total 2023 EU soft wheat forecast to 127.3m mt (AgriCensus)

- Agricultural trade body Coceral has lowered its outlook for EU 27 2023 soft wheat production to 127.3 million mt from 129.5 million mt in the March forecast, which is up 0.3% year-on-year. Coceral said the main reason for the downward revision was the current dryness in the northern half of the EU, especially for Sweden, Denmark, and the Baltic countries.

France's production is estimated at 35.06 million mt, up 4% on the year and up on the 34.34 million mt forecasted in March. Production was revised down, in particular for Germany and Spain, due to rain coming too late for both wheat and barley.
Germany’s crop was forecast at 21.63 million mt, a decrease from the March forecast of 21.97 million mt and down 3.2% on the year.
Poland was forecast at 13.2 million mt, down 1.6% on the year but up from the 12.6 million forecast in March.
The UK’s soft wheat production estimate was stable at 15.03 million mt, slightly up from the previous forecast of 15 million mt but down 3.2% on the year.

- The EU’s barley production also fell by 4.6% year-on-year to 49.47 million mt, down from the March forecast of 52.5 million mt.
The year-on-year decline was driven mostly by Spain, with barley forecast at 4.1 million mt down from March’s forecast of 7.9 million, a decline of 38.5% on the year.
Despite this, Germany’s barley crop estimate was revised to 11.25 million mt, up from the 10.9 million mt March forecast and up 0.4% on year.
French barley forecast also rose slightly to 12.8 million mt from March’s 12.4 million mt, up 13% on the year.   
The UK’s barley crop size forecast went unchanged at 7.1 million mt but was still down year-on-year.

- The EU 27’s corn crop figure was revised to 61.1 million mt, down from the 62.1 million mt forecasts in March, but still an increase on the 2022 figure of 52.3 million mt. Coceral said this was due to bigger corn forecasts in Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, and Italy after the 2022 crop was affected by severe drought and heat.

France, however, is not expected to recover their corn crops to such an extent due to smaller planting area and higher input costs, with some of the area replaced with more robust crops such as sunseeds.
The Romanian corn crop is forecast to increase to 10.3 million mt from 7.2 million mt in 2022, while Hungary’s is to increase to 6.3 million mt from 2.8 million mt, Bulgaria to 3.6 million mt from 2.6 million mt and Italy to 5.2 million mt from 4 million mt.

Coceral has lowered its total grain forecasts for the EU-27 to 273.4 million mt, down from 280.1 million mt in the March forecast but up significantly from the 266.8 million mt harvested in 2022. This was largely due to the bigger corn harvest forecasts.

- For oilseeds, European farmers are expected to produce a total of 19.7 million mt of rapeseeds, down from 19.8 million mt forecasted in March and slightly above last year. They are expected to produce 10.8 million mt of sunflower seeds (down from 11.2 million mt in March and 9.5 million last year) and 3.12 million mt of soybeans, up from 2.7 million mt forecasted in March and up from 2.4 million mt last year.
France and Germany are to produce the biggest share of rapeseed, with estimates set at 4.43 million mt and 4.65 million mt, respectively.

Jun 12 - Russia still dissatisfied with Black Sea grain deal after UN talks
Russia is still not satisfied with how a Black Sea grain deal is being implemented, Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Vershinin said on Saturday after meeting senior U.N. trade officials a day earlier, the TASS news agency reported. Russia has threatened to walk away from the grain deal on July 17 if demands to improve its own food and fertilizer exports are not met.  

Jun 12 - Malaysia end-May palm oil stocks surge 12.6% as output swells
Malaysia's end-May palm oil inventories rose for the first time in four months, lifted by a surge in output, data from the nation's palm oil board showed. Stockpiles in the world's second-largest producer rose 12.63% from the month before to 1.69 million metric tonnes, the Malaysian Palm Oil Board (MPOB) said.

Jun 09 - EU heard buying US soybeans to export soyoil back to the US ( trade+ AgriCensus )

- Importers working for member states of the European Union bought US soybeans to crush and export soyoil back to the US earlier this week, in a highly unusual move, trade sources have told Agricensus Friday. Several sources spoken to by Agricensus confirmed the trade, or said that rare market move was “highly possible.”

- In a flash sales update, the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) reported fresh old crop soybean sales of 165,000 mt to Spain on Tuesday, and many market participants believe those volumes were inhouse deals aiming to re-export soyoil to the US after the beans are crushed in Europe.
“We thought that was a joke after the Spain announcement, but we've learned that it could work,” Futures International’s Terry Reilly told Agricensus.

- Large companies could be taking advantage of idle crush capacity in Europe and the high demand from the US biofuels sector to make this cross-border flow economically viable despite the high freight costs involved. Agricensus learned that the effective offshoring of the US crush to Europe might have started a couple of weeks earlier, with rumours that at least two large multinationals have done it. On Friday, the USDA announced another round of fresh old crop US soybean sales, this time with 197,000 mt sold to unknown destinations. While there was no confirmation as to whether this could also be headed to Europe to be crushed and re-exported to the US, many speculated that it could be the case.

New market trend?
- Albeit somewhat counterintuitive, this opportunistic cross-border trade dynamic could gather steam looking ahead.
“Depending on tariffs and the certification process this could be a frequent thing in 2023/24,” Eduardo Vanin, the head of analysis at Brazil’s brokerage Agrinvest told Agricensus.
“[That could] benefit plants along the southeast and the Gulf… there is need [for more competitive soyoil] in selected US locations, basis premiums reflect that,” Reilly said.

- On the other hand, other sources said this should be only a short-term fix before the US’s new soybean crush capacity comes online. That said, the offshoring of US soybean crush to Europe could still have market impacts depending on the volumes involved.
“Imagine what could happen with soymeal prices if the US increases significantly its crush using Europe’s idle capacity… if I was a Brazilian crusher I would be worried,” Vanin said.

Jun 09 - Bunge finalizing $30 billion-plus merger with Viterra
U.S. grains merchant Bunge Ltd is putting the final touches on a deal to merge with Glencore Plc -backed peer Viterra and create an agricultural trading giant worth more than $30 billion, including debt, people familiar with the matter said on Thursday. The deal, whose terms have not been previously reported, would come as Russia's war in Ukraine has tested the security of supply in global food markets. 

Jun 09 - Argentina's soybean crop seen down at 21 mln T as harvest nears end
Argentina's current soybean harvest is nearing completion with total production expected to reach just 21 million metric tons, a major grains exchange said on Thursday, far below yields from previous years for the country's main cash crop. Argentina is the world's leading exporter of processed soybeans, as well as a major wheat and corn supplier to global markets, but a historic drought that began last year has slashed by half expectations for the 2022/2023 harvest.

Jun 08 - Tunisia's ODC tenders for 100k mt wheat July-August shipment

- Tunisia's state grain importer has issued an international tender to buy 100,000 mt of milling wheat for July-August shipment, according to an official notice released Thursday. Office des Cereales (ODC) is looking for four 25,000 mt vessels of wheat to be shipped during July 1-August 15, depending on the origin.
The offers are invited for European, USA, Canadian, South American, Black Sea and Turkish origins. The tender is set to close on June 9.

In its last tender, which closed April 25, ODC booked 75,000 mt of milling wheat and paid $308.63/mt CFR on average, for the June-July shipment period.

Jun 08 - China’s May vegetable oil imports more than double on year (IHSmarkit)

- May imports at 646,000 metric tons
- COVID restrictions reduced consumption in 2022
- China’s vegetable oil port stocks stood at three-year high

China’s edible vegetable oil imports rose to 646,000 metric tons in May, more than double the 321,000 metric tons imported in May 2022, data from the General Administration of Customs showed 7 June. China, the world’s second-largest buyer of vegetable oils after India, has sharply ramped up purchases in 2023 after Beijing relaxed COVID-19 controls at the start of the year.

In the first five months of the 2023, vegetable oil imports reached 3.736 million metric tons, more than double the 1.628 million metric tons imported in the same period of 2022, according to the data. Trade sources said China had stepped up purchases of palm oil in the second half of May after palm oil prices dived to an eight-month low.

Imports in May were lower than in April when China imported 838,700 metric tons of vegetable oils, according to GACC data released last month.
At the start of June, China’s vegetable oil port stocks stood at three-year high of 1.8 million metric tons.

Jun 08 - Brazil corn, sugar and coffee areas seen escaping frosts
A polar mass advancing over Brazil is not expected to hit crops like sugarcane, corn and coffee even though temperatures will drop sharply over the coming days, weather consultancy Rural Clima said on Wednesday. Agrometeorologist Marco Antonio dos Santos said some areas will have temperatures close to zero, but crops should be spared from frosts as a cold front system in southern Brazil blocks the polar mass' advance to the main producing regions. 

Jun 08 - Russia and Ukraine say ammonia pipeline was damaged, in potential blow to grain deal
A pipeline used to transport ammonia fertilizer from Russia via Ukraine that may be central to the future of the Black Sea grain deal has been damaged, according to both Kyiv and Moscow, potentially complicating talks around the accord. Russia's defence ministry said a "Ukrainian sabotage group" had blown up a section of the pipeline on Monday night near the village of Masyutivka in Kharkiv region.

Jun 07 - Euronext French Wheat and Corn gain both longs and shorts (AgriCensus)

- French milling wheat and corn investors continued to increase both short and long positions in the week to June 2, according to the weekly commitment of traders data from the Euronext exchange. The data from the European exchange showed that investors upgraded their long wheat positions by 15,578 lots, or 8% of the total position, increasing all longs to 204,210.
- Shorts rose on week, up a similar 7% and reaching a total of 275,814 to leave the market in a net short position of 71,603, up 5% on the week and continuing the net short position seen last week.
- Rapeseed contracts reported losses in both long and short positions resulting in a net short position. Longs declined by 2,432 lots, or 7%, to 31,035, while shorts fell by 1,149 lots, or 2%, to 72,027 positions.

Overall, the changes left net shorts up 1,283 lots to 40,992, an increase of 3% on the previous week.
- Addtionally, data for corn contracts showed an increase of 252 long positions, or 4%, leaving the total at 6,835.
- Corn short positions increased by 575 lots, or 5%, bringing the total to 11,247.

Overall, due to the increase in short positions, the net short increased by 323 positions to 4,412.

Jun 07 - Australia sees wheat, barley output dropping by a third next year
Australia's production of winter crops is set to fall from record highs, with wheat output seen declining more than 30%, the country's agricultural department said, as forecasters predict dryness due to the El Nino weather pattern. Australia is the world's second largest wheat exporter, supplying mainly to buyers in Asia, including China, Indonesia and Japan. 

Jun 07 - Global coffee market to clock 7.3 mln bag deficit in 2022/23, ICO says
The global coffee market will record a 7.3 million bag deficit in the 2022/23 (October-September) season as increased global fertiliser costs and adverse weather last year hurt crops, the International Coffee Association (ICO) said on Tuesday. This follows a deficit of 7.1 million bags in the 2021/22 season when coffee consumption bounced back and economic growth improved as the world emerged from the COVID-19 pandemic, the ICO said in a monthly report.

