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

May 20 - Indonesia to impose local sales rule when palm oil exports restart
Indonesia will impose a domestic sales requirement for palm oil, to shore up local supplies of cooking oil when the world's biggest producer of the edible oil reopens exports next week, the country's economics minister said on Friday. President Joko Widodo has announced Indonesia will lift the export ban from Monday after imposing the policy on April 28 in a bid to control high domestic cooking oil prices.

May 20 - China's April soybean imports from Brazil up from March as delayed cargoes arrive
China's soybean imports from Brazil in April surged from the previous month, customs data showed on Friday, with the arrival of delayed cargoes. China, the world's top importer of soybeans, received 6.3 million tonnes of the oilseed from Brazil in April, up 120% from 2.87 million tonnes in March, according to data from the General Administration of Customs.

May 19  - UKRAINE DAILY CASH PRICES (AgriCensus)
- Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has brought destruction and carnage to the heart of the Black Sea region and struck hard at the heart of one of the world’s most productive regions.
- Fastmarket Agricensus commits to publishing on a daily basis the bids, offers, indicative levels or other cash trading indications on any basis and geography that relates to any of the vital markets that have strong ties with Ukraine.

Thursday
Seller Ukrainian corn $290/mt FOB Reni, May.
Seller Ukrainian corn $260/mt FOB Kiliia, May-June.
Seller Ukrainian corn $260-290/mt DAP EU borders, May-June.

Seller Ukrainian 11.5-12.5% wheat $345-350/mt FOB Reni/Izmail.
Seller Ukrainian 11.5% wheat $450/mt versus bid at around $442/mt CIF Egypt, freight at around $100/mt.  

Seller Ukrainian sunoil $1,760/mt FOB Reni, June.
Seller Ukrainian sunoil $1,700/mt DAP Bulgaria, May-June.
Seller Ukrainian sunoil $1,950-2,000/mt CIF Turkey, June.
Buyer Ukrainian sunoil $1,740-1,750/mt DAP Bulgaria, May-June.
Buyer Ukrainian sunoil $1,450/mt DAP Poland, May-June.

Seller Ukrainian sunseeds $760/mt DAP Hungary, June.
Buyer Ukrainian sunseeds $755/mt DAP Bulgaria, May-June.
Seller Ukrainian sunseeds $895/mt CIF Marmara, freight at around $82/mt, May-June.
Buyer Ukrainian sunmeal $260-270/mt DAP Ukraine-Poland border, June-July.
Buyer Ukrainian sunmeal $463/mt CIF China, June-July.

Market views
- The number of Ukrainian sunoil offers was limited given the difficulties with logistics, despite some of the suppliers still managing to deliver the cargoes under the existing contracts.
- May-June sunoil volumes were offered at prices starting at

$1,760/mt FOB Reni,

$1,700/mt DAP Bulgaria,

and $1,950/mt CIF Turkey,

with neither FOB nor CIF basis bids reported during the day.

May 19  - EU Morning Comments ( Stone X)
- US winter wheat crop tour calling for S. Kansas wheat yields some 20% below average, psychologically this is important, materially less so.
- French production ideas heading for the same level of decline, this is both psychologically and materially important. - On the flip side, what France and Kansas are losing, it appears Russia is making up in equal measure with production ideas now mid to high 80's. The world of course would prefer to see the growth in production in the latter rather than the former. Russia looks like it will have the means to have record exports, whether buyers have the resilience to stay away remains to be seen.
- The biodiesel market doing its usual burry its head in the sand routine whenever we hear of Germany scaling back their use of food based feedstock for biodiesel. No biodiesel trades and rapeseed down €40/tonne the result.
- Chinese import data was mixed but not great but what the market really didn’t like was the poor revenue numbers from US retailers (target). It seems the consumer is now actually in real terms pairing back consumption. Whether this is just flat screen TV's or doughnuts is a little less clear.
- From a feed demand perspective it probably means less steak, more chicken and that does impact feed demand. In the US that’s corn, in the EU that will be wheat.

May 19 - U.N. chief in talks on restoring Ukraine grain exports amid global food crisis
U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said on Wednesday that he is in "intense contact" with Russia, Ukraine, Turkey, the United States and the European Union in an effort to restore Ukrainian grain export as a global food crisis worsens. "I am hopeful, but there is still a way to go," said Guterres, who visited Moscow and Kyiv late last month. "The complex security, economic and financial implications require goodwill on all sides."

May 19 - Russia's wheat exports seen rising in new season amid large crop, stockpile
Russia, one of the world's largest wheat exporters, will export more of the grain in the new July-June marketing season due to a large harvest and stockpile, the IKAR consultancy said on Wednesday, raising its estimate for the wheat crop. The country's exports are crucial for global wheat supply, especially in the upcoming season as Ukraine's Black Sea ports remain blocked after Moscow sent tens of thousands of troops into Ukraine on Feb. 24.

May 18  - Export of Ukrainian sunseeds reached an 11-year high, due to high buyer prices (AgriCensus)
- Sunseed exports from Ukraine have reached an 11-year high since the beginning of the season, after lockdowns of ports and a decline in sunoil exports led to lower demand from local crushers and prices for sunseeds in the local market, prompting sellers to boost their export sales. According to customs statistics, from May 1 to May 15, Ukraine exported 140,071 tons of sunflower seeds, bringing total exports since the beginning of the marketing year to a record 311,711 tons. That is already almost 39% higher than sunflower exports in the 2020/21 season.

- However, the volumes reported by customs do not reflect the exact volumes transshipped, as there remain huge queues at the borders and along the Danube River which are delaying physical delivery.
“How many will go for export - I can’t guess, the queues at the borders are long,” one trader based in Ukraine told Agricensus.

Export and Prices
- Sunflower prices range from UAH13,000/mt ($374/mt) to UAH16,000/mt ($460/mt) CPT for local crushers, depending on region and oil content, with maximum price levels from UAH15,000/mt ($431/mt) for crushers in the western regions.
- In western Ukraine, sunflower is offered at prices up to UAH25,000/mt ($719/mt) CPT.
- However, European buyers' prices for Ukrainian sunflower are more than 1.5 times higher and are falling within the range of $700/mt DAP Romania and up to $750/mt DAP Bulgaria, while Turkish buyers are willing to pay up to $905-908/mt CIF Mersin.
- The competition of Ukrainian sunseeds with local sunseeds in Bulgaria and Romania is increasing due to a significant difference in price. Offers from Bulgarian farmers come in at prices ranging from $850/mt EXW or $880-900/mt CPT, while Ukrainian sunflower is available at prices ranging from $750-770/mt CPT.
"Due to the increase in the flow of Ukrainian origin sunseeds, local plants are not ready anymore to pay a significant premium to local sunflower sellers," Petar Dimitrov, senior broker and founder of Agricore told Agricensus.
- According to market estimates, the main buyers of sunseeds are Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary, Turkey, and other countries, which in principle reflects the geography of buyers in previous seasons. Exports of sunflower from Ukraine are currently mostly carried out by trucks, via ferries, as well as through railway and other maritime infrastructure.
- According to the customs statistics service, as of May 16, 35% of sunflower seeds were exported by trucks, 7% by rail, 21%, and 38% by sea and ferry, respectively.
- At the end of the season, the total market estimates of sunflower exports by market participants fall in a wide range, from 550,000 tons to up to 2 million tons. According to USDA expectations, sunflower exports from Ukraine by the end of the 2021/22 season will amount to 350,000 tons.

Ukrainian sunseeds stocks
- Market analysts estimate the stock levels for sunseeds at the beginning of May in Ukraine-controlled and liberated regions at the level of 5-6 million mt.
- Active hostilities in the East (Luhansk, Donetsk regions) and the South of Ukraine (Zaporizhzhia, Kherson, Mykolaiv regions), as well as the active export of Ukrainian agricultural products, including sunflower, from the occupied territories to Russia, will lead to irretrievable losses of sunflower in the range of 1.2-1.4 million mt, according to APK-Inform analysts.
- Market sources based in Ukraine estimate that sunflower stocks by the end of the 2021/22 marketing year will be in the range of 4-5 million mt.
“Operating factories are running at minimum capacity, given the problems with the export of finished products,” the Ukrainian crusher said.
- According to USDA estimates, sunflower stocks by the end of the season will amount to 4.55 million tons, which is a record value for the Ukrainian market.

May 18 - Ukraine sea access vital for grain despite land efforts - minister
Ukraine is making progress in developing grain exports over land to the EU but will need to regain sea access blocked by Russia's invasion to avert a worsening crisis for food importing countries, its deputy economy minister said on Tuesday. Administrative and logistical delays were being resolved at transit points at Ukraine's western borders with European Union states, notably for rail freight, Deputy Economy Minister Taras Kachka told the GrainCom conference in Geneva.

May 18 - About 300,000 T of wheat bought by Egypt stranded in Ukraine - trade
About 300,000 tonnes of Ukrainian wheat booked by Egypt's state grains buyer for delivery in February and March is yet to be shipped, with one cargo stuck in port and four others still to be loaded, four traders said. Egypt's General Authority For Supply Commodities (GASC) has granted an extension to secure the cargoes but is not offering trading companies any force majeure release from contractual obligations, according to traders.

May 18  - EU Pre Open Comments ( Stone X )
- Global wheat prices in the hands of the Gods, CME wheat in the hands of the bots.
- German gov. drafting legistaltion to phase-out of crop based biofuels by 2030 and starting with reducing the cap from 4.4% to 2.5% for 2023. In part this in line with expectations but still dampens demand ideas and the pressure on other memeber states and countries (US) to follow suit may well grow. The wheat market focused on the will they wont they export wheat from India, the currrent prognosses being they kinda will. It appears current licensed export will get out and the 500kt committed to Egypt will. So something in the order of 5-6MMT before likely reverting to net import status.
- Climatologists modelling that the extreme heat they are facing currently has gone from a 1:300 year event to 1:3 year probability.
- Ukrainian grain moving slowly but more freely to ports in Poland and Romania.
- Regional consumers happy with the price pressure but get a sense that not all traders holding local longs are super excited about the arrival of the cheaper grains.
- US crop tour ongoing, is it just me or those wheat crops dont look too bad? Chatting to my brother and he is "pushing" the crops a little harder at these prices and more comfortable with paying up for fertiiser. We are probably in closing stages of supply destruction and look for narrative to change to demand destruction at some point.

May 18 - India to allow wheat shipments awaiting customs clearance
India will allow overseas wheat shipments awaiting customs clearance, the government said on Tuesday, introducing some leeway for overseas sales after it banned exports of the staple on Saturday. India will also allow wheat exports to Egypt, the government said in a statement.

May 18 - Crop Watch: Strong planting last week though not all hands on deck - Braun
Last week was the busiest yet for spring planting among the U.S. Crop Watch producers, but not everyone was going full speed. Fifteen of 22 subject fields are now planted, including eight within the last week.

May 18  - Australian rapeseed 2022/23 output forecast at 5.2 mn: AOF
- Australian canola production for the 2022/23 marketing year is expected to reach 5.2 million mt, declining 17% from the record 2021/22 harvest, according to the latest estimates from the Australian Oilseed Federation (AOF).

- The reduction in annual output for the oilseed, which is often referred to as rapeseed in European markets, represents a return to more normal production levels following on the exceptional 2021/22 harvest which the Federation estimates at 6.3 million mt. According to the AOF, expectations for the 2022/23 harvest are support by an estimated 12% year-on-year increase in canola area planted. Conditions have been mostly favourable so far in the season with timely rainfall across most planting areas of New South Wales, Victoria and Western Australia over the first three months of 2022.

- Despite instances of saturated paddocks and winter waterlogging across areas of New South Wales and Victoria, favourable conditions are expected to persist across the east coast through the remainder of the season.
“Across the east coast, favourable seasonal conditions may continue into mid- to late- winter, with a weakening La Nina persisting longer than previously forecast,” the AOF said.

- In contrast, South Australia remains dry with recent rains falling outside dedicated canola growing areas. On the whole, crop expectations remain positive given the mostly favourable growing conditions coupled with the increase in growing area. Amid expectations of a stronger Canadian canola harvest this year, the Australian Oilseed Federation is forecasting the gross value of Australian canola production for the 2022-23 to reach $3.5 billion, the second-highest figure on record.

May 18  - Biofuels consumption set to surge in Europe
Consumption of biofuels in the EU among three key sectors -- road, marine and aviation -- is set to surge further with major industry players advocating for long-term mandates and more ambitious targets in a bid to secure investment in infrastructure as well as energy independence.

May 17 - Wheat importers in Asia scramble for supplies after Indian export ban
Wheat importers in Asia were scrambling to find new sources of supply on Monday after India banned exports of the grain at the weekend in a bid to keep a lid on soaring domestic prices, trade sources told Reuters. Importers, especially those in Asia, were banking on wheat from India, the world's second-biggest producer, after exports from the Black Sea region plunged following Russia's Feb. 24 invasion of Ukraine.

May 17 - NOPA April soybean crush below expectations at 169.788 mln bushels
The U.S. soybean crush dropped by more than expected in April, while the end-of-month soyoil supply thinned to the lowest in seven months, according to National Oilseed Processors Association (NOPA) data released on Monday. NOPA members, which account for around 95% of soybeans processed in the United States, crushed 169.788 million bushels of soybeans last month, down 6.6% from the 181.759 million bushels crushed in March but up 5.9% from the April 2021 crush of 160.310 million bushels.

May 17  - India sells 500k mt to Egypt on state-to-state basis following export ban (AgriCensus)
- India has reportedly sold 500,000 mt of wheat to Egypt, hot on the heals of Friday’s announcement of a ban on exports with immediate effect. The Indian government banned commercial wheat exports late Friday while leaving open the possibility to make government-to-government deals. Egyptian authorities have been in talks with India to exempt exports to Egypt from the ban, and the potential sale of half a million wheat was said to have been agreed, according to Egyptian supply minister Aly Moselhy quoted in the media.

- At the same time, Ahmed El-Attar, head of the Central Administration of Plant Quarantine at Egypt’s agriculture ministry was quoted as saying Saturday that Indian wheat supplied to Egypt “fully complies with the required standards.” Meanwhile, the first vessel of Indian wheat nominated for Egypt has not yet left the port, with trade sources familiar with the matter saying it is waiting for additional checks by the government on the opened letter of credit.

- The Indian government has restricted the new private export sales of wheat, in expectation of a drop in production following a heatwave and to ensure domestic food security. Global markets have reacted sharply to the news, with futures trading sharply higher on the CME and Euronext exchanges. Demand for Indian wheat has been strong for almost all of the past year given its relatively cheap price, but it increased further when Russia invaded Ukraine, effectively blocking exports from the country. Almost half of the amount potentially available for export from India has already been sold, with officials putting that level at 4.3 million mt versus a total target at 10 million mt expressed by the ministry of commerce.

- India has also said that all existing deals with an already opened letter of credit would not be subject to the ban, along with trades on a governmental level.

May 17 - India bans wheat exports, adding to global supply crunch
As much as 2-3 million mt of wheat for the flour and feed industry is at stake, traders said.

May 16 - India bans wheat exports as heat wave hurts crop, domestic prices soar
India banned wheat exports on Saturday days after saying it was targeting record shipments this year, as a scorching heat wave curtailed output and domestic prices hit a record high. The government said it would still allow exports backed by already issued letters of credit and to countries that request supplies "to meet their food security needs".

May 16 - Funds stage sizable soy, soymeal selloff ahead of USDA data -Braun
Speculators have been easing massively bullish bets in Chicago-traded grain and oilseed futures in recent weeks, though they have been hesitant to add too many shorts due to unprecedented price levels and continuing uncertainties over global supplies. That sentiment may have been confirmed late last week with the U.S. government’s first supply and demand outlooks for the upcoming year, which showed stocks remaining relatively narrow through mid-2023, especially for wheat.

May 16 - Egypt says government purchases exempted from India’s wheat exports ban
Any agreements by Egypt's government to purchase Indian wheat will not be affected by an export ban announced by New Delhi, Egypt's supply minister said on Sunday. "For India, we are talking with them on the basis of a government agreement. The ban exempts governments including the government of Egypt," minister Ali Moselhy said at a news conference.

May 16 - Romanian port races against clock to move Ukrainian grain to global markets
Pressed into emergency service by the blockade of Ukraine's seaports by Russian invaders, neighbouring Romania is racing against time to move Ukrainian grain to global markets before the next harvest triggers bottlenecks.  Ukraine, the world's fourth largest grain exporter, has been forced by Russia's invasion to re-route shipments by train via its western border into neighbouring Poland, Slovakia and Romania or on barges through its small Danube river ports.

 

 

May 14  - Ukraine warns of headwinds as spring crop sowing reaches 70% complete (AgriCensus)
- Ukrainian farmers are continuing to sow spring crops, with progress now reaching 70% complete, but authorities across the country are warning that a shortage of resources - fertilizers, crop protection agents and rapidly dwindling fuel stocks - will likely slow progress.
- Alongside that, the limited prospects for storing or marketing the crop are also weighing on prospects for the upcoming season amid ongoing fighting with invading Russian forces. In the Ivano-Frankivsk region, in the west of the country, the course of spring field work was largely suspended due to a lack of fuel, said Stepan Vintonovich, deputy director of the department of agro-industrial development.
“Agriculture is not included in the list of critical infrastructure, so the equipment is refueled for farmers on an occasional basis. The state promises to correct the situation after May 15, but spring time is lost,” Vintonovich said.
“Moreover, due to the lack of rain, there are also enough negative weather factors. Spring crops in our region have only just begun to emerge,” he continued.
- On the other hand, farmers can safely use the land thanks to the efforts of the State Emergency Service of Ukraine in clearing ordnance and mines - although hazards remain. Russian forces have been forced to retreat, with only long-range weapons now able to reach the fields.
"Ukrainian services are working quickly, at present there is enough power, although at first when shells were fired at it was problematic," Yevgeny Sitnichenko, the head of the Kryvyi Rih military administration in the southeast of the country, said.
- The Ministry of Agriculture of Ukraine has not given a forecast for the grain harvest for 2022, but has said it expects the area under crops could fall by 20% this year due to fighting with Russian troops in many regions. The assessment is based on calculations of the sown area in the zone of occupation or active hostilities, the current dynamics of the sown area in the territories controlled by Ukraine, as well as the reduction in crop yields due to a lack of fertilizers and plant protection products.

May 13  - Euronext wheat futures break €400/mt barrier on bullish Wasde (AgriCensus)
- European milling wheat futures finally broke through resistance at €400/mt Thursday, following the release of the USDA’s monthly Wasde report, with all four front contracts topping the psychologically important mark.
- September 2022 hit a high of €416/mt, up €13/mt on the previous day’s settle, before easing back to €413.50/mt by 1800 CET.
- December 2022 rose as high as €409.25/mt, March 2023 €405.75/mt and May 2023 €400.75/mt, up €12.5/mt, €12.25/mt and €11/mt respectively.
One trader called the move historic, adding “and it’s not over yet!”

- Thursday’s Wasde predicted reduced supplies, exports, domestic use stocks for wheat in the US, and higher prices in its first forecasts for the 2022/2023 marketing year.
“US 2022/23 wheat supplies are projected down 3%, as lower beginning stocks more than offset a larger harvest,” it said.
“Total 2022/23 domestic use is projected down 1% on lower feed and residual use more than offsetting higher food use. Exports are projected at 775 million bushels, down from revised 2021/22 exports and would be the lowest since 1971/72.”

- It put Russian wheat production for 2022/2023 at 80 million mt, up from 75 million mt in 2021/22 and exports at 39 million mt, up from 33 million mt, while for Ukraine it predicted production at 20.5 million mt, 11.5 million lower than in 2021/22 and exports at 10 million mt, down from 19 million.
“They cut quite strongly the US crop, but I am surprised by the high numbers they released for Ukraine and Russian exports,” another market source said.
“Even 10 million mt for just wheat seems high to me for Ukraine.”

- US wheat futures also climbed following the report, with July and September Chicago SRW trading 30 c/bu higher at $11.466/bu and $11.502/bu respectively as of almost 1300 ET.
- Kansas KC wheat as up 43-44 c/bu at $12.446/bu for July and $12.466/bu for September.

May 13 - Strategie Grains cuts 2021/22 EU wheat export forecast on Russia flows
Consultancy Strategie Grains on Thursday lowered its monthly forecast for European Union soft wheat exports in 2021/22, saying Russian shipments had held up better than expected in the face of Western sanctions over its invasion of Ukraine. The French firm now sees EU soft wheat exports for the season that ends in June at 29.9 million tonnes, 1.5 million tonnes - or 4.8% - below its April forecast.

May 13 - Brazil arabica coffee could invert cycle for larger 2023 crop
Due to frosts and a drought last year that damaged this year's production, traders believe Brazil's arabica coffee crop could see an inversion in its production cycle that would result in a larger harvest in 2023. Arabica coffee trees alternate years of higher and lower production, a natural development as trees get stressed after high fruit loads and produce less in the following season.

May 12  - EU pre Open Comments  - StoneX
- Whats 5% moves between friends? The euro breaking below 1.05 overnight, the strong dollar then in turn giving the oil bulls pause for thought.
- Colleagues in the dairy side saying demand to China is well down.
- Soymeal weakness more talked about as curshers run 24/7/365 to make the most from the high value of oil. Meal demand struggling to keep pace.
- China remains the a key element of demand as it always has been. It can be very sticky and when it decides it wants something price is apparently no object. When the demand smells of easing it causes a lot of anxiety. Balance of probabilities China will be an engine of demand growth but its the undulations in-between that cause the concerns. - Weather remains concerning on several fronts, no killer blows but lots of bruises at the moment. French yield ideas are bruised with dryness. US winter wheat yields bruised with dryness too. India bruised, N. US/Canada bruised with wet springs. Brazils corn bruised. Russian wheat and flour continues to trade.
- EU nat gas prices volatile but ultimately well supported with anxieties about flows of Russian gas across Ukraine.
- Drying costs for grains look set to stay high. Local and regional logistics difficult.
- Near term looks like French crops may pick up a little more rain than expected.

May 12 - Indonesia seeks to balance international, local palm oil demand -official
Indonesia is seeking a balance between capitalising on high global palm oil prices while ensuring food at home is affordable, a senior government official said on Wednesday, amid the country's ongoing ban on exports of the vegetable oil. The Southeast Asian nation, the world's top palm oil producer, has since April 28 halted exports of crude palm oil and refined products in order to control soaring prices of cooking oil at home.

May 12 - Dreyfus sees larger Brazil shift to ethanol, warns of sugar shortage
Global commodities trader Louis Dreyfus projected on Wednesday that Brazilian mills will divert a larger-than-expected amount of sugarcane to ethanol production due to high energy prices, causing a reduction in global sugar supplies. Dreyfus sugar director Enrico Biancheri said during the Citi ISO Datagro sugar conference in New York that Brazil's center-south (CS) mills would produce only 29 million tonnes of sugar in the new season that started in April, a view that would be in the low end of analysts' estimates so far.

May 11  - Ship entry into the Sulina canal restricted in order to offload pressure (AgriCensus)
- The agency overseeing operations along a key Black Sea canal has temporarily halted vessels moving towards the key Ukrainian and Romanian ports of Reni, Izmail or Giurgiulesti amid a huge backlog. The Sulina Canal has emerged as a key link in the supply chain moving Ukrainian agricultural produce via the River Danube towards Black Sea export facilities and has reported a major increase in activity as a result.

- That has forced the canal's administrators to temporarily limit vessels going into Reni, Izmail and Giurgiulesti ports won't be allowed to enter the canal in order to prevent further queues building up amid a lack of pilots available to guide ships along the canal's length.
“As before, the Sulina administration decided in yesterday's meeting that they will not allow more than three ships waiting in the anchorage at nautical mile 36, three more at nautical mile 44, three at Reni roads and two at Giurgiulesti roads,” a note seen by Agricensus said.
“In order to avoid blockage, ships going to Reni/Giurgiulesti will not enter Sulina canal until these areas are clear; the same will be applied for Izmail port,” the note said, explaining that one stage already has four ships waiting and no further will be admited until the number drops below three.

- The ship tracking service Marine Traffic showed there are already up to 70 vessels waiting for the entrance to be re-opened. Sulina canal links the shallow water Ukrainian and Romanian ports with the Black Sea, and has proved to be unready for the sharp increase in product flows from Ukrainian ports amid the blockade of Ukraine's deep sea ports after Russia started the war.  The congestion also comes along with an ongoing restriction of grain wagons moving into the port of Reni by rail.

- Thus, situations are starting to happen where a vessel has already arrived into port but the grain that it is expecting to load has not yet reached the terminal, thus bringing even more delays. At the same time, the Ukrainian president, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, has again urged the international community to stop the Russian blockade of the deep seaports of Ukraine citing the threat to world food supply.

May 11  - EU Morning Comments - StoneX
- Diesel and wheat. These two markets are the two markets that supply remains hugely concerning for the global trade of...everything.
- Logistics are becoming more and more difficult and there is a vicous circle of rising costs, leading to wage inflation (especially for truckers) that leads to further price gains and round and round we go.
- Wheat is trading record values, record premiums to corn. Indian Durum wheat trading to Turkey I hear. Not much behind it though it seems. Had long conversation yesterday on feed demand. It was pointed out that maize still "cheap" even in the absence of Ukraine. There were large volumes landing prior to the conflict so are we just living off those supplies and then that goes with lower demand to get us through the gap? I think July onwards is the big pinch, all the old hedged/cheap inventories are going to be largely consumed and the hand-to-mouth traders wont have the cheapened average to lean on anymore. Do you buy the inverse, albeit those cheaper long term positions are not so cheap historically speaking.
- We have yet to see the market properly anchored to new price ideas, and the feed industry will be asking what if wheat/corn do a soymeal. French dryness a growing concern, US plantings slow but for the less worse reasons. Canadian canola yields could be a risk soon.

May 11 - Why are food prices going up? Key questions answered
Global food prices started to rise in mid-2020 when businesses shut down due to the COVID-19 pandemic, straining supply chains. Farmers dumped out milk and let fruits and vegetables rot due to a lack of available truckers to transport goods to supermarkets, where prices spiked as consumers stockpiled food. A shortage of migrant labor as lockdowns restricted movement impacted crops worldwide.

May 10 - Russian pea producers calls for China talks amid fears of lost EU exports
Pea producers in some Russian regions face losing large export markets due to anti-Russian sanctions.

May 10 - Market Commentary

Wheat - US futures down on disappointing inspections
 - US wheat futures trended lower following a 40% drop to 236,847 mt in weekly inspections.
 

Corn - US futures lower on improving weather
 - Corn futures continue to trend lower on improved weather forecasts across the corn belt.
 
Soybean - Futures plunge on improving US weather, China demand concerns
 - Soybean CBOT futures fell for a second consecutive session on Monday.
 

Vegoils - Palm oil rangebound as soyoil drops on weaker ags and energy markets

- Crude palm oil futures on the Bursa Malaysia Derivatives Exchange edged up on Monday.

May 10 - Dry weather to curb French grain production - farm ministry
Dry weather in France will have a negative impact on this year's production of winter cereals by reducing yield potential for some crops, the French agriculture ministry said on Monday. Low rainfall in France, the European Union's biggest grain producer, has added to market worries about global supply given war disruption to Ukrainian exports, keeping European prices near record highs.

May 10 - Rain and sunshine strengthen Ivory Coast's cocoa mid-crop, farmers say
A mix of abundant rain and sunny spells in most of Ivory Coast's cocoa-growing regions last week has boosted the April-to-September mid-crop, farmers said on Monday. The world's top cocoa producer is in the midst of its rainy season, with frequent heavy downpours from April to mid-November.

May 09  - Russian pea producers calls for China talks amid fears of lost EU exports (AgriCensus)

- Pea producers in some Russian regions face losing large export markets due to anti-Russian sanctions and have asked the government to intensify negotiations with China in a bid to open its market to Russian peas. Russia has typically exported its pea production towards the European Union, but both Ukraine and Russia have been in talks with China to improve exports to the Asian superpower.
"There have been a lot of talks about China in recent years," one trade source told Agricensus.
"I think that China will definitely not allow anything, because China actually supports US and European sanctions against Russia... I don't think that import relief will fit into the current policy," the trade source said.

- China has not publically condemned Russia's invasion, abstaining when the UN passed its resolution ES-11/1 on Aggression against Ukraine, but has called for a peaceful resolution to the conflict.  The appeal stems from the Siberian Grain Consortium Association, according to multiple sources with the problem needing to be solved in the near future since significant planted areas are planned for pea crops in the 2022/23 marketing year. The association reported that before the introduction of sanctions targetting Russian entities agricultural producers in Siberia exported peas mainly to the Baltic countries, which are currently classified as unfriendly.

- According to the Federal Customs Service, in 2021, over 151,000 mt of peas were exported from the Siberian Federal District, of which more than 100,000 mt (73%) went to Latvia and Lithuania. Russian dry pea exports in the current season have set records. From July 2021 to January 2022, inclusive, it amounted to around 900,000 mt, 80% more than in the same period last year.
- Bangladesh was marked as the destination for 216,877 mt (23%), Turkey for 198,310 mt (21%), Italy 96,285 mt (10%), Latvia 90,198 mt (10%), Pakistan 78,327 mt (8%), Spain 57,991 mt (6%), Belgium 47,155 mt (5%).
- At the same time, in total, EU countries account for 35% of share.

- Producers believe that it is necessary to reorient supplies to other countries, primarily to China, which is a large and promising market for peas.
"After Europe comes Pakistan, but they don't want to buy Russian goods en masse and traders from Canada, the US, Singapore and Dubai have problems paying for Russian documents," the source said.
However, the Chinese market is still closed to Russian pea suppliers. In early February, before the Russian invasion of Ukraine began, Russian and Chinese government agencies held talks on compliance with inspection and quarantine requirements for the supply of Russian peas to the Chinese market.

May 09  - China April soybean imports rise after delayed cargo arrivals
China's soybean imports in April climbed from a month ago, helped by the arrival of cargoes previously delayed by poor weather and slow harvests in South America, customs data showed on Monday. China, the world's top soybean importer, brought in 8.08 million tonnes of the oilseed in April, up 27% from 6.35 million tonnes in March, according to data from the General Administration of Customs. The figures were also up from 7.45 million tonnes in the same month a year earlier.

May 09  - French wheat crop condition eases slightly
The crop conditions of winter cereals in France eased slightly in the last week of April, farm office FranceAgriMer said on Friday, ahead of a hot and dry spell that has raised concern among traders. An estimated 89% of the French soft wheat crop was in good or excellent condition in the week to May 2, down from 91% the previous week but above a score of 79% a year earlier.

May 09  - Nearly 25 mln tonnes of grain stuck in Ukraine, says UN food agency
Nearly 25 million tonnes of grains are stuck in Ukraine and unable to leave the country due to infrastructure challenges and blocked Black Sea ports including Mariupol, a U.N. food agency official said on Friday. The blockages are seen as a factor behind high food prices which hit a record high in March in the wake of Russia's invasion of Ukraine, before easing slightly in April, the FAO said on Friday.