Jun 06 - Turkey’s TMO ramps up wheat intervention price 28%, barley 23% ( AgriCensus)

- The Turkish grains board (TMO) has published new domestic intervention prices for the purchase of wheat and barley on Tuesday, revealing another substantial hike of 28% and 23% respectively, trade sources have told Agricensus. The announcement had been expected and usually comes in late May or early June to coincide with the start of the new marketing year.

- Turkish authorities have set the wheat intervention price at TRY8,250/mt, up from TRY6,450/mt, and barley at TRY7,000/mt, up from TRY5,000/mt. On top of that, there would be a TRY1,000/mt premium for anyone selling wheat in the first three months of the marketing year, and a TRY500/mt premium for barley.

- Collectively, it equated to $430/mt for wheat and $348.50/mt for barley, according to current currency conversions.

The moves are likely to reflect the continuing slide of the domestic currency on international markets, with the lira again taking a battering after the re-election of president Recep Tayyip Erdogan to plumb new depths against the US dollar. Currently, one US dollar buys around TRY21.5, up from TRY16.6 at the same point of last year.
However, the increase and the relatively low prices of global wheat could fuel interest in selling into the domestic market and buying on the international market.
“Obviously, the import license values will soar immediately,” a trade source commented as news of the increase circulated.

- Currently, the only people able to import wheat are millers who would only be able to secure permission if they have exported the flour before.  For anyone else looking to import wheat, market participants would need to buy a license – a measure that now looks attractive given the high setting of the intervention price.

Jun 06 - India's palm oil imports hit 27-month low, buyers pick cheaper soft oils
India's palm oil imports sank to a 27-month low in May as buyers cancelled expensive cargoes of the edible oil and replaced them with cheaper soyoil and sunflower oil, six dealers told Reuters on Tuesday.Palm oil imports by India fell to 441,000 tonnes last month, down 14% from 510,094 tonnes in April, according to average estimates from the dealers.  

Jun 06 - U.S. corn conditions suffer worst tumble since 2020 as dryness expands -Braun
Parts of the U.S. Corn Belt have been historically dry over the last month, pressuring both corn and soybean health and offering an early challenge to the government's record yield forecasts. Data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture on Monday afternoon showed 64% of the U.S. corn crop in good or excellent (GE) condition, down from 69% a week earlier and below the lowest trade guess of 65%.

Jun 06 - Brazil set to export larger-than-usual soybean volumes to the US (AgriCensus)

- Brazil is set to export at least 200,000 mt of soybeans to the US between the last weeks of May and the beginning of June, line-up data analysed by Agricensus showed. Brazil typically ships some soybean volumes to the US, especially during the northern hemisphere’s summer months, but this bilateral trade is set to be larger than usual this year as the bumper soybean crop in Brazil has been underpinning very competitive prices in the South American country.

- Line-up data from shipping company Williams shows two vessels chartered by Perdue have left the northern river port of Itacoatiara on May 21 and 25 carrying about 30,000 mt of soybeans to the US each. Williams’ data also showed that three other vessels, two chartered by Perdue and one by ADM, were scheduled to set sail in the first week of June from the northern ports of Santarem and Barcarena with a joint cargo of about 120,000 mt of soybeans destined to the US.

- Shipping company Cargonave has reported these same five soybean vessels bound to the US in its line-up data and spotted a sixth vessel chartered by Viterra that left Barcarena on May 23 carrying just under 30,000 mt of beans to the US.

If all these cargoes and volumes are confirmed, this will bring total Brazilian soybean exports to the US between the last weeks of May and the beginning of June to over 200,000 mt, which comes on top of the 46,153 mt shipped to the US between January and April, according to Brazil’s customs data. This already places this year’s soybean trade between the two countries as the largest since 2014 when Brazil exported the largest yearly soybean volume to the US on record at just over one million mt.

Jun 05 - Mexico to fight US dispute over GM corn after formal consultations fail
Mexico said on Friday it would counter U.S. arguments over agriculture biotech measures, including plans to limit its use of genetically modified (GM) corn, in trade dispute settlement consultations requested by Washington earlier in the day.The consultation request comes as the North American neighbors inch toward a full-blown trade dispute under the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) over Mexico's policies to limit the use of GM corn, which it imports from the U.S.  

Jun 05 - Indonesia aims to raise 2023 white sugar output 8.3% y/y
Indonesia wants to raise its white sugar output to 2.6 million tonnes this year, the country's National Food Agency (Bapanas) said in a statement late on Sunday. The Southeast Asian country produced 2.4 million tonnes in 2022, and consumes 3.4 million tonnes annually, the agency said.

Jun 02 - Palm oil dispute won't have bearing on Indonesia, Malaysia EU trade talks, minister says
A dispute between the European Union and major palm oil producers Indonesia and Malaysia over a new deforestation law will have no bearing on the two countries' stalled negotiations with the bloc on free trade agreements, a Malaysian minister said on Thursday. Responding to a Financial Times report which said the talks could be delayed over the palm oil issue, commodities minister Fadillah Yusof said Malaysia's negotiations with the EU on a trade deal, which have been on hold since 2012, could be resumed if the EU would treat Malaysia with fairness and as a partner. 

Jun 02 - Ukraine grain and oilseed crop expected to fall by 7.9%, traders union says
Ukraine's combined grain and oilseed crop harvest is set to fall to 68 million tonnes in 2023, from 73.8 million tonnes in 2022, Ukrainian grain traders union UGA said on Thursday. The grain harvest could include 17.9 million tonnes of wheat and 23.3 million tonnes of corn, the union said. Ukraine harvested 20.2 million tonnes of wheat and 27.3 million tonnes of corn in 2022.

Jun 02 - Ukrainian grain and oilseeds export in 2023/24 can drop to 43.9 mmt: UGA

- The Ukrainian Grain Association (UGA) has issued new estimates for the country's 2023/24 marketing year exports, forecasting a reduction in the potential grain and oilseeds exports to 43.9 million mt, in data released Thursday.  The move comes because of an expected drop in production, but the figure would only be realistic if the work of the Black Sea grains corridor continues to operate and is not distracted by further suspensions or interruptions. The forecast is 22% below the estimate for the current 2022/23 marketing year, which has started with very high stocks amid the war and a total figure of 56.4 million mt.
“A sharp drop for the future crop is expected due to the occupation of Ukrainian territories, mined territories, and continued hostilities, as well as the lack of funds and other resources for farmers for a full-fledged sowing campaign and crop cultivation,” the UGA said.

- The potential wheat export figure is assessed at 15 million mt, given an expected 11% drop in production to 17.9 million mt amid a smaller planted area, but ending stocks could reach 5.3 million by the start of the 2023/24 season. The association expects barley exports could reach 2 million mt in 2023/24 with a drop in production of 1.4 million mt to 4.4 million mt.

Corn exports are projected at 19 million mt for the upcoming season, again on the back of a fall in planted area as the size of the fields sown with corn were reduced by 800,000 ha.
As such, the expected output was also expected to fall by 14% to 23.3 million mt.


- Sunflower production is forecast to increase by 14% to 12.7 million mt amid an increase in planted areas of 800,000 ha, in a move that could allow an increase in the exports to 1.2 million mt and domestic sunflower processing to 11.5 million mt.

- Rapeseed output is only projected to grow by 3% to 3.8 million mt, which could allow exports at 3.5 million mt.

- Finally, UGA estimated soybean production would reach 4.4 million mt, almost 19% higher year-on-year, with the estimated export potential rising to 3 million mt.

Jun 01 - India’s rice exports rise in April (IHSmarkit)

- Indian rice exports up 8% y/y but down 16% m/m
- Non-Basmati exports rise 5% y/y
- African countries were key export destinations for Indian non-Basmati exports

India’s rice exports in April totaled 1.8 million metric tons, down 16% month on month, but up 7.8% year on year, according to the Ministry of Commerce and Industry.

Non-Basmati exports rose 5.2% year on year to 1.4 million metric tons, as India continues to offer lower prices than its competitors, according to an analysis of S&P Global Commodity Insights data.

African countries were key export destinations for Indian non-Basmati exports in April. Kenya was the largest buyer at 167,805 metric tons, followed by Benin at 136,458 metric tons and Togo at 122,066 metric tons. Mozambique, Guinea, Senegal, and Vietnam also received significant volumes in April.

Basmati exports were also up, with April exports totaling 424,650 metric tons, up 33% year on year. Iran took over 20% of the Basmati exported in April at 86,727 metric tons, followed by Saudi Arabia at 69,937 metric tons and Iraq at 57,129 metric tons.

Indian exports over January-April totaled 7.8 million metric tons, up 2.6% year on year.

Jun 01 - EC proposes extending ban on Ukrainian imports until at least October (AgriCensus)

- European Commissioner for Agriculture Janusz Wojciechowski is proposing to extend a temporary import ban on key agricultural products from Ukraine into five member states until the end of October "at the very minimum," after the European Council last week approved an extension of the duty-free import regime for Ukrainian products for another year. Speaking at a press conference following an Agri and Fisheries Council meeting late Tuesday, the Commissioner stressed he could not make any binding declarations as member states were still in discussions. However, he said that there was now more grain in reserves in the five neighboring member states than in Ukraine itself, which was why he was calling for restrictions to be extended until after the harvest, at least until October and ideally until the end of the year.

- Several of the member states are facing general elections in the coming months and the issue of Ukrainian imports has become a political one. In addition, not all member states support the ban, and earlier this month, several member states wrote to the Commission stressing the importance of common trade policies for the whole bloc. The Commissioner said other European member states had questioned the criteria behind the decision, why the ban applied to only these five member states, and the consequences for the common food market.
“Liberalization of trade was the European Union support for Ukraine, but the cost of the support was paid mainly by the farmers in these five member states,” he said.

- As a result of the increase in overland exports from Ukraine following the Russian invasion last February, imports to EU neighbors had increased by about €5 billion compared with the previous year, he said.
“You can imagine that with €5 billion more input, it was a shock for the market in these five member states, that we why we propose special measures for these member states,” he said.

- According to the Commission, Ukrainian exports via the so-called Solidarity Lanes are mainly going to Romania, which has handled roughly 7 million mt of Ukrainian grain exported by transit. Poland has taken 700,000 mt, Hungary 300,000 mt, Slovakia 200,000 mt, and Bulgaria less than 100,000 mt. In response to the concerns raised by farmers regarding the adverse impact of imports on local markets, and unilateral bans attempted by member states, the European Commission introduced a temporary ban on imports of Ukrainian corn, wheat, rapeseed and sunseed into Poland, Bulgaria, Slovakia, Hungary, and Romania in early May, a ban which was set to end on June 5.

- The European Commission came to this agreement provided that the five EU states did not prevent transit to other countries. When he announced the ban on May 3, the Commissioner indicated that it might be extended if the European Parliament and Council approved extending the duty-free import scheme for an additional year.