May 09  - Canada to help Ukraine find options to export grain to ease supply worries  - Trudeau
Canada will help Ukraine work out options on how to export stored grain to uphold global food security that has been shaken by Russia's invasion of the country, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said late on Sunday. Nearly 25 million tonnes of grains are stuck in Ukraine and unable to leave the country due to infrastructure challenges and blocked Black Sea ports including Mariupol, a U.N. food agency official said last week. Mariupol has endured the most destructive fighting of the 10-week war.

May 06  - Trade on alert over India wheat exports despite government promise ( AgriCensus )
- Government efforts to calm fears over the availability of Indian wheat exports have failed to quell rumours around the country’s production, as fears mount that extreme heat could slash production outlooks. Traders have feared that the government could impose restrictions on Indian wheat exports, prompting Indian government officials to state that there was no plan to curb exports, and that India would continue to develop its export potential, including improving its phytosanitary and quality checks. That comes despite a reduction in the country's production forecast, which has dropped significantly amid ongoing heat. The government has already decreased its output estimate by 6 million mt to 105 million mt, while some local analysts still hold out hopes that production will still reach up to 107 million mt.

- However, the bulk of traders say they are expecting production to dip to somewhere between the 94.5 million-102 million mt range. Most of trade sources agree that there will be a drop in output compared to last year, the question now is simply, how much?
“The drop is more important to know and that is likely to be 6-7 million mt down versus last year,” a trader said.

- In addition to that, Indian wheat stocks are currently at their lowest level in years amid high global demand for wheat and the emergence of India as a potential origin over the last eighteen months. That has fuelled a sharp increase in exports and seen the country strike important deals with major importers like Indonesia, Egypt and Vietnam. While the USDA’s India ending stock forecast currently remains at 21 million mt - with the USDA likely to update figures in the upcoming May review of its influential Wasde report - local analyst Gaurav Jain from AgPulse Analytica has cut their estimate to 18.9 million mt.

- Domestic consumption is not expected to increase amid the high price of wheat, especially compared to rice, while some expect demand to drop compared with last year.
“For the years between the 2013/14 marketing year and 2019/20, Indian wheat consumption averaged 94 million mt and remained stable. With prices significantly higher this year, we expect Indian wheat consumption to reduce to 102 million mt,” Jain told Agricensus.
“We will not be surprised to see it drop below 96 million mt, if the prices remain elevated,” Jain said.

- Meanwhile, local state procurement remains at a slow pace with around 17 million mt of wheat bought by the government by April 30, compared with 28 million mt at the same date of 2021. The slowdown in procurement comes as the price that exporters are prepared to pay is higher compared to the government's minimum support price (MSP) scheme. For the first month of the 2022/23 marketing year, India has already broken its export record according to Agricensus analysis – with available lineup data showing that already up to 1.8 million mt of wheat has been exported in April compared to just 227,810 mt in the same month of 2021. That is also significantly up compared to the average monthly loading from India during the last half of the year. That fast is not lost on trade observers, and is one of the factors that could yet push the government to control the export pace in order to guarantee internal food sufficiency.

- However, traders do not expect there to be an outright export ban, with the country more likely to impose either a sliding export tax or a quota. Meanwhile, while some estimates for India’s 2022/23 export slate reach as high as 15 million mt, trade sources are more pessimistic, expecting the levels to reach around 8-12 million mt range. However, that would still be an increase versus the 7 million mt exported in the 2021/22 marketing year.

May 06 - Dry weather in France will cause irreversible damage to crops - Expert
Dry, hot weather in France in the coming 10 days after several months of little rainfall will cause irreversible damage to grain crops in the European Union's largest grains producer, a technical institute said on Thursday, adding to worries about tight global supplies. European wheat markets have rallied in recent days on concerns about dry weather in France and some other major producing countries at a time when the war in Ukraine has reduced grain supplies.

May 06 - Ukraine has enough grain stocks to feed population - deputy minister
Ukraine has large enough grain stocks in territory it still controls to feed the population in these areas, and has enough fuel to meet farmers' daily needs, deputy agriculture minister Taras Vysotskiy said on Thursday. Ukraine said last month Russian forces had stolen "several hundred thousand tonnes" of grain in the areas of Ukraine they have occupied since the invasion began on Feb. 24 and this could affect the food security of local population.

May 06 - Ukraine exports 46 mln T of grain, including 132,000 T so far in May - ministry - Reuters
Ukraine's grain exports have reached 46 million tonnes so far in the 2021/22 July-June season, the agriculture ministry said on Thursday. The ministry said the volume included 132,000 tonnes exported in May. It did not give a final figure for April but had exported 763,000 tonnes through April 29.

May 06 - Tunisia buys soft wheat, feed barley in tender - traders - Reuters
Tunisia's state grains agency is believed to have purchased about 100,000 tonnes of soft wheat and 75,000 tonnes of animal feed barley in an international tender which closed on Thursday, European traders said. The grains can be sourced from optional origins but excluding the Black Sea region, they said. Ukraine and Russia had before the outbreak of war been major grains suppliers to Tunisia.

 

 

May 05  - Indonesia's palm oil export ban does not threaten EU supply -producers  - Reuters
Indonesia's ban on palm oil products does not raise concern for the supply of the European Union market as the bloc has reserves for several weeks, EU vegetable oil group FEDIOL said on Tuesday. The world's top palm oil producer last week imposed an export ban on raw materials for cooking oil, including several products such as refined, bleached and deodorized palm olein (RBD), crude and refined palm oil, in an attempt to lower cooking oil prices.

May 05  - Brazil farmers to expand soy area, cut fertilizer-use next season  - consultancy
Brazilian soybean farmers will raise soybean plantings by 1.5% nationwide next season, agribusiness consultancy Agrinvest Commodities told Reuters on Wednesday, in one of the first known projections for area growth for the new crop. Brazil planted 40.8 million hectares (100.8 million acres) with soybeans in the 2021/2022 cycle, a 4.1% expansion, government data showed.

May 05 - India is not moving to curb wheat exports, official says
India is not moving to curb wheat exports, the top official at the food ministry said on Wednesday, following an earlier report that the world's second biggest producer of the grain was mulling restrictions after a heat wave damaged crops. Food and farm ministry officials said on Wednesday that India can still easily export at least 8 million tonnes of wheat in the current fiscal year that began in April, and that the government would only consider export curbs after any sudden, unexpected surge in overseas shipments.

May 05 - Taiwan’s MFIG buys about 55,000 tonnes corn - traders
Taiwan's MFIG purchasing group bought about 55,000 tonnes of animal feed corn to expected to be sourced from South Africa in an international tender which closed on Wednesday, European traders said. The corn was purchased at an estimated premium of 219.79 U.S. cents a bushel c&f over the Chicago September 2022 corn contract, they said.

May 05  - EU Morning Comments ( Stone X )
- Powel comments last night weakened the USD as the market interpret the comments have sharply reducing the probabilities of near term interest rate increases. The weaker dollar and generally rosy economic picture he painted intentionally or otherwise support crude oil and energy values generally.

- There is plenty of evidence locally, anecdotal and global to argue down feed demand ideas. We are seeing with for example the TMO tender and GASC tendering (or absence thereof) demand deference to new crop but with feed demand if the demand is declining it is because of reducing livestock mouths to feed and that takes weeks for poultry, months for pigs and years for ruminants to rebuild. In my head I have the greatest demand destruction/long term deference being in the pig industry with 10-20% lower demand on the cards for the new crop. Poultry steady. Ruminant feed may not be a culling issue but a greater reliance on grass and reduced output (dairy). So maybe 5-10% demand down there in ballpark numbers.

May 05  - Russian June duty on sunoil jumps 41% to to $525/mt ( Agricensus )
- The export duty on sunflower oil from June 1 will increase by $152.80/mt or 41% to $525/mt, according to local media citing the Russian Ministry of Agriculture. The commission was determined based on a floating index that values ​​sunflower oil at $1,750/mt. The export duty on sunflower meal from June 1 will increase by 9% or $8.80/t and will amount to $105/mt. Both fees are in effect until a new update is published.

- On March 27, 2021, the Russian government announced the establishment of a damper mechanism for the export of sunflower oil in a bid to control runaway domestic prices. As a result of the measure, the export duty was set at 70% and will be charged on the difference between the base price and the indicative price.

- The base price is set at $1,000/t, and the indicative price, from April 15, 2022, will be determined based on the data of the National Commodity Exchange, which is part of the Moscow Exchange group. It is based on the daily calculation of two new price indicators, over-the-counter sunflower export indices, oil and sunflower meal.

- This mechanism will operate until August 2022.

- Starting April 15, the Russian government introduced export quotas of 1.5 million mt for sunflower oil and 700,000 mt for sunflower meal. The quota for sunflower oil will be divided among 54 oil extraction enterprises, and the quota for sunflower meal between 21 enterprises, as was officially announced on the website of the Ministry of Agriculture on April 12.

- The top five recipients of the largest volumes included the EFKO group of companies (239,700 mt), Aston (178,700 mt), the Rusagro group (137,400 mt), Cargill (135,600 mt) and the South of Russia group (133,100 mt).

May 04  - EU market comments ( Stone X )
- As the EU hardens plans to ban Russian crude energy markets getting a lift. Russia of course more important for gas than oil and the Southern States of the EU have been courting middle Eastern oil suppliers for alternatives. The support to crude will be a supportive backdrop to grains and while Germany has been debating biofuels from fuels they cant keep carving out fuel supply chains. Hence why diesel crack spreads are so strong.
- US corn and soybean values under pressure as the USDA indicate 3m acres of CRP land to crop production. CRP by its nature not the highest yielding areas of the country but we are talking about production potential of grains in the order of millions of tonnes. What we gain there is being lost in production downgrades to Brazil's corn crop and India's wheat crop that dents the export potential of both.
- Reports of Russia moving Ukrainian grains across to their boarder along with machinery that raises questions about the Eastern regions ability to tend to their crops and if/how/when that grain (in the order of severall hundred thousand tonnes so far) makes it to the market and who is willing to close their eyes to morality of buying stolen grain.
- Weather markets remain focused on Indian heat, US cold/wet and SAM dryness. W. EU thristy

May 04 - Ukraine faces grain harvest storage crunch as exports struggle
Ukraine is forecast to have a significant shortage of storing facilities in the 2022/23 season due to a sharp fall in exports resulting from Russia's invasion, analyst APK-Inform said. Since Moscow launched what it calls a "special military operation" in Ukraine in late February, the country has been forced to export grain by train over its western border or from its small Danube river ports rather than by sea.

May 04 - Brazil plans 'fertilizer diplomacy' trip to N.Africa, Jordan to secure more imports
Brazil's new agriculture minister Marcos Montes will visit Jordan, Egypt and Morocco in a tour starting this week to discuss increasing fertilizer imports from those countries. "It's a pilgrimage that we are calling fertilizer diplomacy," Montes said in an interview with Reuters late on Monday, adding he would be joined by private sector representatives.

May 03 - After five record crops, heat wave threatens India's wheat output, export plans
India's wheat output looks likely to fall in 2022 after five consecutive years of record harvests, as a sharp, sudden rise in temperatures in mid-March cut crop yields in the world's second-biggest producer of the grain. The drop could curb Indian exports of the staple.
 
May 03 - Bird flu puts organic chickens into lockdown from Pennsylvania to France
Organic and free-range chickens have been thrown into lockdown. Egg-laying hens that normally have access to the outdoors can no longer roam as freely or feel the sun on their beaks as some U.S. and European farmers temporarily keep flocks inside during lethal outbreaks of bird flu, according to egg producers and industry representatives.

May 02 - How Indonesia's policy stumbles over palm oil have unfolded
When Indonesian cooking oil prices started climbing in November, authorities faced pressure to contain the cost of the household necessity made from palm oil and used by most people in the world's fourth most populous country. But the months of rapid-fire government policies that followed, including twice halting exports of palm oil, have at times both stunned and confounded global edible oil markets.

May 02 - Shanghai lockdown sends chill down meat trade
The protracted lockdown in Shanghai, China's financial hub, is slowing the nation's normally booming meat trade, with stringent COVID-19 measures causing logistics logjams across the food industry in a sign of the broadening disruptions to business. The challenge of moving food in and around Shanghai, whose residents are into a month-long stressful home isolation, highlights similar problems in many other Chinese cities as Beijing persists with its controversial zero-COVID strategy despite growing risks to its economy.

May 02 - EU cuts 2022/23 wheat crop forecast, still sees record exports
The European Commission cut its forecast for the 2022/23 European Union wheat harvest on Friday, but maintained its projection for record EU exports as war disrupts supply from Ukraine. In monthly cereal supply and demand estimates, the Commission cut its outlook for usable production of common wheat, or soft wheat, in the July 2022 to June 2023 season to 130.1 million tonnes from 131.3 million tonnes previously.

May 02 - First Ukrainian corn cargo leaves Romanian Black Sea port
A cargo carrying over 71,000 tonnes of Ukrainian corn finished loading in the Romanian Black Sea port of Constanta on Thursday, the first since Russia invaded Ukraine on Feb. 24, the manager of port operator Comvex said. With Ukraine's sea ports blocked since the war started more than two months ago, the world's fourth-largest grain exporter has been forced to send shipments by train via its western border or through its small Danube river ports into Romania.

Apr 29  - Ukraine exports 568k mt of grain via rail during April (AgriCensus)
- Ukraine shipped 567,991 mt of grain via rail through April 27, with Poland continuing to be the biggest destination as the country struggles to export its huge stocks after deep seaports were blocked amid the Russian invasion, forcing more exports onto the rail tracks, data seen by Agricensus showed on Friday. Exporters in Ukraine have traditionally loaded around 98% of grain shipments through the seaports, but have had to redirect shipments amid the ongoing war in the country, moving deliveries to rail borders with European countries in order to be able to move shipments further out of Ukraine in order to load big vessels.

- During the reported period between April 1- April 27 grains dispatched by rail amounted to 567,991 mt, while veg oils totaled at 61,007 mt. Exports of grain across the border to Poland amounted to 207,631 mt, or 37 percent of the reported tonnage.

- Izov continues to be the most popular and busiest border point, taking the biggest part of exported volumes of grains and veg oils through the Polish border.
- Also, during the reported period 135,187 mt of grains were shipped through the Hungarian border at Chop (76,618 mt) and Batyevo (56,569 mt).
- Dispatches through the Romanian and Moldavian border also increased as a result of almost absent alternatives on the way to Romania's Port Constanta.
- Highlighting these movements, 86,256 mt of grain passed through Romanian Vadul-Siret and Dyakovo border points, while 33,185 mt of grain passed through the Moldavian border points of Mohyliv-Podilskyi and Sokyriany.
- Meanwhile 87,825 mt of grain was addressed to the shallow-water ports of Reni and Izmail and 17,298 mt were headed to the Odessa and Chornomorsk seaports.

Surprisingly, 609 mt of grain was moved through Khorobichi border point to Belarus, most likely to be soybeans.

- In veg oils, export through the Polish border came in at 36,002 mt, also the biggest part of the total exports shipped through Izov (27,798 mt). In addition, 37,006 mt of the meal also passed through Izov.
- The point Batyevo (Hungarian border) passed through 18,957,mt of veg oils and 8,655 of meal.
- Limited volume was reported through the Romanian border points of Vadul-Siret and Dyakovo at 270 mt of veg oils and 914 mt of meal.
- Moldavian border points Mohyliv-Podilskyi and Sokyriany passed through 4,096 mt of veg oils and 940 mt of meal. The cargo is most likely going to Romanian Port Constanta as this is the less busy route.

Wrapping up the data was 183 mt of veg oils and 841 mt of meal were addressed to Izmail.

Apr 29  - The UN suggesting that the Russian-Ukrainian war could linger on for years ( Stone X)

- South American weather is pretty much dry everywhere. If your crop is finished growing and ready for harvest that is fine, if you still have growing crops then you are likely losing yield potential. As a sense of scale, the Argentine corn harvest tends to conclude around July but can be as late as August, it is 25% complete now implying that at least 50% of the crop is losing yield potential as we speak. Its less of an issue for soybeans where it is half harvested and due to conclude by June.

- Its similar for Brazil, the beans are all but done so no risk there but for corn much of the crop is still contributing to its yield and the dry weather inhibits that yield potential. Brazilian overall corn production ideas are still going to be well North of 100MMT but the 118's or anything above 120 I think are low probability. More likely we are going to be in the 100-110 range, most likely a record but less helpful to recover lost supplies in Ukraine.

- France is looking a little thirsty with limited precipitation and Northern US/Canada are having a cold, late and wet spring. There are enough weather anomalies to keep the market on-edge. Both the consumer and producer are mostly open on new crop. I think the producer is in the stronger psychological position.

Apr 29  - India's wheat export boom brings a bonanza to farmers, and budget relief
For the first season in over a decade, Indian farmer Rajensingh Pawar is selling his new wheat crop to private traders instead of the state stockpiler, as a global wheat price rally gives India's suppliers a rare profitable export window. Strong demand following Russia's invasion of Ukraine means growers are receiving the highest prices ever for their crops, while also easing pressure on the state's grain procurement agency which racks up huge debts as a buyer of last resort.

Apr 29  - Indonesia industry body confident palm oil export ban could end in May
Indonesia should be able to tackle its cooking oil shortage in the next few weeks and lift an export ban on palm oil and its refined products in May, an industry body said on Thursday, a day after a last-minute policy U-turn sparked more alarm for markets. The world's top palm oil producer expanded an export ban on raw materials for cooking oil to include shipments of crude palm oil and most of its refined products just hours before it took effect at midnight Wednesday, in an attempt to secure domestic supply and bring down soaring prices.

Apr 29  - Labor issues, idle trains leave U.S. grain and food stranded  - shippers
Rail backlogs in the United States are delaying shipment of grains as well as processed flour and corn syrup, contributing to the national problem of inflation, food and grain companies said at a hearing this week. Russia's invasion of Ukraine has increased prices of wheat, corn and vegetable oils after the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted supply chains, and rail delays could further add to costs that are weighing on consumers.

Apr 28  - ‘Storm brewing’ as China reviews corn import options after Ukraine loss (AgriCensus)

- A USDA private exporter sales note confirming the sale of another 1.09 million mt of US corn into China has raised expectations that the Asian importer is turning to US supply to help plug the loss of supply from Ukraine, following the country’s invasion by Russia. Confirmation of another sizeable purchase - the fourth this month - has re-opened debate over China’s import options, and prompted trade sources to warn that the country may yet need to ramp up its supply as it did in 2020.

- The USDA’s daily sale reporting system confirmed 476,000 mt sold from the 2021/22 marketing year and another 612,000 mt for 2022/23 delivery on Thursday. The announcement confirmed rumors that had been circulating earlier among market sources that up to 1 million mt of US corn had been traded to China for July-September loading as the country tries to cover Ukrainian supply.

- China has raced to the top of the global list of corn importers, and imported just under 8 million mt of Ukrainian corn in the 2021 calendar year, according to the Agricensus Export Dashboard. However, the Russian invasion has curtailed exports, with Ukraine’s major export ports blockaded and in some cases suffering extensive damage over the last two months. The buying also comes after a period of steady Chinese purchases each week through April, taking the amount sold during the month to nearly 3.5 million mt even before the latest 1.09 million mt announcement landed.
“Old crop Ukrainian business was canceled. And they had to buy... one way or another,” a trader said.

Apr 28  - EU morning comments ( Stone X )
- The Indonesian navy reportedly seized two cargo's containing palm products and methanol, presumably destined for biodiesel, presumably for Europe.
- We now have several countries on a list of grey countries that may or may not allow food and feed ingredients reach the global market. Russia, Indonesia and Argentina I would put into that category.
- The euro is catching knives as it endeavours to get to parity with the dollar as efficiently as possible, that is, in a straight line.
- The Rubble fairing much better and so far Putin is winning the currency war with the Rubble strongest against the Euro since Q1 2020 as gas buyers are forced to sell euro's to buy Rubbles to keep the lights on, litterally and figuratively.
- This supports commodity valuations here (MAtif) and depresses them elsewhere (Russia, dollar markets). May MAtif wheat open interest has been falling aggressively, spread volumes to September have not been too special suggesting that those leaving May are waiting to make a call on new crop. (May Open Interest down 120k contracts, Sep/Dec OI up around 10k contracts).
- In a normal Universe we should be bearish as hell based on the Ukraine/Russia weather. Thats not this Universe. Canadian weather is plain "weird" and hard to judge if net good or bad but it and the US s. wheat areas are looking late.

Apr 28 - Bunge lifts 2022 earnings outlook as Ukraine war crimps crop supplies
Global farm commodities merchant Bunge Ltd on Wednesday reported a higher quarterly adjusted profit and raised its full-year earnings forecast by 21% on robust demand and tighter supplies of essential crops since Russia's invasion of Ukraine. The two-month war exacerbated already thin supplies of grain and oilseeds after weather-reduced crops in South America and other key production areas, boosting demand and lifting crop processing margins for Bunge.

Apr 28 - Brazil sees sugar production growing 15%; ethanol output down
Sugar output in the 2022/23 season in Brazil, the world's largest producer and exporter, is seen growing 15% to 40.28 million tonnes as fields partially recover from the harsh 2021 drought, government agency Conab said on Wednesday. In its first projection for the new season that started in April, Conab said it expects a total sugarcane crop in Brazil, including both Center-South and Northeast regions, of 596 million tonnes, 1.9% above 2021/22.

- Indonesia's planned export ban on cooking oil's raw material will cover crude palm oil, refined palm oil and used cooking oil, among other palm oil products, its chief economic minister said on Wednesday.

- The announcement was a reversal of the minister's statement a day earlier, in which he had said the export ban would only cover refined, bleached, and deodorized palm olein. The ban comes into force at midnight (1700 GMT Wednesday).

Apr 27 - ADM sees years of tight global crop supplies, strong 2022 profit outlook
Global supplies of key crop staples will remain tight for at least two years after harvest shortfalls in some countries and shipping disruptions triggered by Russia's invasion of Ukraine, Archer-Daniels-Midland Co said on Tuesday. Demand will likely outpace supplies until at least 2024, resulting in high crop prices that will draw grain stocks out of storage and encourage South American farmers to plant more, the grains merchant said after posting a better-than-expected quarterly profit.

Apr 27 - Indonesia's palm oil industry braces for upcoming export ban
Indonesian palm oil companies were bracing on Wednesday for the impact of a government ban on exports of refined palm olein, with the new rules aimed at taming soaring prices of domestic cooking oil due to come into effect from midnight. The export ban will be imposed on all producers of refined, bleached and deodorized (RBD) palm olein, which is made by processing crushed palm fruit to remove impurities and accounts for about 40% of Indonesia's total shipments of palm oil products, according to analysts' estimates.

Apr 26  - ADM reports 35% y-o-y increase in Q1 net earnings (AgriCensus)
- Net earnings at Archer-Daniels-Midland Co. (ADM) jumped 35% in the first quarter of 2022 to 1.1 billion, or $1.86 per share, compared with the same period last year, the company said on Tuesday. The strong performance occurred as the global agricultural commodities producer and trader benefited from a weak South American harvest, tighter overall grain supplies and robust global demand.

- The Ag Services & Oilseeds segment delivered a particularly strong quarterly result, with an operating profit of $1 billion, up 30% year-on-year. Within this segment, operating profit Ag Services strengthened to $258 million, up 23% year-on-year, owing to lower supplies arising from the weak South American crop.

- Similarly, operating profit for the crushing business increased 12% year-on-year to $428 million with strong global margins supported by robust protein meal and vegetable oil demand. Operating profit within the Refined Products and Other subsegment increased 96% year-on-year to $198 million, supported by solid refining premiums underpinned by good refined oils demand in North America and strong biodiesel margins in the EMEA region.

- ADM also experienced strong growth in its Carbohydrate Solution segment, with operating profit increasing 22% year-on-year to $317 million supported by higher corn co-product revenues, stronger citric acid profits in North America, higher sales volumes and margins in EMEA, and better sales volumes and margins in wheat milling.

Apr 26 - U.S. wheat ratings lowest since 1989; corn planting 7% complete
The U.S. Department of Agriculture on Monday rated 27% of U.S. winter wheat in good to excellent condition, down three percentage points from a week ago and the lowest for this time of year since 1989, as drought persists in the Plains wheat belt. The figure also fell below the lowest in a range of analyst expectations.

Apr 26 - Indonesia may widen palm oil export ban if local demand not met
Indonesia is prepared to widen a palm oil export ban, which currently only applies to refined palm olein, if local shortages of derivative products used in cooking oil occur, according to details of an official meeting with companies. The world's biggest palm oil exporter plans from Thursday to stop shipments of refined, bleached and deodorized (RBD) palm olein but will allow exports of crude palm oil or other derivative products, senior government official Musdhalifah Machmud said on Tuesday.

Apr 25  - First bulk Indian wheat cargo successfully clears Vietnam port (AgriCensus)

- A cargo of wheat from India has arrived and passed inspection at a port in Vietnam in what could be the first such bulk movement recorded, Agricensus analysis of line-up and maritime data showed Monday. The arrival of the vessel, on April 22, is a sign of the growing potency for Indian wheat exports amid heavy disruption to Black Sea supplies, with the move coming nearly a week after Agricensus revealed Indian wheat had been bought by Egypt in what is likely to be another first. The vessel, the Omicron Nikos, was carrying 72,600 mt of Indian wheat that left the Indian port of Kandla on April 8. Trade sources have been closely watching the vessel’s progress and whether the cargo passes the country’s phytosanitary tests.

- Vietnam has cited quality issues, such as stones in the cargo or the fungal infection karnal bunt, that have prevented the country importing volumes from the origin in the past. As such, there is already a second vessel loading in Indian ports which is destinated for Vietnam, according to local sources, with more expected to follow.
“I think there are more CNF sellers trying to sell more Indian wheat to Vietnam for nearby [loading dates],” a Vietnam-based trader told Agricensus.

- Meanwhile, after Indian wheat was approved for shipments into Egypt last week, local prices have firmed up to currently stand at levels around $345-350/mt FOB Kandla. And, with buyers able to use it as both feed wheat and milling wheat, those price levels mean feed wheat buyers could find it more profitable to make a switch back to corn, which is currently trading around the same level as wheat on a CFR delivered basis.

- Meanwhile, for milling wheat, the current price increase for Indian origin supply is likely to also tip the balance back in favour of Australian feed wheat - which is usually quoted as a better quality product. Prices for Australian wheat are again becoming competitive as Agricensus heard selling indications reported at $390/mt CFR Vietnam.
“Recently, Aussie feed wheat has quoted more competitively than Indian wheat. Therefore, feed millers are not interested in looking for Indian wheat now,” the same trader said.

- Vietnam is among the world’s biggest wheat importers, with the USDA’s import estimate for the 2021/22 marketing year standing at 4.1 million mt and Australia traditionally the country’s main supplier, accounting for around half of the entire import slate.

Apr 25  - GDT WMP loses ground as Asian demand recedes
- The continued slide of dairy prices on the GDT platform in the latest auction was led by whole milk powder (WMP), although all commodities experienced a downturn. Milk powder imports from China slowed seasonally in March, which influenced sentiment.
- The average WMP price fell 4.4% to $4,207/tonne (€3,899/tonne) – which is still more affordable than the wholesale prices seen in Europe. The quoted WMP price in the latest GDT auction held on 19 April has returned to levels seen before February prior to Russia’s attack on Ukraine.
- Meanwhile, the WMP market was relatively quiet in Europe. The AgriMer value in France has steadied at €4,935/tonne ($5,329/tonne), unchanged from the previous week. This valuation remains behind the Dutch ZuivelNL exchange price that also stayed put at €5,290/tonne. Ahead of them all is the Kempten price in Germany, where WMP weakened 0.3% to €5,410/tonne.

Apr 25  - Soybeans end with slight gains on solid demand
- Despite a sharp correction in wheat and corn markets, soybean futures closed higher for the seventh day in a row on Thursday (April 21) finding support on tight global supplies and strong demand for US soybeans.
- May soybeans finished up 1 1/2 cents at USD17.48 1/4.
- US Soybean export sales for the 2021/22 marketing year totaled 460,200 tonnes the week ended April 14. The result was well above the pace needed to reach USDA’s total marketing year forecast, and in line with expectations that sales would be from 300,000 tonnes to 1 million tonnes. Soybean export sales for 2022/23 totaled 1,240,000 tonnes, above expectations they would be from 200,000 tonnes to 950,000 tonnes.
- The Buenos Aires Grain exchange estimated harvest is 30.8% complete as of April 21, and Argentina’s Rosario grains exchange raised its soybean production forecast by 1.2 million tonnes to 41.2 million on better-than-expected yields.

Apr 25  - EU pig prices still rising despite Easter logjam
- EU pig prices have risen for the ninth consecutive week – but prices made only marginal gains overall because of disruptions caused by the long Easter weekend.
- In the week ending 17 April, the EU average price for Class E pigs was EUR190.83 per 100kg, up just 0.2% on the previous week.
- Price quotations were significantly higher week-on-week in Spain (+3.5%) and France (+5.3%), but were broadly unchanged in Germany, at EUR202.89 per 100kg.
- There were more significant falls in Belgium (-4.0%), the Netherlands (-2.5%) and Poland (-0.9%), while the official Danish price was unchanged week-on-week.
- Short-term surpluses of livestock arose in Germany and elsewhere because of the four-day closure of many abattoirs, and this kept price increases modest, or forced them into negative territory.
- However, these surpluses are expected to dissipate quickly as slaughtering activity returns to normal, and processors battle once again with the fundamental issue of low levels of supply.

Apr 25  - Indonesia's palm oil export ban leaves global buyers with no plan B
Global edible oil consumers have no option but to pay top dollar for supplies after Indonesia's surprise palm oil export ban forced buyers to seek alternatives, already in short supply due to adverse weather and Russia's invasion of Ukraine. The move by the world's biggest palm oil producer to ban exports from Thursday will lift prices of all major edible oils including palm oil, soyoil, sunflower oil and rapeseed oil, industry watchers predict.

Apr 25  - World's top soyoil exporter says record prices a mixed blessing
Argentina, the world's top exporter of soyoil, is unlikely to be able to take full advantage of record prices, exporters and analysts said, due to drought hitting the soy crop, a recent export tax hike and subsidies to keep domestic prices low. Soybean oil prices soared to a record high on Friday after Indonesia effectively banned exports of palm oil, heightening concerns about already depleted global supplies of alternative vegetable oils.

Apr 25  - Ukraine extends temporary curbs for farm exports by rail
Ukraine's state-owned railway company has extended temporary restrictions on the transportation of some agricultural goods over the border to Poland, analysts and officials said on Friday. Ukraine, a major agricultural producer, used to export most of its goods through seaports but since Russia's invasion in February has been forced to export by train via its western border.

Apr 22  - Indonesia to ban exports of palm oil from April 28  - Reuters
Indonesia President Joko Widodo said on Friday he decided to ban exports of cooking oil and its raw material from April 28, until a date to be later decided. He said he would continue to monitor and evaluate the policy until Indonesia has an "abundant and affordable" supply of cooking oil. Indonesia makes cooking oil from palm oil.

Apr 22 - Russian wheat exports supported by stocks, crop outlook - Sovecon
Russia will be able to increase exports in the new July-June season due to high carry-over stocks in the south of the country, a record crop forecast and the expiry of a state export quota, consultancy Sovecon forecast on Thursday. Russian exporters have largely managed to resolve problems with logistics and the transfer of payments caused by Western sanctions imposed on Moscow since late February and are exporting wheat from the Russian side of the Black Sea and sporadically from the Azov Sea.

Apr 22 - IGC sees lower global corn production in 2022/23
The International Grains Council on Thursday forecast that global corn (maize) production would fall by 13 million tonnes in the 2022/23 season to 1.197 billion tonnes reflecting smaller crops in Ukraine and the United States. The inter-governmental body, in its first full assessment of the 2022/23 season, forecast Ukraine's corn crop falling to 18.6 million tonnes, down from the prior season's 41.9 million.

Apr 21  - Ukraine's spring crop planting covers 3 million hectares to date (AgriCensus)
- Ukraine’s spring sowing campaign continues to move forward steadily, with progress advancing by another 551,000 hectares, or 3 percentage points, between April 18-21, according to the latest update from the country's agriculture ministry.
- As of April 21, more than 3 million hectares have been sown, amounting to round 21% of the forecast for spring crops - although the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine makes it difficult to forecast a total planted area. The exact figure is likely to be called in late May, when sowing finishes.

- Today, in some parts of the territories liberated from occupation, work will also be needed to remove landmines from the fields, with regions around Chernihiv, Sumy, and parts of the Kharkiv and Kyiv regions likely to be affected. Even in these regions, the Ministry of Agrarian Policy still expects that at least 60-70% of the area will be able to perform all spring field work on time, with the potential for more land to come into circulation once clearance is complete.

- The most difficult situation is in the temporarily occupied regions and where active hostilities continue around Luhansk, Donetsk, Zaporizhzhia and the Kherson regions. Currently, the forecast for these states is less positive - sowing there can take place in a pessimistic scenario only on 30-40% of the likely planted area, according to an announcement from the First Deputy Minister of Agrarian Policy and Food, Taras Vysotsky in an update from the press service of the Ministry of Agrarian Policy.

In the rest of Ukraine, sowing is going according to plan.

Apr 21  - Ukraine's railway grain movements improving, but still only 55% of potential (AgriCensus)
- Grain shipments by Ukrainian railways have increased in April, but are still only reaching just over half of their potential capability, delegates at a Kyiv-based grains meeting have been told on Wednesday. Grain shipments by rail have increased through the month, with up to 320,000 mt of grains were exported between April 1-19, Valerii Tkachov, Ukrainian railways deputy director of the commercial department said. That was compared to 415,000 mt exported during the whole March, including the volumes loaded at the country's shallow water ports - the last waterborne options available to bulk cargoes after Russia's invasion of Ukraine started in late February.

- The railways can manage around 3,422 carriages per day at full capacity, with each carriage handling around 65 mt meaning the service could deliver around 222,000 mt per day.  Of the total running stock, around 731 wagons can handle grain, giving a maximum capacity of just under 50,000 mt per day and a potential maximum figure of around 1.5 million mt of grain exports per month by rail, Tkachov said. But currently, only 55% of the total shipment potential is being used, with just 39% being used for grains, according to Tkachov. However, while Ukrainian railways are theoretically able to deliver more carriages to the border, the difficulties are now coming from the other side - the European nations bordering Ukraine.

Loading
- Currently, there are 13 border points available for exports, but the industry uses mostly 4 or 5 main terminals as they have capacity to smoothly run logistical chains through them. As such, those terminals have already been extremely busy and carriages are now queuing with some reporting delays that exceed 20 days, while other terminals are half loaded or even empty. The busiest ones were: Izov-Grubeshiv (on the Polish border), Vadul-Siret-Dornesti and Dyakovo-Halmeu (Romanian border) and Mohyliv-Podilskyi-Velchynets (Moldovan border). That congestion also reflects the main trade flows for Ukraine's grain production since the invasion cut off access to the country's Black Sea and Azov Sea ports, with most of the flow from Ukraine now going to Poland's Gdansk or Romania's Constanta.
Other ports that could also play a role have not yet been considered by the industry, and that is also making the logistics more difficult.
“All flow tends to head to Gdansk and Constanta. The more unloading points - the easier it will be for partners to build logistic chains,” Valerii said.

Unprepared
- As most of the exports to the EU have traditionally passed through seaborne options, rail-borne grain logistics were not ready for such a sharp increase in the flow from the country. That means there has been a huge deficit of available carriages on the EU side, with a lack of locomotive traction while some parts of the roads have load restrictions, which in some cases are half of the Ukrainian standards.

Track width
- Ukrainian and European rail tracks also have different widths, making it impossible for carriages to simply pass across the border and bringing further delay and complexity. As such, there are two ways of moving the rail-supplies further into the bloc. According to the first approach, grains can be re-loaded onto European wagons for onward transit. For the second, more difficult way, the Ukrainian wagon itself can be loaded onto an EU trolley - known as a bogie - and moved on, but this method also requires additional attention from operators, as there can be a mismatch of the allowed size, and can result in diminished capacity as wagons are out of internal circulation for longer.
“Even if we move the wagon to bogies, there is still a discrepancy in dimensions - each time it is necessary to coordinate with the carriers that there will be no emergency situations,” Valerii said.

- During the Hedge Club webinar, truck logistics were also discussed, but the market share for road freight export remains very small as grains traditionally have not been moved to other countries by trucks. Thus most operators do not have the necessary licenses and most of the trucks loading grains do not meet the standards required by the European Union, and are therefore also not allowed to leave Ukraine. Nonetheless, with more requirements now seen in the market for delivering Ukrainian grains to Gdansk and Constanta, the rail option is currently the lifeline for Ukraine's exporters.

Apr 21 - Brazil's sugarcane area fell 3.5% last season as soy, corn grow
Farmers in Brazil switched 300,000 hectares of agricultural land from sugarcane to mostly soybeans and corn in the 2021/22 season that ended in March in the world's largest sugar producer, as competition for land increased due to high prices for grains. According to a report by government agency Conab released on Tuesday, the area planted with sugarcane in the country fell 3.5% in 2021/22 compared to the previous season to 8.32 million hectares (20.55 million acres).

Apr 21 - Palm oil demand seen jumping as discount over rivals widens
Palm oil demand is expected to jump in coming months, driven by a widening discount to rival vegetable oils. Higher demand for palm oil could lift Indonesian and Malaysian exports and bring down inventories, supporting prices, which have already jumped 38% so far in 2022 as the war in Ukraine has disrupted supplies of sunflower oil.

Apr 20 - Grain&Oilseeds exports from Ukraine
Ukraine exported ~326k mt grain&oilseeds to EU in April 1-17 2022
•    barley 4.5
•    corn 181.2
•    sorghum 0.5
•    soybean 13.9
•    rapeseed 6.2
•    sunflowerseeds 17.8
•    rapeseedmeal 0.3
•    sunflowermeal 20.1
•    sunfloweroil 73.6
•    rapeseedoil 0.8
•    soybeanoil 6.7

Unfortunately, customs data is still unavailable in Ukraine because of martial law.

Apr 20 - China's March soybean imports from U.S. fall from previous year
China's soybean imports from the United States slid in March from a year earlier, customs data showed, as poor margins curbed buying. The world's top importer of soybeans, China brought in 3.37 million tonnes, down sharply from 7.18 million a year earlier, data from the General Administration of Customs showed.

Apr 20 - Corn farmers in central Brazil worried about drought while country hopes for bumper crop
Dry weather forecast for the second half of April in Brazil's central area, where some of the country's largest grain producing states are located, might limit yields for the 2021/22 second corn crop, experts said. After seeing its first crop affected by the lack of rainfall, Brazil now hopes to harvest an 88.5 million-tonne second crop, which accounts for nearly 75% of its total corn output in a given year.

Apr 19 - China to start fifth 2022 frozen pork buying round on April 22

- China will buy another 40,000 mt of frozen pork for its central state reserves in a move to support further plunging prices on April 22, a notice released by China Merchandised Reserve Management Centre said on Tuesday. The announcement marks the country’s fifth stockpiling batch of this year. The purchase came shortly after the agency completed its fourth stockpiling round last week, during which 40,000 mt of pork was bought for reserves.

- China’s pork prices in the national agricultural wholesales market for agricultural products in the week to April 14 dropped 1% on the week to only CNY 18.21 per kilogramme ($2.85/kg), down 46.9% from a year ago, according to data from the Ministry of Agricultural and Rural Affairs (MARA).

- China has completed four rounds of frozen pork stockpiling so far this year, with 158,000 mt of meat purchased in total for reserves.

- Live hog futures on Dalian Commodity Exchange rebounded strongly on Tuesday, with the most-active contract up 3.4% on the day to CNY 18,030/mt ($2,826/mt) but remained significantly lower than last year's highest recorded level of CNY 29,380/mt ($4,605/mt).

Apr 19  - EU egg prices push higher as costs spiral
Egg prices continue to push upwards in Europe under the impetus of a ‘perfect storm’ of soaring input costs, reduced supplies and high pre-Easter demand.
Average prices across the EU have risen for the tenth week in a row, although the latest weekly increase is the most modest in the last five weeks.
The EU average price for Class A eggs in packing stations in the week ending 10 April was EUR191.10 per 100kg, up by 2.9% week-on-week. This means that the wholesale egg price has now risen by some 32% since the start of 2022.

Some of the steepest increases have been seen in France and Spain, where prices are now about 66% higher than at this time last year.

Even with Easter trade receding into the background in the coming weeks, there is little prospect for lower prices, with escalating fuel and feed prices putting acute pressure on producers’ margins, and with supplies still struggling to recover from last winter’s avian flu crisis.

Apr 19  - Whey prices are settling in Europe and US as demand falters

Market activity for whey powder has recently become calmer in Europe. Whey powder was up by 0.7% w/w in the Netherlands giving a price of €1,470/tonne ($1,586/tonne) last week. AgriMer has reported no change in its whey price, which remains at €1,377/tonne. The Kempten price for whey powder spray started losing ground and fell by 1.3% to €1,475/tonne.

Reduced Chinese demand continues to dampen US whey exports, but overall volume in February finished better than expected, slipping only 4.5%, according to the USDEC. Dry whey prices are mostly lower as steadier production schedules and softer export demand are helping to increase domestic availability.

Whey protein concentrate (WPC) 34% prices are higher. Production is steady, but output falls short of current end user demands. Demand for WPC 34% that meets strict end user requirements is strong, as usual.

Apr 19  - Wheat rises on US dryness concerns
Wheat futures settled higher on Monday (April 18) amid concerns over unfavorable dryness in crop-growing areas of the US Southern Plains. May Chicago wheat settled 24 cents higher at $11.20 1/2 per bushels. Gains in hard wheat markets were greater, with Kansas City up 31 cents at $11.85 and Minneapolis rising 30 1/2 cents at $11.75.

The change in prices reflected last Thursday’s close as US futures markets were closed April 15 in observance of Good Friday.

Spot basis bids for HRW wheat held steady at rail and truck market terminals across the US Southern Plains on Monday, grain dealers said.
Traders were looking for US winter wheat ratings to have edged up in the Monday afternoon Crop Progress report issued after the close, with expectations 33% would now be rated good/excellent versus 32% the prior week.

Apr 19 - U.S. wheat ratings lowest since 1996; corn 4% planted - USDA
The U.S. Department of Agriculture on Monday rated 30% of U.S. winter wheat in good to excellent condition, down two percentage points from a week ago, below an average of analyst expectations and the lowest for this time of year since 1996, underscoring a drought in the Plains wheat belt. Twelve analysts surveyed by Reuters on average had expected the government to rate 33% of the crop as good to excellent, up 1 point from the previous week. Estimates ranged from 29% to 36%.

Apr 19 - Russian wheat prices rise with active exports
Russian wheat export prices rose last week amid active supplies from the country's Black Sea ports, some supplies from the Azov Sea and higher global prices for wheat in Chicago, analysts said on Monday. "Exports are active, but there are some signs of weakening," Dmitry Rylko, the head of the IKAR agriculture consultancy, said.

Apr  18  -  Avian flu hits 28 US states, as PA confirms first cases (AgriCensus)
- The first cases of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) have been confirmed in Pennsylvania in a flock of commercial layer chickens on a Lancaster County poultry farm, marking the first confirmed case of HPAI in the state's commercial poultry since an outbreak in 1983-1984, according to a news release from the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) and the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) over the weekend.
"While there is no risk to the public, and poultry and eggs are safe to eat if cooked properly, HPAI is highly infectious and can be fatal to domestic birds (chickens, ducks, geese, quail, pheasants, guinea fowl and turkeys)," the statement reports.

- As of April 15, 2022, 27 other US states are currently experiencing positive cases of Avian Flu in commercial poultry, but no human cases of the virus have been detected in the United States. Genetic analysis reveals that the virus is being spread by infected wild birds, with wild birds in Pennsylvania confirmed to be infected back in March. A task force will carry out the response plan, which includes public education and outreach as well as minimizing risk factors though "strict biosecurity measures and continued surveillance, testing, and management".

- Trading has suffered because of the spread, as importers like China have blocked imports from many US states with outbreaks. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has also reported implemented measures to protect Canada's poultry from outbreaks by restricting imports of live birds, bird products, and by-products from states affected by HPAI.

Apr 18  - Bird flu, Ukraine war push egg prices higher worldwide
Severe outbreaks of bird flu in the United States and France are tightening global egg supplies and raising prices for the food staple as the war in Ukraine disrupts shipments to Europe and the Middle East. Higher prices are particularly painful for consumers who rely on eggs as a low-cost source of protein and substitute for more expensive meat.

Apr 18  - Russian shipments to curb EU's 2021/22 wheat exports, says Strategie Grains
Strategie Grains on Thursday lowered its forecast for European Union soft wheat exports this season, with the consultancy's monthly cereals report citing significant shipments from Russia despite its invasion of Ukraine. The French firm cut its estimate of EU soft wheat exports in the 2021/22 season to June to 31.4 million tonnes from the 32.5 million forecast in March, when it had anticipated a bigger shift in demand from Ukrainian and Russian supplies towards EU wheat.

Apr 18  - Ukraine says grain on ships in blocked Black Sea ports may deteriorate
Around 1.25 million tonnes of grains and oilseeds are still on commercial vessels blocked in Ukrainian seaports due to Russia's invasion and part of the cargo may deteriorate in the near future, Ukraine's farm minister was quoted as saying on Friday. Ukraine used to export almost all its grain and oilseeds via seaports and now is forced to find new routes as its ports are blocked.

Apr 18  - Truckers in Argentina end protest that threatened grains transport  - ministry
Argentinian truckers agreed on Thursday night to call off a strike that had paralyzed grains transport in the country since Monday, the transport ministry said. Truckers represented by the Federation of Argentine Carriers (FETRA) had been demanding higher freight rates and talks with the government on Wednesday failed to make progress.

Apr 15  - Dairy Price Update: Dairy prices in Europe shrug off concerns about slowing Chinese demand

- European milk production remains unimpressive
- French butter prices break through €7,000/tonne level
- WMP trade in Europe relatively subdued as Easter approaches

Most European dairy commodity prices continued their advance this week. Valuations have seemingly ignored concerns creeping into the market from other parts of the world, as European reality remains dominated by a specific constellation of limited production, rising input costs and stable demand.

- Global dairy prices are retreating from record highs as demand from China has slowed, after the country was hit by a new wave of Covid-19 that resulted in lockdowns in several cities, including the financial capital of Shanghai. This has affected commodities in recent weeks and the commodities most affected by the fall are those that China regularly buys such as whole milk powder and butter, yet in Europe the impact has been minimal this week. The EU is heading towards its peak production period; however this is not yet showing in the numbers as milk production is essentially stagnating behind levels seen in the previous year.

- Even though the price of milk has increased for European farmers, so has the cost of everything needed to produce milk. Farmers are being paid more but not necessarily getting more, which is destabilising the market. Farmers reportedly want to increase production by buying heifers, but with as all farm inputs there is also a shortage in heifers and the renewal of livestock biological resources takes time. The cost of feed is limiting farmer enthusiasm for expanding production. Aside from feed, fertiliser prices and availability this grazing season will also be a key factor, with farmers expected to cut back on fertiliser use. Effectively, this means that rising input costs are going to put a dampener on the possibilities for a rapid increase in milk production this year in Europe.

- French butter prices have led the way, having now pushed above the €7,000/tonne ($7,582/tonne) level. One of the reasons is that the price of French butter has been dragging behind the respective valuations in Germany and the Netherlands, thus making it much more attractive for buyers. The AgriMer price is up by 4.4% week-on-week at €7,119/tonne, while the German Kempten price for industrial (bulk) butter that reached $7,300/tonne last week, now started receding slightly. The Kempten price weakened by 2.7%, at €7,100/tonne, now roughly on par with the price in France. The Dutch ZuivelNL value is down by 1.4% at €7,250/tonne – the highest level among the three exchanges.

- Whole milk powder (WMP) prices on the New Zealand futures market continued to fall as in recent days. Despite the lower milk production in most countries of the world, prices fell mainly due to a strong retraction in purchases from China (high stocks, logistical difficulties, closures by Covid and non-validation of prices that had reached in the world market for dairy products). Trade in WMP is meanwhile rather quiet in Europe just ahead of Easter holidays, with scant volumes of raw material available in Germany, at least. Prices are stable to firm. In France, the price has remained unchanged at €4,935/tonne, a price which is still below valuations in Germany and the Netherlands. The ZuivelNL value is up by 1.9% to €5,290/tonne. The Kempten price is also up but by 0.5% w/w to €5,425/tonne, the highest valuation of the three exchanges.

- The European market for food-grade skim milk powder (SMP) has roughly followed the lead of industrial butter with the AgriMer price driving gains as it moved up 4.3% higher, at €4,339/tonne. The Dutch price failed to move from the previous valuation of €4,240/tonne, while the price at Kempten is up by 0.6% at €4,310/tonne. The market for SMP is currently calming down, which is attributed to the Easter holidays, the beginning of Ramadan and the partial lockdown in China. As indicated earlier, the slowdown is mainly affecting the world market, while negotiations are still going on in the European domestic market. Manufacturers in Germany are reportedly facing a list of orders and are struggling to meet delivery obligations.

- Market activity for whey powder has recently become calmer in Europe. Whey powder is up by 0.7% in the Netherlands giving a price of €1,470/tonne. AgriMer has reported no change in its whey price, which remains at €1,377/tonne. The Kempten price for whey powder spray started losing ground and fell by 1.3% to €1,475/tonne.

Apr 15  - Market Briefing: Meat and Livestock (IHSmarkit)

- EU pig producers still struggling to turn a profit despite price recovery.
- Mexican pork consumption to rebound from Covid shocks.
- Philippines lifts BSE-related ban on British beef.
- Egg prices stay high in Europe and US following avian flu losses.

Production
- Although pig prices are approaching record-high levels in the EU, many producers are still operating at a loss, or with minimal profit. With energy and feed prices at exceptionally high levels, the European Commission’s latest estimate is that the ‘remainder’, or gross profit margin, for pig producers in March averaged around EUR5 per 100kg. This compares with estimated remainders of EUR5 in January, and zero in February. By contrast, the ten-year average remainder for pig producers is just under EUR50 per 100kg. Similar pressures are apparent in Brazil and also in China, where producers are currently estimated to be losing an average of more than CNY260 (USD41) per pig.

Demand
-Mexican pork consumption is forecast to increase in 2022, strongly rebounding from Covid-related economic shocks due to recoveries in the hotel, restaurant and institution (HRI) and retail sectors. New forecasts from the USDA attaché in Mexico City suggest pork consumption will rise to 2.450 million tonnes (carcass weight equivalent) this year, up 6% y/y. Meanwhile, a report from the USDA attaché in Ankara says Turkish beef consumption will stagnate in 2022 because of high market prices and a lack of growth in cattle numbers. Beef consumption has remained stable at around 14.5kg per capita since 2019 due to a combination of high prices and weak purchasing power – a situation subsequently made worse by Covid-19 restrictions.

Trade
- The UK has been given the green light to resume beef and cattle exports to the Philippines, a country that had been ramping up purchases of British beef before imposing a ban in October last year. The original suspension was put in place following a case of classical bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) in England in September 2021. Following reassurances over the safety of British beef, the Philippines has lifted the ban with immediate effect. Prior to the ban, the Philippines was one of the fastest growing markets for British beef, upping purchases by 64% year-on-year to 3,900 tonnes in the first seven months of 2021. Elsewhere, South Africa is coming under growing pressure to remove tariffs on poultry imports as inflationary pressures threaten to make chicken meat unaffordable to many low-income consumers.

Prices
- Prices for eggs have continued to push upwards in Europe over the past week, under the impetus of the ‘perfect storm’ of soaring input costs, reduced supplies and high pre-Easter demand. The EU average price for Class A eggs in packing stations in the week ending 10 April was EUR191.10 per 100kg, up by 2.9% week-on-week. This means that the wholesale egg price has now risen by some 32% since the start of 2022.

- EU broiler prices, meanwhile, are continuing to set new records, as the same supply-demand-cost squeeze pushes the market ever higher. Similar trends are apparent in the US, where egg prices remain high in the US as highly pathogenic avian flu (HPAI) takes its toll on production levels. Despite dipping slightly in recent days, prices for New York shell eggs are still up 185% y/y at $2.91 per dozen, while Midwest large grade A shell egg prices are up 220% y/y at $2.88 cents per dozen.

Apr 14 - FranceAgriMer cuts outlook for wheat exports outside EU
FranceAgriMer on Wednesday lowered its forecast for French soft wheat exports outside the European Union this season, citing uncompetitive French prices in a world market roiled by the war between major grain suppliers Russia and Ukraine. The farm office projected France's soft wheat exports to non-EU destinations in the 2021/22 season that ends in June at 9.5 million tonnes, down from 9.7 million estimated in March.

Apr 14 - Russian, Bulgarian wheat cheapest on C&F basis in Egypt tender

 Wheat from Russia and Bulgaria was offered at the lowest prices, including ocean shipping costs, in the second round of Egypt's wheat purchase tender on Wednesday, traders said. A rare offer from Germany was cheapest free on board (FOB), but German wheat had higher ocean shipping costs than Black Sea countries closer to Egypt, the traders said.

Apr 14 - Argentina trucker strike talks fail, threatening grains exports
Argentine grain-truck drivers, industry groups and government officials failed to make a breakthrough in talks on Wednesday to end a strike, raising a threat to corn and soy exports during the key harvest season. Truckers who haul grains have been on strike since Monday, which has brought to a near halt the transport of soy and corn to the South American country's main grains ports. The truckers are demanding higher freight rates to offset rising fuel prices.

Apr 14 - India allows duty-free imports of cotton until Sept to cool prices

India on Wednesday allowed duty-free imports of cotton until Sept. 30 as prices in the local market jumped to a record high because of a drop in the production, the government said in a notification. The world's biggest producer of the fibre also removed the Agriculture Infrastructure and Development Cess (AIDC) on the imports, the government said.

Apr 13 - GASC bought 350kt, 50kt Bulgarian, 240kt French and 60kt Russian.

- GASC tend to spend very close to 1.5billion annually on wheat purchases. As we stand and including todays purchase, they have spent around $1.4billion, at current prices to stay within a $1.5billion spend they have buying capacity for around $300kt (at $491/tonne CnF).

- Basis levels are high, they are highest to second highest premium over futures for the season when they typically drop.

Apr 13 - China's March soybean imports fall on year on cargo delay
China's imports of soybeans slid in March from the previous year's figure, customs data showed on Wednesday, as bad weather delayed the harvest and exports from top supplier Brazil. The world's top importer of soybeans brought in 6.35 million tonnes of the oilseed in March, down 18% from 7.77 million a year earlier, General Administration of Customs data showed.

Apr 13 - EU plans to counter Russia with food diplomacy in North Africa, Balkans
The EU aims to address rising wheat and fertilizer prices and expected shortages in the Balkans, North Africa and the Middle East with "food diplomacy" to counter Russia's narrative on the impact of its Ukraine invasion, EU diplomats and officials say. Food insecurity was causing "resentment" in vulnerable countries in these regions, while Moscow was portraying the crisis as a consequence of Western sanctions on Russia, one European Union diplomat said.

Apr 12  - Biden's year-round E15 sales plans could boost corn demand (AgriCensus)
- US corn demand and ethanol sales are set to climb as a result of President Joe Biden's plans to boost the use of "home-grown" biofuels in a bid to cut rising pump prices, especially the temporary year-round use of the E15 ethano blend. Sources told Agricensus on Tuesday that Biden's decision, published in a White House statement on April 12, could soon add about 15 mbu of additional corn demand.

- As per the statement, Biden revealed today that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) would allow the sale of E15 gasoline this summer, which the White House said marks the "latest step in expanding Americans’ access to affordable fuel supply and bringing relief to Americans suffering from "Putin’s Price Hike at the pump." According to the White House, the EPA will issue a national, emergency waiver on April 12, allowing E15 to be sold from June 1st to September 15th — final action for which will take place "closer to June 1".

- The news resulted in an uptick in corn futures, which traded up by around 1.5% early Tuesday and currently sit near all-time highs, while shares of US ethanol producer Green Plains rose by approximately 6% on the news. Meanwhile, shares in the refining company Valero - one of the largest ethanol producers in the US - was up by some 2% on Tuesday morning. Senior grain and oilseed commodity analyst at Futures International Terry Reilly told Agricensus that the short-term waiver granting the sale of E15 this summer will bring about "zero" change in terms of corn demand. However, "long term, if it stands, I look for corn for ethanol use to go up 100 million bushels, then 200 only if gas station adapt to it," Reilly said, adding that the rule would benefit Midwestern states and "then others after investment."

Most of the 2,500 E15 stations are located in the US Midwest.

Apr 12 - Russian war worsens fertilizer crunch, risking food supplies - AP
https://apnews.com/c6a2d11380d3cb0c48d4c22703d1954e

Apr 12  - Argentine grain truckers strike, threatening exports amid harvest
Truckers in Argentina began an open-ended strike on Monday to demand higher rates for transporting grain and livestock, an action that could hit grain exports during a key part of the harvest. Argentina, the world's leading exporter of soy derivatives and second-largest corn exporter, recently started harvesting both grains, which will be key for tight global markets amid Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

Apr 12 - Record wheat crop, high stocks to help India meet rising global demand
Bumper harvests and overflowing grain bins will help India to meet wheat import needs of the world's top buyers as Russia's Ukraine invasion hits supplies from the Black Sea region, a top government official said. India, the world's second biggest wheat producer, is prepared to meet any extra demand for wheat from buyers in south Asia and Southeast Asia, and also from countries further afield in Europe, West Asia and North Africa. Ukraine is a major producer of grains but exports have been disrupted since the Russian invasion in February.

Apr 12 - U.S. wheat ratings improve; corn planting still 2% complete - USDA
The U.S. Department of Agriculture on Monday rated 32% of U.S. winter wheat in good to excellent condition, up two percentage points from a week ago and above an average of analyst expectations, but still among the poorest ratings on record for this time of year as drought persisted in the Plains wheat belt. Ten analysts surveyed by Reuters on average had expected the government to rate 30% of the crop as good to excellent, unchanged from the previous week. Estimates ranged from 27% to 34%.

Apr 11 - U.S. curbs Russian access to foreign fertilizers and valves
The United States on Friday broadened its export curbs against Russia and Belarus, restricting access to imports of items such as fertilizer and pipe valves as it seeks to ratchet up pressure on Moscow and Minsk following the Russian invasion of Ukraine. President Joe Biden's administration also restricted flights of American-made aircraft that are owned, controlled or leased by Belarusians from flying into Belarus "as part of the U.S. government's response to Belarus's actions in support of Russia's aggressive conduct in Ukraine."

Apr 11 - Malaysia's end-March palm oil stocks hit one-year low as demand jumps
Malaysia's palm oil inventories at the end of March shrank for a fifth consecutive month as a larger-than-expected rise in exports and plunge in imports outweighed strong production growth, Malaysian Palm Oil Board (MPOB) data showed on Monday. Stockpiles in the world's second-largest producer fell 2.99% from February to 1.47 million tonnes, the lowest since March 2021, according to MPOB data.

Apr 08  - Indian wheat shipments to Indonesia waylaid by certification snag (AgriCensus)

- Wheat exports from India to Indonesia have been suspended temporarily after essential food safety test laboratory licenses have lapsed, trade sources have told Agricensus Friday. The expiration of the licenses is likely to dent a recent export surge for Indian wheat, just weeks after the country's prime minister urged traders to seize the opportunity that fighting in the Black Sea has lent to alternative wheat exporters.  However, Indonesia had paused imports of wheat coming from India after the licenses for food safety testing laboratories in India failed to be renewed on time, resulting in the labs losing their accreditation status. A “Certificate of Analysis” by accredited testing labs is required for wheat imports to enter Indonesia.

- The licenses were said to be valid until March 25, and as such any shipments that departed after March 26 are likely to have been affected. The suspension includes not only wheat, but other agricultural products - although no exhaustive list was available.  According to reports from local news outlets in India, government officials from both India and Indonesia have been in discussion since the suspension was imposed to resolve the issue, with one official expressing hope that shipments will be allowed to resume in the coming days. However, trade sources also told Agricensus that the situation could take up to 30 days to resolve. As such, some buyers have also put their buying on hold, preferring to wait to commit to further purchases until a clearer timeline is established.
“I bought some volume for April-June… but now I've stopped [due to this issue]. The seller said it will be resolved in 30 days, but who knows so I don’t want to take more exposure from India until things are clearer,” an Indonesia-based buyer told Agricensus.

- Indian wheat has been sought after by importing countries, especially in Asia in recent weeks as an alternative option after wheat supply from the Black Sea region was cut off due to the ongoing Russia-Ukraine conflict. Indian wheat has also priced more competitively against Australian wheat, with the latest offers for August feed wheat heard at $330/mt FOB India for Indian 11.5% against $357/mt FOB East Coast Australia for feed wheat. For the time being, buyers note that the suspension is unlikely to cause significant disruption to Indonesia’s wheat supply. However, the issue could pose further challenges if shipments do not resume in two months.

Apr 8 - Estimate for Argentina's soybean harvest could fall due to frosts - Grains Exchange
Argentina's 2021/22 soybean production could fall below the current estimate of 42 million tonnes due to the impact of new early frosts in farming areas over the last week, the Buenos Aires Grains Exchange (BdeC) said on Thursday. The BdeC has already made cuts in its production forecast, but because of a drought and heat waves in important agricultural areas at the start of the year.

Apr 8 - India's sugar sales to race to record high as summer demand peaks
After two years of lull, India's sugar consumption is set to hit record highs in the current summer season as demand from bulk consumers such as cold drink and ice cream-makers rises after the lifting of COVID-19 restrictions, industry officials said. India's sugar consumption in the 2021/22 marketing year that ends on Sept. 30 is set to rise by nearly 3% from a year ago to an all-time high of 27.2 million tonnes, according to the Indian Sugar Mills Association (ISMA).

Apr 08 - Brazil to harvest 10 million mt of wheat; export 3.5 M mt: StoneX

- Brazil’s wheat production and exports are expected to hit a record high volume amid lower supply availability in the international market intensified by the conflict in Ukraine, stimulating the country’s wheat producers to invest in the crop also due to the current increase in prices, both in domestic and foreign markets.