- At the same time, the Commission proposed freeing up €100 million from Common Agricultural Policy crisis funds to assist farmers in the five member states. The Ukraine Agricultural Ministry meanwhile Wednesday criticized the proposed extension of the ban as showing a lack of solidarity with Ukraine and playing into Russian President Vladimir Putin's hands.
"Continuation of restrictions means putting additional weapons in Putin's hands against unity in Europe. Current restrictions must be canceled," the ministry said in a tweet.

- While transit is technically still possible through countries bordering on Ukraine, traders still face challenges as new terms and stricter conditions subject to changes have caused queues at the border, making it increasingly difficult to plan logistics.  
“This is something that needs to be discussed among the Commissioners because we need to take very seriously what was expressed today by the Ukrainian side," Commissioner Wojciechowski said.

Jun 01 - 'Granary of China' braces for more wheat-damaging rain
China's largest wheat-growing province of Henan is expected to be hit by more rain in the coming days, state weather forecasters said on Thursday, complicating efforts to harvest grain damaged by abnormally heavy precipitation in late May.Known as the "granary of China", the south of Henan had been struck by higher-than-normal rainfall in the last week of May days ahead of the harvest of wheat planted in the last winter.

May 31 - Wheat tumbles, dipping below corn for first time since 2013 on stock hangover (AgriCensus)

- US wheat futures have tumbled, falling below corn prices briefly Tuesday for the first time since 2013, as the combination of lack of demand by cash-strapped buyers and ample stockpiles put downward pressure on prices. There are massive stockpiles in major producing countries as the harvest of winter wheat approaches in Russia, the EU and the US, which should only increase excess supply in the months ahead.  
“With Russia and EU both trying to sell old crop hangover and new crop harvests of wheat, world values are under pressure,” Jeff McPike of Waseda Commodities told Agricensus.
“The US still commands a massive premium to world wheat values, so I'm not surprised to see some of that huge premium being released as the harvest nears,” McPike added.

- By 1225 Eastern time, the Kansas HRW July contract was down 37 c/bu at $7.82/bu with September down 35 c/bu at $7.79/bu. The Chicago SRW July and September contracts were down 23 c/bu at $5.93/bu and $6.07/bu, respectively.

- July corn futures were down 12 c/bu at $5.92/bu in Chicago, just a shade lower than SRW wheat.
“This just goes to show the trade looks for USDA to report a high SRW wheat yield when updated next month,” senior grain and oilseed commodity analyst at Futures International Terry Reilly told Agricensus.
“Demand is just plain awful,” Charlie Sernatinger of Marex Capital told Agricensus.

- Many of the biggest wheat importers are short the hard currency they need to purchase wheat because rising US interest rates have left them spending scarce dollars to pay for interest on loans instead of imports, Sernatinger said.
“The Egyptians are deferring payment on wheat on grains, the Tunisians don’t have dollars, the Pakistanis are a mess, the Turks are seeing the lira crash and burn again after Erdogan won reelection, the Iranians are in no danger of finding hard currency between the sofa cushions, and Bangladesh is begging India for wheat since they don’t have dollars to buy the stuff,” Sernatinger said.
"We continue to hear the “no demand” refrain from so many buyers as they try to find demand for the stocks already in hand and decline to try and catch the falling knife," McPike said.

May 31 - Hungary asks EU to extend import curbs on grains from Ukraine at least until end-2023
Hungary has asked the EU to extend import curbs on Ukraine grains and oilseed crops for five Eastern European states at least until the end of 2023, Ministry of Agriculture State Secretary Zsolt Feldman said. Feldman told state news agency MTI late on Tuesday that Hungary also asked Brussels to grant financial support to local farmers to facilitate the transport of grain stocks stuck in domestic storage before this year's harvest.  

May 31 - EU raises wheat and rapeseed crop forecasts, trims barley and maize
The European Commission has increased its monthly forecasts for this year's European Union soft wheat and rapeseed harvests, while lowering its outlook for barley and maize, data posted by the EU's executive showed. For soft wheat, the EU's main cereal crop, usable production in 2023/24 is now expected at 131.5 million tonnes, up from 130.2 million projected in late April and well above 125.7 million harvested last year, the Commission's data showed.

May 30 - Heavy rain floods China's top wheat province ahead of harvest
Heavy rain has flooded wheat fields in China's central Henan province, just days ahead of the harvest, pushing up prices and raising concerns about the quality of this year's crop in the world's top consumer of the grain. The rain, which started in the middle of last week in the southern half of Henan, is causing some of the wheat to sprout or become affected by blight, according to videos posted on social media and a local grain dealer. 

May 30 - Export prices of Russian wheat pushed lower by new crop, low demand
Export prices of Russian wheat are softening further in anticipation of a new harvest and amid low demand from global importers, analysts said. A deal to allow Ukraine to export its grain safely across the Black Sea was extended last week for two months.

May 29 - Vietnam to cut annual rice exports by 44% to 4 mln tonnes by 2030
Vietnam aims to cut its rice exports to 4 million tonnes a year by 2030, the government said in a document detailing its rice export strategy, down from 7.1 million tonnes last year. Vietnam is the world's third-largest rice exporter, after India and Thailand.

May 29 - French soft wheat crop rating steady at decade high

The condition of French soft wheat was stable in the week to May 22, holding at its best level in at least a decade, data from farm office FranceAgriMer showed on Friday. An estimated 93% of soft wheat was in good or excellent condition, unchanged from the previous week, the office said in a weekly cereal report.

May 29 - Black Sea grain deal slow to get moving after extension
A deal allowing the safe wartime export of grain and fertilizer from Ukrainian Black Sea ports has not yet resumed full operations, the United Nations said on Friday, having come to a halt before Russia's decision last week to extend it. The pact called the Black Sea Grain Initiative, brokered by the United Nations and Turkey last July with Russia and Ukraine to try to ease a global food crisis aggravated by Moscow's invasion of Ukraine, covers three ports, but no ships have been authorized to travel to Pivdennyi (Yuzhny) port since April 29, the U.N. said.

May 27 - EC mulls extending temporary import ban from Ukraine to 5 states (AgriCensus)

- The European Commission is considering extending a temporary ban on imports of key agricultural products from Ukraine into five member states following the European Council's decision Thursday to extend the duty-free import regime for Ukraine for another year.  Imports of corn, wheat, rapeseed, and sunseed were temporarily banned into Poland, Bulgaria, Slovakia, Hungary, and Romania in early May, following pressure from farmers who claimed the imports had put extensive pressure on local markets, with the ban due to come to an end on June 5.

- Meanwhile, transit via these countries and imports to other EU member states remains possible.
“With Ukraine, the adoption of the new autonomous trade measures for another year, we have a legal basis indeed for a possible extension of exceptional safeguards,” said Valdis Dombrovskis, Executive Vice-President of the European and Commissioner for Trade said at a press conference late Thursday following the extension of the duty-free regime.
“We have signaled the Commission's readiness to make an extension with the five state members concerned, and we are in discussion with those member states and Ukraine on this topic,” Dombrovskis said.

- Ukraine, however, remains hopeful that the ban will not continue, according to a statement from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine following Thursday's announcement.
“We expect that these restrictions, which are in effect until June 5 of this year, will not be extended beyond that date and will be lifted in full," the statement said.
"Otherwise, we will consider the continuation of trade restrictions as an example of double standards, which will only undermine the solidarity of the EU with Ukraine.”

- When the import ban was initially announced on May 3, Agriculture Commissioner Janusz Wojciechowski said it could be extended for as long as until the end of the year if the European Parliament and Council extended the duty-free import scheme for another year.  Other EU member states have meanwhile spoken out against the special measures put in place for the five member states.

- Earlier this month, several member states wrote to the Commission stressing the importance of common trade policies for the whole bloc.

May 26 - Malaysia's palm oil production seen falling in 2024 due to El Niño - MPOB
Malaysia's crude palm oil production could drop between 1 and 3 million tonnes next year due to the El Niño weather pattern, the Malaysian Palm Oil Board (MPOB) said on Thursday. El Niño was unlikely to affect production this year as it takes about 15 to 18 months for the impact on production to show, the regulator's director-general Ahmad Parveez Ghulam Kadir told reporters.

May 26 - Egypt defers payments for wheat imports amid dollar crunch
Egypt has deferred payments for its large wheat purchases, in some cases by months, according to a government official and traders, as the country grapples with a shortage of hard currency. Egypt is one of the world's biggest wheat importers and uses the purchases to make heavily subsidised bread, a politically sensitive benefit available to tens of millions of people.

May 26 - Black Sea grain deal uncertainties stall Ukraine shipments
Dozens of ships are unable to reach Ukraine, days after a Black Sea grain deal was extended and the pace of shipments is unlikely to pick up because of slow inspections and other uncertainties, according to data and three sources. Nearly 40 dry bulk vessels were stationary around Istanbul in areas that have been used for inspections by a joint inspection team representing Russia, Ukraine and Turkey as well as the UN, analysis from global trade analytics platform Kpler showed.

May 25 - What stops China from buying significantly more Russian wheat, barley? (AgriCensus)

- Chinese and Russian officials held talks in Beijing this week, where they discussed relations between the two countries and signed a number of phytosanitary documents, however, there remain some obstacles to Russia exporting significantly more grain to China, according to trade sources. Representatives of the Russian Ministry of Economic Development and the Chinese Ministry of Commerce also signed a Memorandum of Understanding on deepening investment cooperation in the field of service trade, according to a statement from the Chinese side. The statement also said a protocol on grain requirements had been signed by the Federal Veterinary and Phytosanitary Surveillance Service of the Russian Federation and the General Administration of Customs of China, while another protocol was signed on inspection and quarantine requirements for the import of Chinese medicinal plant materials into Russia, although no further details were given.

- Back in early February 2022, the two countries already signed a document that expanded the origination options for wheat and barley imported into China, allowing those commodities to be sourced from all over Russia, which was expected to allow Russian trade to use Black Sea ports to increase shipments. However, more than a year has passed, and while wheat and barley trade between the two countries has increased compared with the previous year, it has not reached significant levels, with wheat exports pegged at 14,000 mt and barley at 78,827 mt for the whole of 2022.

- The main obstacle Russian traders face to increasing wheat exports to China is the phytosanitary requirements, as China only allows imports of wheat free from dwarf black ears disease, which suggests only spring wheat can be imported. Winter wheat is not allowed, and moreover, Chinese regulations stipulate wheat in China cannot be mixed with winter wheat or wheat from areas infected with dwarf black sheaf disease.

- Trade sources said while it is fairly easy to guarantee the absence of dwarf black sheaf disease for Siberian regions, from which deliveries are already being made by rail, it is hard to do the same for other parts of Russia. Spring wheat’s share in the country’s harvest amounts to about 45% of the total area sown, with the rest being planted with winter wheat. Sources also said that to be able to export to China, the whole logistics chain has to be authorized, including the production farm, the silo, the trader and the port used. Trade sources said that part of that work had been done already, and therefore they expect some further movements soon.
“Accreditation is going slowly. I think it will go eventually soon, not millions, of course, but at least hundreds of thousands should come out,” a local source said.