- The country’s planted area is expected to reach 3.4 million hectares, 20.6% up from the previous year, while production is forecast at 10 million mt, consultancy StoneX staid on Thursday. Earlier this morning, the country’s food agency Conab forecast a 7.9 million mt production estimate, up from last year’s 7.6 million mt, while the planted area was forecast at 2.7 million mt.   

- Exports are expected at 3.5 million mt, also a record. In the first quarter of the year, Brazil’s exports reached 2.1 million mt, versus 490,658 mt in the same period in 2021, Brazil’s grain exporters' association Anec showed on Tuesday. Last year, Brazil’s total exports reached 1.1 million mt, while the country harvested 7.6 million mt of wheat and imported 6.2 million mt.
"It is important to highlight that in face of a favorable exchange rate and competitive prices, Brazil has become a potential exporter of wheat, something new for the country," said StoneX's risk management consultant, Jonathan Pinheiro.

- Brazil usually imports wheat, mainly from neighbouring Argentina, as domestic output satisfies only about half of its demand. In 2022, Brazil is expected to import 6.5 million mt, StoneX estimates, while demand is expected to reach 12 million mt.

Apr 7 - No poop for you: Manure supplies run short as fertilizer prices soar
For nearly two decades, Abe Sandquist has used every marketing tool he can think of to sell the back end of a cow. Poop, after all, needs to go somewhere. The Midwestern entrepreneur has worked hard to woo farmers on its benefits for their crops. Now, facing a global shortage of commercial fertilizers made worse by Russia's invasion of Ukraine, more U.S. growers are knocking on his door. Sandquist says they're clamoring to get their hands on something Old MacDonald would swear by: old-fashioned animal manure.

Apr 7 - Brazil's GMO sugarcane area to nearly double this year, company says
Brazilian farmers are set to nearly double the area planted with transgenic sugarcane in the season starting this month, the world's main supplier of the genetically modified (GMO) crop, Centro de Tecnologia Canavieira (CTC), told Reuters. CTC estimates that new cane varieties resistant to stem-boring insects will cover 70,000 hectares in the 2022/23 crop cycle, up from 37,000 hectares last year in Brazil, one of the biggest sugar producers in the world.

Apr 06  - EU grain exports to increase by 14% in 2021/2022 to 49 million mt: EC
- EU grain exports could rise by 14% this marketing year to 49 million metric tonnes (mt), including an additional 5.6 million mt of soft wheat, according to the latest forecast published by the European Commission.
- In its spring Short-Term Outlook for EU Agricultural markets, the EC’s department for agriculture and rural development said total 2021/22 EU cereals production was projected to reach 293.3 million mt, a 4.3% increase year-on-year.
“Thanks to a substantial increase in EU cereal production in 2021 and ample availability, EU exports of cereals in 2021/22, which were already on the rise before the Russian invasion of Ukraine, are forecast to increase by 14% to 48.9 million mt,” the report said.
“Most of the export growth is forecast for soft wheat with an expected additional 5.6 million t compared to the previous season.”

- EU grain imports were meanwhile expected to shrink as a result of the war and resulting curtailment of exports from Ukraine and Russia.
- These are now forecast at 18.9 million mt, down 10% compared with 2020/21.
- Ukraine is the main source of imported corn for the EU, (6.5 million mt in 2020/21) and a key supplier of wheat.


- Looking ahead to 2022/2023, the EC said it expected sowing areas to be above the current year, with winter wheat and winter barley expected to cover 20.7 million ha and 4.8 million ha respectively, both up 1% on 2021/2022. The area under corn production was also expected to increase due to the temporary relaxation of 'greening of land' rules following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and record-high prices, although no figure was given for this. Durum wheat sowing area is expected to shrink by 4% to 2.1 million ha.
“Assuming average weather developments during spring and summer, total EU cereals production could reach 297.7 million mt in 2022/23 (+1.5% year-on-year), with soft wheat production forecast at 131.3 million mt,” the report said.
“Net exports of EU cereals are due to increase by 11.5 million mt to 41.4 million mt, almost 40% more.”

Apr 6 - Traders ask Ukraine government to cancel wheat export curbs
Ukraine's traders union UGA has asked the government to cancel wheat export curbs as stocks are very high and the shipments would not affect Ukrainian food security, the union said on Tuesday. In March, Ukraine introduced export licences for wheat, corn and sunflower oil. Two weeks later, the government cancelled export restrictions on corn and sunoil.

Apr 6 - Egypt's wheat imports from Russia rose in March despite war
Egypt, often the world's top wheat buyer, saw a rise in imports of the grain from Russia in March despite supply and payment disruptions following its invasion of Ukraine that also drove traders to seek shipments from other suppliers. Egypt received 479,195 tonnes of wheat from Russia in March, 24% up from the same month last year, according to freight data seen by Reuters. Ukrainian wheat imports stood at 124,500 tonnes, down 42% year-on-year.

Apr 05 - Ukraine traders call for wheat exports to restart amid high stocks (AgriCensus)
- The Ukrainian Grain Association has appealed to the country's agriculture and economy ministries to end a license system introduced after the Russian invasion in late February that has effectively stopped wheat exports from the country, arguing that Ukraine has ample stocks of wheat to meet its needs. In a statement Tuesday, the association said Ukraine had “surplus transitional stocks from last year's harvest and grain exports are hampered by blocking Ukrainian seaports,” UGA said.
“Revoking the export license will simplify the mechanism of wheat exports and free up storage capacity for the new crop.”

- In an official decree dated March 5, the Ukrainian government banned the export of basic products, including sunflower oil and barley, and restricted grain exports after the invasion began February 24, 2022. The export of wheat was limited by government-issued licenses, which trade sources said were difficult to obtain and therefore made wheat exports almost impossible. Two weeks ago, the Ukrainian government removed the ban on corn and sunflower oil exports, but left the wheat license system in place. Traders are keen to resume exports of wheat as well, and argue there is plenty left to sell.
“Given the pandemic and the government's desire to create record transitional balances, grain growers have confirmed their readiness to export only 25.3 million tons of wheat, as enshrined in the Memorandum of Understanding between the government and relevant associations,” UGA said.
“As of March 1, only 18.2 million tons of wheat out of the planned 25.3 million tons were exported.”

- Both Ukraine and Russia are major suppliers of wheat to global market, and the restriction in supplies from the region have led to concerns about food security particularly in African and Middle Eastern nations. However, while the trade has found imaginative ways to move grains to potential export markets, there remain significant obstacles to bulk exports with all Ukrainian deep water ports effectively shut down.

Apr 5 - U.S. winter wheat rated 30% good-excellent, corn 2% planted -USDA
The U.S. Department of Agriculture, in its first weekly crop progress report for 2022, on Monday rated 30% of U.S. winter wheat in good to excellent condition, below the lowest in a range of trade expectations and down from 53% a year ago. Eleven analysts surveyed by Reuters on average had expected the government to rate 40% of the crop as good to excellent. Estimates ranged from 32% to 47%.

Apr 5 - Ukraine vegetable oil exports seen halted through June -Strategie Grains
A virtual halt to Ukrainian vegetable oil production and exports due to war with Russia may continue until June before gradually resuming from July, adding to supply tensions in European oilseed markets, consultancy Strategie Grains said. Russia and Ukraine are both major exporters of cereals and oilseeds and account for about 80% of global exports of sunflower oil.

Apr 04  - Ukraine's grain exports held up as railways struggle to cope – analyst
Ukraine's railways are struggling with a backlog of grain wagons on the country's western border as traders look for alternative export routes after Russia's invasion blocked off the main Black Sea ports, analyst APK-Inform said on Saturday. Ukraine was the world's fourth-largest grain exporter in the 2020/21 season, according to International Grains Council data, with most of its commodities shipped out via the Black Sea.

Apr 04  - India starts supplying rice to Sri Lanka in first major food aid
Indian traders have started loading 40,000 tonnes of rice for prompt shipment to Sri Lanka in the first major food aid since Colombo secured a credit line from New Delhi, two officials told Reuters on Saturday. The Indian Ocean island nation of 22 million people is struggling to pay for essential imports after a 70% drop in foreign exchange reserves in two years led to a currency devaluation and efforts to seek help from global lenders.

Apr 01 - Market Briefing: Dairy (IHSmarkit)

- Argentina’s milk production reverts course in February
- Arla Foods exploring raw milk exports from UK
- WMP price on Kempten rises 3.3% w/w to €5,300/tonne

Production
- Argentina’s milk output increased by 3.6% y/y in February to 815.9 million litres, to the highest level recorded in that month over the past five years.
- Milk supply in the EU is expected to continue going up weekly in this part of the year, following the end of the cold period. However European production is still lagging behind expectations.
- Although milk deliveries to German dairies increased by less than half a percentage point in week 11, this remains almost 2% below comparable deliveries last year. Milk collection in France is below the same week in 2021.

Demand
- The infant formula industry has faced challenges over the past year due to the continued decline in the birth rate in China. Still, Hong Kong-based formula milk powder manufacturer Ausnutria reported an 11% y/y higher turnover of €1.23 billion ($1.3 billion) in 2021.
- Cream is accessible to butter makers in the US Northeast, but its availability continues to tighten as production of ice cream and other cream-based seasonal items pulls cream away from churns.

Trade
- Britain’s largest dairy cooperative, Arla Foods, has announced it will explore opportunities to begin exporting raw milk from the UK to its European processing sites to supply Arla’s global supply chain.
- Mozzarella exporters will have easier access to Brazil’s market after Brazilian authorities cut import tariffs on mozzarella cheese from 28% to zero until the end of this year, although the domestic industry is unhappy.

Price
- GDT, an auction platform owned by Fonterra, has announced the trial introduction of more frequent and streamlined auctions known as GDT Pulse that will launch in trial version this year. Pulse will initially offer Fonterra WMP.
- Tesco will step up its support for the British dairy industry by increasing the price it pays for all its fresh milk by nearly 20%, with the price increasing from 34.16 p per litre today to 40.84 p per litre in May.
- WMP prices are continuing their rise in France and Germany, as buyers struggle to source product. The AgriMer WMP value has settled at €4,935/tonne, after rising by 3.4% w/w. The Kempten price adjusted 3.3% higher week-on-week, at €5,300/tonne.

Apr 01 - U.S. farmers plan to cut corn, wheat plantings despite strong demand
U.S. farmers plan to cut their seedings of both corn and wheat in 2022 even as domestic wheat supplies are at their lowest in 14 years and demand for both grains is rising following Russia's invasion of Ukraine that disrupted shipments from those key suppliers. Growers were planning to plant their largest soybean acreage ever, the U.S. Agriculture Department said on Thursday, as the high input costs associated with growing corn and wheat made the oilseed a more attractive crop.

Apr 01 - Russia bans sunflower seed exports, imposes quota on sunoil
Russia will ban exports of sunflower seeds from Friday until the end of August and impose an export quota on sunflower oil to avoid shortages and ease pressure on domestic prices, its agriculture ministry said on Thursday. The government has approved the ban and quotas among other measures aimed at stabilising domestic prices for agriculture produce.

Mar 31  - Russia introduces quotas for sunoil, sunmeal; bans sunflower, rapeseed exports (AgriCensus)
- The Russian government is introducing quotas for the export of sunflower oil and meal as well as a temporary ban on the export of sunflower and rapeseed seeds, local media reports said on Thursday. The quotas are being introduced to protect the domestic market and meet the needs of processing enterprises, the reports said.

- The Russian government has announced a quota of 1.5 million mt for sunflower oil and 700,000 mt for sunflower meal from April 15 to August 31, 2022. In addition, the Russian government will impose a temporary ban on the export of sunflower and rapeseed seeds from April 1 to August 31, 2022.

- The government's intervention in the oil and fat industry came after Russia's military incursion into Ukraine led to the blockage of port infrastructure in Ukraine, the largest producer and exporter of sunflower oil in the world, which led to a shortage of sunflower oil supply and subsequent price rise. Export of sunflower oil within the quota can only be carried out by direct producers of sunflower oil, according to sources based in Russia. The quota for sunflower oil remains unclear, and when analysed by market participants, some consider the volume of the quota sufficient while others say that Russian producers could export up to 2 million tons by the end of the 2021/22 season.

- From September 1, 2021, exports of sunflower oil from Russia are taxed at 70% of the difference between the floating base price based on data from the Reuters news feed, while the floor price is set at $1,000 per ton. The export duty will be valid until August 31, 2022.

- However, now that Reuters has exited the Russian market, the floating reference price will be based on data from IGC and Argentine ports. (?)

- From April 1, 2022, export duty will increase by $52.9/mt or by 20.3% compared with the March indicator and will total $313/mt, according to a March 14 publication from the Ministry of Agriculture of the Russian Federation.

- According to March USDA estimates, the export of sunflower oil from Russia was estimated at 3.65 million mt, sunflower meal at 1.8 million mt.

Mar 30  - India buys Russian sunoil at record high price as Ukraine supplies halt
India has contracted 45,000 tonnes of Russian sunflower oil at a record high price for shipments in April as edible oil prices in the local market surged after supplies from rival Ukraine stopped, five industry officials told Reuters. Sunflower oil from Russia could help the world's biggest edible oil importer in easing the shortfall at a time when availability of vegetable oils is stretched because of Indonesia's decision to restrict palm oil supplies and lower soybean crop in South America.

Mar 30  - Egyptian delegation to visit India to discuss wheat imports
A delegation from Egypt will visit India in the first week of April to facilitate wheat imports as part of efforts to secure supplies and tide over shortages at one of the world's biggest importers of the staple, Indian government sources said. Egypt, often the world's biggest wheat importer, is reeling from a surge in bread and flour prices after Russia's invasion of Ukraine closed off access to lower-priced Black Sea wheat.

Mar 30  - Tunisia tenders for 150,000 T wheat, 100,000 T barley
- traders
Tunisia's state grains agency has issued international tenders to purchase an estimated 150,000 tonnes of soft wheat and 100,000 tonnes of animal feed barley, European traders said on Tuesday. The origin was optional. The deadline for submission of price offers in the tender is Wednesday, March 30.

Mar 30  - Turkey trims corn import tender purchase to 100,000 T, traders say
Turkish grain board TMO booked about 100,000 tonnes of corn in an international tender for imported supplies on Monday, scaling back an initial volume of 300,000 tonnes, traders said. The tender sought about 325,000 tonnes for shipment from optional origins to a series of Turkish ports between April 8 and May 5.

Mar 29  - Low Brazil corn availability expected to remain through to June (AgriCensus)
- The combination of low existing stocks, losses to Brazil's first corn crop, and an increase in global prices in response to supply fears stemming from Russia's invasion of Ukraine will keep corn availability lower than usual in Brazil until the second 'safrinha' corn crop starts to be harvested, trade sources have told Agricensus. That will extend the period of tight availability in the country - one of the world's biggest corn exporters - through until late June or even July, trade sources said.

- While it would normally be expected to have less corn available in the Brazilian market from March to May, the period between the harvest of the first and the second corn crop, trade sources say the volume is likely to be even lower than normal levels. Brazil started the season with 8-9 million mt of corn in stocks, versus an average level of 15 million mt, with stock levels depleted by strong demand and poor growing conditions during last year's season.

- This year's season has started with similar hot, dry conditions that mean the first corn crop has now been forecast at 20 million mt, some 7 million mt below initial expectations, Céleres consultancy analyst Enilson Nogueira told Agricensus. Local consultancy Safras & Mercado calculates a similar picture, estimating the current availability of corn at 10-12 million mt. That considered domestic demand of around 12 million mt, along with 2 million mt of exports for February and March and a 21 million mt first corn crop harvest.

- Initial stocks this season were around 3.7 million mt, according to Safras, while last year they’ve reached 6.5 million mt.

Mar 29  - Russian wheat exports via Black Sea steady, domestic grain prices rally
Russia kept its wheat exports steady via its Black Sea ports last week as Azov Sea routes remain restricted, analysts said on Monday, while domestic prices for the grain continued to rally because of the recent weakening of the rouble. Western sanctions imposed on Russia for what Moscow calls "a special military operation" in Ukraine have complicated trade logistics and transactions in foreign banks for many Russian firms in the last four weeks.

Mar 29  - France to help Egypt secure wheat supplies in coming months, minister says
France will ensure that Egypt gets the wheat it needs in the coming months as the war in Ukraine creates supply risks for grain importing countries, French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said on Monday. Egypt, among the world's biggest wheat importers, is heavily reliant on shipments from Ukraine and Russia and its government has been seeking alternative supplies from countries including India and France.

Mar 29  - Turkey buys 300,000 T of corn in import tender, traders say
Turkish grain board TMO provisionally bought about 300,000 tonnes of corn on Monday in an international tender for imported supplies, traders said. The tender sought about 325,000 tonnes for shipment from optional origins to a series of Turkish ports between April 8 and May 5.

Mar 29  - Algeria issues wheat tender - traders
Algerian state grains agency OAIC has issued an international tender to buy milling wheat, traders said on Monday. The deadline for bids is on Wednesday, they said.

Mar 28  - China's hog farmers face long slog in return to profit
China's pig farmers, suffering record losses due to surging feed costs and weak hog demand, are switching to lower quality grain from pricier soymeal and even selling off assets in a bid for survival. The pain across the world's largest hog market, however, could last until next year, said analysts, shrinking incomes across China's rural economy and likely reducing imports of soybeans and meat by the world's top buyer for a second year.

Mar 28  - Funds avoid CBOT grain, oilseed shorts while awaiting U.S. plantings  - Braun
Speculators’ gross short bets in Chicago grains and oilseeds have been historically light this month ahead of the highly anticipated U.S. growing season and next week’s planting survey, which has a reputation for volatility. Market participants have also been trying to assess the short- and long-term impacts of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, now in its second month.

Mar 28  - Ukraine's grain export situation worsening by the day, says agriculture minister
Ukraine's new agriculture minister Mykola Solskyi on Saturday said Ukraine's ability to export grains was getting worse by the day and would only improve if the war with Russia ends. Speaking in a televised briefing, Solskyi said Ukraine, one of the world's top grain producers, would normally be exporting 4-5 million tonnes of grain per month - a volume that has fallen to just a few hundred-thousand tonnes.

Mar 28  - Turkey buys 175,000 T of corn in domestic tender, traders say
Turkish grain board TMO provisionally bought about 175,000 tonnes of corn on Friday in a tender for supplies already at warehouses in Turkey, traders said. The reported purchase was in line with the volume TMO had sought in the tender.

Mar 25  - Ukraine gov. removes corn, sunoil from the list of banned exports (AgriCensus)
- The Ukrainian government has removed corn and sunflower oil from the list of products that were officially banned from exports after the Russian invasion more than a month ago, official documents released this week show. The update does not say anything about previously prohibited goods, which suggests that restrictions on their export will remain in place.
- Although the government has tried to simplify the process of issuing licenses as much as possible, Ukrainian businesses are supportive of the decision to exclude corn and sunflower oil from the list of goods prohibited for export. This is due to the fact that, at present, all Ukrainian exports have been stopped due to high risks and active military operations as a result of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
- Something in the region of 95% of Ukraine's agricultural products are exported through the country's Black Sea ports, like Mariupol, Odesa and Mykolaiv. Previously, in an official decree dated March 5, the Ukrainian government banned the export of basic products and restricted grain exports after the invasion began on February 24, 2022.
- The measures restricted the export of essential commodities such as buckwheat, rye, sugar, millet, oats, salt, livestock, cattle meat and other by-products from cattle, wheat, corn, sunflower oil, poultry meat and eggs, as the country expected increased demand during the war. Later, on March 9, the government expanded the list of goods prohibited for export by adding barley and ground or whole rapeseed along with animal or vegetable fertilizers.

Mar 25  - Egypt in talks with Argentina, India and U.S. on wheat imports
Egypt is in talks with Argentina, India, France and the United States for future wheat imports but is in no rush to buy at the moment, the supply minister said on Thursday. Egypt, one of the world's biggest wheat importers, is looking for alternatives to Black Sea grain exports which face disruptions caused by Russia's invasion of Ukraine, both major wheat exporters to Egypt. Global grain prices have soared.

Mar 25  - U.S. and Japan strike deal on beef tariffs
The United States and Japan on Thursday announced an agreement that will allow American farmers and ranchers to meet Japan's growing demand for U.S. beef and lowers the chances of Japan imposing higher tariffs in future, U.S. officials said. The agreement includes a new mechanism that requires three separate conditions to be reached - instead of only one - for Japan to invoke a "safeguard trigger" and impose higher duties on U.S. beef for 30 days.

Mar 24  - Green groups call for EU suspension of crop-based biofuels (AgriCensus)
- A study cited by green industry lobby groups and released Thursday has said the EU’s reliance on crop-based biofuels is contributing to global food insecurity following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and blockade of Black Sea ports — and warrants a complete halt to the use of edible feedstocks such as wheat, corn and vegetable oils. The research was cited in a call by a coalition of environmental NGOs for national governments to suspend the blending of edible crops into biofuels, and for EU policymakers to avoid opening up set-aside land for the growth of crops in view of proposals by the European Commission on Wednesday to improve the bloc’s food security.
“The EU and other countries are using enormous amounts of food crops for biofuels. Cutting those feedstocks out of the EU’s biofuels mix would shield the EU from major supply shortages and would also ease pressure on the world market,” said the study, which was commissioned by Brussels-based NGO Transport & Environment.

- A reduction of wheat used in EU biofuels to zero would compensate for 21% of the total wheat exports of Ukraine and help avoid food insecurity in other countries depending on Ukrainian wheat supplies, the report said. While for corn, the amount turned into biofuels in the EU is equivalent to nearly 60% of the volume imported from Ukraine, or nearly a third of Ukraine’s global exports.
“If the EU would instead use the 3.6 million mt of wheat [used for biofuels] to make bread, this would be equivalent to 76 billion 750g loaves of bread every year, or 15 million per day,” the study said, pointing out that high prices for agricultural commodities risked worsening poverty for low-income Europeans and a potential crisis of hunger in less developed countries.

- If sunflower oil was to be omitted from the EU’s biodiesel market import dependency could be reduced by a third, the report said, adding that this outcome would free up nearly 9% of the sunflower oil supplied by Ukraine to the global market. The study pointed out that the EU’s ability to switch from crop-based feedstocks to waste-based products as used cooking oil or ‘advanced’ materials such as farm and forest residues was also highly limited, while biomethane – touted earlier this month a potential replacement for imports of Russian natural gas – was also limited in terms of available crop-based feedstocks. The report cited figures that biodiesel, oils derived from rapeseed, palm, soy, and sunflower crops make up 78% of total feedstocks in the EU.

- For bioethanol, the role of crop-based feedstocks is even higher, the  report said, with corn, wheat, sugar-based crops (such as sugar beet), and other cereals (including barley and rye) accounting for 96% of feedstock consumption. By press time on Thursday, biofuels lobby groups hadn’t responded formally to the study’s assertions, but some ethanol and biodiesel producers in the past have pointed out that much of the wheat and corn consumed in the EU is animal feed grade rather than for human consumption.

- T&E over the years has been consistent in its opposition to the use of crop-based and standard waste-based feedstocks in road-based biofuels and is lobbying EU policymakers to rapidly phase out combustion engines in favour of battery-powered cars and trucks.  The report came the day after The European Commission said it would support member states that suspend or relax binding biofuels blending mandates and bolster supplies of edible crops for food and feed markets in the wake of price spikes and fears of shortages in key commodities following Russia’s war on Ukraine. The EU’s executive on Wednesday outlined a package of measures to bolster the bloc’s food security in the wake of Russia’s attack on Ukraine, such as turning over land to food production from areas that had been set aside for biodiversity.

Mar 24  - EU offers farmers aid, more land to grow due to Ukraine war
The European Union will distribute 500 million euros ($550 million) to help farmers and allow them to grow crops on fallow land to mitigate food price spikes and potential shortages resulting from Russia's war in Ukraine. Published on Wednesday, the proposals by the EU's executive European Commission also include assistance to Ukraine to help its farmers sow corn and sunflower seeds and tend to wheat.

Mar 24  - As sanctions bite Russia, fertilizer shortage imperils world food supply
Sky-high fertilizer prices have farmers worldwide scaling back its use and reducing the amount of land they're planting, fallout from the Ukraine-Russia conflict that has some agricultural industry veterans warning of food shortages. Western sanctions on Russia, a major exporter of potash, ammonia, urea and other soil nutrients, have disrupted shipments of those key inputs around the globe. Fertilizer is key to keeping corn, soy, rice and wheat yields high. Growers are scrambling to adjust.

Mar 24  - Brazil's BRF gets approval to export pork meat from Mato Grosso plant to Vietnam
Brazilian meatpacker BRF SA was authorized by Vietnam to export pork meat from a Mato Grosso plant and now plans to double its shipments to the Asian country, the company said on Wednesday. The authorization will allow BRF to grow in a strategic geographic market, in line with its plan to increase its relevance in major global consumer centers, BRF's manager for institutional relations, Luiz Tavares, told Reuters.

Mar 24  - Turkey buys 455,000 T milling wheat in tenders, traders say
Turkey's state grain board TMO bought 245,000 tonnes of wheat imports and 210,000 tonnes of wheat delivered from warehouses inside Turkey in tenders that closed on Wednesday, traders said. TMO had issued separate tenders with wheat shipment for imports sought between April 1-April 30 and delivery from warehouses is also sought in the same period.

Mar 23  - Southern Ukraine starts spring grain sowing campaign (AgriCensus)
- Against the backdrop of growing concerns about a possible disruption of the sowing campaign due to ongoing Russian aggression, Ukraine has started the spring sowing campaign with the first grain going into the ground.
- Planting is underway in the south of country in Odesa region, which has been relatively unscathed by the Russian invasion that is now in its fourth week. Farmers had the first thirty thousand hectares of barley already in the ground by March 22, according to data from the country’s agriculture ministry released Tuesday. That accounts for 4% of the expected area to be planted for spring barley.
- According to the regional state administration, around 80% of the region’s farmers have enough supply of seeds and plant protection products (62%) and fuel (46%). A shortage of oil – specifically diesel – is one of the biggest problems encountered so far, as around 70% of the supply used to come from Russia and Belarus, the two countries now hostile to Ukraine.
- Planting of yellow peas has also started in Mykolaiv regions, despite ongoing fighting in the region amid reports that Ukrainian troops have won back territory.

- The head of the Mykolaiv Regional State Administration noted that, although not all territories of the Mykolaiv region have been liberated from occupation yet, the work needs to get underway to secure future supply.Despite fears that spring barley planting will be delayed due to low temperatures, the 2022 planting campaign is already slightly ahead of 2021.
"Even other things being equal, the level of soil freezing would not allow us to fully enter the field," the Minister of Agrarian Policy and Food of Ukraine wrote, adding, that any postponement of work would allow more time to prepare.
- Agricultural producers and government officials could use any delay to accumulate resources, organize work and at the same time invest in optimal agrometeorological terms. The large-scale start of spring field work typically comes at the end of March, with some areas it spills into the first ten days of April, as night time temperatures currently remain negative, while in the north and the east temperatures are regularly reaching as low as minus 12 to minus 10 °C.

Mar 23  - Ukraine 2022 spring crop sowing area could be halved - minister
Ukraine's spring crop sowing area may more than halve this year from 2021 levels to some 7 million hectares, its Agriculture Minister Roman Leshchenko said on Tuesday, versus 15 million hectares expected before the Russian invasion. Ukraine is a major global agriculture producer and exporter, and the hostilities may sharply reduce the 2022 harvest and exports in the forthcoming 2022/23 season.

Mar 23  - Ukraine sunflower scarcity: a boon for olive oil, but hard to swallow for some
A surge in sunflower oil prices after Russia's invasion of Ukraine cut supply has proved an opportunity for producers of one of Spain's best-known products: olive oil. Even after Spanish supermarkets limited the purchase of sunflower oil to a few bottles per person, shelves ran dry, prompting retailers to fill their shelves with the homegrown alternative.

Mar 23  - Egypt pays top dollar for major soyoil purchase
Egypt's state grains buyer said on Tuesday it had bought 80,000 tonnes of soyoil in an international tender for arrival May 5-25, making its biggest and priciest oils purchase in months. This tender marks the first attempt by Egypt's General Authority for Supply Commodities to purchase vegetable oils internationally since Russia's invasion of Ukraine, with the state buyer paying 14% more per tonne of soyoil than it did in its last tender in February.

Mar 23  - Canada's CP Rail to resume operations after arbitration agreement
Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd will resume operations on Tuesday as it agreed to settle a labor dispute with the union representing its conductors and engineers through arbitration, averting more pain to firms battling supply-chain disruptions. The railroad said the agreement with Teamsters Canada Rail Conference ends the work stoppage that began early Sunday when it locked its workers out over a dispute on pensions, pay and benefits.

Mar 22  - The run on resource poor wheat import depended markets has begun as instability tends to be the hostile cousin to high food costs.
- The Egyptian pound was devalued by 14% as investors pull out of their treasury markets, devaluing their currency makes it even more expensive to import food, in theory this should reduce demand but history has shown very limited variability to demand figures for destination markets like Egypt (see below report)
- Wheat is only half their problem, vegoil prices now at levels beyond the price reach of millions of the worlds poorest people.

Mar 22  - Egypt devalues currency 14% after Ukraine war prompts dollar flight (Reuters)
- Egypt devalued its pound by 14% on Monday after Russia's invasion of Ukraineprompted foreign investors to pull billions of dollars out of Egyptian treasury markets, putting pressure on the currency. The pound dropped to 18.17-18.27 against the dollar, Refinitiv data showed, after having traded at around 15.7 pounds to the dollar since November 2020. The central bank also hiked overnight interest rates by 100 basis points in a surprise monetary policy meeting. Egypt's central bank governor, Tarek Amer, told a press conference the pound had undergone a "correction" that reflected world and local developments. The correction would make exports competitive and help preserve foreign currency liquidity. Egypt has been in discussions with the International Monetary Fund about possible assistance, people close to the negotiations have said, but it has not announced any formal request.
"This is a good move to make as the devaluation of the pound moves it roughly in line with its fair value and it could pave the way for a new IMF deal," said James Swanston of Capital Economics.
"However, it will be key whether policymakers now allow the pound to float more freely or continue to manage it and allow external imbalances to build up once more, possibly resulting in future step devaluations like today's," Swanston said.

- The IMF in Cairo was not immediately available for comment. Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan arrived in Egypt on Monday to meet President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi. The UAE, along with Saudi Arabia, has been a strong financial backer of Egypt. Sisi flew to Riyadh to meet Saudi leaders on March 8. Monday's weakening of the pound could catalyse inflows of foreign currency, while investors who already had money in Egyptian treasuries would be unlikely to sell now, said Farouk Soussa, senior economist at Goldman Sachs.
"The move is designed to trap liquidity in the market and bring in investors who might be sitting on the sidelines waiting for the pound to bottom out," he said.

- But it will also likely add to inflation and possible local dollarisation.
"The big question is whether this is enough, or if more might be needed to entice portfolio investors," Soussa said.