- Market sources said Novorossiysk and Taman ports had already been approved for Chinese exports. But at the same time, sources said that even if those were approved, the Chinese documents were very strict and companies needed to have the right papers to export.
"You don’t want the vessel to arrive at a Chinese port and [find you] can’t get clearance," a Chinese source said.

He also said the approval might also be seen as purely a political “gesture,” as “customs never give official clearance to Russian wheat.”
There are usually four major steps needed before a new origin can enter the Chinese market, which includes establishing phytosanitary standards, registering companies with the General Administration of Chinese Customs (GACC), Chinese state company Cofco importing the first cargo to see how the clearing process goes, and only then private traders stepping into trade, according to the sources.

- Russia has not yet reached the third step.
Currently, China allows the import of wheat from Australia, France, the US, South Africa, Turkey, Sweden, Russia, Mexico, Lithuania, Kazakhstan, Italy, Hungary, the UK, Spain, Denmark and Canada.
Barley can be imported from the US, Ukraine, Russia, Kazakhstan, Japan, France, Denmark, Canada, Argentina and Uruguay, while the market expects that Australian imports will be also allowed back soon following talks earlier this year

May 25 - India could consider broken rice shipments through diplomatic deals
India could consider supplying broken rice to other countries only through diplomatic channels, the Directorate General of Foreign Trade, an arm of the trade ministry, said in an order on Wednesday. India banned overseas shipments of broken rice and imposed a 20% duty on exports of various other grades in September 2022 amid concern over production because of below-average monsoon rainfall in key growing states.

May 25 - UN, Africa bank work to ease Russian grain, fertilizer exports
- UN official
The United Nations is working with the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) to create a platform to help process transactions for Russian exports of grain and fertilizer to Africa, the top U.N. trade official told Reuters on Wednesday. An agreement struck in July last year requires the U.N. to help Russia overcome any obstacles to its grain and fertilizer exports for three years.

May 25 - Taiwan’s MFIG buys about 65,000 tonnes corn from Brazil

Taiwan's MFIG purchasing group bought about 65,000 tonnes of animal feed corn to expected to be sourced from Brazil in an international tender on Wednesday, European traders said. It was believed to have been sold by trading house Amaggi.

May 24 - Russia's Uralchem readies alternative to Ukraine route for ammonia
Uralchem, Russia's biggest potash and ammonium nitrate producer, expects the opening of an ammonia export terminal near the Black Sea to make a pipeline across Ukraine much less important. Russia, the world's biggest fertiliser exporter, has repeatedly warned that Western sanctions over the conflict in Ukraine have hindered its global grain and fertiliser exports.

May 24 - Top palm oil buyer India's May imports set to fall to 27-month low

India's palm oil imports in May are set to fall to their lowest in 27 months as its rare premium over other edible oils prompted buyers to cancel cargoes and replace them with soyoil and sunflower oil, dealers and cargo surveyors said on Tuesday. The surprising drop in palm oil imports by India, the world's biggest importer of vegetable oils, could bring down palm oil prices.

May 24 - Ukraine says Russia prevents Black Sea grain deal port operating
Ukraine accused Russia on Tuesday of effectively cutting the Ukrainian port of Pivdennyi out of a deal allowing safe Black Sea grain exports as Russia complained that it had been unable to export ammonia via a pipeline to Pivdennyi under the pact. The Black Sea deal - brokered last July by the United Nations and Turkey and extended last week for two months - covers the wartime export of food and fertiliser from the Ukrainian ports of Odesa, Chornomorsk and Pivdennyi.

May 24 - Iran's SLAL said to buy about 260,000 tonnes soymeal in tender
- traders
Iranian state-owned animal feed importer SLAL is believed to have purchased about 260,000 tonnes of soymeal in an international tender which closed on Monday, European traders said on Tuesday. It was expected to be sourced from Argentina and Brazil for June and July shipment in four consignments, with a mix of international trading houses and local traders making sales.

May 23 - Brazil's soybean exports surge 37% on year (IHSmarkit)

- Domestic supply sufficient, overseas demand steady
- May exports set to surpass year-ago volume
- Brazil is forecast to produce a record volume in 2022-23

Brazil’s soybean exports surged 37% year on year to 9.74 million metric tons over May 1-21, data from foreign trade department Secex showed May 22, signaling higher domestic supplies of the oilseed and steady overseas demand.

Soybeans from Brazil, the world’s top supplier, have been selling at a steep discount of $40-$70 per metric tons to volumes from its biggest competitor the US in recent weeks, benefiting Brazilian farmers, commodity analysts said.

Platts, part of S&P Global Commodity Insights, assessed SOYBEX FOB Santos for July deliveries at $481.46/t and SOYBEX FOB New Orleans at $519.65/t May 22.
Soybean exports surge

After a slow start to the year, Brazilian soybean exports have accelerated since March following harvest progress that was completed by late April in the key regions of the country.

Brazil exported 6 million metric tons of soybeans in January and February, down 31% on the year, Secex data showed. In March, exports rose 9% year on year to 13.3 million metric tons, while April shipments jumped 25% on the year to 14.34 million metric tons, due mainly to competitive pricing. The country is forecast to export 15.7 million metric tons of soybeans in May, up 48% on the year, Brazil’s grain exporters association Anec said May 16. The pace of Brazilian soybean exports is expected to maintain momentum over the coming weeks, market analysts said, with nearly 70% of the outflow heading for China, the world’s top importer of the oilseed.

Supply woes in drought-hit Argentina and stable demand from China indicate that Brazil is on course to register hefty exports in the 2022-23 marketing year (January-December 2023).

However, S&P Global Commodity Insights analysts are viewing the current pace of Brazilian exports with caution.
”Despite the higher pace of exports, to me, shipments out of Brazil are lower than expected given the massive crop,” said Emerson Wohlenberg, research and analysis associate director at S&P Global.

Brazil is forecast to produce a record high 154.81 million metric tons of soybeans in MY 2022-23 and export an all-time high volume of 95.07 million metric tons in the period, up 21% on the year, according national supply company CONAB.

May 23 - Some Russian wheat vessels successfully discharge in Iran, others remain stuck (AgriCensus)

- At least six wheat cargos loaded from Russia in late March-April have reached Iranian ports and were successfully discharged, while at least five vessels with Russian wheat and barley loaded between September-October 2022 are still in the Persian Gulf, line-up data shows. Russian traders sold wheat within an Iranian state tender held by the Government Trading Corporation (GTC) on March 2, where up to 700,000 mt were secured, and the line-up data available showed around 731,000 mt were loaded in Russian ports in March-early May, confirming the sale. While the vessels loaded in late April and May are still on their way to Iranian ports, the first to leave have already reached their destination and some have even moved on to new destinations.

- At the time the tender was held, trade sources were cautious about the sales, as there were up to ten vessels with Russian wheat and barley stuck in Iranian ports. But for now, the number of vessels that are still waiting has decreased to five, which are still waiting for payment and discharge. At the time the most recent tender was held, Russian wheat offers on an FOB NTTK basis were at $298/mt compared with around $350/mt FOB for the same grade back in August 2022, when the cargoes that are now stuck were reportedly traded.

Market sources said traders cannot cancel these older deals without incurring large losses since prices were significantly higher at the time the contracts were signed.

May 23 - US based Ardent Mills buys European wheat amid supply concerns (AgriCensus)

- Supply issues and high inland logistics costs have pushed the US-based flour miller Ardent Mills to turn to Europe for wheat, with up to seven cargoes of Polish and German wheat sold for deliveries in 2023, trade sources told Agricensus Monday.

- Trading giant Viterra sold some volumes of Polish wheat for May shipment, while at least two vessels of German wheat were also heard to have been purchased, but the seller’s name was not available at the time of publication, sources reported.
“It is cheaper to ship to the East Coast [from Europe] rather than bring it from Kansas,” a Europe-based trader said.
“European wheat is $100/mt cheaper; not a big deal as last week it was $130/mt, but still we can sell to any USA consumer,” another source said, referring to the price difference, as Polish 12.5% wheat was heard offered at a €9/mt premium to the September Euronext wheat futures, equating to around $250.50/mt FOB Poland for spot loading.

- Trade sources estimated freight for a handy-size vessel at around $20-30/mt to ship from northern Europe to Tampa, Florida, one of the Ardent Mills locations. On the other side, hard red winter (HRW) wheat is priced at around $359/mt FOB US Gulf, with additional railway transportation cost assessed at around $20/mt, making it uncompetitive compared to European origins. Another Ardent Mill located in Albany, New York was also said to have covered their wheat needs till the end of 2023 by shipments from Europe.

- According to the Agricensus Export Dashboard, 32,700 mt of Polish wheat sailed for the US in January 2023, while no other shipments were reported in the last ten years. Trade sources expect European wheat shipment to the US East Coast to increase as Kansas is facing the worst wheat crop since 1957 amid a severe drought and is projected to harvest just 4.84 million mt in 2023.

May 23 - Kansas farmers abandon wheat fields after extreme drought
Farmers in Kansas, the biggest U.S. producer of wheat used to make bread, are abandoning their crops after a severe drought and damaging cold ravaged farms.They are intentionally spraying wheat fields with crop-killing chemicals and claiming insurance payouts more than normal, betting the grain is not worth harvesting, Reuters found on a three-day tour of the state.

May 23 - India's wheat procurement set to fall below estimate by 20%
India's wheat procurement in 2023 could fall by a fifth from the initial estimate as government purchases have slowed down in the last few days after local prices jumped, government officials and traders told Reuters. Lower than expected purchases by the world's second biggest wheat producer could limit New Delhi's ability to intervene in the market to calm prices, which hit a record high earlier this year.

May 23 - UN concerned by lack of grain ships going to one Ukrainian port
The United Nations expressed concern on Monday that Ukraine's Black Sea port of Pivdennyi (Yuzhny) has not received any ships since May 2 under a deal allowing the safe wartime export of grain and fertilizer.  U.N. spokesman Stephane Dujarric did not say who was to blame for the lack of ships traveling to the port, near Odesa, which is also where Russia used to pump up to 2.5 million tonnes of ammonia annually for export via a pipeline from Togliati.

May 23 - Export prices for Russian wheat continue to decline after grain deal extension

Export prices of Russian wheat fell again last week as the world market eased due to good supply and an extension of the Black Sea grain deal, as well as local expectations of a cut in export duty, analysts said. The deal to allow Ukraine to export its grain safely across the Black Sea was extended last week for two months.

May 22 - Ukraine would only allow Russian ammonia exports if gets expanded grain deal
Kyiv would consider allowing Russian ammonia to transit its territory for export on condition the newly-renewed Black Sea grain deal is expanded to include more Ukrainian ports and a wider range of commodities, a government source told Reuters. The comments are the first time Kyiv has publicly laid out its stance on Russian ammonia, which Moscow wants shipped via the Black Sea under the agreement.