HIGHER WHEAT IMPORT PRICES
- Shortages of dollars have led to blockages at Egyptian ports, after importers could not obtain necessary foreign currency for letters of credit to get their goods cleared, bankers said. The war in Ukraine has also left Egypt facing higher costs for its substantial wheat import needs as well as a loss in tourism revenue from Russian and Ukrainian visitors to Red Sea resorts. Russia and Ukraine are the main suppliers of wheat to Egypt, which is often the world's largest importer. The higher wheat prices could nearly double annual state spending on wheat imports to $5.7 billion, according to a study last week by the International Food Policy Research Institute, straining government finances and fuelling inflation pressure.
- Headline inflation has accelerated to its highest level in nearly three years, registering 8.8% last month and touching the upper limit of the central bank's 5-9% target range.
The finance ministry will allocate 130 billion pounds "to mitigate the repercussions of global economic challenges," it said in a statement on Monday. The package includes fixing the import customs exchange rate for basic commodities and production requirements at 16 pounds to the dollar and reducing the capital gains on initial public share offerings. Prime Minister Moustafa Madbouly set the price of unsubsidised bread on Monday at 11.5 Egyptian pounds ($0.66) per kilogram, according to a statement from his office. Prices had jumped as much as 25% because of disruption to wheat imports caused by Russia's offensive in Ukraine. The central bank cited global inflationary pressures amplified by the war in Ukraine for its hike in rates, which lifted the overnight lending rate to 10.25% and its overnight deposit rate to 9.25%.
- State-owned Banque Misr and National Bank of Egypt said on Monday they were offering certificates of deposit with a yield of 18%.

Mar 22 - Ukraine could lose $6 bln in grain exports with ports blocked
Ukraine faces a possible grain revenue loss of $6 billion as the blockade of its ports by Russian forces prevents it from selling millions of tonnes of wheat and corn that had been earmarked for export by June, a senior industry official said. Countries that rely on imports of Ukrainian wheat - including Egypt, Turkey and Yemen - will need to find alternative supplies, aid agencies have warned.

Mar 22 - Wheat prices soar on Ukraine fears, but U.S. growers can't cash in
Futures prices for corn and wheat had rocketed so abruptly that many along the complex chain of grain handling - local farm cooperatives, grain elevators, flour millers and exporters - stopped buying for fear they couldn't resell at a profit. Others couldn't afford an industry-wide risk-management strategy known as hedging that keeps global commodities markets moving.
 
Mar 22 - Russia is exporting more wheat via its Black Sea ports as Azov Sea routes remain restricted, analysts said on Monday, while domestic prices for the grain rose last week because of the weakening rouble. "Exports are active. If the weather permits - it is currently unstable in the Black Sea due to strong wind - Russia will export more than 2 million tonnes of wheat in March," said Dmitry Rylko, the head of the IKAR agriculture consultancy.

Mar 22 - Iran said to have bought wheat in tender last week - traders
Iran's state Government Trading Corporation (GTC) is believed to have purchased milling wheat in a tender that closed last week, European traders said on Monday. Some traders estimated that about 195,000 tonnes may have been purchased in three consignments of about 65,000 tonnes.

Mar 21 -  Indian government in talks to expand wheat export destinations
- The Indian government is in final talks to start the export of wheat to Egypt and other big wheat buyers such as China, Turkey and Iran, as well as smaller ones such as Israel and South Africa, according to local media, referring to the commerce ministry over the weekend. Indian wheat has already enjoyed significant demand in the 2021/22 marketing year, due to its relatively cheap price. But this has increased in recent weeks after Russia invaded Ukraine, blocking exports from the country, while Russia itself appears to be isolated amid sanctions and high risks.
“It's not clear if it's going to be G2G or private business facilitation,” a local trader said.
“I feel India will have plenty of demand even without Egypt/Iran, if and when Egypt/Iran happens, that'll be on top of it,” a second trader said.

- So far, since the start of the local marketing year in April 2021 and up until January 2022 India has already exported 6.3 million mt of wheat, which is five times more than it exported during the same period a year ago. The biggest buyers of Indian wheat were neighboring countries, with Bangladesh's imports equivalent to 57% of the amount (3.6 million mt) followed by Sri Lanka (480,944 mt) and UAE (427,019 mt). Given the fact that these countries will continue to buy Indian wheat as it is the cheapest and easiest from a logistical point of view compared to other origins, as well as the fact that Asian buyers that usually avoid Indian wheat for quality reasons are now willing to take it, the amount available for new destinations is limited. The current trade sources' estimate for wheat export in the 2022/23 marketing year, starting in April, is limited to 10 million mt for various reasons, while the production estimate is in a range of 100 to 111 million mt, with the highest level expected by the government. The export talks also come as current export prices are much higher compared to the local minimum support prices released by the Indian government at around $5.44/mt to INR2,015/mt (equivalent to around $265/mt) starting from April.
“Inflation here is also a big issue let us say; even if logistics are sorted out the government won't let cargo move freely," a third trader said.
"It's a time to procure the wheat also by the government for public distribution so if their procurement is hurt, which is most likely as prices range here much more than GVT minimum support price, we may expect the government to take action.”
“So in all scenarios, the export will not cross 10 million, which is very high for a country like India, where wheat is an essential commodity,” he added.

- Trade sources also said that logistics could hamper higher exports, as India is a relatively new wheat exporter and current capacity is not enough.
“[There is] limited capacity to store the grains at ports, mostly all wheat exports shall happen from West Coast," another trader said.
"The East coast is always full of rice exports. Secondly movement through rail cars and trucks will also be limited.”

- So far the highest monthly amount that India has loaded is 975,601 mt in January 2022, meaning that even at times of high demand the export did not exceed 1 million mt per month.

Mar 21  - China's Jan-Feb imports of Brazil soybean up on year, U.S. cargoes fall
China's soybean imports from Brazil in the first two months of 2022 rose significantly from the corresponding period last year, customs data showed on Sunday. The world's top buyer of soybeans, China brought in 3.51 million tonnes of the oilseed from Brazil, up 241% from 1.03 million tonnes in the previous year, data from the General Administration of Customs showed.

Mar 21  - Argentina hikes export tax on soy oil, meal to 33% to combat inflation
Argentina has raised the export tax rate on soy oil and meal by two percentage points to 33% until the end of the year in a bid to combat domestic inflation, the government said in the official gazette on Saturday. The South American country is the world's top exporter of processed soy oil and meal. The government has declared a "war" on inflation, which is running at above 50% annually.

Mar 21  - Thailand expected to exceed rice export target of 7 mln tonnes this year
Thailand expects to export more than 7 million tonnes of rice this year, exceeding its initial target, an exporters association said on Monday. Rice exports are expected to be boosted by competitive prices due to the weak Thai baht, said Chookiat Ophaswongse, honorary president of the Thai Rice Exporters Association.

Mar 21  - Argentina raises 2022-2023 wheat export quota to 10 mln tonnes
Argentina said on Saturday that it was increasing its annual wheat export quota for the 2022-2023 season by 8 million tonnes to a total of 10 million tonnes to take advantage of high international prices. Argentina, a key producer of grains, limits exports of wheat in a bid to ensure domestic supply and to avoid local price hikes.

Mar 18  - China’s 2022/23 soybean imports pegged at record 100m mt: USDA

- The USDA’s local post in China has pegged the country’s 2022/23 soybean imports at a record 100 million mt due to higher feed demand and high prices of protein-rich substitutes, a report dated March 17 showed. If confirmed, this will represent a 5 million mt year-on-year increase compared to the post’s revised estimate that placed China’s 2021/22 imports at 95 million mt, below its previous numbers but one million mt above the USDA’s latest official figure released on March 9.

- The local office expects China’s 2022/23 consumption to reach 18.4 million mt.
“After suffering from high feed costs, weak demand, and over production in MY 21/22, moderate growth and profitability is expected to return to the swine and poultry sectors in MY 22/33, leading to 2.2 million mt of total consumption growth,” the report said.

- The increase in soybean imports is also expected to be supported by higher soymeal usage in animal feed linked to higher prices of substitute products.
“The use of wheat as a substitute for high-priced corn attributed to a decline in SBM inclusion in 2021. Post forecasts lower use of corn substitutes, including wheat, sorghum and barley in 2022 will modestly increase SBM inclusion rates,” the local office said.

- The country’s crush volume is also expected to increase in 2022/23, but plants will remain underutilised. On the supply side, China’s soybean production is expected to be increased by one million mt year-on-year in 2022/23 to 17.4 million mt on increased acreage. With new estimates setting the 2022/23 marketing year for an all-time high in terms of soybean imports, the USDA Beijing office stressed the dependency the country has on a small number of overseas suppliers.
“The ability to shift significant volumes of purchases to suppliers outside of Brazil, the United States and Argentina, is limited and likely to remain so for the foreseeable future,” the post said.

Mar 18  - Market Briefing: Dairy (IHSmarkit)

- Mastellone Hermanos sees a 10% dip in milk production in 2021
- Uruguay’s dairy exports up by 34% y/y to $140.5 million in January-February 2022
- Butter price rises 7.6% w/w on ZuivelNL exchange to €6,620/tonne

Production
- Argentina’s privately owned dairy industry Mastellone Hermanos said its overall production and sales, expressed in litres of liquid milk, fell to 1.41 billion litres in 2021, down 10% y/y from 1.56 billion litres in 2020.
- The EU cow’s milk collection decreased in December 2021 by 1.4% y/y, or by 166,000 tonnes. Deliveries decreased in 16 member states, including Germany where it dropped by 2.9% y/y, which corresponds to 78,000 tonnes.
- Savencia continues its milk collection, cheese production and distribution activities in Russia as they are essential to feeding the population. Savencia owns the Belebeevsky dairy plant in Russia, a major cheese producer in the country, since 2017.

Demand
- In the European WMP markets, firm demand has been squaring off against tight supply. In Germany the price breached the €5,000 ($5,532) level. Kempten WMP is 1.6% higher, at €5,030 per tonne, as IHS Markit predicted last week.
- Demand for cheese is trending higher across in the US Northeast, West and Midwest regions. Cheddar, mozzarella, and provolone producers are active in the Northeast. Weekly cold storage holdings of cheese in the US amounted to 89.8 million lbs on 7 March, up from 89.4 million lbs on 1 March.

Trade
- Algeria’s public sector imports an estimated 180,000 tonnes of milk powder per year. The private sector imports a further 200,000 tonnes. The annual bill for these imports amounts to more than $800 million, said Algeria’s agriculture minister.
- Poland exported 287,493 tonnes of cheese and curd products worth €923.5 million ($1.0 billion) in 2021. Ukraine was the second largest importer absorbing 25,646 tonnes of Polish cheese valued at €97.2 million.
- Uruguay’s dairy exports increased by 34% y/y to $140.5 million during the first two months of this year.

Price
- The price of butter has leapt by 7.6% on the Dutch ZuivelNL exchange, up to €6,620/tonne ($7,324), while the price of industrial (bulk) butter on the German Kempten exchange is 4.5% higher, at €6,400/tonne.
- Buyers at the GDT auction (event 304) finally got a brief respite after the GDT price index retreated 0.9% to 1,579 at the 15 March event. The WMP index weakened 2.1% and the butter index fell 1.8% from 1 March.

Mar 18 - Indonesia hikes palm oil export levy amid accusations of 'policy panic'
Indonesia has significantly raised its maximum palm oil export levy, a new government regulation showed on Friday, marking a new bid to control domestic cooking oil prices after previous measures failed to tackle the problem. The world's biggest exporter of the edible oil a day earlier announced a surprise policy U-turn to remove export volume restrictions on palm oil products and raise its export levy instead.

Mar 18 - IGC cuts forecast for Ukraine grain exports
The International Grains Council (IGC) on Thursday cut its forecast for Ukraine's grain exports in the current 2021/22 season, noting ongoing conflict in the country had fuelled concerns about potential food security risks. Ukraine's grain exports were revised to 47.8 million tonnes, sharply down from last month's forecast of 62.8 million with the council noting projections were especially tentative and subject to significant uncertainty.

Mar 18 - Strategie Grains raises EU wheat export outlook on Ukraine conflict

Some 11 million tonnes of wheat will be lost from the global market in the 2021/22 season because of the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, Strategie Grains said on Thursday as the consultancy raised its estimate for European Union exports. The closure of Ukrainian ports and sanctions imposed on Russia after it invaded its neighbour have disrupted shipments through the Black Sea, sending grain prices to record highs.

Mar 18 - Turkey buys 270,000 T milling wheat in import tender  - traders
Turkey's state grain board TMO has provisionally bought 270,000 tonnes of wheat in an international import tender on Thursday, traders said, with no further purchases expected. Some wheat is expected to be sourced from Russia, with the Russian port of Novorossiysk open and shipments slowly coming from the Azov Sea, traders said.

Mar 17 - Argentina analyzing soy oil, meal tax hikes amid inflation battle  - gov't source
Argentina, the world's top exporter of processed soy products, is weighing raising taxes on soybean oil and meal exports as part of a plan to tamp down sky-high inflation, a government source told Reuters on Wednesday. The government halted registration of new export sales of soy oil and meal on Sunday, drawing swift condemnation from the industry and triggering speculation the tax rate for soy oil and meal exports could be hiked.

Mar 17 - Brazil's record wheat exports bring funds to boost domestic production, reduce imports
Brazil, one of the world's biggest wheat importers, could sharply reduce its dependence on foreign crops as record export demand provides farmers with the funds to expand their planting areas. The country exported around 2.5 million tonnes of wheat from December to March, an unprecedented volume driven by a historically good harvest in 2021, while demand has been further boosted by the war between major suppliers Russia and Ukraine.

Mar 17 - Iran's SLAL tenders for 60,000 T each barley, corn soymeal
  - traders
Iranian state-owned animal feed importer SLAL has issued an international tender to purchase up to 60,000 tonnes of animal feed barley, 60,000 tonnes of feed corn and 60,000 tonnes of soymeal, European traders said on Wednesday. The deadline for submission of price offers in the tender is believed to be Wednesday, March 16, they said.

Mar 17 - Philippines tenders for about 270,000 tonnes feed wheat 
- traders
Two importer groups in the Philippines have issued separate tenders to purchase together a total of around 270,000 tonnes of animal feed wheat, European traders said on Wednesday. The deadline for submissions of price offers in both tenders is Wednesday, March 16. Offers are still being considered and no purchases have yet been reported.

Mar 16 - India acts to seize gap in wheat export market left by Ukraine war
India is rolling out ambitious measures over the coming weeks to try to establish the country as a dominant exporter of high-quality wheat as importers scramble for supplies following Russia's invasion of Ukraine, two government sources said. The measures, which should be implemented over the course of around two weeks, include ensuring government-approved laboratories test the quality of wheat for export, making extra rail wagons available for transport and working with port authorities to give priority to wheat exports.

Mar 16  - Strong Asian rice demand for animal feed sparks food supply worries
A surge in wheat and corn prices is boosting demand for low-grade rice in animal rations across Asia, pushing up prices of the world's most important staple at a time when global food inflation is already hovering near record highs. Global crop importers are scrambling for supplies after Russia's invasion of Ukraine severed grain shipments from the two countries, which together account for around 25% of world wheat and 16% of world corn exports.

Mar 16  - India boosts fertiliser imports from Canada, Israel as Russian supply disrupted
India is boosting fertiliser imports from nations including Canada and Israel to ensure sufficient supplies for the coming summer sowing season after the disruption of shipments caused by Russia's invasion of Ukraine. India is a leading importer of fertilisers for its huge agriculture sector, which employs about 60% of the country's workforce and accounts for 15% of the $2.7 trillion economy.

Mar 16  - French wheat cargo loads for Egypt as war curbs Black Sea supplies
A vessel is loading about 30,000 tonnes of wheat in France bound for Egypt, according to shipping data, in what traders said was a rare French sale to Egypt's private sector as Russia's invasion of Ukraine squeezes supplies. Disruption to Ukrainian and Russian exports has left buyers seeking alternative supplies, with EU wheat seeing a wave of demand despite record prices.

Mar 15  - UKRAINE DAILY CASH PRICES: Tuesday, March 15 2022 (Agricensus)
- Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has struck hard at the heart of one of the world’s most productive agricultural regions.

- Ukrainian sunoil on DAP basis offered in range from $1,850/mt to $2,700/mt, while Ukrainian sunflower oil trade level was heard at $2,300/mt on DAP.
- Ukrainian corn on DAP Poland basis offered in range from $275/mt to $290-295/mt, but demand is much lower and its only for 1,000-2,000 mt per day.
- Yellow Corn, DAP Tuzcer, Hungary, €298/mt, trade
- Yellow Corn, DAP Hungary, offers heard in range $290-300/mt
- Italia heard paying €400 CFR  for corn delivered to North Italy
- Croatia heard selling corn €360 EUR FCA.

Market views
“Difficulties with logistics are one of the main export problems, namely the availability of free trucks, the availability of fuel... The ability to store Ukrainian sunflower oil in Bulgarian ports is also problematic due to the lack of free tankers,” one Bulgaria-based market source said.
Possible use of Ukrainian ports of Reni and Ismail, in the south of the country close to the borders with Moldova and Romania:
“In Reni the price idea is at around $250/mt, but it's hard to manage as it needs to be re-loaded on the truck plus the transit cost through Moldova is at around 20/mt,” a regional trade source said.
“There are offers in Reni, but so far, it's not clear how it is going to work. All the cargoes that are going to Galati (Romania) also have to pass Reni, thus the stocks are full. Local traders loading Moldovan grain through the port, Giurgiulesti is also full, so it's pretty tight. And vessels are also not keen to enter the ports amid the martial law,” a regional trade source said.
“I heard that we get corn offers at $290-300/mt DAP Poland. The problem, however, is logistics. I believe that we are not able to transport more than 2,000 tons per day across the Poland/Ukraine border. In addition, exporters are trying to redirect their contracts across the Poland/Ukraine border to Polish ports. There is a problem with the availability of wagons and trucks,” a Poland-based market source said.
“There is a difference in track width of about 16 or 18 cm. Ukraine and Russia [tracks] are wider and in Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, Germany and other countries they are narrower. Therefore, there is a need for reloading and therefore it is logistically difficult and this creates additional costs of about €10/mt for transhipment,” the Poland-based market source said.

Mar 15  - Russia temporarily bans grain exports to ex-Soviet countries
Russia on Monday temporarily banned grain exports to ex-Soviet countries and most sugar exports, but a senior minister said it would keep on providing special export licences to traders within its current quota. Russia is the world's largest wheat exporter with Egypt and Turkey among the main buyers. It competes mainly with the European Union and Ukraine.

Mar 15  - Plains drought to curb U.S. wheat harvest, adding to global supply worries
A worsening drought in the southern U.S. Plains is threatening the region's winter wheat crop just as the Ukraine crisis dents global supplies. Some farmers in southwestern Kansas, the top U.S. wheat producing state, have not received much measurable rain or snow since October. Winter wheat is planted in autumn, lays dormant in winter and begins sending up green shoots in spring. Proper soil moisture is critical at this stage for the crop to thrive.

Mar 15  - China releases fertiliser stocks for spring, more expected
China has begun the annual release of fertilisers to the market ahead of spring planting, its state planner said late on Monday, ensuring sufficient supplies to help it meet its grain targets. More than 3 million tonnes will be issued during the key spring ploughing period, and the government will monitor the market closely to ensure stable supply and prices, said the National Development and Reform Committee in a statement.

Mar 15  - Canada OKs imports of beef and pork from Brazil
Canada has approved the importation of beef and pork from Brazil, which had been blocked over health concerns, authorities from both countries said on Monday. "We are in Ottawa and have just left the Canadian Ministry of Agriculture with ... great news: the opening up of the country's pork and beef market," Brazilian Agriculture Minister Tereza Cristina Dias tweeted.

Mars 14  - Russian gov. sows confusion with talk of grain quota export ban (AgriCensus)
- The Russian government is expected to implement an export ban for all grains outside of the existing quota, including wheat, corn and barley, from tomorrow through to August 31, trade sources have told Agricensus Monday. Export from within the current 11 million mt quota for grains, which includes an 8 million mt allowance for wheat, will still be possible via licenses that have already been officially distributed to exporters.
“This is a complete ban, including exports to the Eurasian Economic Union, but within quotas, it’s still possible,” one trader said, with industry sources voicing confusion over whether the measure would have any practical impact.
“We have approved the acts submitted by the Ministry of Industry and Trade to ban the export of white and raw sugar from the Russian Federation until August 31, as well as wheat, meslin, rye, barley and corn until June 30 of this year,” Victoria Abramchenko, the country’s deputy prime minister was quoted as saying by local media.
“The export of grain within the quota under separate licenses will be allowed,” the minister said.

- Agricensus contacted the agriculture ministry for comment, but had received no response by the time of publication. The news comes after the Russian government said last week that it will consider temporarily banning the export of wheat, corn and barley within the Eurasian Economic Union in a bid to prevent re-exports of Russian grains through neighboring countries. Export within the EEU do not fall under the restrictions of the export quotas or taxes, while for export outside the bloc the wheat tax for March 16-22 was set at $86.30/mt, with corn at $54.10/mt and barley at $77.40/mt. Any grain exports above the quota used to be subject to an additional tax of 50% of the custom’s costs, but would be not less than €100/mt.
- However, as per Agricensus’s understanding, above-quota exports are not allowed at all.

Mar 14  - Argentina halts export registration for soy oil, meal
Argentina has halted registration of export sales of soy oil and meal, the South American country's government said in a statement on Sunday, drawing swift condemnation from the industry in the world's top exporter of processed soy products. The move stops sales and exports of the 2021/22 crop, but physical shipments have not started because no harvesting has taken place. The decision by Argentina, the top global exporter of both soybean meal and oil, will likely roil the world soy market, which has seen prices spike on Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

Mar 14  - Ukraine’s farmers stalled, fueling fears of global food shortages
The Russian invasion of Ukraine threatens millions of tiny spring-time sprouts that should emerge from stalks of dormant winter wheat in the coming weeks. If the farmers can't feed those crops soon, far fewer of the so-called tillers will spout, jeopardizing a national wheat harvest on which millions in the developing world depend. The wheat was planted last autumn, which, after a brief growing period, fell dormant for the winter. Before the grain returns to life, however, farmers typically spread fertilizer that encourages the tillers to grow off the main stalks. Each stalk can have three or four tillers, increasing the yield per wheat stalk exponentially.

Mar 14  - Ukraine bans fertiliser exports - agriculture ministry
Ukraine, a major global producer of agricultural products, has banned exports of fertilisers given the Russian invasion, the agriculture ministry said on Saturday. Ukraine has already banned exports of some agricultural commodities and introduced licenses for its key export goods - wheat, corn and sunflower oil.

Mar 14  - Tunisia buys soft wheat and feed barley in tender
- traders
Tunisia's state grains agency is believed to have purchased about 125,000 tonnes of soft wheat and about 100,000 tonnes of animal feed barley in an international tender that closed on Friday, European traders said. The wheat was bought in five consignments each of about 25,000 tonnes. Trading house Casillo sold four at $491.68, $499.69, $505.68 and $508.89 per tonne c&f. Cargill sold one at $497.25 a tonne c&f, traders estimated.

 

 

Mar 11  - South American nations push to exclude fertilizer from Russia sanctions
Six South American nations are proposing the exclusion of fertilizer from sanctions on Russia, a major world producer whose invasion of Ukraine has disrupted supplies, Brazil's Agriculture Minister Tereza Cristina Dias said on Thursday. She said Brazil has secured the support of Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Paraguay and Uruguay for a proposal excluding fertilizer products that will be submitted to the United Nations' Food and Agriculture Organization.

Mar 10  - Food crisis grows as spiralling prices spark export bans
A global food crisis sparked by Russia's invasion of Ukraine escalated on Wednesday as Indonesia tightened curbs on palm oil exports, adding to a growing list of key producing countries seeking to keep vital food supplies within their borders. The conflict in Ukraine is threatening global grain production, the supply of edible oils and fertiliser exports, sending basic commodity prices rocketing and mirroring the crisis in energy markets.

Mar 10  - French wheat export forecast raised, stocks cut on Ukraine war
Farm office FranceAgriMer on Wednesday increased sharply its forecast of French soft wheat exports outside the European Union this season as it anticipated France would replace some of the Black Sea trade disrupted by Russia's invasion of Ukraine. Importers are seeking alternatives to Ukrainian and Russian supplies, which usually account for about 30% of the world's wheat exports, as the conflict has closed Ukrainian ports and triggered severe Western sanctions against Moscow.

Mar 10  - India's wheat exports surge as world prices soar
Indian traders have sewn up deals to export half a million tonnes of wheat in recent days, and dealers are expected to sign more contracts to take advantage of record-high global prices, boosting shipments from the world's No.2 producer of the staple. Russia's invasion of Ukraine has fanned fears over supply disruptions from the Black Sea region, which accounts for 30% of global wheat exports. That has sent global wheat prices to a 14-year high this week.

Mar 10  - Algeria buys milling wheat in tender, traders say
Algeria’s state grains agency OAIC has purchased optional-origin milling wheat in an international tender, European traders said in initial assessments on Wednesday. Initial estimates of the purchase price were around $485 a tonne c&f, traders said. More detailed assessments of prices are expected later.

Mar 09 - Russian wheat exports jump in first data release since war (AgriCensus)
- Data from the Russian government has given the first indications of the impact that the country's invasion of Ukraine has had on its own export programme, with analysis by Agricensus suggesting an increased concentration of export flows into satellite nations and core customers.
- The data shows a recent high water mark for Russian wheat exports of 900,000 mt in the week to February 17, falling slightly to 800,000 mt in the week to February 24 - the day of the invasion. For the week to March 3, however, the volume halved to 400,000 mt.
- Export data will be closely watched by analysts and investors as they try to appraise the impact of sanctions and conflict on the world's biggest wheat exporter in the days and weeks after it invaded neighbouring Ukraine. The data also highlighted that Russia is increasing - although from a low base - its exports of processed products and animal feed.

March 09 - Spain lobbying to import Argie corn (StoneX)
- Spain's agriculture minister said on Wednesday he is pushing the European Commission to waive import controls on corn for animal feed after supply gaps left by the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Addressing a parliamentary commission, Luis Planas said Commission plans already in the works to expand European cultivation, including allowing farmers to use fallow land, would "in no way" replace imports from third countries. (Full Story)
"I raised the issue of making import mechanisms more flexible in order to be able to buy maize in third countries, in particular Argentina," he said. "We have stock available but we need to make purchases in third countries in the next 60 days."
Major buyers of animal feed corn (maize) including the Benelux countries, Iberia, the Middle East and North Africa rely on Ukraine as a major supplier of cattle feed.
Since the Russian invasion, these buyers have turned to other EU corn producers, particularly Romania, Bulgaria and France to plug the gaps and are now looking further afield as well. With no clear date for discussion on the topic among European nations or a decision from Brussels and Spain's corn stock due to run out within weeks, Spanish industry groups have been pushing the government to sidestep EC rules and take unilateral action or risk losing out to other buyers.
"If Spain waits and Germany or France goes ahead with the decision to import this corn, there will not be enough for everyone. Spain has to act first," Jorge de Saja, managing director of the leading feed industry association, told Reuters.
Spain has four weeks of corn in stock and six weeks of crude sunflower oil, which is also used for feed production, according to the association.
"We need the decision to be made this week or we will have to start slaughtering herds, especially chickens," De Saja said.

- Argentina's corn exporters confirmed to Reuters on Wednesday that they had held talks with both Spain's government and its industry on possible corn sales and was ready to move forward. Gustavo Idigoras, head of the CIARA-CEC grains export and crushing chamber, said Argentina would have ample supplies of 2021/22 corn, currently being harvested, to meet any shortfall in Spain. He said Lebanon, Egypt and Azerbaijan also were interesting in buying corn.  The vast majority of corn in Argentina, the world's No. 2 exporter, is genetically modified and contains pesticide residues restricted by Europe.

Mar 09  - India signs deals to export 500,000 T wheat, as global prices surge
India has signed contracts to export about 500,000 tonnes of wheat in recent days, traders said, cashing in on a sharp rally in international prices and signalling a big uptick in overseas sales from the world's second biggest producer of the grain. Traders said last week they had received inquiries from buyers seeking alternatives to Black Sea cargoes as Russia's invasion of Ukraine threatened supplies from two producers which together account for 30% of world wheat exports.

Mar 09  - Algeria believed to have postponed wheat tender to Wednesday
- traders
Algeria’s state grains agency OAIC is believed to have extended Tuesday's international tender to purchase milling wheat by a day, with negotiations expected to continue on Wednesday, European traders said. Some traders said falling European Euronext wheat futures on Tuesday could make it cheaper to delay a purchase.

Mar 08  - SovEcon analysts cut Russian wheat export forecast for 21/22 by 0.8 mln tonnes to 33.5 mln  - Interfax
Leading Moscow agriculture consultancy SovEcon on Monday cut its forecast for Russian wheat exports for the period July 2021-June 2022 by 0.8 million tonnes to 33.5 million tonnes, the Interfax news agency reported. SovEcon said in a statement that it had based its latest assessment on the assumption that active military operations in the Black Sea region would slow the pace of exports in March-April.

Mar 08  - Indians stock up cooking oil, fuel, fearing shortages amid Ukraine war

Indians are stocking up vegetable oil and fuel, fearing that Russia's invasion of Ukraine may cause an edible oil shortage, while a rally in global crude oil prices may lead New Delhi to aggressively raise fuel prices as elections conclude in key states. "On WhatsApp, I read messages that there could be cooking oil shortages because of the war. So, I rushed to buy," said Mumbai-based housewife Rekhana Khan, who bought 10 litres of edible oil, double her usual monthly purchase of 5 litres.

Mar 08  - Ukraine crisis jeopardises Middle East's Black Sea wheat supply
Wheat importers face a threat to delivering politically sensitive bread supplies across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) after Russia's invasion of Ukraine closed off access to the lower priced Black Sea grain they depend on. The ensuing conflict has halted shipping from Ukraine's ports, while financial sanctions have put payments for purchases of Russian wheat in doubt, traders and bankers say, adding another to the risk for governments in the MENA region already struggling with import costs, economic crises or conflict.

Mar 08  - Iraq to create strategic wheat reserve by importing 3 mln tons 
- minister
Iraq will allocate $100 million to urgently purchase wheat and create a strategic reserve by importing 3 million tons of the grain, the commerce minister said in a statement on Monday. "The ministry has a plan to achieve food security for citizens and to address the global rise in food prices due to the recent crisis between Russia and Ukraine," the statement quoted minister Alaa al-Jubouri as saying.

Mar 07 - Ukrainian Railways ready boost grain exports by train
Ukraine's state-run railway operator is ready to organise agricultural exports by rail as a matter of urgency, it said on Sunday, after closure of the country's Black Sea ports because of the military invasion by Russia. A major global agricultural producer and exporter, Ukraine has historically exported its grain, vegetable oils and other food products by ship.

Mar 07 - China's soybean imports in Jan-Feb rise 4.1% from previous year
- customs
China's soybean imports in the first two months of 2022 rose from the previous year, customs data showed on Monday, beating market expectations. China, the world's top importer of soybeans, brought in 13.94 million tonnes of the oilseed in the Jan-Feb period, up 4.1% from 13.41 million tonnes in the previous year, data from the General Administration of Customs showed.

Mar 07 - Ukraine introduces export licences for key agricultural commodities
Ukraine has introduced export licences for its key agriculture commodities wheat, corn and sunflower oil, Interfax Ukraine news agency quoted a government resolution as saying on Sunday. The document said that traders would also need licences to export poultry and eggs, the agency said.

Mar 05 - HUNGARY TO BAN ALL GRAIN EXPORTS (StonesX)
Hungary are reportedly now outright banning exports, the EU will probably not stand for this as it deprives other member states of food supplies in a time of crisis. The EU model will be tested like never before as local politics come to bear. There will be very fluid changes most likely to global trade as some participants look to protect their own interests first, for some this will be making imports easier, for others making exports more difficult. Rules regarding GMO, pesticides, phytosanitary requirements, quality parameters, payment terms, biofuel mandates etc. etc. are all likely to change (& be rumoured to change) with or without notice.

All these changes made in haste can have grave and unknown/unintended consequences:
• Importing cheaper corn form Argentina/US for example can lower EU prices at a time of rising costs, the EU needs to incentivise grain production not inhibit it
• Lowering quality parameters in destination markets may mean more overall imports and can deprive feed supplies at the origins
• Supporting for example pig producers will force grain prices even higher/not supporting creates long term meat supply issues should they not survive
• Reducing biofuel mandates will lower grain/vegoil needs but most producers are in long term contracts what happens them? Reduced biofuel inclusion rates increases demand for petrol/diesel which presumably raises those prices, EU protein meal production will fall and will be more reliant on imported soymeal from SAM
• The EU members states restrict grain exports, does that include flour/bran? If we stop selling wheat/flour to the middle East do they stop selling us oil/gas?
• If Hungary doesn’t export grain should Germany stop sending them car parts/steel, what does that mean for the EU as free market, as a concept?

It’s been a long tough week for everyone and we would like to thankyou all for your patience during some tricky periods of execution.

Mar 05 - Russia sanctions ‘not fully priced in’ amid Black Sea turmoil: Rabobank
- The full scope of sanctions against the Russian government, businesses, financial and other entities may not yet be fully priced in and leaves the potential for further price rises, a report from Dutch bank Rabobank has warned in a report. The specialist agriculture bank estimated that Ukraine – which was in the middle of a strong export programme – still holds export balances of around 7 million mt for corn, 6 million mt of wheat and around 3 million mt of sunflower oil, all of which will now struggle to be exported. However, while current corn and wheat prices probably allow for the impact of lost export capacity, the extent to which Russian sanctions, or potential damage to planting in the weeks ahead, has currently been factored in to global prices.
“A further escalation and recent heavy sanctions on Russia, which will disrupt Russian exports of grains, energy and fertilisers, is only to a limited extent price in and could still drive prices up,” Stefan Vogel, the bank’s General Manager of Research said.

- The bank noted that a direct ban of Russian grains is unlikely, on humanitarian grounds, but said “indirect disruptions are occurring.” It remained too soon to call the impact on 2022 production as well, with wheat, rapeseed and over half of the barley crop sown, and corn and sunflower planting usually starting from April.
“The length of the war and the extent of the disruptions will be crucial to monitor,” the report said.

- According to Rabobank calculations, Ukraine typically exports 25 million mt of wheat - around 12% of global trade - and 35 million mt of corn, or 16% of world trade. Alongside that, the country exports 3 million mt of rapeseed and 7 million mt of sunoil and 18% of barley. Appraising the likely impact of sanctions, and despite grains expected to be spared from direct penalties, Rabobank highlighted that surging costs of inputs and Russia’s suspension from the international payment system known as Swift would also hurt.
“Swift sanctions recently introduced by the EU and the US will cut deeply into the ability of Russia to receive international payments for its exports and could significantly limit the capability to pay for all exported goods, including food, fertiliser and energy,” Rabobank said.
- With Russia also exporting 13% of the world’s crude oil and 9% of natural gas, any disruption is also likely to drive prices for key inputs like urea and diesel higher.

Mar 04 - Ukraine crisis throws Egypt's wheat purchases into doubt
Russia's invasion of Ukraine has left Egypt's wheat import prospects in turmoil, with two cargoes purchased by Egypt's state buyer stuck at Ukrainian ports, other deliveries at risk, and prices soaring, traders say. However, Egypt's reserves mean it is not in a rush to buy as it assesses prices of the grain from outside Ukraine and Russia, the deputy supply minister said in an interview.

Mar 04 - Algeria to allow French wheat imports due to Ukraine conflict - traders
Algeria will allow French wheat imports in March because of disruption to Black Sea shipments, traders said on Thursday, overturning a recent exclusion that had hit the EU's biggest wheat exporter. Relations between France and its former colony were damaged in October when President Emmanuel Macron questioned whether there had been an Algerian nation before French colonial rule, accusing it also of rewriting the history of its colonisation.

Mar 04 - Russia-Ukraine conflict highlights wheat supply vulnerability
The threat to wheat supplies from Russia's invasion of Ukraine has been exacerbated by a shift in global stocks away from major exporters such as the United States and European Union, undermining their effectiveness as a cushion in times of crisis. U.S. wheat futures rose to a 14-year high on Thursday as importers scrambled for supplies following the closure of ports in Ukraine and disruption to supplies from Russia. The two countries account for about 29% of global wheat exports.

Mar 04 - Bulgaria hampering grain exports, producers say
Extra customs checks by Bulgaria are slowing grain vessel loadings in what companies fear is an attempt to halt exports in response to the conflict in Ukraine, a producers group said on Thursday. Traders say that Bulgaria is among European Union countries seeing extra export demand as merchants rush to replace grain they had planned to ship from Ukraine and Russia, two of the world's biggest suppliers.

Mar 03 - Export ban fears create massive delta in EU Black Sea wheat prices (AgriCensus)
- A wide delta emerged between offers of Bulgarian and Romanian wheat Thursday, as traders reacted to rumors of a potential ban on exports to compensate from the lack of supply from Ukraine and Russia, traders said.
- March loadings of Bulgarian 11.5% wheat were heard at $428/mt FOB Varna or Burgas, and as low as $405/mt was said to have been offered for intra-EU destinations only.
- Romanian 12.5% wheat was meanwhile heard offered at $460-475/mt, also for March loading.
- “Bulgaria has been discussing an export quota or ban,” one trading source said. “That’s why the prices are so far apart.”

Normally the two countries are priced largely at parity.
- Bulgarian offers have been few and far between for the last week, and Romanian offers limited to the prompt, as traders avoid taking positions in such an uncertain market.
- It remains unclear just to what extent the war in Ukraine might affect global wheat supply.
- Trading sources said a complete ban on exports was unlikely to emerge, however. The EU would have to agree to that and may want to ensure exports within the EU could continue.

Mar 03 - Russian businessman places $1m bounty on Vladimir Putin’s head (The Independent)
A Russian businessman has placed a $1m bounty on Vladimir Putin’s head and urged the country’s military officers to bring the president to justice. Entrepreneur Alex Konanykhin made the promise in a post on social media site LinkedIn and called it his “moral duty” to take action and help Ukraine following the unprovoked attack.
“I promise to pay $1,000,000 to the officer(s) who, complying with their constitutional duty, arrest(s) Putin as a war criminal under Russian and international laws,” wrote Mr Konanykhin.
“Putin is not the Russian president as he came to power as the result of a special operation of blowing up apartment buildings in Russia, then violated the Constitution by eliminating free elections and murdering his opponents.”
His post included a photo of Mr Putin, with the caption, “Wanted: Dead or alive. Vladimir Putin for mass murder.” And he added:

“As an ethnic Russian and a Russia citizen, I see it as my moral duty to facilitate the denazification of Russia. I will continue my assistance to Ukraine in its heroic efforts to withstand the onslaught of Putin’s Orda.”

Mar 03 - Russia's invasion of Ukraine (Reuters)
Russia's invasion of Ukraine entered its second week as an apparent tactical failure so far, with its main assault force stalled for days on a highway north of Kyiv and other advances halted at the outskirts of cities it is bombing into wastelands.

The number of refugees who have fled Ukraine rose to more than 1 million, the United Nations said. Hundreds of Russian soldiers and Ukrainian civilians have been killed, and Russia itself has been plunged into isolation never before experienced by an economy of such size.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said he believed some foreign leaders were preparing for war against Russia and that Moscow would press on with its military operation in Ukraine until "the end". Lavrov also said Russia had no thoughts of nuclear war.

The Chinese foreign ministry said that reports on Chinese and Russian coordination ahead of Russia's attack on Ukraine are "fake news". Senior Chinese officials told senior Russian officials in early February not to invade Ukraine before the end of the Winter Olympics in Beijing, the New York Times reported.

French customs have seized a yacht belonging to Rosneft boss Igor Sechin as it tried to leave the Mediterranean port of La Ciotat in a breach of EU sanctions on Russian oligarchs. At least five superyachts owned by Russian billionaires were anchored or cruising in Maldives, an Indian Ocean island nation that does not have an extradition treaty with the United States.

The bells of major churches across Europe chimed in unison to express solidarity with the people of Ukraine, mourn those killed, and pray for peace.

Mar 03  - EU may let farmers use fallow land as Ukraine war hits grain supply
The European Union will consider letting farmers use fallow land, notably to grow protein crops for livestock feed, to counter disruption to supply from Ukraine following Russia's invasion, officials said on Wednesday. Russia's week-old invasion of Ukraine has sent European wheat prices to record highs. Ukraine and Russia are two of the world's largest grain exporters.

Mar 03  - China buys U.S. soybeans on good profits, despite peak Brazil export season
China bought soybeans from the United States on Tuesday as American cargoes were competitive against Brazilian shipments, despite it being the peak period for South American soy export. China booked at least five cargoes, around 300,000 tonnes, of U.S. soybeans for shipment in April-May, according to an Asia-based trader with knowledge of the deal.

Mar 03  - Turkey provisionally buys 370,000 T milling wheat in tender 
- traders
Turkey's state grain board TMO has provisionally purchased about 370,000 tonnes of wheat in an international tender on Wednesday, traders said. No more purchases were expected because of high prices, although the tender sought 435,000 tonnes.

Mar 02  - EU corn in demand as Ukraine war brings growing supply gap
Buyers of animal feed corn (maize) have rushed to book European Union supplies to replace Ukrainian exports blocked by Russia's invasion, traders said, but with the bloc also sensitive to loss of Ukrainian supply they may soon have to look elsewhere. "A big hole has suddenly been blown into the supply schedule of feed makers, including in Benelux, Iberia, the Middle East and North Africa," one trader said on Tuesday.

Mar 02  - High stakes for U.S. corn, soy stocks with steep prices, Ukraine woes: Braun
New-crop Chicago corn and soybean futures are at or near record levels for the time of year, and that should boost U.S. farmers’ enthusiasm to plant both this spring and potentially relieve the market of historic tightness. However, which of the United States’ top crops producers will prefer is still up for debate given extremely dynamic market conditions. Recent corn strength and farmers’ classic love of the yellow grain could give it the edge, especially with the prospect that No. 4 exporter Ukraine’s upcoming growing season could be in jeopardy.

Mar 02  - Egypt extends wheat moisture level requirement by one year
Egypt, the world’s largest wheat buyer, has extended by one year, to April 2023, its imported wheat moisture limit specifications, as part of a plan to diversify its sources of supply, the trade ministry said on Tuesday in a statement. Moisture should not exceed of 13.5% of the weight of wheat shipments, the ministry said, adding the decision should allow the country to diversify its import origins. The tolerance of moisture content is normally 13% in Egypt.

Mar 02  - EU 2021/22 soft wheat exports at 17.9 mln tonnes, below year-ago level
Soft wheat exports from the European Union in the 2021/22 season that started in July had reached 17.89 million tonnes by Feb. 27, according to data published on Tuesday by the European Commission. That compared with 18.24 million tonnes by the same week in 2020/21, the data showed. This is the first time since early August that this season's cumulative EU soft wheat exports have been below the year-earlier level.

Mar 01  - What does the invasion of Ukraine mean for grain markets? (Tallage-Strategie Grains)
- Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has caused massive volatility in agri-commodity markets - in particular grains. This is understandable, given the importance of Ukraine (and, indeed, Russia) in the production and export of critical grains and oilseeds.
- According to Andrée Defois, Managing Director of Stratégie Grains, the market braced for the biggest disruption is certainly sunflower oil. Ukraine alone is responsible for about 50% of global exports, she says; together with Russia, the two countries currently at war account for 80% of global exports. There is, therefore, literally no other country in a position to step up and replace anything close to the volumes being produced around the Black Sea.
- Moreover, Ukraine still has large existing stocks of sunflower to crush. "If Ukraine is not able to get these volumes transformed and sunoil exported out of the country, a lot of countries, and especially the EU, India, and China, will definitely have to reduce their consumption."
- The grain situation is also quite tense. In wheat, Ukraine and Russia together represent 30% of global exports. For the current marketing year through to the end of June, Defois says an additional 8-9 million tonnes had been expected to ship from Russia and 5 million from Ukraine. Should this wheat fail to show up on global markets, a few countries may be able to supply greater quantities - Defois suggests Australia, India, and parts of Europe—but the total will still fall short: "all these countries together will not be in a position to replace, like that [in a short time period], about 14 million tonnes of wheat."
- That scramble for replacements is made even harder by the drought in North America, meaning alternative supply from Canada or the US will be unavailable. "Consumers will have to switch, to reduce consumption, or maybe to wait for the next season". Effects will be widespread, given the extensive reach of Black Sea wheat, which is shipped to destinations around the globe. “I would say, except for the Americas, nearly the entire world will be concerned."
- On corn, Ukraine represents nearly 20% of global exports, and was expected to play an especially important role this season, given the size of the crop. Of the 33 million tonnes expected to be exported this marketing year, 13 million remain in the country, slightly less than half of which was destined for the EU. So, concludes Defois, in a worst-case scenario where none of those exports actually ships from Ukraine, "the impact on the European Union will be very sharp."

Mar 01  - Ukraine corn export loss sends US Gulf, PNW levels soaring (AgriCensus)
- US corn basis premiums have surged in both the Gulf and the Pacific Northwest after grains buyers turned to the country after a Russian invasion effectively knocked Ukraine's corn supply out of contention. The move came after Ukrainian ports and terminals were forced to close in the immediate wake of the invasion, which began on February 24, leading to a suspension of all commercial shipping from the Black Sea and Azov Sea.
“The US is likely replacing spot demand that Ukraine cannot execute” Paul Sylvester, a broker with Waseda Commodities LLC., told Agricensus.
- US Gulf levels started the week at a $0.95/bu premium and at $309.25/mt, a 3% and 5% respective increase from their previous assessments, with basis levels not too far behind the recorded high of $327.75 set in May 2021.
- Levels at the US PNW - the secondary export hub for the US and a key logistic link for Asia-based buyers - began the week at $1.30/bu premium and $323/mt, with basis levels 3% higher than the previous assessment and $30.25/mt behind the record high of $353.25/mt also from May of last year.
- However, offer levels in the FOB Gulf market jumped 10 cents from Monday to Tuesday, while bidding activity in the PNW showed similar increases, as bids for April loading premiums were heard at $1.41 over May, compared to $1.31 on Monday. Market analysts attributed the climb, in large part, to Ukraine no longer able to export corn along with ongoing South American supply concerns spawned by hot, dry conditions across Brazil and Argentina.

Mar 01 - Demand and new sales of Russian wheat fade on supply concerns
Export demand for the Russian wheat and new sales faded at the end of last week due to supply risks in the Black Sea, analysts said on Monday. Russia invaded Ukraine on Feb. 24, calling its actions a "special operation".

Mar 01 - India's wheat exports set to surge amid Black Sea supply uncertainty
India's wheat exports are expected to accelerate with a flurry of enquiries from buyers seeking alternatives to Black Sea shipments as Russia's invasion of Ukraine threatens to disrupt supplies from the two major producers. After five consecutive record crops, India is struggling with mammoth wheat inventories and both the government and private traders are keen to capitalise on any opportunity to sell the grain on the world market.

Mar 01 - Egypt cancels second wheat tender since Ukraine invasion
Egypt's state grains buyer, the General Authority for Supply Commodities (GASC), said on Monday it had cancelled a second international tender for wheat in four days as the Ukraine crisis continued to disrupt grain markets. The low number of three trading houses participated in the tender because of the supply uncertainty and market turbulence following Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

Mar 01 - Ukraine’s ports to stay closed until Russian invasion ends – maritime administration
Ukrainian ports will remain closed until Russia’s invasion ends, the head of Ukraine’s Maritime Administration said on Monday, adding that the port of Mariupol has sustained damage from Russian shelling. Russia invaded Ukraine on Feb. 24, calling its actions a "special operation".

Feb 28  - Lebanon seeks wheat import deals amid Ukraine crisis
Lebanon has one month's wheat reserves at most and seeks import agreements from various countries, Economy Minister Amin Salam told Reuters on Friday, amid supply fears in the market due to the Ukraine crisis. The country, which imports nearly 60% of its wheat from Ukraine, is in talks with other countries including the United States, India, France and some other European countries to import wheat, Salam added.

Feb 28  - Fund grain, oilseed buying underwhelms ahead of war-induced selloff - Braun
Chicago grain and oilseed futures made a huge run early last week as tensions rapidly escalated between Russia and Ukraine, but it did not excite already-bullish speculators as much as it may have seemed. Russia launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine early on Thursday, sending corn futures to multi-month highs, soybeans to multi-year highs and wheat futures to multi-decade highs. But the market ended the week on a much different note, and the possible degree and future of that selloff remains unclear as the crisis deepens.

Feb 28  - Egypt working to import wheat from regions other than Russia and Ukraine
Egypt, often the world's top wheat importer, is working on a plan to buy wheat from other regions rather than Russia and Ukraine, the state news agency reported, citing Cabinet spokesman Nader Saad. "There are 14 approved countries Egypt could import wheat from, some of which are outside Europe," Saad told a local television channel late on Saturday.

Feb 28  - Grain exporters tap EU supplies as war shuts Ukraine ports - traders
Grain exporters are looking for alternative sources of wheat and corn as a Russian invasion cuts off Ukrainian supplies, with European Union producers Romania and France being used to cover some nearby loadings, traders said on Friday. The conflict has rattled grain markets, with European wheat futures surging to a record high on Thursday, as it raised the prospect of stalled shipments from Ukraine and Russia, which together account for nearly a third of world wheat exports and almost a fifth of global corn exports.

Feb 26  - Chicago SRW hits expanded limit down on pronounced uncertainty (AgriCensus)
- The Chicago SRW futures market traded limit down Friday, lopping off yesterday’s gains with prices down over 8% by midday Central time for trading on the March, May and July contracts. Profit taking at the end of the week, and near the end of the month, combined with a decreased risk appetite, contributing to the precipitous drop.  A market source commented,
“we also saw a big drop in futures open interest on Thursday. This backs our theory that the margin calls that started midday yesterday forced some to liquidate to cover after the drop mid-morning.”
- The move came just 24 hours after wheat contracts had hit limit up following Russia's invasion of Ukraine, which started in the early hours of February 24 and had raised prices across wider commodity and energy markets.  Another commented, “prices are way too high relative to other origins that would be called upon to make up the deficit the Black Sea may not be able to supply.”
- Traders are mindful of the wide price spread between North American wheat and alternative locations, but supply remains a concern and could create a price floor in the near term.
"[The] market can’t really ignore the fact that planting wheat is probably the last thing on the Ukrainian farmers mind at this point,” Kelly Herrick of Advance Trading told Agricensus.
- Reports that Russian officials were willing to meet with Ukrainian leaders added to the uncertainty.
“Many don’t want to take a position home over the weekend not knowing what news may develop,” commented a second source.
- Traders may also be assessing the global financing picture after another round of sanctions were announced yesterday.
“No one is going to want to be long if they’re uncertain who they’re going to sell to, or how they’ll get paid,” a former grain trader commented late yesterday, thinking specifically of potential sanctions that could target international payment systems.
- At 75 cents per bushel, today’s market is on pace to have the largest drop in terms of $/bu in the last five years and the second largest in terms of percentage, just behind the 10.5 percent, or 60.75 cents per bushel drop on July 16, 2020.
- Kansas HRW and Minneapolis spring wheat contracts also hit limit down during the day, as the market readjusted.

Feb 25  - TOAZ suspends ammonia transit following Yuzhny port closure
TOAZ exports the bulk of ammonia to Morocco and Turkey through the Black Sea port of Yuzhny, which closed along with associated pipelines Feb. 24 following Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

Feb 25  - European VGO: Seven vessels load in week to Feb. 25

Most imported feedstocks in Europe and the US originate from Russia, with a majority coming from Black Sea ports. Therefore, operational delays or closures in those ports can have an impact on feedstock supplies.

Feb 25  - Black Sea and Azov shipping and ports hit by Ukraine conflict
Russia's invasion of Ukraine Feb. 24 has resulted in disruption to shipping in the Black Sea and several ports in the region, which is particularly vital to global supply of raw materials, grains and fertilizer.

Feb 25  - European feedstock traders await clarity on sanctions' impact on Russian product flows
European feedstock and fuel oil markets were reflecting a "wait-and-see" approach to determine the impact of sanctions oil product flows out of Russia, traders said.

Feb 25  - Ukraine shuts ports as conflict threatens grain supplies
Ukraine's military has suspended commercial shipping at its ports after Russian forces invaded the country, an adviser to the Ukrainian president's chief of staff said, stoking fear of supply disruption from leading grain and oilseeds exporters. Russia earlier ordered the Azov Sea closed to the movement of commercial vessels until further notice, but kept Russian ports in the Black Sea open for navigation, its officials and five grain industry sources said on Thursday.

Feb 25  - Egyptian wheat buying disrupted by Russian invasion of Ukraine
Egypt, often the world's top wheat importer, cancelled its international purchasing tender as a result of low turnout from major exporters on Thursday after Russia's invasion of Ukraine. After extending its submission deadline by an hour, Egypt's state grains buyer, the General Authority for Supply Commodities (GASC), had only one offer for French wheat for April 11-21 shipment, stoking fears of supply disruptions.

Feb 25 - U.S. farmers to boost soy plantings, trim corn plantings
U.S. farmers will boost the amount of soybeans they seed this spring while cutting back on their corn acreage, the U.S. government said on Thursday. The U.S. Agriculture Department forecast that soybean acreage will rise to 88.0 million from 87.2 million last year. Corn plantings were seen at 92.0 million acres compared to 93.4 million in 2021.

Feb 25 - Brazil farmers brace for potential fertilizer pinch due to Ukraine crisis

Brazilian agricultural exports may lose their competitive edge due to a scarcity of fertilizer and soaring prices for the key material if Russia's invasion of Ukraine triggers Western sanctions on Russian fertilizer exports, according to analysts. Brazil relies on imports for about 85% of its fertilizer needs. Russia is its biggest supplier of the NPK mixture of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium.

Feb 24 - Ukraine dry bulk trade halts amid Russian invasion
Ukraine is a sizeable contributor to global grain exports and any disruption to trade flows could potentially affect food security and prices, at a time when food inflation has soared to a record high in the last year.

Feb 24  - Russia's Ukraine invasion seen disrupting vegetable oil, grain trade flows
As both Russia and Ukraine command clout in global trade flows of grain and vegetable oil, rising uncertainty in the region around port closures and blockages on vessel navigation are expected to keep prices of commodities such as sunflower oil, corn and wheat elevated in the near term.

Feb 24  - Bunge suspends Ukraine operations after Russian invasion (AgriCensus)
- US agribusiness conglomerate Bunge on Thursday said it had temporarily suspended its Ukraine-based operations at processing facilities in Nikoalev and Dnipro, and the company offices are closed across the country following Russia's full invasion in the early hours of the day. Bunge said it employs 1,000 people in Ukraine at two processing facilities and grain elevators in different parts of the country, as well as a grain export terminal in the Mykolaiv commercial seaport.
"Bunge’s highest priority and primary concern is for the safety of our employees. We remain in constant contact with our teams and we will continue to follow developments and take all appropriate actions to protect our employees and our business in the country," the company said in an emailed statement.
"Taking advantage of Bunge’s global network and footprint, the company will work to minimize any impact on our supply chain," the company added.

- Prices for wheat, corn, oilseeds and vegoils rose sharply on Thursday as traders responded to the increased likelihood that invasion and war will cause major disruption to supplies from Black Sea ports and other routes. Bunge said it also operates a dry corn milling facility in the Vinnytsya region, southwest of the country's capital Kyiv, through a joint venture with the Dacsa group. Ukraine is a major producers and exporter of corn alongside a significant exporter of wheat and one of the world's biggest exporters of sunflower seeds and derivatives.

Feb 24  - Russia invades Ukraine in Europe's 'darkest hours' since WWII (Reuters)
- Russia invades Ukraine in Europe's 'darkest hours' since WWII, NATO puts warplanes on alert, and U.S. banks tackle Russia sanctions fine print. In the biggest attack by one state against another in Europe since World War Two, Russia launched an all-out invasion of Ukraine by land, air and sea  - a confirmation of the worst fears of the West.

- The United States and its allies will impose "severe sanctions" on Russia after its military forces launched an attack on Ukraine, Joe Biden said. The U.S. president said he spoke with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy and briefed him on the steps Washington was taking to rally international condemnation of Russia. Putin's Ukraine assault confounds Biden's strategy and puts his leadership to the test. How Biden handles this crisis is expected to have profound implications for his political fortunes and U.S. relations with the world.

- The President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen said the EU will hold Moscow accountable for the "unjustified" attack on Ukraine.

- Oil prices broke above $100 a barrel for the first time since 2014, stock markets slumped and the rouble hit a record low on Thursday after Russian President Vladimir Putin launched an invasion of Ukraine
- The rouble tumbled to an all-time low against the dollar and euro in highly volatile trading after Putin ordered Russian forces to invade Ukraine. Russia's invasion saw investors scrambling for the safety of gold and the protection of inflation hedges.
- The Moscow Exchange suspended trading on all markets, saying the exchange will announce the resumption of trading at a later date.
- The United States imposed sanctions on the company in charge of building Russia's Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, expanding penalties on Moscow after it recognized two breakaway regions in eastern Ukraine.

Feb 24 - Ukraine crisis threatens sunoil supply, fuels vegoils rally
Uncertainty over sunflower oil supplies due to the conflict between Russia and Ukraine is spurring demand for rivals palm oil and soyoil, fuelling a red-hot vegetable oil market. The Black Sea accounts for 60% of world sunoil output and 76% of exports, so the uncertainty over how the crisis in the region may impact crop production and movement has prompted buyers to seek alternative oils.

Feb 24 - With fertilizer costs high and seeds scarce, U.S. farmers turn to soy

North Dakota farmer Jennifer Meyer typically devotes at least 20% of her 2,500-acre farm to corn, which provides a convenient feed for the cattle she raises with her husband. But this year she is looking to find another crop for those 500 acres near Wilton as she has been unable to find the fertilizer needed to grow the yellow grain. So instead of planting corn, Meyer is leaning toward soybeans, as she has been found the pesticide needed to get that crop through the growing season.

Feb 24 - Russia suspends movement of commercial vessels in Azov sea  - sources
Russia has suspended movement of commercial vessels in the Azov sea until further notice, five grain industry sources told Reuters on Thursday. Russian forces invaded Ukraine with strikes on major cities on Thursday. Russia, the world's largest wheat exporter, mainly ships its grain from ports in the Black Sea.

Feb 24 - Egypt's GASC seeks wheat in international tender

Egypt's General Authority for Supply Commodities (GASC) set a tender on Wednesday to buy an unspecified amount of wheat from global suppliers for shipment from April 11-21. Deadline for offers is Feb. 24 and payment is at sight, it said.

Feb 23  - Ukrainian corn makes rare trade into Vietnam despite war risks (AgriCensus)

- At least two sales of Ukrainian corn cargoes into Vietnam have been reported by trade sources in an example of a rare arbitrage that highlights the Black Sea's increasingly competitive pricing for prompt grains despite the turbulent backdrop of potential conflict. The sales come as weather issues in South America and world market reaction to the escalation in the geopolitical conflict in the Black Sea region has meant values in other origins have moved higher. However, in the Black Sea, Ukrainian corn prices have held stable and have now emerged as among the most competitive. The trades were said to have been done for prompt shipment with delivered price ideas thought to be in the range of $343-350/mt CFR Vietnam, although trade sources did not disclose the buyer’s name.
“I heard two vessels of Ukrainian corn traded in the last week and some sellers are now checking demand to consider operating more. Ukrainian corn now is $5-10/mt cheaper compared to South American corn recently and quality was better than other origins such as Indian or Myanmar,” a Vietnam-based trader told Agricensus.

- At the same time, a bid appeared on the FOB basis for Ukrainian and Russian corn with Vietnamese specifications at $289/mt FOB basis a panamax in a panamax port (PIPP) for March shipment in a move that seems to confirm there remains buying interest in the market. Vietnam last took delivery of Ukrainian corn back in May 2020, export data shows, with Vietnamese importers typically looking to South America - particularly Argentinian corn - augmented by US and sometimes more locally sourced Indian or Myanmese corn.  Ukrainian corn is also only imported under a 2% import tax, unlike Argentinian and Brazilian origins.

- Vietnamese buyers have also bought corn from Myanmar in recent days, with delivered prices heard at around $345/mt CFR and around $300/mt FOB. That comes as in addition to already existing weather issues in South America, which have kept international corn prices firm as the trade eyes the impact of drought conditions on potential yields and output.

- Alongside that, the escalation of the conflict between Russia and Ukraine - with President Vladimir Putin ordering Russian troops into two breakaway provinces of Ukraine this week - sending world corn prices sharply higher. But while Argetinian FOB Up River prices have gained 11% in the last month, Ukraine's FOB corn market has climbed just 4% over the same period, making it among the cheapest origins globally, with offers for panamax cargoes in a panamax port heard at around $295/mt.

- However, the trades were also completed before President Putin delivered a fiery, televised speech where he recognized two breakaway regions of Ukraine as independent states and before Russian troops were sent in to the regions. That has since prompted a further escalation in tensions and means further trades could face bigger risk - not least from the fear of disruption to either country's logistics and supply chain.

Feb 23  - China wants more cooking oil to come from home-grown soybeans
China will plant soybeans on every patch of land possible this year, the agriculture minister said on Wednesday, as it seeks to reduce its dependence on huge annual imports. The minister, Tang Renjian, announced his plan after the government outlined a raft of measures to lift soybean output, among steps to boost food security, in a major rural policy document.

Feb 23  - Deepening Russia-Ukraine tensions seen curbing food supplies, lifting prices

Escalating tensions between global crop heavyweights Russia and Ukraine are likely to force wheat, corn and sunflower oil buyers to seek alternative shipments, driving up world food prices already near multi-year highs, analysts and traders said. Global stock markets tumbled while crude oil surged on Tuesday as Europe's eastern flank stood on the brink of war after Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered troops into breakaway regions of eastern Ukraine.

Feb 23  - ADM sets record for single soybean shipment from northern Brazil
U.S. grains merchant Archer-Daniels-Midland Co said on Tuesday it has carried out the largest soybean shipment in the history of the Ponta da Montanha Grain Terminal (TGPM), located in the northern Brazilian city of Barcarena, as it shipped 84,802 tonnes in a single vessel. It also represented the largest volume ever shipped on a grain vessel from ports located in the Amazon Basin, the company told Reuters.