May 22 - Russia targets 55 mln tonnes of grain exports annually - minister
Russia plans to harvest on average around 130 million tonnes of grain a year and export up to 55 million tonnes, Russian First Deputy Agriculture Minister Oksana Lut said. She added that Moscow had managed to increase its grain exports despite some countries rejecting Russian grain because of the conflict in Ukraine, which Russia calls its "special military operation".

May 22 - China's soybean imports from Brazil fall further in April
China's soybean imports from Brazil fell 16% in April compared with the same month a year ago, data showed on Saturday, keeping supplies from the South American nation well behind last year's level after delays to its harvest. The world's top buyer of soybeans imported 5.3 million tonnes of the oilseed from Brazil, its largest supplier, versus 6.3 million tonnes a year earlier, General Administration of Customs data showed.

May 22 - South Korea’s KFA bought about 65,000 tonnes corn
- traders
The Korea Feed Association (KFA) in South Korea purchased about 65,000 tonnes of animal feed corn expected to be sourced from either South America or South Africa on Thursday, European traders said on Friday. It was purchased from trading house Cofco at an estimated $248.76 a tonne c&f for arrival in South Korea around Oct. 20.

May 20 - Indonesia to launch CPO trade on local exchange by end 2023 (AgriCensus)

- Indonesia's plans to launch crude palm oil trade (CPO) on a local futures exchange are expected to come to fruition by the end of the year, Didid Noordiatmoko, the country’s commodity futures regulator (Bappebti), told local news outlets Friday. Indonesia, the world’s biggest exporter of CPO, also said it would issue a new rule in June that would require exporters to trade CPO on local exchanges before shipping their products overseas.

- Earlier this year Bappebti announced plans to require exporters to trade CPO with overseas buyers on a local exchange before exporting it out of the country, while exporters of refined palm products were also expected to purchase their feedstock via the exchange. These measures are intended to not only make export data more transparent but also to create a CPO benchmark price traded in the Indonesian rupiah currency.  Having its own CPO benchmark pricing by the end of the year would enable the government to use local pricing as its only reference for setting export duties.

At present most Indonesian exporters conduct physical trades with buyers without an exchange, while tenders held by state trading company KPB Nusantara (KPBN) only offer spot physical palm oil volumes and not futures contracts. For the near term, Bappebti intends the exchange only to handle CPO spot trading, with futures contracts to be launched further down the road.

Indonesia’s production for 2023 is expected to slip by 1% from 2022 to 50.82 million mt, according to earlier GAPKI estimates.

Consumption is expected to slow by around 2.3% from 2022 to 50.76 million mt – 24.342 million mt to cover domestic demand and the rest for export.

May 19 - Three new ships approved for Black Sea grain deal after Russia renewal
Three new ships were authorized on Thursday to take part in a deal allowing the safe Black Sea export of Ukraine grain, said the United Nations as global wheat prices fell further a day after Russia agreed to extend the pact for 60 more days. The Kremlin said on Thursday it had extended the agreement because some results from talks had given it "certain hopes", but more progress needed to be made.



May 19 - Tour estimates lowest Kansas winter wheat yield in over two decades
Wheat yield potential in Kansas was estimated at 30.0 bushels per acre (bpa) by crop scouts on an annual Wheat Quality Council tour, the lowest since at least 2000. The figure in the biggest U.S. winter wheat producer is below the five-year crop tour average of 45.62 bushels per acre from 2017-2022, reflecting the impact of months of drought. No tour was held in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

May 19 - Japan buys 113,555 tonnes of food wheat via tender
Japan's Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF) bought a total of 113,555 tonnes of food-quality wheat from the United States, Canada and Australia in a regular tender that closed on Thursday.  Japan, the world's sixth-biggest wheat importer, keeps a tight grip on imports of its second-most important staple behind rice, buying the majority of the grain for milling via tenders typically issued three times a month.

May 19 - Ukraine reports first inbound vessels scheduled for inspections (AgriCensus)

- Ukrainian port agents reported three inbound vessels scheduled for May 19 inspections in Istanbul, signaling a resumption of inbound inspections that stopped on May 7, sources told Agricensus Thursday.

No new outbound vessels were reported scheduled for inspections by the Joint Coordination Centre (JCC).

According to the Ukrainian ports administration, a total of 69 vessels are currently waiting for inbound inspections after the market welcomed an export corridor agreement extension for another 60 days, which expires July 18.

Agricensus understands that up to ten Turkish commercial vessels, which have been stuck in the Mykolaiv and Olvia ports in Ukraine since February of 2022, will be able to finally leave, while trade sources hope the ports will be included in the agreement together with Pivdennyi, Odesa and Chornomorsk.

A total of 30.28 million mt of goods were exported from Ukraine since the export corridor was established in July 2022, United Nations (UN) data showed.

China (7 million mt), Spain (5.4 million mt), Turkey (3.1 million mt) and Italy (2 million mt) were the top destinations for Ukrainian cargoes.

May 18 - French wheat export forecasts cut further, stocks raised again
Farm office FranceAgriMer on Wednesday lowered its outlook for 2022/23 French soft wheat exports for the second month in a row, leading it to again increase its forecast for end-of-season stocks. In a monthly supply and demand outlook for major cereal crops, FranceAgriMer pegged soft wheat exports outside the European Union in the 2022/23 season at 10.30 million tonnes, down from 10.40 million projected in April.

May 18 - Indonesia urges importers to back sustainable palm oil, not boycotts
Indonesia, the world's largest palm oil exporter, on Wednesday urged importing countries to recognise and pay the premium for sustainably produced palm oil rather than boycotting the widely-used oil, whose production critics say has been linked to deforestation. The European Union in April approved a deforestation law to block imports of palm oil, beef, soy and other commodities if they are linked to recent destruction of the world's forests.

May 18 - South Korea’s KFA bought about 68,000 tonnes corn in private deal

The Korea Feed Association (KFA) in South Korea purchased about 68,000 tonnes of animal feed corn expected to be sourced from either South America or South Africa in a private deal on Tuesday without issuing an international tender, European traders said on Wednesday. It was purchased by the KFA’s Busan section from trading house Viterra at an estimated $258.75 a tonne c&f plus a $1.25 a tonne surcharge for additional port unloading for arrival in South Korea around Oct. 20.

May 17 - Turkish president says Black Sea grain deal extended for 60 days (AgriCensus)

- An agreement has finally been reached to extend the Black Sea grain deal and allow Turkish ships stuck in the Ukrainian ports of Mykolaiv and Olvia to leave, Turkish president Recep Erdogan said on his official Twitter account Wednesday.
“Through the efforts of our country, the support of our Russian friends and the contribution of our Ukrainian friends, it was decided to extend the agreement on the Black Sea Grain Corridor for another two months,” the statement said.

This comes just a day before the Russian deadline for renewing the previous agreement on May 18. Erdogan also said the parties involved in the deal – Ukraine, Russia, Turkey and the UN – would continue to work to ensure all the terms of the agreement were met and the deal would be extended further.
“In addition, our Russian friends have stated that they will not interfere with the exit of Turkish ships from the ports of Mykolaiv and Olvia,” Erdogan said.
"We are grateful to them for this."

- Agricensus understands that this means Turkish vessels that have been stuck in the Ukrainian ports since the war started on February 24, 2022, will finally be allowed to leave the ports. According to trade sources, there are up to ten Turkish vessels stuck. Market sources were expecting the extension to be announced at least for another 60 days, as the belief was also that Russia would agree on this to support Erdogan’s presidential candidature, as the grain deal has been billed as one of his “achievements.”

- Maria Zakharova, the official Russian representative of the ministry of foreign affairs, confirmed the deal was extended for 60 days, but also stated that the Russian position on the deal had not changed, meaning the country would continue to demand the relaxation of a list of the current restrictions.
- Oleksandr Kubrakov, the Ukrainian infrastructure minister, also confirmed the extension of the deal until July 18 but cautioned that the Russian side had been blocking the inspection of the vessels willing to enter the black sea since April, which has hampered corridor operations.
"We welcome the continuation of the Initiative, but emphasize that it must work effectively. For this, it is necessary to eliminate the problems that Russia has been creating for several months in a row by sabotaging inspections and registering a new fleet," Kubrakov said.
"We hope that our partners will make every effort to ensure that the grain agreement starts working fully for the food security of the world and that Russia will eventually stop using food as a weapon and for blackmail."

May 17 - Subdued lead-up to the British milk production flush (IHSmarkit)

- In April deliveries totaled an estimated 1,098 million litres
- Y/y growth slowed to 0.4%
- Flush is expected to be delayed and/or subdued

- GB milk production was estimated at 1,098 million liters in April, according to the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB). This is 0.2% below what AHDB had forecast and just 0.4% higher y/y. British milk production had been in growth since September 2022, however, this latest figure shows a marked slowing.
Soumya Behera Senior Analyst at AHDB says: “Falling farmgate prices have contributed to the relatively flat volumes this month. In April, monthly daily deliveries were recorded at 0.2% (2 million liters) less than the 5-year average for April.”

The cool and wet conditions through April will have negatively impacted production, contributing to the suppressed growth. On-going pressure on farmgate prices will also be limiting production growth.

Combined these two factors will contribute to a flush that is delayed and/or below average.

May 17 - Last ship to leave Ukraine as fate of Black Sea grain deal in Russia's hands
The last ship is due to leave a port in Ukraine under a deal allowing the safe Black Sea export of Ukraine grain, said a U.N. spokesperson, a day before Russia could quit the pact over obstacles to its grain and fertilizer exports. The United Nations and Turkey brokered the Black Sea deal for an initial 120 days in July last year to help tackle a global food crisis that has been aggravated by Moscow's invasion of Ukraine, one of the world's leading grain exporters.

May 17 - EU 2022/23 soft wheat exports at 27.17 million tonnes, up 12%
Soft wheat exports from the European Union in the 2022/23 season that started last July reached 27.17 million tonnes by May 14, up 12% compared with 24.33 million a year earlier, data published by the European Commission showed on Tuesday. EU barley exports so far in 2022/23 totalled 5.80 million tonnes, down 14% from 6.73 million a year ago.

May 17 - Tour finds wheat badly damaged by drought, cold in Kansas

Crop scouts on the first day of an annual three-day tour of Kansas projected an average yield for hard red winter wheat in the northern part of the drought-hit state at 29.8 bushels per acre, the worst for the tour's first day since at least 2003. A historically poor crop from the United States, the no. 5 wheat exporter, leaves the world more vulnerable to shortages, with the future uncertain for a deal allowing the Black Sea export of Ukraine's grain.

May 17 - In recurring fashion, wheat supplies in major exporters to hit 16-year low - Braun
Relative to demand, global wheat supplies among major exporters in 2023-24 are seen at the lightest levels since 2007-08, nearly identical to the year-ago outlook that contributed to high wheat prices.  Global wheat prices are around 45% lower now versus mid-May 2022, perhaps somewhat justified by a looser-than-expected conclusion to 2022-23.