Feb 23  - Turkey buys 255,000 tonnes feed barley in tender  - traders
Turkey's state grain board TMO has purchased an estimated 255,000 tonnes of animal feed barley in an international tender for the same volume on Tuesday, European traders said. The tender has ended and no more purchases are expected, they said.

Feb 23  - Drought means Argentine corn, soybean yields at risk until March (Agricensus)

- Argentina’s crop yields for corn and soybeans could continue to fall owing to the lack rains in the country’s key growing regions to date, and the return of meaningful volumes could be delayed until mid-March causing significant yield losses, the Buenos Aires Grain Exchange (BAGE) said on Monday.

- Alongside BAGE, fellow exchange the Rosario Grain Exchange (BCR) also warned about continuing losses in crop yields. BCR highlighted soybean yields in Argentina’s core area – or also called as nucleus area – were pegged at 31.8 quintals/ha (3.18 mt/ha), compared with 31.1 quintals/ha (3.11 mt/ha) by the end of February last year. However, the Rosario exchange warned that yields are likely to be slashed even further owing to the lack of rainfall in mid-February which has compromised grain filling. Yields could potentially end lower than the ones registered in the 2017/18 season, when soybeans dropped to 29 quintals/ha (2.9 mt/ha).

- Argentina-based consultancy AZ Group told Agricensus that the early-planted corn crop in Argentina's core region is expected to see a reduction of 10-30% on yields when compared to initial estimates, while early planted soybeans are also expected to see large reductions in yields.
“The lack of rainfall could also impact the late-planted soybean crop, however there are some rains forecast for the last week of February,” the consultancy added.

- The second-consecutive “La Nina” weather phenomenon this season has resulted in a severe drought in the country’s agriculture regions, and forecasters are expecting the phenomenon to remain until May, thus potentially delaying rains in the autumn months. A delay in the withdrawal of La Nina could impact wheat plantings as it would delay the onset of autumn rainfall if the forecast is realised.

Feb 22  - Argentine crops could keep losing yield until March due to drought – exchange
Argentina's 2021/22 soybean and corn crops could see yields continue to decline in the weeks ahead with abundant rains only expected to arrive in mid-March to relieve a lengthy period of dry weather, the Buenos Aires grains exchange said on Monday. Argentina is the world's top exporter of soybean oil and meal, and the second largest for corn, but has seen harvest forecasts slashed after drought since late last year, impacted by the La Nina climate phenomenon for a second straight year.

Feb 22  - Brazil soybean harvest 33% complete but weather weighs,
says AgRural
Brazil's farmers had harvested 33% of the country's soybean area as of Thursday, against 24% a week earlier and 15% by the same time last year, but still faced widespread weather-related issues, agribusiness consultancy AgRural said on Monday. The top grain-producing state of Mato Grosso has been hit by excessive rain, hurting soybean quality, while Brazil's southernmost states have been affected by hot, dry weather recently.

Feb 22  - Argentina grains inspectors start 24-hour strike; 'no impact' at ports

Argentina's grains inspectors began a 24-hour strike on Monday demanding bonus payments, but port activity and shipments of farm products were not affected in the South American country, the top global exporter of processed soybeans. Juan Carlos Peralta, press secretary of the URGARA union, said there was strong compliance with the strike action and that on Monday afternoon the union would hold another assembly to decide whether to extend the strike.

Feb 21  - Argentina grain inspectors announce strike Monday, no effect on shipments
Argentina's grain inspectors union URGARA said on Friday it will launch a 24-hour commercial strike on Monday to demand a wage bonus, but said the strike would not affect grain shipments at ports in one of the world's leading food exporters. URGARA said it is demanding a wage "bonus" for grain buyers for work done in 2021, but they have not received offers from the country's grain silo owners federation.

Feb 21  - Taiwan buys 54,920 tonnes wheat of U.S.-origin in tender
The Taiwan Flour Millers' Association purchased an estimated 54,920 tonnes of milling wheat to be sourced from the United States in a tender which closed on Friday, European traders said. The purchase involved a range of different wheat types in one consignment for shipment from the U.S. Pacific Northwest coast between April 4 and 18.

Feb 21  - U.S.-UAE push for another $4bln in farming climate change investment
The United States and the United Arab Emirates are seeking an additional $4 billion of global investment in an initiative launched last year to make agriculture resilient to climate change and reduce its emissions, a U.S. official said on Sunday. The two countries launched the Agriculture Innovation Mission for Climate (AIM for Climate) at COP26 climate talks in November, aiming for $4 billion investment from governments and non-government innovation partners between 2021-2025. 

Feb 18  - China’s oil plants shut down because of soybean shortage: industry sources + AgriCensus

- Some soybean crushing plants across China from north to south regions are in or have planned suspensions to operations, industry sources told Agricensus. The shutdown came as deteriorated domestic crush margins heavily weighed on Chinese buyers’ buying interests for soybeans, causing shortages of the oilseed in oil plants.

- According to sources familiar with the matter, crushing plants of Bunge located in Tianjin have halted operations for 49 days from February 14 to April 3, and the company’s plants in Nanjing issued notices to shut down for almost one month from late February to March. At the same time, plants of Louis Dreyfus Company (LDC) in Tianjin and Cargill in Hebei Province will stop their operations from next week.

- According to a report from China’s industry consultancy Mysteel on Friday, many crushing plants in China’s southern province - Guangxi - have shutdown schedules in March. China’s domestic crush margins deteriorated sharply into negative territory since China returned from its week-long Lunar New Year holiday earlier this month, according to Agricensus’ assessments. Import costs for soybeans paid by Chinese crushers have shot up as weather concerns over South American crops boosted the skyrocketing in CBOT soybean futures and spot premiums in Brazil’s market.

- Meanwhile, demand for soymeal, one of the major products crushed from soybeans, from downstream industry weakened due to the plunge of hog prices since mid-December 2021. Chinese buyers have had to slow down the pace of purchases for soybeans from the global markets, particularly for crops in the current marketing year, according to trade information tracked by Agricensus. Moreover, some Chinese soybean processors have cancelled, known in the trade as washouts, for around 10 to 12 cargoes of Brazilian soybeans since last week. Slow importing and pre-holiday consumption weighed on China’s domestic soybean stocks in major oil plants remained at low levels in recent weeks.

- According to data from China’s National Grain and Oil Information Centre (CNGOIC), soybean stocks last week came in at 3.95 million mt, 1.5 million mt lower than the level recorded at the same point in 2021. In Guangxi province, only two oil plants have soybean stocks while other plants have no soybean left, according to Mysteel. The market is probably waiting for China’s government to release soybeans from its reserves to ease the tight supply, a China-based trader told Agricensus.

- Rumours have circulated widely in recent days that Sinograin, China’s state-owned stockpiler, would sell soybeans from its reserves to cover the country’s demand from March to May, and the released size was heard to be as much as 5 million mt.

Feb 18  - Kazakhstan sees 2022/23 grain exports at 8-9 mln T
Kazakhstan's agriculture ministry sees grain exports at 8-9 million tonnes in the upcoming 2022/23 marketing season, up from 7.0-7.3 million tonnes in the current season, the Interfax news agency reported on Thursday. Kazakhstan mostly ships grains to its Central Asian neighbours, Afghanistan, China, and Black Sea ports.

Feb 18  - Japan buys 54,692 tonnes food wheat via tenders
Japan's Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF) bought a total of 54,692 tonnes of food-quality wheat from the United States in regular tenders that closed on Thursday. Japan, the world's sixth-biggest wheat importer, keeps a tight grip on imports of the country's second most important staple after rice and buys the majority of the grain for milling via tenders typically issued three times a month.

Feb 18  - IGC trims forecast for 2021/22 global corn crop
The International Grains Council (IGC) on Thursday trimmed its forecast for 2021/22 global corn production, partly driven by diminished outlooks for Brazil and Argentina. In its monthly update, the inter-governmental body cut the forecast by 4 million tonnes to 1.203 billion.

Feb 18  - Argentina farm belt set for light showers, then heavier rains at month-end – exchange
Argentina's agricultural heartland, hit by a drought that is affecting corn and soybean crops, is set for a week of scant rainfall before heavier precipitation towards the end of February, the Buenos Aires grains exchange said on Thursday. The world's top exporter of processed soy and the no. 2 corn exporter has been suffering from drought linked to the La Niña climate pattern, which has prompted deep cuts in forecasts for harvests of the two grains in recent months.

Feb 17  - European biomethane industry pushes economic case for sector build-out
The EBA added that biomethane could also help reduce EU dependency on external suppliers.

Feb 17  - Egypt's Central Bank excludes grain, beans from new import rules (Agricensus)

- The Central Bank of Egypt has excluded essential goods such as grain commodities and medicines from new import payment rules aimed at protecting local industry and reducing foreign currency spending, sources told Agricensus Thursday. An amendment to the new rules, seen by Agricensus, excludes strategic and essential commodities such as wheat, corn, beans, poultry, and other goods such as tea, and meat from a list of imported goods to which the new payment rules apply, namely the insistance on letter of credit (LC) payment terms rather than cash against documents (CAD).

- The grain market will therefore not be affected by the new rules.
"This way, there is no problem for our industry," a broker said. "They have excluded wheat, corn, oil, lentils, beans, milk powder, chemicals and medicine...It’s mainly for non-essential goods."

- Earlier this week, Egypt's Central Bank changed the payment methods to be used when paying for imports. This led to Egyptian trade industry lobbies to appeal to the government to revoke the hastily made decision, which they believed would drive up costs for Egyptian industry, have a negative impact on economic activity and cause a lot of difficulties for traders.
Wheat and corn imports were the biggest concern, as Egypt depends on them and most of the trade is done on CAD terms, apart from GASC tenders, where most of the contracts are paid via LC.

Feb 17  - Market Briefing: Meat and Livestock (IHSmarkit)

- German meat production falls for fifth consecutive year.
- Premium beef cuts gain market share in Britain.
- Avian flu triggers more curbs on US poultry exports.
- Cattle prices continue to strengthen across Europe.

Production
- Meat production in Germany fell for the fifth consecutive year in 2021 as animal disease outbreaks added to long-standing challenges faced by producers and processors. Production of all types of meat fell to 7.65 million tonnes, down 2.4% y/y, according to preliminary data from Federal Statistics Agency, Destatis. Pork production for the year as a whole fell 2.9% y/y to 4.97 million tonnes, This means that pork production has fallen for the fifth year in a row – by a total of 11% compared to the amount of meat produced in 2016. Beef production fell 1.8% y/y to 1.07 million tonnes. Production of all types of poultrymeat fell by 1.6% to 1.59 million tonnes as avian flu caused losses in the turkey and duck meat segments.

Demand
- Premium beef cuts such as steaks and roasting joints are accounting for a higher percentage of the meat purchased by British consumers. Retail sales of beef were worth £2.4 billion in 2021, amounting to a total volume of 297,000 tonnes, which is 8.1% below the exceptional year of 2020 but 6.5% above the pre-pandemic levels seen in 2019. Volume sales of roasting joints in 2021 accounted for 16.5% of beef sales in 2021 as opposed to 15% two years ago, according to Kantar data. Steak sales now account for 18.8% of the volume of beef sold by British retailers, as opposed to 17.6% in 2019. Conversely, the proportion of beef sold as mince continues to fall, from 53.1% in 2019 to 50.4% in 2021.

Trade
 - US poultry exporters are facing further disruption following confirmation that avian flu has spread to commercial poultry flocks in Indiana and Kentucky. The outbreaks prompted China to ban imports of unprocessed poultry from both states. A number of other countries followed suit, including Cuba and South Africa. The US exported 3.84 million tonnes of unprocessed poultrymeat (HS code 0207) in 2021, up 2% on the previous year. Of the total, some 474,000 tonnes (12%) went to mainland China, 307,000 tonnes (8%) to Cuba and 76,000 tonnes (2%) to South Africa. Meanwhile, US beef exports surged to a record high in 2021 but US pork exports ran under 2020 levels largely due to a decline in purchases by China.

Prices
- Firm demand for beef is continuing to drive up cattle prices in Europe, with strong growth in all livestock categories and all major beef producing countries. In the week ending 6 February, the European Commission’s overall benchmark price for A/C/Z R3 cattle was EUR445.87 per 100kg, up by 1.2% w/w and 21% higher than at this time last year. Already at high levels, average benchmark prices in Ireland rose by a further 0.4% to EUR445.70 per 100kg as factories struggled to match supplies with demand. Average prices are currently 14% up on year-ago levels. The supply-demand balance in Ireland’s key export markets, the UK and the EU, currently favors Irish exporters, partly because of reduced availability of beef from South America.

Feb 17 - Market Briefing: Dairy (IHSmarkit)

- US milk production may need until May to pick up pace
- Uruguay’s butter stocks heat up as exports climb 120% y/y in January
- GDT auction sees WMP price rise 4.2% to $4,503/tonne

Production
- US milk production remains weak across the major exporters, and it will likely be until May before positive levels become more evident. Weak milk production combined with strong export orders could give the market a boost.
- Canadian dairy giant Saputo plans to close three plants, two in Australia and one in California, while also investing $133 million to modernise its US cheese manufacturing base.

Demand
- Foreign demand for Uruguayan butter heated up in January as the country saw its export volumes rise 120% y/y to 2,009 tonnes. The value of butter exports soared 171% y/y to $9.0 million. Demand from Russia accounted for 56% of all Uruguay’s butter exports in 2021.
- US cheese demand is mixed nationwide. As restaurants contend with the continued Covid limitations and recent winter storms in the Northeast/Midwest, food service demand has been less than favourable.

Trade
-UK dairy exports to the EU were down by 16.3% y/y in 2021, with cheese sales being especially hard hit. Trade in dairy products was among the hardest hit after new non-tariff barriers were introduced on 1 January 2021.
- Around 4,000 tonnes (160 containers) of milk powder arrived in Algeria in recent days from Poland and Belgium, and a further 20 containers were expected by mid-February. Algeria is stocking up milk powder ahead of Ramadan.
- US dairy exports hit a record 2.69 million tonnes in 2021, a 9.3% y/y increase from the 2.44 million tonnes exported in 2020. The US is poised to become the world’s leading supplier of dairy products.

Price
- GDT prices have increased by 4.1% at the 15 February auction, in what is the fourth consecutive increase. WMP led the charge with a 4.2% rise to $4,503/tonne. Butter prices rose 5.1% to $6,686/tonne, while SMP moved up 6.0% to $4,295/tonne.
- The price of WMP, Uruguay’s key dairy export commodity, increased 15% y/y to $3,626/tonne in January. South America’s average January export price of $3,638/tonne for WMP remained well below the price of competition from Europe and Oceania.
- US cheddar futures traded higher through 2022 on 11 February. The average price for the first quarter is $1.9255/pound and $1.97 for the second quarter.

Feb 17  - Paraguay soy crushers, hit by drought, risk running out of beans
Paraguay's soybean crushing industry will run out of beans to process by the middle of the year due to a drought hammering production, the country's trade industry body told Reuters, adding it was in talks to import beans for the first time ever. The landlocked South American country, the world's fourth largest soybean exporter, is facing its worst soy harvest in a decade, with a drop in production that could see just half the amount of soy versus the previous season.

Feb 17  - Ukraine’s unmatched corn crop gains encroach on rival exporters - Braun
Ukraine has been making headlines in the grain markets as traders mull whether geopolitical tensions could threaten exports, but this may not have been a big issue just a couple decades ago when the country’s crops were significantly smaller. Remarkable developments in Ukraine’s corn output in particular have allowed it to steal export share and potential from traditional suppliers, and the United States has been the most affected.

Feb 17  - China could cut soybean demand by 30 mln tonnes – Xinhua
China can reduce its soybean demand by 30 million tonnes by continuing to promote lower soymeal rations in feed and using alternative proteins, the official Xinhua news agency said on Wednesday, citing unnamed agriculture officials. China issued guidelines last year recommending the reduction of soymeal and corn in pig and poultry feed, as it sought to reduce its dependence on imported grains.

Feb 16  - Dry weather outlook fans drought fears in Argentina's farmlands
Argentina's farm belt is set for days of hot and dry weather ahead, weather experts said on Tuesday, stoking fears among grains farmers whose corn and soy crops are in sore need of rainfall after spells of drought. The South American country is the world's top exporter of soybean oil and meal, and the No. 2 global exporter of corn. Both crops suffered important losses between December and the first half of January due to a drought and heat waves.

Feb 16  - Brazil's Amaggi in talks with Bharti on Brazil Potash partnership
The owner of Brazil's biggest homegrown grains trader told Reuters he is in talks with Canadian investor Stan Bharti to help develop the largest potash mine in Latin America, in a push to wean Brazilian farmers off costly fertilizer imports. Blairo Maggi, head of grains-growing and trading firm Amaggi and nicknamed Brazil's "Soy King," said the group is keen to partner with Bharti's Brazil Potash Corp, offering to ship potash by river from a planned mine in the Amazon rainforest.

Feb 16  - Algeria tenders to buy nominal 50,000 T milling wheat, traders say
Algeria's state grains agency OAIC has issued an international tender to buy milling wheat to be sourced from optional origins, European traders said on Monday. The tender sought a nominal 50,000 tonnes, but Algeria often buys considerably more in its tenders than the nominal volume sought.

Feb 16  - EU 2021/22 soft wheat exports 17.27 mln T by Feb. 13

Soft wheat exports from the European Union in the 2021/22 season that started in July had reached 17.27 million tonnes by Feb. 13, according to data published on Tuesday by the European Commission. That compared with 16.87 million tonnes by the same week in 2020/21, the data showed.

Feb 15  - U.S. corn-based ethanol worse for the climate than gasoline, study finds
Corn-based ethanol, which for years has been mixed in huge quantities into gasoline sold at U.S. pumps, is likely a much bigger contributor to global warming than straight gasoline, according to a study published Monday. The study, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, contradicts previous research commissioned by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) showing ethanol and other biofuels to be relatively green.

Feb 15  - Bangladesh gets offers in 50,000-tonne wheat purchase tender  - traders
Bangladesh's state grains buyer received the lowest price offer assessed at $390.92 a tonne CIF liner out in an international tender to purchase and import 50,000 tonnes of wheat which closed on Monday, European traders said. No purchase has yet been reported and the offers are still being considered, they said.

Feb 14  - China washes out Brazilian soybeans amid poor crush margins (Agricensus)

- China washed out at least five Brazilian soybean cargoes from the beginning of last week up to Monday February 14, Agricensus has confirmed. Several sources, both in Brazil and China, told Agricensus that Chinese crushers were heard breaching soybean contracts due to the combination of surging CBOT futures, skyrocketing Brazilian FOB premiums and negative crush margins in the Asian country.
“Chinese crushers prefer to washout contracts and pay the underlying penalty fees rather than originating Brazilian beans amid negative domestic crush margins,” HedgePoint Global’s Victor Martins told Agricensus.
“The arbitrage gains in the futures market more than compensate losses from contract breaches,” Martins added.

- The idea is that crushers that had closed purchase deals for Brazilian beans by the end of 2021, and subsequently hedged their positions in the futures market and cashed in by selling off their CBOT long positions. Considering that March soybean CBOT futures soared 29%, the equivalent to $3.56/bu, between the end of November and February 11, there are indeed potentially large financial profits to be made. This could overcome the penalty fees related to washing out contracts, it is understood. Under such rationale the incentive to breach contracts would have been amplified by particularly negative crush margins in China, which are capping spot soybean demand in the country.

- According to Agricensus’ estimates, the Chinese average spot gross crush margins have been slightly negative since December, and plunged even further when China’s market reopened after its week-long Lunar New Year holiday in February.
Rumours about China washing out Brazilian soybean cargoes had been circulating in the market since the middle of last week and were confirmed by Agricensus on Monday.
“Some of the washout deals were done by COFCO at the CFR market… due to rapidly deteriorating domestic crush margins,” a China-based trader told Agricensus.
“We heard two of the cargoes were switched to the US origins amid the bad crush margins and slow loading pace in Brazil,” another Chinese analyst said.

- The rumours contributed to pressure premiums in the Brazilian cash market, although some many market participants had been sceptical about their veracity. Brazilian soybean spot FOB premiums surged to extremely high levels – the highest for front-month loading since November 2021 – in February backed by estimates showing a significant drought-driven crop loss in the country this marketing year. On Thursday, front-month premiums plunged with contracts for March loading on the Paranaguá paper market tumbling 25 c/bu on the day. This came as rumours about the washouts started to spread and many sellers rushed into the market to lock in deals, in the belief that premiums had already peaked and would start to trend downwards.

- At the same time, the switch of cargoes from Brazil to the US heightened speculation that China would turn its attention towards the US as the deadline for the phase-one trade deal between Beijing and Washington approaches.
If confirmed, this could bolster US soybean exports, with potential impacts on ending stocks and on the CBOT price benchmark.

Feb 14  - India cuts tax on crude palm oil imports to help consumers, refiners
India has cut its tax on crude palm oil (CPO) imports to 5% from 7.5%, the government said in a notification, as the world's biggest edible oil importer tries to rein in local prices of the commodity and help domestic refiners and consumers. The reduction in the tax, known as the Agriculture Infrastructure and Development Cess (AIDC), will widen the gap between the CPO and refined palm oil import duties, effectively making it cheaper for Indian refiners to import CPO, industry officials told Reuters.

Feb 14  - China's vice premier calls for expansion of soybean production - state media
Chinese Vice Premier Hu Chunhua called for China to expand soybean production at a meeting on spring farm output held in Shandong province, Xinhua reported on Sunday. Hu also emphasized stabilising planted grains acreage and strengthening farmland protection, reiterating policies previously laid out by central leadership, Xinhua said.

Feb 11  - Paraguay December crush hits lowest rate since 2013: Cappro

- Paraguay’s crush industry has reported the lowest utilisation rate since 2013 at the end of December, according to oilseed crushing chamber Cappro, with representatives of the sector appealing to government to help import from other countries.

- At 66%, the utilisation rate is 12 percentage points down versus December 2020, according to Cappro.

- Paraguayan crushers processed a total of 2.8 million mt of soybean last year, down 18.9% compared to the previous year.

- Cappro has recently asked the government for tax and customs flexibility for the import of soybeans, as the industry group seeks to implement a similar scheme to the one already in place in neighbouring Argentina. There, local crushers are allowed to temporarily import soybean for crushing purposes. Paraguay’s Vice Minister of Industry, Ramiro Samaniego, recently explained that the proposal from the sector consists of halving the base of the taxes that affect the import of soybeans, in particular value added tax, and other custom taxes.

- With these measures, the import cost would drop from $4.62 to $2.94 per mt of soybean, which would imply a 36.3% reduction in expenses, according to a report published by local newspaper Ultima Hora.

Feb 11  - Egypt's private sector wheat imports surge as state buyer tightens purchases
Wheat imports by Egypt's private sector have overtaken those by the state commodities authority, a trend that could continue as the government looks to reform bread subsidies and trim its import bill, industry experts say. Egypt's private sector imported 6.9 million tonnes of wheat in 2021, up 11% from 2020, while the state-run General Authority for Supply Commodities (GASC) imported 4.7 million tonnes, a 32% drop from the previous year, according to data from the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) and two Middle Eastern traders.

Feb 11  - Strategie Grains cuts EU wheat export outlook again
Consultancy Strategie Grains on Thursday again cut its forecast for European Union soft wheat exports in 2021/22 due to competition from South American and Black Sea suppliers, as well as reduced expectations for Algerian and Egyptian imports. It lowered its outlook for EU exports of common wheat, or soft wheat, this season to 30.4 million tonnes from 31.2 million tonnes projected in January. The consultancy had already trimmed its forecast by 0.3 million tonnes last month.
Picture of the Day

Feb 11  - Argentina soy belt drought awakens ghost of 2018 production 'disaster'
Dry weather in recent weeks and scant hopes of significant rains for the rest of the month in Argentina's soy belt are igniting fears of a "productive disaster" akin to that in 2018, the Rosario grains exchange (BCR) said on Thursday. Argentina, the world's top soybean oil and meal exporter, already saw its 2021/22 campaign bruised by drought and heat waves from December until mid-January, when rains finally arrived. However, the rainfall has dissipated again this month.

Feb 11  - Bayer revives plan to introduce new GM cotton seeds in India

Germany's Bayer has applied to cultivate its next generation of genetically modified (GM) cotton seeds in India, government sources said, reviving plans to bring the high-yielding, herbicide-tolerant variety to the country. In late 2016, Monsanto withdrew an application seeking approval from New Delhi for the GM variety Bollgard II Roundup Ready Flex (RRF), to protest a raft of government measures against the world's biggest seed maker.

Feb 10  - Rising crush demand sparks cut to U.S. soy supply view
U.S. soybean supplies will be smaller than previously forecast as demand from the crushing industry rose, the government said on Wednesday. The forecast reflects a shift in the U.S. soybean industry, as demand for biofuel made from soybean oil and processed soymeal used in livestock feed rises and China's demand for soybean imports cools.

Feb 10  - China suspends Lithuanian beef imports as Taiwan row grows
China has suspended imports of beef from Lithuania since Wednesday, the General Administration of Customs said, amid a growing trade spat with the Baltic nation and its Western allies centred on Chinese-claimed Taiwan. Customs did not give a reason for the suspension.

Feb 10  - South Korea’s MFG buys estimated 68,000 tonnes corn in tender - traders
South Korea's Major Feedmill Group (MFG) purchased around 68,000 tonnes of animal feed corn in an international tender which closed on Wednesday, European traders said. The corn was bought in one consignment at an estimated $341.89 a tonne c&f plus $1.75 a surcharge for additional port unloading.

Feb 09  - EU 2021/22 soft wheat exports reach 16.92 mln T by Feb 6
Soft wheat exports from the European Union in the 2021/22 season that started in July had reached 16.92 million tonnes by Feb. 6, European Commission data showed on Tuesday. The soft wheat exports were ahead of the pace last season, when 16.22 million tonnes had been shipped by the same week, the data showed.

Feb 09  - Plunge in U.S. soy exports to China in 2021 exposes Phase 1 flaws: Braun
The United States in 2021 exported just as many soybeans to China by value as a year earlier, but the volume fell 20% in a sign that the Phase 1 trade deal is probably not accomplishing the intended purpose. Soybeans, among the top American exports to China, also lost significant trade share against other agricultural goods last year while items like corn and beef surged up the list.

Feb 08 - Paraguay books rare soybean cargo from Argentina (AgriCensus)

- Paraguay was heard to have booked its first ever order of Argentine soybeans for 18,000 mt in an unprecedented move amid a sharp drought-related crop loss, trade sources told Agricensus Tuesday.
“This is the first ever time [that Paraguay has imported soybeans from Argentina] ... the situation is very difficult over there,” a South American trade source told Agricensus.

- Paraguay is the fourth larger soybean exporter in the world, but the country has been severely hit by severe droughts over the past two seasons as a result of La Nina weather conditions, with the latest event badly impacting the country's 2021/22 soybean crop.
“It is a very unusual situation…against the flux from Up River,” soybean analyst at Brazil’s Agrinvest Commodities Eduardo Vanin told Agricensus.
“Paraguay has been having a hard time to honour soybean contracts,” head of the Latam grains sales desk at HedgePoint Global Maria Sol Arcidiácono said.
“Soybean crop losses are estimated at 50% in the country and, from the 50% that have been harvested, some 75% is under bad quality conditions… they need something to blend in order to increase quality somewhat,” Arcidiácono added.

- Paraguay is forecast to produce 10 million mt of soybeans in the 2021/22 marketing year and to export 6.4 million mt of the oilseed according to USDA’s latest estimates that many expect will be downgraded on February 9.

Feb 08 - EU grain trade comments - StoneX

Based on recent form of the USDA they will raise the EU wheat exports another half million tonnes despite current available data suggesting they need to cut exports. Looking to next, Russia are looking likely to steal demand from France for Chinese business, Russia cannot supply everything to everyone but it does create a headache unless they can mend fences to their North African friends. Corn imports are string and we may well see the USDA raise imports of Maize tomorrow. Not much to say on barley but the China/Russia dilemma is going to affect that market too potentially new crop.

Feb 08 - Stats Canada - source

•             Total wheat inventories fell to 15.56m tons vs 25.09m in the same period of previous year Below survey est. of 17.88m

•             Durum wheat stocks fell 56.4% y/y to 2.09m tons, est. 2.12m tons

•             Canola stocks fell 43.1% y/y to 7.56m tons, est. 7.44m tons

•             Barley stocks fell 43.6% y/y to 3.15m tons, est. 3.34m tons

Feb 07  - China lifts restrictions on imports of Russian wheat, barley
China will allow imports of wheat and barley from all regions of Russia, the Russian state agricultural watchdog said on Friday, a new grain export success for Russia that could lead to greater competition for other suppliers like France. The move, announced as part of agreements signed during President Vladimir Putin's visit to Beijing, means China will no longer restrict trade in the cereals to certain parts of Russia, raising the prospect of Russia being able to send large vessels through the key Black Sea export route.

Feb 07  - U.S. calls for 'concrete action' from China to meet Phase 1 purchase commitments
U.S. officials called on Monday for "concrete action" from China to make good on its commitment to purchase $200 billion in additional U.S. goods and services in 2020 and 2021 under the "Phase 1" trade deal signed by former President Donald Trump. The officials said Washington was losing patience with Beijing, which had "not shown real signs" in recent months that it would close the gap in the two-year purchase commitments that expired at the end of 2021.

Feb 07  - China's agriculture futures rally on supply concerns

China's agriculture futures rallied on the first day of trade after the Lunar New Year break, with contracts hitting record and multi-year highs early in the session, boosted by supply concerns and external market gains. The Dalian Commodity Exchange soybean meal futures and the rapeseed meal contract on the Zhengzhou Commodity Exchange jumped by at least 8%, with Zhengzhou's rapeseed meal contract hitting a record 3,445 yuan ($542.06) per tonne on Monday.

Feb 04  - Japan buys 53,957 tonnes food wheat via tenders
Japan's Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF) bought a total of 53,957 tonnes of food-quality wheat from Canada and Australia in regular tenders that closed on Thursday. Japan, the world's sixth-biggest wheat importer, keeps a tight grip on imports of the country's second most important staple after rice and buys the majority of the grain for milling via tenders typically issued three times a month.

Feb 04  - Food prices rise in Jan., led by vegetable oils, U.N. agency says
World food prices rebounded in January and remained near 10-year highs, led by a jump in the vegetable oils index, the U.N. food agency said on Thursday. The Food and Agriculture Organization's (FAO) food price index, which tracks the most globally traded food commodities, averaged 135.7 points last month against an upwardly revised 134.1 in December. That figure was previously given as 133.7.

Feb 04  - Argentina exchange cuts soy harvest outlook after drought
Argentina's Buenos Aires grains exchange cut its forecast for the 2021/22 soybean harvest to 42 million tonnes on Thursday, down from 44 million tonnes previously, due to lower yields and a smaller planting area than originally planned. Argentina is the world's leading exporter of processed soybean oil and meal and the third largest exporter of unprocessed beans.