May 16 - Ukraine official sees two possible scenarios for future Black Sea grain deal (AgriCensus)

- While there has been no official agreement yet on the future of the Black Sea grain corridor, in the worst-case scenario whereby Russia does not agree to extend the deal beyond May 18, there are two possible scenarios, Olha Trofimtseva, Ukrainian foreign ministry ambassador at large said during a media briefing Monday. There are only two days left until the 60-day period agreed by the Russian side for the current extension comes to an end on May 18, and despite much talk and speculation, there is still no official comment on what will happen after that.

- Trofimtseva said she was almost confident that Russia would extend the grain corridor agreement for at least another 60 days and would use that time to negotiate with the UN the list of demands it has put forward in return for its agreement to extend the deal. But given the “illogical” movements seen previously from Russian authorities, Trofimtseva said one cannot rule out the worst-case scenario whereby Russia will not agree to extend the deal on time, and will retreat for a few days before returning to the table, as happened back in November 2022. However, if Russia does decide to withdraw from the deal, it would mean they do not officially guarantee the safety of commercial vessels entering the Ukrainian Black Sea.

- This could mean some provocative shelling of port infrastructure, which was also seen just a day after the initial agreement was signed on July 22, 2022, which could of course affect operations and increase the tensions. Trofimtseva said she did not think Russia would be ready to attack the commercial fleet itself, however, as “most of the fleet is not Ukrainian, but international, including Turkish, Chinese, and it can be a very serious precedent that can close a lot of diplomatic talks for the country.”

- Meanwhile, the foreign ministry ambassador also indicated that the current presidential elections in Turkey could be aligned with the grain deal and prove particularly important for current President Tayyip Erdogan.
“The grain deal was shown as an achievement of the current president of Turkey on the domestic market, thus for him, it would be very important to get the deal extension, especially just prior to the second round of the elections [on May 28],” she said.

- Russia understands this and does not hide the fact it would prefer Erdogan to stay in power seeing him as a better candidate to continue relations as they are now. There is an understanding that Russia has already put a lot into supporting the current ruling political party. Meanwhile, as the talks to extend the deal re-started last week, mixed signs began to appear, with the Turkish foreign ministry saying there was a high chance the deal would be extended, while at the same time, the Russian side said it was not going to extend until their demands were met.

- At the same time, corridor operations have slowed considerably, and since May 7 no inbound vessels have been inspected by the Joint Coordination Centre nor planned for inspection, while just 29 outbound vessels were inspected out of a total 52 planned.

May 16 - Export prices for Russian wheat continue to decline on sluggish demand - IKAR
Export prices for Russian wheat continued to decline last week amid low demand and weakening global markets, and stormy weather affected volumes, analysts said. Prices for Russian wheat with 12.5% protein content, delivered free on board (FOB) from the Black Sea in June, were $248 a tonne, down $6 from last week, the IKAR agriculture consultancy said.

May 15 - US corn, soy supplies to balloon on record harvest view - government
U.S. corn and soybean supplies were expected to rise sharply in the coming year due to forecasts for a record harvest for both crops, the government said on Friday, raising the potential for further price declines for both commodities. But wheat supplies were seen falling to their lowest in 16 years, as a severe drought in the U.S. Plains wrecked the robust harvest potential from increased acreage.

May 15 - India's April palm oil imports slump 30% to 14-month low
India's palm oil imports in April slumped 30% from a month earlier to hit a 14-month low, as the premium over rival soft oils prompted buyers to shift to sunflower oil and soyoil, a trade body said on Friday. The big drop in palm oil imports by India, the world's biggest importer of vegetable oils, could weigh on palm oil prices, which are trading near a seven-month low.

May 15 - China steps up sampling of soy cargoes, adding to costly delays, traders say
China is significantly increasing the rate of inspections on imported soybean cargoes, three soybean traders told Reuters on Friday, lengthening already slow and costly clearing times in the world's top buyer of beans. China last month introduced new procedures at customs for discharging soybeans, which had already delayed clearing times and pushed up costs for buyers of the world's most-traded protein source.

May 15 - South Korea’s NOFI buys estimated 132,000 tonnes corn in tender
Leading South Korean animal feed maker Nonghyup Feed Inc. (NOFI) has bought an estimated 132,000 tonnes of animal feed corn expected to be sourced from South America in an international tender for up to 138,000 tonnes on Friday, European traders said. The corn was bought in two consignments of 66,000 tonnes with trading house Cargill believed to be the seller of both, they said.

May 13 - Trade braces as fears Turkish sunseed import duties could rise to 27%, sunoil to 36% (AgriCensus)

Trade sources spoken to by Agricensus have said they expect the Turkish government will increase import duties on both sunflower seeds and sunflower oil to 27% and 36% respectively from June 1, after the current zeroed rate expires on May 31.
"This is the market expectation but it's not officially announced yet," a Turkey-based source told Agricensus.

Despite the fact that there has been no official notification of what the import duties will be as of June 1, 2023, Turkish sources expect that any increase in duties will slow down the pace of imports, which was expected and provided by the market.
"The market has been expecting this and the increase in duties, whatever they are, is not a surprise to us, even if a preferential rate is applied," a Turkey-based broker told Agricensus.
"The duties, which are scheduled to be introduced on June 1, should have already been taken into account by the market. With the tariffs coming into effect soon and a new harvest season starting in Turkey, it is reasonable to expect a noticable slowdown in import demand from Turkey," Yılmaz Cakabey Aytug from Naragro said.

However, that will have a significant impact on the Ukrainian sunflower oil market, as Turkey is one of the key buyers of Ukrainian flows, as well as an important link in redirecting Ukrainian sunflower oils in the Black Sea grain corridor.
“Imports will stop. Only re-exporters and transit sellers will continue buying, with 50% pace of the first five months,” Onat Angi, Chairman of Solventum AS told Agricensus.

In addition, expectations of a good sunflower harvest in Turkey this season will not influence the formation of consumer interest.
“It means Turkey would only buy if the price is competitive. On the other hand Ukraine can’t afford to lose its key buyer and thus will have to adjust the pricing lower,” Anilkumar Bagani, head of research at Mumbai-based vegetable oil broker Sunvin Group told Agricensus.

At the same time, the presence of Russian sunflower oil on the market and the willingness of Russian sellers to significantly lower prices will put pressure on prices for Ukrainian sunflower oil. According to USDA expectations, Turkey's sunflower crop this season could reach 1.9 million tons, up 8.6% from last year and one of the largest crops in at least 10 seasons. Ukrainian deliveries to Turkey from September to April of the 2022/23 season increased to 757,943 mt against 56,845 mt for the same period in the 2021/22 season.

Early January 2023 the Turkish government zeroed import duties on sunflower seeds and sunflower oil despite a record 2022/23 sunflower crop, while also prolonging the zero import taxes for grains in an effort to bring down inflation, local sources said Tuesday.

May 12 - Strategie Grains raises EU wheat crop forecast, cuts barley and maize
Strategie Grains has raised its forecast for 2023/24 soft wheat production in the European Union on favourable conditions in most of the bloc but reduced its outlook for barley and maize crops, partly due to drought in Spain. The consultancy said it now expects EU soft wheat output of 130.0 million tonnes in the 2023/24 season, up from 128.9 million forecast in April and nearly 4% above 2022/23 production.

May 12 - Brazil's Conab confirms record soybean, corn crops in May report

Conab, Brazil's food supply and statistics agency, has raised its forecast for Brazilian soybean and corn production, citing favorable conditions in spite of the effects of the La Niña weather pattern, which caused drought in the south of the country early in the season. In its May forecast report released on Thursday, Conab predicted Brazilian farmers will harvest a record 154.8 million tonnes of soybeans, 23.3% more than in the previous season, and a record 125.5 million tonnes of corn, 11% above last year.

May 12 - South Korea’s MFG buys 133,000 tonnes of corn in tender
South Korea's Major Feedmill Group has purchased an estimated 133,000 tonnes of animal feed corn expected to be sourced from South America in an international tender on Thursday, European traders said. The first consignment of some 67,000 tonnes was bought at an estimated $264.27 a tonne c&f plus an additional $1.25 a tonne surcharge for additional port unloading with trading house CJ International believed to be the seller.

May 11 - India’s rice exports likely to reach record in 2022-23 (IHSmarkit-USDA)

- India MY 2023-24 rice exports seen falling 6.7% on year to 21 million metric tons
- Indian milled rice production in MY 2023-24 seen at 127 million metric tons
- Prices are expected to remain steady through the third quarter of 2022-23

The Foreign Agricultural Service of the United States Department of Agriculture has forecast that exports from India will reach a new record of 22.5 million metric tons in the marketing year 2022-23 (October-September). The report also gave the USDA’s forecast for 2023-24 exports, which are expected to decrease 6.7% on the year to 21 million metric tons.

India exported 9.03 million metric tons of rice during October 2022-February 2023 compared with 8.86 million metric tons during the same period of 2021-22, according to preliminary official statistics. The agency has estimated India’s milled rice production at 128 million metric tons in MY 2022-23, down by 1.1% year on year.

The USDA also forecast Indian milled rice production in MY 2023-24 at 127 million metric tons.

The USDA’s projection of rice output is slightly lower than that of government, which has pegged rice output at 130.8 million metric tons in its second advance estimates released in February.

The production estimate by USDA's India office considers the country's relatively tight rice supplies this season, which is supported by the government’s slowed MSP procurement and the rise in domestic rice prices, USDA said in the report published May 5, referring to the minimum support price in place. In MY 2022-23, India government’s rice procurement as of April 22 stood at 49.7 million metric tons, slightly lower compared to 49.9 million metric tons procured last year during the corresponding period.

The major rice producing states are reporting steady procurement, with slight declines in the states of Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, and Punjab, according to USDA.

The USDA in its report has stated that despite additional procurement of rabi and summer rice in India’s eastern and southern states, government’s rice procurement in 2022-23 is likely to be estimated at 58-59 million metric tons, slightly below last year’s volume. The government-held rice stocks were at 43.4 million metric tons as of April 1, down 21% from a year ago as the government has been offloading a significant volume of its rice stocks through the national food security programs. However, the government’s rice inventories are currently three times higher than the buffer norms of 13.58 million metric tons, despite this year’s decline in stock volume.

Market prices for rice in the second quarter of MY 2022-23 were relatively firm due to strong export demand, though record domestic rice production limited the price increase. Rice prices started easing in April with the impending arrival of the rabi season rice, the report said.

The USDA forecast prices to remain steady through the third quarter of 2022-23. However, prices during the last quarter of 2022-23 will depend on the intensity of 2023 monsoon and international price movements, it said.

Last month, the Indian Meteorological Department forecast that India is likely to receive normal rains during the crucial southwest monsoon season. The IMD forecast that rain during the June-September season is likely to be 96% of the long-term average.

May 11 - Malaysia’s palm oil stocks drop to over 12-month low end-April as production struggles (IHSmarkit)

- Palm oil stocks at 1.49 million metric tons end-April
- Production down 7% on month to 1.19 million metric tons
- Market has priced in supply, stock levels: analysts

-  Malaysia’s palm oil stocks fell to a more-than-12-month low of 1.497 million metric tons in end-April, data from the Malaysian Palm Oil Board showed May 10, as production for the month came off steeply and was well below market expectations. Palm oil stocks were 10.5% lower compared with 1.674 million metric tons in end-March and below the industry expectation of 1.51 million metric tons, according to a S&P Global Commodity Insights survey May 8. The last time stocks were lower was in March 2022 at 1.474 million metric tons, MPOB data showed.

Output from the world’s second largest palm oil producer and exporter fell to 1.196 million metric tons in April, the MPOB said, 7.1% lower on the month and sharply below the 1.462 million metric tons produced in April 2022.

April production was also lower than expected with analysts looking at a median output of 1.26 million metric tons, citing fewer working days during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan between March and April.

Nevertheless, the most active July crude palm oil contract on the Bursa Malaysia Derivatives exchange fell 18 points (0.4%) by the close of the morning session at MR3,789 per metric ton ($848.87/t) May 10.

The drop in stocks was already accounted for and current soybean oil prices are bearish and not supportive, Mitesh Saiya, manager at vegetable oil trader Kantilal Laxmichand & Co., told S&P Global.

Palm, soybean, sunflower and rapeseed oils compete for a share of the vegetable oil market globally.

Malaysia’s April palm oil exports slipped 27.78% to 1.074 million metric tons, more than trade estimates of a 20% decline and below March exports of 1.486 million metric tons.
Palm oils’ premium for nearby shipments over sunflower oil and rapeseed oil is still a deal breaker and could see a further switch in flexible demand, said Anilkumar Bagani, head of research at Mumbai-based vegetable oil brokerage Sunvin Group. However, core demand has started to show signs of resumption as stocks levels, especially in India and China, are seen easing, Bagani said.

Platts assessed crude palm oil at $949 per metric ton FOB Indonesia May 9, up 4.2% from the start of the month, according to S&P Global data.

May 11 - Concerns rise over Germany’s 2023 wheat protein content (AgriCensus)

German market sources have raised concerns over the country’s upcoming wheat crop amid heavy rains, which could potentially bring higher yields but lower nitrogen levels resulting in lower protein content, trade sources told Agricensus Thursday.
“Protein in Germany is a big risk indeed, as we already had a way higher share of 11.5% wheat this season versus previous years,” one trader told Agricensus, versus a typical protein content of around 12.5%.

According to trade sources, the approximate ratio of Germany’s wheat crop is typically comprised of up to 80% of production rated at 12.5% wheat and the remaining 20% the lower 11.5% protein wheat. However, the 2022/23 season delivered around 40% and 60% respectively, resulting in Germany losing destination market share to other origins.
“Buyers like Saudi Arabia shipped from the Baltics/Poland instead [of Germany] this year,” the trader added.

With the new crop approaching, all eyes are on how the protein content will line up, with crop uncertainty keeping traders out of the market and away from active trading for July-September dates across Europe. That in itself is quite unusual for this time of the year, with sources saying German wheat is currently too expensively priced to attract any demand.

Latest selling indications for a handysize vessel of German 11.5% wheat were heard at either parity to or a slight €1/mt premium to the December Euronext wheat contract, equating to around $258-259/mt FOB Hamburg/Rostock. That makes the country uncompetitive in the destination market at the moment, as the latest tender from Algeria’s OAIC illustrates, with trades closing at $275-276.50/mt CFR for July shipment.

In the meantime, a panamax of 12.5% wheat was priced at a €7.50-8/mt premium or $266-267/mt FOB.

In its latest report, Germany’s Deutschen Raiffeisenverband (DRV) has cut the country’s wheat production forecast to 22.15 million mt, down 1.6% from last year’s 22.52 million mt, based on lower planted areas of 2.89 million ha.

May 11 - Argentina's agriculture to recover slowly despite El Niño
The El Niño weather phenomenon is unlikely to bring heavy rains to Argentina's agricultural area before September, the Buenos Aires grains exchange said on Wednesday, meaning the drought-hit soil will likely see a slow recovery. Argentina is one of the world's top food producers, but dry conditions over much of the past year have taken a toll on its key agricultural regions, delaying its soy and corn crops and halving last season's wheat output. 

May 11 - Turkish minister says Black Sea grain deal could be extended for two months
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Wednesday he thought the Ukraine Black Sea grain deal could be extended for at least two more months, as officials from the parties involved held the first day of talks on an extension in Istanbul. Russia has said it would not extend the pact beyond May 18 unless a list of demands is met to remove obstacles to its own grain and fertilizer exports.

May 10 - Trump abuse ( Bloomberg )
- Former President Donald Trump has been found liable for sexual abuse and forcible touching of author E. Jean Carroll, who accused him of attacking her in the dressing room of a Fifth Avenue department store in the 1990s and then harming her reputation by saying she’d fabricated the story when she went public with her account in 2019.
- Trump has been mandated to pay her $5 million in damages, $3 million of which for defamation. The trial brings fresh attention on Trump’s fraught history with women as he embarks on another run for the White House.

May 10 - Outbound inspections resume under Black Sea grain deal
The United Nations said inspections resumed on Tuesday of outbound vessels under a deal allowing the safe Black Sea export of Ukraine grain, which Moscow has threatened to quit on May 18 over obstacles to its own grain and fertilizer exports. There were no inbound or outbound inspections of ships on Sunday or Monday.  

May 10 - Ukraine sunoil output could rise to 6 mln T in 2023/24
Ukraine's sunflower oil output could total 4.5-4.7 million tonnes in the 2022/23 September-August season and up to 6 million tonnes in 2023/24 as farmers plan to increase the crop area, the sunoil producers' association said on Tuesday. A major global sunoil producer and exporter before the Russian invasion, Ukraine could export 4.4-4.5 million tonnes of sunoil in 2022/23, the association said.

May 09 - European Parliament votes to support Ukraine trade into 2024 (AgriCensus)

The European Parliament voted on Tuesday to approve extending the suspension of EU import duties on Ukrainian exports of agricultural products for another year. MEPs approved the Commission’s proposal to renew Autonomous Trade Measures (ATMs) for another year by a large majority.

The ATMs suspend import duties, anti-dumping duties, quotas and safeguards on Ukrainian imports and have been in force since June 2022.
The suspension of tariffs applies to fruits and vegetables subject to the entry price system, as well as agricultural products and processed agricultural products subject to tariff-rate quotas. The measures will now need to be approved also by the EU Council.
“I strongly support renewing the trade-liberalization measures that currently help ensure Ukrainian trade can continue amidst the brutal war caused by Russia,” European Parliamentary rapporteur Sandra Kalniete said in a statement.

There have been tensions recently around Ukrainian agricultural imports, with the “frontline” EU member states (Bulgaria, Hungary, Poland, Romania and Slovakia) seeking to restrict Ukrainian imports due to complaints from local farmers. The EU Commission agreed with the member states and the Ukrainian government to “propose emergency safeguard measures for the four most sensitive products - wheat, maize, rapeseed and sunflower seed.” The Commission then temporarily banned the import of these products from Ukraine to the five “frontline” EU members from May 2 to June 5, while maintaining transit of Ukrainian products via these countries. The Commission said it would reimpose preventive measures after June 5 if the “exceptional” situation continued.

A debate in the European Parliament on these measures should take place Wednesday, May 10.

May 09 - China April soy imports down 10% y/y on stricter customs checks
China's imports of soybeans fell 10% in April compared to a year ago, customs data showed, after a stricter clearance process at customs delayed processing of cargoes. The world's top soybean buyer brought in 7.26 million tonnes of the oilseed last month, significantly less than the 9 million tonnes expected by traders, based on vessel line-ups. 

May 09 - Moldovan farmers fear grain storage shortage due to Ukrainian imports
Moldova will face a shortage of storage capacity for its 2023 grain harvest if it doesn't ban imports of Ukrainian grain and oilseeds, the Moldovan farmers' union said on Monday. Moldova said late last week that it might ban imports of Ukrainian grains as local farmers were facing losses due to a drop in global prices.

May 09 - Why eastern Europe's grain producers face a perfect storm
Farmers in Poland and other eastern European countries who held out for higher prices have been hit by a perfect storm. A jump in exports from Brazil and Russia helped to drive global grain prices lower while the EU opened its borders to tariff-free Ukrainian grain imports in a show of solidarity after Russia blocked the country's Black Sea ports.

May 09 - Asia rice output turns corner as farmers expand planting
Asia's rice output is set to climb this year as higher prices spur farmers to expand acreage and use more fertilizer, easing supply concerns after production suffered its first decline in seven years in 2022. Production from recently harvested off-season rice crops in India and Thailand, the world's top two exporters, has exceeded last year's levels, and farmers are gearing up for main crops to be planted in coming months, with prices hovering near two-year highs.

May 08 - Algeria issues tender for 50,000 mt wheat for July shipment (AgriCensus)

- Algeria’s state grain importer launched a fresh tender for milling wheat for July shipment on Monday. The Office Algerien Interprofessional des Cereales (OAIC) issued the tender and invited offers for a nominal 50,000 mt of optional origin milling wheat for shipment during the July 1-15 and July 16-31 periods. If the wheat is coming from South America, India, or Australia the date will be advanced by a month.

- OAIC requested US hard red winter wheat #2, Canadian western red spring #2, or similar grades from other exporters. The tender is set to close on Wednesday, May 10, and typically the agency purchases substantially more than 50,000 mt. At its latest tender, which was for small ports, OAIC booked an unspecified amount of wheat for May 16-July 31 delivery and paid in the range of $295-296/mt CFR, with the expected source being EU members along the Black Sea.

According to the US Department of Agriculture, Algeria is expected to import around 8.2 million mt in the 2022/23 marketing year, the highest level since 2016/17

May 08 - Increase in Thai rice prices despite weak demand (IHSmarkit)

- Demand for Thai rice was reported lower due to high prices
- Exporters were reluctant to lower their prices despite sufficient supplies
- Platts Thai 5% broken white rice ended the week up $6

Despite a quieter market due to the public holiday on May 4, Thai white rice prices closed higher in the week to May 5.
Demand remained low as prices given by exporters were too high. A trader said that they had “no demand” for 5% broken white rice.
However, most exporters were reluctant to lower their prices as the baht was strong against the dollar and as the local market remained firm.

Rice supply in Thailand was reported sufficient but millers continued to keep their offer prices at high levels while covering shipments to Indonesia, Iraq and South Africa.
Platts Thai 5% broken white rice closed the week assessed at $490 per metric ton FOB, up $6 from the previous week.

Hom Mali prices were supported by an increase in local prices. Platts Hom Mali 100% Grade B closed the week assessed unchanged at $819/t FOB FCL.

May 08 - Shipments from Ukraine slowing as Black Sea grain deal deadline nears
The pace of shipments from Ukraine under a U.N.-backed initiative has slowed as concerns grow over ships getting stuck if a deal is not renewed later this month, according to sources and data. Russia, which is one of the key parties involved, said it will keep talking although Moscow has threatened to quit on May 18, which has created more uncertainty for traders and shipping companies trying to plan ahead.

Ukraine 2022/23 grain exports at 42.5 mln T as of May 5
- ministry
Ukraine's grain exports for the 2022/23 season stood at 42.5 million tonnes by Friday, Agriculture Ministry data showed. The volume in the July-to-June season so far included about 14.6 million tonnes of wheat, 25.1 million tonnes of corn and about 2.5 million tonnes of barley.

May 08 - Tunisia buys about 100,000 T durum and 75,000 T barley
– traders
Tunisia's state grains agency is believed to have purchased about 100,000 tonnes of durum wheat and around 75,000 tonnes of animal feed barley in an international tender on Friday, European traders said. The durum was said to have been bought in four consignments of 25,000 tonnes.

May 05 - Argentina's corn crop forecast may face fresh cut on drought impact
The forecast for Argentina's current corn crop could face yet another reduction, below the 36 million tonnes seen in a recent estimate, due to lingering impacts from a devastating drought, a key grains exchange said in a weekly report on Thursday. The South American agricultural powerhouse is the world's third-largest corn exporter. 

May 05 - Russia, Ukraine, Turkey and UN to discuss grain deal on Friday
Technical personnel from Turkey, Russia, Ukraine, and the United Nations will meet on Friday to discuss a deal that allows the exports of Ukrainian grains on the Black Sea, Turkish Defence Minister Hulusi Akar said. The evacuation of Turkish-flagged ships and grain shipments from Black Sea ports as part of the deal will be discussed, Akar said.

May 05 - Rare 55k mt South African corn cargo arrives to China (AgriCensus)

A rare South African corn cargo has arrived at a Chinese port containing more than all the previous volume China has imported of that origin in total, trade sources said on Thursday.

A cargo of 55,000 mt South African corn was delivered to Machong port on Thursday, with trade sources saying that state company Cofco even held a ceremony to mark the occasion.
Trade sources said that the cargo was booked a month or two ago, and at that time South African origin was calculated to be the most attractive for the current shipment dates, while for now, it is again South American one that wins the competition.

South African corn was approved for import into China some years ago, but the total amount imported during the last ten years was only 37,800 mt.
“Cofco has signed a yearly committed volume with South Africa to get the best price from this origin. Maybe it helps them to get the cheap price,” a trader said.
Thus, possibly, more such shipments can be expected.

- South Africa expects to have a bumper corn crop in 2023/24 MY at 15.89 million mt, which is slightly higher than last year’s and 12% higher than the five-year average result.
- Meanwhile, China has been widening the list of approved import origins. After months of talks the country finally approved Brazil origin for import last year, with the first 3.8 million mt of corn already imported between November 2022 and February 2023.

May 04 - Hemp legalization revives the Italian industry (IHSmarkit)

- Planted area: 4,000 hectares
- Main origins: Tuscany, Piedmont, Veneto, Puglia and Sicily
- Main varieties: Antal, Carmagnola, Carmagnola Selezionata, Dioica 88, Eletta Campana, Fedora 17, Felina 32, Fibranova, Finola, Futura 75, Kompolti, Tiborszallasi, Tisza and Uso 31

Italy’s hemp planted area has reached 4,000 hectares and 800 farms since the government legalized the cultivation in 2017, according to the USDA in a production report.
The average yield ranges from 350-650 kg/hectare.

Italy became one of the largest European hemp producers in the 1940s with 100,000 hectares, focused on producing textiles and ropes for the naval industry. The combination of the irruption emergence of synthetic fibers and the Italian ratification of international agreements about narcotics since the 1950s reduced the planted area to 400 hectares.

Currently, the main origins are Tuscany, Piedmont, Veneto, Puglia and Sicily. The main hemp varieties cultivated in Italy are Antal, Carmagnola, Carmagnola Selezionata, Dioica 88, Eletta Campana, Fedora 17, Felina 32, Fibranova, Finola, Futura 75, Kompolti, Tiborszallasi, Tisza and Uso 31.

The law allows growers to plant only hemp varieties registered in the EU’s “Common Catalogue of Varieties of Agricultural Plant Species”, following article 17 of the European Council Directive number. 2002/53. The Italian Ministry of Health does not require any authorization to cultivate hemp plants containing a maximum tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) content ranging from 0.2-0.6%.

Growers are required to keep the seed tags and related invoices for at least twelve 12 months. The Forestry department oversees checking compliance with the current legal framework.

The Regional Administrative Court of Lazio (TAR) annulled a national decree of January 2022 that limited hemp production to the use of seeds and seeds derivatives on 14 February 2023. The January 2022 decree aimed to place the cultivation, processing, and marketing of ‘non-narcotic’ hemp leaves and inflorescences under the umbrella of narcotics, meaning operators would be required to seek authorization from the Ministry of Health, or face penalties.

TAR’s ruling authorized the use of the whole hemp plant in Italy (including leaves and inflorescences), bringing the country in line with EU regulations.

Hemp-derived products include food, cosmetics, semi-finished products (such as fibers, powders, wood chips, oils or fuels), organic material for bioengineering and green building works, green manure, ornamental plants and crops used for research and educational activities.

Italy has approximately 2,000 hemp shops, delivery services and vending machines, selling hemp inflorescences and leaves as ‘collectors’ items’.

Trade regulation
Hemp imports are subject to an import license requirement, following article 189 of the EU Regulation No. 1308/2013. In addition:
- Hemp seeds for planting (HS code 12079920) must be accompanied by proof that the THC content of the variety concerned does not exceed 0.3%;
- Hemp seeds other than for planting (HS code 12079991) may be imported only by authorized importers who must submit proof that the seeds have been placed in a condition that excludes use for planting;
- Raw true hemp (HS code 53021000) must have a THC content not exceeding 0.3%;
- Delegated regulation number 2016/1237 requires that the release for free circulation of hemp products with HS codes 12079920, 53021000 and 12079991 shall be subject to an import license.

May 04 - Bunge quarterly profit tops estimates on strong demand; 2023 outlook unchanged
Agricultural commodities trader Bunge Ltd beat Wall Street estimates for first-quarter profit on Wednesday, helped by strong crush margins in North America and Brazil as well as high demand for food, feed and biofuels. But earnings were down from a record first quarter last year due to weaker oilseed processing results in Asia, Europe and drought-hit Argentina and disruptions to grain flows caused by the war in Ukraine. 

May 04 - Agritel ups Ukraine wheat crop forecast on higher area estimate
French consultancy Agritel raised its forecast for this year's Ukrainian wheat crop to 16.34 million tonnes, from 15.04 million pegged in November, to take account of a higher-than-expected area to be harvested, it said on Wednesday. The estimate, which only includes regions that are controlled by war-hit Ukraine, compares to 20.5 million tonnes harvested in 2022, Agritel, Argus Media's agriculture analytics arm, said.

May 03 - Spanish drought could drive higher grain imports (AgriCensus)

- Unseasonal heat and drought in Spain have driven concern about this year's crop production and a potential increased need for imports, at a time when there is also growing concern about the Ukrainian grain corridor. The April EU Monitoring Agricultural Resources report (MARS) said no meaningful rainfall had occurred in Spain's main cropland area since January.
Soil moisture is now critically low for winter crops and spring barley with negative impacts on growth and development, the Mars report said.
“The drought is already suffocating 60% of the Spanish countryside and has caused irreversible losses to more than 3.5 million ha of non-irrigated cereal crops," the Spanish agricultural union COAG warned last week.
"Weather is dry and untypically hot in Spain, we might see a really bad crop this year," a Europe-based broker meanwhile told Agricensus.

- The European Commission April crop forecasts call for soft wheat production in Spain to fall to 4,952,000 mt in 2023 from 5,388,000 mt in 2022, itself a sharp fall from 7,455,000 mt in 2021. There has also been concern that production of other crops could be affected. MARS already warned of "an impact on areas and type of spring sowing in the southern provinces of Spain, where maize and rice will partly be replaced by sunflowers and other water stress resistant crops and part of the land might not be sown at all.” The Spanish government has requested that farmers get support from the crisis reserve fund of the EU’s Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) because of the exceptional circumstances.

Trade expects increased imports
- Trade sources have suggested that lower production may cause an increase in feed grain imports, including those from Ukraine, but also from Brazil which is expecting a large corn harvest.
“Spain experienced a dramatic drought that sharply reduced grain crops, increasing the country’s grain shortfall,” the US Department of Agriculture’s Grain and Feed Annual noted, adding that this, in turn, drove Ukrainian imports.

- Fastmarkets data shows that in 2022 Ukrainian wheat exports to Spain grew 627% to 1,154,273 mt from 158,681 mt in 2021.
- The USDA also said Spain had benefitted from the implementation of the Black Sea grain corridor, which came in time to help it during last year’s drought.
- Spain has been the second biggest beneficiary of the grain corridor after China, with official data showing it has imported 5.1 million mt of products under the corridor since it opened last August, of which 1.9 million mt was wheat.

Trade sources have expressed their concern to Agricensus about the current uncertainty around the grain corridor in the Black Sea, with Spanish buyers looking to Ukraine as a backup in the likely event that Spanish production is again affected by drought.

May 02 - Strategie Grains raises EU rapeseed crop forecast to 20 mln T
Consultancy Strategie Grains raised its forecast for 2023 European Union rapeseed production this year to 20.0 million tonnes from 19.5 million a month earlier, citing favourable crop conditions in much of Europe. The revised forecast was also above estimated 2022 output, which Strategie Grains put at 19.4 million tonnes. 

May 02 - US wheat ratings inch higher; corn and soy planting progress
The U.S. Department of Agriculture on Monday rated 28% of U.S. winter wheat in good to excellent condition, up 2 percentage points from last week following much-needed rains in the Plains, but still among the lowest on record for this time of year. The wheat ratings matched the average expectation in a Reuters poll of 10 analysts.

May 01 - Deal reached in principle to resume Ukraine grain transit with 5 EU countries
The European Commission said on Friday it had reached a deal in principle to allow the transit of Ukrainian grain to resume through five European Union countries that had imposed restrictions. Bulgaria, Hungary, Poland, Romania and Slovakia cited concerns that grain from Ukraine meant to be exported to other countries had ended up in their local markets, which was pushing down prices for local farmers. 

May 01 - Funds restore bearish views in CBOT corn, ease bullishness in beans, meal - Braun
Speculators’ views in Chicago-traded soybeans and soybean meal last week fell to the least bullish levels since November, while funds cranked up bearish bets in CBOT wheat and returned to the short side in corn. Money managers’ net longs in beans, meal and Kansas City wheat as of April 25 still outweighed the net shorts in CBOT and Minneapolis wheat, corn and soybean oil, but the combined net long dipped below 30,000 futures and options contracts for the first time since August 2020.