Feb 03  - Argentine gov. renews fund securing domestic edible oil supply (Agricensus)

- The Argentine government has extended the lifespan of a trust fund designed to guarantee the supply of edible oils to the domestic market at low prices through to January 31, 2023. The fund was implemented initially back in February 2021 after the government concluded negotiations with the industry aimed at allaying mounting fears around domestic price inflation. The fund works by compensating local market players by subsidising the costs of oils and effectively decouples international prices from the domestic price. Under the scheme, the industry undertakes to supply the equivalent of 29 million litres of vegoil shipments a month – around 75% of domestic consumption – at a discounted rate that is expected to cost the sector around $190 million per year.

- The trust will be funded by private firms that are members of the oilseed crushing chamber Ciara, although the industry lobby group rejects the need for the measure.
“State intervention in prices never works and destroys employment and production. Ciara rejects the implementation of this trust,” the lobby group said in a statement.

- The soybean industry group Acsoja was also opposed to the government’s decision to extend the trust claiming it would have a negative impact in soybean production.
“Tools like these discourage production and are against the needs for value-added exports. This type of schemes become distorting, generating an additional cost to the agribusiness chain,” Acsoja said in a statement.

- Total soybean crushing in the country in 2021 was up by 18% year-on-year, rising to 42.41 million mt of soybeans - the highest cumulative volume since 2016, according to recent data from the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries (MAGyP). However, the country’s crush margins remained mired in negative territory throughout most of the second half of 2021, with the rise to positive figures in the last week of December only a temporary move, local oilseed crushing and export chamber Ciara-CEC said.
“Volatile prices in the soybean complex, the effects of the drought cutting back South American production estimates and the reduction in the Paraná river’s water levels, which increased export costs, pushed crush margins back into negative territory,” Ciara said in its latest monthly report.

- The Argentine crushing industry ended last year with an idle capacity of nearly 50% and Ciara-CEC warned they expect the utilisation rate to sink further in 2022.
“The trend for 2022 will depend a lot on the harvest in Argentina and Paraguay, where the drought is having a very negative impact. If these negative estimates are confirmed, the use capacity of Argentina’s crushing industry will be lower compared to 2021,” Gustavo Idigoras, the head of Argentina’s crushing industry and grain exporters group Ciara-CEC told Agricensus.

- The country is forecast to produce 8.1 million mt of soyoil in the 2021/22 cycle, slightly up from 7.9 million mt last year and 1.26 million mt of sunflower oil in the current crop, down from 1.41 million mt, according to the USDA.

Feb 03  - Ukraine grain exports up 31.6% so far in 2021/22 to 38.6 mln T
Ukraine has exported 38.6 million tonnes of grain so far in the 2021/22 July-June season, up 31.6% from the same stage a season earlier, agriculture ministry data showed on Wednesday. The total included 17 million tonnes of wheat, 5.5 million tonnes of barley and 15.6 million tonnes of corn, the data showed.

Feb 03  - Argentina exported $2.4 bln of grains in January
- CIARA-CEC
Argentine exports of grain, oilseeds and their derivatives totaled some $2.4 billion in January, the country's CIARA-CEC chamber of oilseed crushers and export companies said on Tuesday, slightly down versus a month earlier. In December, the country registered $2.68 billion in grains exports, with a total $32.8 billion in 2021.

Feb 03  - India could buy potash from Belarus in rupees as sanctions hit Minsk - sources
India plans to buy 1 million tonnes of potash from Belarus in the first such bilateral deal between the two countries after sanctions crippled Minsk's ability to sell the crop nutrient, two Indian officials involved in the discussions told Reuters. India has suggested that the state-run Belarus Potash Company (BPC) could open a rupee account with a state-run Indian bank for potash sales as sanctions imposed by the United States and European Union cut off the Minsk from dollar and euro trade, the officials said.

Feb 03  - Chicago soy futures make unusual run versus corn, U.S. acres eyed - Braun
Grain traders remember 2021 beginning with a historic rally in Chicago corn and soybean futures, but that upswing may already be forgotten because 2022 has had a more explosive start. Wednesday’s trade brought fresh highs for the new-crop contracts, which can influence U.S. farmers’ upcoming planting decisions. Although these early gains are reminiscent of last year, there are some distinct differences, particularly in the intermarket spread.

Feb 02  - US December soybean crush hits record high: USDA
- US soybean crushing hit a record high of 5.95 million short tons (198 million bushels) in December, up 3% on the year and 4% on the month, USDA data showed late Tuesday.

- The December soybean grinding figure landed 3% above trade estimates with the average daily crush pace at an also record of 191,732 short tons (6.39 million bushels). The report was bullish for soybeans with front-month futures jumping some 8 c/bu in the first 15 minutes of the overnight session.

- The USDA pegged crude soybean oil production at 2.32 billion pounds in December, 4% higher both on the month and on the year while refined soybean oil production was reported at 1.64 billion pounds, 1% lower on the month and 4% above December 2020 levels.

- Soybean oil stocks came in higher than expected at 2.47 billion pounds while soymeal stocks jumped 35,000 st on the month to 411,000 st.  
“The report is seen supportive for soybeans, neutral for meal and slightly negative for soybean oil,” Terry Reilly from Futures International said in a note to clients.
“It appears implied soybean oil demand was better than expected with stocks up 60 million pounds from November while production increased 89 million pounds,” Reilly added.

Feb 02 - EU soft wheat exports jump by 1 mln T on French data catch-up
Soft wheat exports from the European Union so far this season had reached 16.64 million tonnes by Jan. 30, weekly official data showed on Tuesday, up 1 million tonnes from the previous update after delayed French figures were incorporated. A week ago the European Commission had reported EU soft wheat exports for the 2021/22 season that began in July at 15.62 million, indicating that figures for France were only complete up to December.

Feb 02 - Jordan buys 60,000 tonnes wheat in tender, traders say
Jordan's state grains buyer purchased 60,000 tonnes of hard milling wheat to be sourced from optional origins in a tender which closed on Tuesday, traders said. It was bought from trading house Ameropa at an estimated $326.00 a tonne c&f for shipment in the second half of August, they said.

Feb 02 - Egypt eyes bread subsidy overhaul as global inflation bites
Egypt is considering replacing a popular bread subsidy with cash payments for the poor to protect the budget from soaring global wheat prices, but domestic inflation and a history of protests could make the government opt for a less ambitious reform. Under the existing program, more than 60 million Egyptians, or nearly two thirds of the population, get 5 loaves of round bread daily for 50 cents a month, little changed since countrywide "bread riots" prevented a price hike in the 1970s.

Feb 02 - Palm oil leads historic vegoil rally as demand outpaces supply - Braun
Global vegetable oil supplies have tightened in the last couple of years even as the pandemic slowed the demand growth rate, and that has had the most profound price impact on palm oil, the most widely used vegetable oil. Although palm oil production is predicted to rebound in 2022, prices are expected to remain elevated as output gains could struggle to keep pace with continued demand increases for vegoils in general, especially as pandemic restrictions ease.

Feb 01 - Sovecon ups its forecast for Russia's 2021/22 wheat exports 

Sovecon, one of the leading agriculture consultancies in Moscow, on Monday raised its forecast for Russia's wheat exports by 200,000 tonnes to 34.3 million tonnes in the current 2021/22 marketing season which ends on June 30. Russia is the world's largest wheat exporter with Turkey and Egypt among the largest buyers. Russia and Ukraine, another major exporter, mainly ship their wheat via the Black Sea.

Feb 01 - Paris wheat falls after Black Sea win in Egypt tender 

March milling wheat on the Paris Euronext exchange fell more than 2% on Monday, weakened by a series of factors including the success of Russian wheat in Egypt’s purchase tender late on Friday and receding concern about a threat to wheat exports from the Ukraine crisis, traders said. Falling U.S. markets in Chicago also added downward pressure.

Feb 01 - Brazil soybean crop forecasts trimmed as bad weather hurts yields 

Agribusiness consultancies AgRural and AgResource on Monday trimmed their forecasts for Brazil's 2021/22 soybean crop due to bad weather, estimating the expected output below the 130 million-tonne threshold AgRural said it now expected oilseed output to reach 128.5 million tonnes, down from a previous projection of 133.4 million tonnes, while AgResource pegged the crop at 125 million tonnes from 131 million previously.

Feb 01  - Russia weekly grain shipments remain low, MY hits 33.1 m mt 

- Russian grain exports reported a slow ramp-up in the week ending January 27, with 1 million mt of grains exported, data from the country's agriculture ministry showed Monday. Overall, the week's trade took total grain shipments since the start of the marketing year to 33.1 million mt, the data showed. The country exported 600,000 mt of wheat during the reporting period pushing it to 23.6 million mt of wheat since the start of the new marketing year in July, still down 21% compared with the same period the year before.

- As usual, Turkey remained the biggest importer of Russian grain having picked up a total of 7.5 million mt since the start of the year, including 4.6 million tons of wheat. However, over the last two weeks exports into that destination were at zero for the reporting date.

- Egypt was next on the list, as total exports rose to 3.7 million mt of Russian wheat, including another 100,000 mt during the week. The year-to-date export pace was 42% lower compared with the same period of 2020, according to the ministry’s report.

- Kazakhstan's grain imports from Russia have jumped by 66% to hit 1.9 million tons in the 2020/21 marketing year, including 1.6 million tons of wheat, due to a decline in production in the current season.

- Barley exports were absent, however, with the total figure left unchanged at 2.7 million mt, down 33% year-on-year.

- Corn exports remain stable with another 100,000 mt departing during the reporting week, pushing the total to 1.6 million mt that is 16% ahead of last year’s pace.  Russian corn exports for January 2022 reached 235,000 mt, which is above the monthly pace in 2021 mainly due to shipments into Southeast Asia.

Jan 31 - French wheat needs to find new export outlets, says Olam 

French wheat will need to be more price-competitive to win new export markets as Black Sea origins erode its traditional dominance in Algeria, crop merchant Olam International said on Friday. Algeria has changed its tender terms in the past year to give access to Black Sea suppliers such as Russia and Ukraine, a shift exacerbated by a diplomatic row with Paris that resulted in the exclusion of French wheat in recent tenders. 

Jan 31 - Indonesia's palm oil export curbs upend global edible oil markets 

Indonesia's plan to limit palm oil exports has upended the global edible oil market by making what is the traditionally cheapest vegetable oil the costliest among the three major edible oils traded across the world. Indonesia, the world's biggest palm oil producer and exporter, on Thursday announced a 20% mandatory domestic sales obligation for all palm producers in a bid to cool local cooking oil prices. 

Jan 31 - Funds pile on CBOT grain, oilseed longs amid export uncertainties - Braun 

Speculators ramped up bullish views in Chicago corn and soybeans last week with futures notching or nearing new highs, but despite the unusually strong optimism, investors are much less invested than a year ago. Exportable supplies are of concern across all grains and oilseeds, supporting futures. Drought is threatening corn and soybean supplies in South America, geopolitical tensions could impact wheat and corn shipments from the Black Sea region, and exports have been restricted for Indonesian palm oil, the No. 1 traded vegetable oil.

Jan 28 - Brazil's Parana trims soybean crop forecast amid severe drought 

Brazil's Parana, one of the largest grain-producing states in the South American country, has trimmed its forecast for the 2021/22 soybean crop again amid a severe drought. Deral, the state's forecasting department, said on Thursday this season's soybean output was now seen at 12.83 million tonnes, down 35% from 2020/21 and below a previous projection of 18.4 million tonnes, which Deral released in late December.

Jan 28 - Indonesia imposes mandatory domestic sales on palm oil 

Indonesia has imposed a rule starting Thursday for a mandatory portion of palm oil to be sold domestically at a maximum price of 9,300 rupiah ($0.6465) per kg for crude palm oil and 10,300 rupiah per kg for olein, its trade minister said. The requirement comes as Indonesia, the world's top producer and exporter of palm oil, tries to curtail a rise in domestic cooking oil prices that have climbed about 40% from a year earlier, in line with high global prices.

Jan 27  - Proposed US, EU sanctions on Russia could slash grain exports (Agricensus)
- The US and European allies have threatened to impose additional sanctions on Russia if the country’s forces enter Ukraine, something that’s sure to curb grain exports, according to Howard Shatz, a senior economist at the RAND Corporation.
“Sanctions would make it harder to buy Russian products,” said Shatz. “There’s talk of cutting Russian access to SWIFT. An alternative would be to prohibit transactions with the US and European financial systems.”

- The two proposals that would have the most impact on Russian exports would be cutting off Russia’s access to the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunications (SWIFT), a global communication system linking financial institutions, and the other would be to block the country’s ability to use the US dollar and the euro.  Both Russia and China have tried to build alternatives to SWIFT, but they are a fraction of the size and only are used regionally.
“If you are cut off from SWIFT, you are largely cut off from the global financial system because banks in all major western economies use SWIFT to facilitate transfers,” Shatz said. “Not using SWIFT introduces risk and would draw negative attention from national regulators. This action would be particularly harmful to the Russian economy, but it wouldn’t necessarily cut off Russian trade. “

- When Iran’s banks were blocked from using SWIFT in 2012 the country’s oil exports tumbled, falling 46% between 2011 and 2014, according to the US Energy Information Administration. Iran's oil exports didn’t recover until its financial institutions could use SWIFT again in 2016. Iran had to accept payments in gold and less-desirable currencies during this period as it struggled to sell even limited amounts of oil and natural gas at often discounted prices.
“Buyers might want discounted prices,” Shatz said. “Nobody is going to give anyone a deal.”

- The US can also stop Russia from using the dollar, something it has already done to other countries such as Iran, the global reserve currency that is used to settle far-more global financial transactions than any other.
- The European Union could block Russia’s ability to use the euro, making it even harder for the country to conduct financial transactions needed to conduct trade.
“The majority of trade is conducted in US dollars; at some point, it would be very hard for Russian businesses to transact in dollars if the US takes certain steps,” Shatz said.  “The US could make it impossible for Russia to use the US banking system. The US could put in place secondary sanctions against those who do business with Russia. That’s what the United States has done with the Caesar Syria Civilian Protection Act, and it’s been highly effective at blocking investment into Syria.”

- The European Union could block Russia’s ability to use the euro, making it even harder for the country to conduct financial transactions needed to conduct trade.
“Some trade partners might set up companies just to trade with Russia,” Shatz said. “China might continue to trade, but Russia would have to accept payment in Renminbi. Others might make purchases from Russia and put payment in an escrow account like Iraq does with its gas and electricity imports from Iran. The customers might put the payment in an escrow account that Russia can access when the sanctions are lifted.”

- In the past, the US and its allies have given waivers to sanctions for countries that were dependent on Iranian oil exports to lessen the pain and allow for a reorientation of trade flows to make up for the supplies, something that could be offered to big importers of Russian wheat such as Turkey and Egypt. While the waiver is in place the US and EU might then work to redirect the flow of grain to countries that now import Russian cereals.

Jan 27 - Algeria buys wheat in tender for shipment to 2 ports only - traders 

Algeria’s state grains agency OAIC has purchased milling wheat in an international tender on Wednesday which seeks shipment to two ports only, European traders said in initial assessments. Initial estimates of the purchase were about 60,000 to 80,000 tonnes

Jan 27 - South Korea’s NOFI buys estimated 193,000 tonnes of corn in tender - traders 

South Korean animal feedmaker Nonghyup Feed Inc. (NOFI) is believed to have purchased around 193,000 tonnes of animal feed corn in a tender on Wednesday, European traders said. The corn was bought in three consignments in a combination of outright prices and premiums over Chicago futures.

Jan 27 - Japan's Marubeni to sell Gavilon grain business to Glencore arm for $1.1 bln 

Japanese trading house Marubeni Corp will sell the grains business of its U.S. unit Gavilon to commodities trader Glencore PLC's Viterra arm for $1.125 billion, plus working capital, Viterra said on Wednesday. Marubeni said it expected to gain a total of 300 billion to 400 billion yen ($2.6 billion to $3.5 billion), including loans to grains merchant Gavilon, through the deal, due to be completed after the restructuring of U.S. operations.

Jan 27 - China to promote soy, corn intercropping on 1 mln hectares 

China's agriculture ministry will promote intercropping of soybeans with corn on more than 1 million hectares of land this year, it said on Wednesday, seeking to boost output of the oilseed without reducing production of corn. China, the world's top soybean importer, said late last year that increasing its output of the oilseed was a political priority, but it has given little detail on how it will achieve an increase.

Jan 26 - EU 2021/22 soft wheat exports at 15.62 mln T, but French data incomplete 

Soft wheat exports from the European Union so far in the 2021/22 season have reached 15.62 million tonnes, European Commission data showed on Tuesday, though figures for top supplier France were incomplete. The cumulative volume since the start of the season in July was above the 15.04 million tonnes shipped by the same week in 2020/21, the data showed.

Jan 26 - Ukraine's rising role in grain exports complicates impact of crisis - Braun 

Ukraine has significantly climbed the ranks in grain exports over the last decade, this year aiming for No. 3 in wheat and No. 4 in corn, though the latest conflict with Russia has instilled fear in markets over whether Ukraine’s export efforts can succeed. The timing of this potential export disruption is poor since the world is still trying to recover from last season’s historic supply tightness and multiyear-high prices across all grains and oilseeds.

Jan 26 - U.S. set to win new soybean sales due to small South American crops - Oil World 

Smaller soybean crops expected in key South American producers are likely to push major soybean export business to the United States from June onwards, Hamburg-based oilseeds analysts Oil World said on Tuesday. Oil World estimates the combined soybean harvests in the current 2021/2022 season in Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay will fall to about 186.3 million tonnes, down by 7.4 million tonnes from the last season, and a four-year low.

Jan 26 - Chinese feed wheat demand to plummet as elevated prices curb appetite 

China's use of wheat in animal rations in 2021/22 is expected to be less than half of the amount of last season, analysts and traders said, as elevated prices cut demand. The volume of wheat used in feed could fall to between 10 and 24 million tonnes in the season that began in June, down from more than 40 million tonnes the previous year if current price trends persist, five traders and analysts estimated.

Jan 25 - Russian wheat prices down with weaker rouble 

Russian wheat export prices fell last week as the rouble weakened against the dollar, taking a hit from fears related to a stand-off between Moscow and the West over Ukraine, analysts said on Monday. The West fears Russia may invade its neighbour.

Jan 25 - Brazil's soybean harvest reaches 5% as Mato Grosso gathers pace - AgRural 

The harvesting of Brazil's 2021/22 soybean crop has reached 5% of the estimated area as work in top producing state of Mato Grosso picked up pace under improved weather conditions, agribusiness consultancy AgRural said on Monday. The figure, which takes into account areas harvested as of last Thursday, came in 4 percentage points above the previous week.

jan 25 - Good conditions help EU winter crops, winter hardiness a concern 

Warmer temperatures and increased rain has benefited winter crops in most parts of Europe, though a lack of hardiness due to mild conditions could leave some grain crops exposed to frost, the EU's crop monitoring service MARS said on Monday. Grain crops such as barley and wheat in northern and central-eastern parts of Europe have almost fully hardened by now, but areas around the Black Sea have limited snow cover, and a a cold snap would lead to frost damage, especially in late-sown fields, MARS said.

Jan 24 - US advises its citizens to leave Ukraine amid ‘escalated tension’ (Agricensus)

- The US government has advised its citizens to leave Ukraine and instructed non-essential embassy personnel to depart, as it warned that Russian military action “could come at any time.” The US State department released a transcript of a call held by senior department officials that provided more detail on the updated travel advisory for Ukraine, and confirmed that the country’s Charge d’Affaires, Kristen Kvien, remains in Ukraine. In it, the US raised its travel advisory to 'level 4' – indicating a do not travel instruction – on the basis of “escalated tension”

- The transcript also provided confirmation that the US has started providing “lethal defensive security assistance” and the first tranche of assistance arrived in Kyiv on January 22. While US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken is expected to meet again with his Russian counterpart, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov in Geneva for further talks, the developments over the weekend suggest the situation has deteriorated further.

- Russia is conducting large-scale military exercises in Belarus, close to the border with Ukraine, and confirmed it is stepping up naval exercises in the Black Sea. However, US officials stressed that the decision was “prudent” and reflected an “abundance of caution.”
“As to President Putin’s intentions, we don’t know if he has yet made up his mind to invade, but he is building the military capacity along Ukraine’s borders to have that option ready at any time,” the statement read.

- The US State Department also issued a press release covering a meeting on Sunday between Blinken and Lavrov, with Lavrov urging “concrete answers to our concrete proposals.” In response, Blinken spoke of “a critical moment” and said the US was ready to discuss “concrete ideas to address some of the concerns that you’ve raised, as well as the deep concerns that many of us have about Russia’s actions.”

- In the crosshairs of the mounting tension stands some of the most agriculturally-productive regions in the world, with Russia and Ukraine major exporters of wheat, corn and sunflower – among other agricultural products – with any conflict in the region likely to bring profound dislocation of trade. In early morning trading, US wheat futures posted double digit gains of close to 2%, with all six active Kansas HRW wheat contracts passing through the $8/bu mark ($294/mt) while Chicago SRW opened at $8.01/bu – up over $0.15/bu, but had eased back slightly to dip to $7.99/bu.

The US State Department transcript also emphasised international agreement on consequences of military action in the region.
“Over the past weeks, you’ve seen us make intense and sustained efforts to pursue diplomacy.  But while we continue to pursue peace, we must be clear-eyed about the reality if Russia chooses escalation: it will face massive consequences,” a senior state official said.

Jan 24 - Iran’s GTC said to have bought wheat in tender - traders 

Iran's Government Trading Corporation (GTC) is believed to have purchased milling wheat in a tender that closed on Thursday, European traders said on Friday. Traders estimated that about 195,000 tonnes may have been purchased in three consignments of about 65,000 tonnes.

Jan 24 - Ukraine grain exports up 27.7% so far in 2021/22 to 36.1 mln T 

Ukraine has exported 36.1 million tonnes of grain so far in the 2021/22 July-June season, up 27.7% from the same stage a season earlier, agriculture ministry data showed on Friday. The total included 16.6 million tonnes of wheat, 5.4 million tonnes of barley and 13.7 million tonnes of corn, the data showed.

Jan 24 - French wheat shipments slow in December, no feed barley exported 

French soft wheat shipments outside the European Union last month were lower than in November as shipments to Algeria fell and no feed barley exports beyond the EU were recorded during the month, Refinitiv data showed. Soft wheat exports to destinations outside the 27-country bloc totalled 808,000 tonnes in December, the sixth month of the 2021/22 season, an initial estimate based on Refinitiv loading data showed.

Jan 24 - Funds trim CBOT corn, soy bets before late-week futures rally - Braun 

Speculators last week lightened up on their bullish Chicago corn and soybean views following a relatively mundane update from the U.S. government, but geopolitical concerns and variable weather in South America escalated supply uncertainties late in the week. CBOT grain and oilseed futures had mostly worked lower during the four-day trading week ended Jan. 18, which featured the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s biggest annual data release, an often-volatile event.

Jan 21 - Turkey buys some 345,000 tonnes feed barley in tender - traders 

Turkey's state grain board TMO bought an estimated 345,000 tonnes of animal feed barley in an international tender for the same volume on Thursday, European traders said. The tender is believed to have been completed and no more purchases are expected, traders said.

Jan 21 - Taiwan buys 49,395 tonnes wheat of U.S.-origin in tender 

The Taiwan Flour Millers' Association purchased an estimated 49,395 tonnes of milling wheat to be sourced from the United States in a tender which closed on Thursday, European traders said. The wheat was bought in one consignment comprising various wheat types for shipment from the U.S. Pacific Northwest coast between March 16 and March 30.

Jan 21 - India set to shift diet to soft oils as Indonesia curbs palm oil 

Indonesia's plan to limit palm oil exports that has driven prices to record highs is likely to make leading importer India shift to substitute soy and sunflower oils, potentially capping the market's rally, industry officials and analysts said. India can also increase its palm oil shipments from Indonesia's rival supplier Malaysia, but it is unlikely to be able to meet the shortfall, the officials said.

Jan 21 - Argentina rains cap crop losses from drought, with outlook positive 

Argentina, a major grains exporter, is set for further abundant rains in the coming days and a likely near-average month of precipitation ahead, weather experts said, which should cap recent crop losses from an extended drought since December. The long spell of dry weather, brought to end by rains arriving earlier this week, had led the Rosario grains exchange to slash its forecasts for corn and soy harvests.

Jan 20 - U.S. Army Corps to upgrade lock and dam critical for grain exports  

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will use $732 million in federal infrastructure funding to modernize a lock and dam on the Upper Mississippi River that are crucial for shipping grain and soybeans to export markets, officials said on Wednesday. Upgrading infrastructure is essential for the United States to maintain its place as a top global agriculture exporter, as competitors including Brazil have made improvements.

Jan 20 - China's 2021 soy imports from Brazil fall on lower demand 

China's soybean imports from Brazil in 2021 fell from the previous year, customs data showed on Thursday, as lower demand curbed purchases. The world's top soybean importer brought in 58.15 million tonnes of the oilseed from Brazil, down 9.5% from 64.28 million in 2020, data from the General Administration of Customs showed.

Jan 20 - Wetter weather extends lifeline to Argentina’s parched soybeans - Braun 

It has been no secret that Argentina’s soybean crop has been headed for potential disaster with a recent stretch of dry weather capped off by last week’s record-setting heat. But with plentiful and potentially excessive rains expected over the next week or so, it may be tempting for some market participants to dismiss forward risk, a dangerous move considering the most important timeframe lies ahead.

Jan 19 - US top diplomat in Kyiv as Russian wargames add to wheat price spike (AgriCensus)
- The US’s most senior diplomat was in Kyiv Wednesday to hold talks updating Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy on high-level talks between Russia on one-side, and representatives of the US-led military organisation NATO.
- The visit coincided with a surge in wheat prices, with traders citing cold weather across the US and the escalation in tensions driving US and European wheat futures higher.
- US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken had represented the US government at talks held in Vienna, Geneva and Brussels last week aimed at defusing escalating tensions along the border with Ukraine, amid Russian fears that the country is pushing to join the alliance.

- Russian president Vladimir Putin has complained of Russia’s interests being threatened by the military bloc’s creeping influence across former Soviet states and has ratcheted up pressure by deploying tens of thousands of military personnel along the eastern border with Ukraine.

- Military forces have also been deployed into the disputed region of Crimea, while military exercises started this week involving Russian forces in Belarus mean there is now a sizeable Russian military presence on three fronts around Ukraine - some potentially within range of Kyiv.

- The tensions have raised temperatures in one of the world’s biggest agricultural exporting regions, with Ukraine a major corn exporter while much of the world’s wheat supply flows from Russian ports via the Black Sea to the world market. Speaking through an interpreter, President Zelenskyy emphasised the constant contact between US and Ukrainian government and made a simple plea for help, “especially help in such times, difficult times – I think these times can be called difficult.”

- In response Secretary Blinken addressed reports that upwards of 100,000 Russian troops were near Ukraine’s border and described the threat to the country as “unprecedented”.
“We’ve made it very clear to Moscow that if it chooses to renew aggression against Ukraine, it will mean that it will face very severe consequences,” Blinken said during a press conference.

- A later press release from the State Department went further in its language.
“In light of Russia’s ongoing and unprovoked military build-up in and around Ukraine, Secretary Blinken emphasized again that if Russia chooses the path of further aggression… [the US] will impose crippling costs on Russia’s economy,” a statement from State Department spokesperson Ned Price said.

- World wheat prices posted double digit gains through Wednesday amid the renewed tensions, with Kansas hard red wheat futures posting gains of around 3.4% through the day, surpassing the $8/bu level, while Chicago soft red wheat was up 3.5%. Euronext French milling wheat futures also experienced a sharp rise, with the March contract €7/mt up at €274.75/mt, some 2.6% higher. USDA data shows that 30% of world wheat exports and 31% of world barley exports come from Ukraine or Russia, while 78% of the world’s supply of sunoil and 81% of sunmeal originate from the Black Sea.

Jan 19 - Turkey buys 335,000 tonnes milling wheat in tender, traders say 

Turkey's state grain board TMO provisionally purchased some 335,000 tonnes of wheat in an international tender seeking the same volume on Tuesday, traders said. No more purchases are expected on Tuesday, they said.

Jan 19 - China's corn imports soar to new record in 2021 

China's 2021 corn imports almost tripled in volume from the previous year, hitting a new record, customs data showed on Tuesday, as buyers turned to cheaper alternatives overseas amid soaring prices and a domestic supply crunch. China, the world's top grains market, brought in 28.35 million tonnes of corn in all of 2021, up 152% from an annual record figure of 11.3 million in 2020, data from the General Administration of Customs showed.

Jan 19 - Indonesia biggest palm oil group shrugs off new export permit policy 

Indonesia's biggest palm oil association GAPKI on Wednesday shrugged off a new government policy requiring exporters of the vegetable oil to gain approval for their shipments and declare their domestic sales. The world's top producer and exporter of palm oil has been trying to tame domestic cooking oil prices that have climbed about 40% from a year earlier, in line with high global palm oil prices.

Jan 19 - NOPA December soy crush jumps to record-high 186.438 million bushels 

U.S. soybean processors crushed a record monthly volume of soybeans in December and soybean oil stocks swelled to the largest in 20 months, topping trade expectations, according to National Oilseed Processors Association (NOPA) data released on Tuesday. NOPA members crushed 186.438 million bushels of soybeans last month, up 3.9% from the 179.462 million bushels in November and up 1.8% from the 183.159 million bushels processed in December 2020.

Jan 18 - Algeria's OAIC pays $16/mt up for Mar-Feb barley (AgriCensus)
- Algeria’s state grain importer has secured 120,000 mt of feed barley after closing a buy tender for February-March shipment, paying around $16/mt more than it paid at its last barley purchase, trade sources said on Tuesday.
- Algeria's state grains importer, Office Algerien Interprofessionnel des Cereales (OAIC), purchased 120,000 mt of barley and paid around $323-324/mt CFR for the February 16-March 15 shipment period.
- At its last tender, which closed September 13, OAIC booked 330,000 mt of barley for October loading in a price range of $307-308/mt CFR Algeria.
- Currently, global barley supply is already said to be limited in the market, as Ukraine has exported almost all of its export potential while Russian offers are also rare amid a high export tax and an upcoming export quota that is expected to be imposed from February 15.

Jan 18 - Indian rice traders stop new export deals as freight train shortage blocks shipments 

Nearly a third of India's rice exports for this month are stuck due to a shortage of freight trains and most traders have stopped signing February export contracts to avoid demurrage charges, industry officials told Reuters.  The slowdown in exports from India, the world's biggest rice exporter, has allowed rival suppliers such as Thailand, Myanmar and Vietnam to increase overseas sales at higher prices.

Jan 18 - Widespread rains bring relief to Argentina's grain crops 

Heavy rainfall has brought relief to Argentina's main agricultural areas over the weekend, interrupting several weeks of dry weather that led the Rosario grains exchange to trim its forecasts for both soybean and corn production. German Heinzenknecht, meteorologist at the Applied Climatology Consultancy (CCA), said the weekend showers came as expected, reaching 15-60 millimeters in Argentina's main farm belt on Saturday and Sunday.

Jan 18 - Russian wheat falls with global benchmarks 

Russian wheat prices fell last week, tracking lower prices in Chicago and Paris, analysts said on Monday, adding that they were monitoring tensions between Moscow and the West. Russian stocks and the rouble took a hit last week after the United States said it feared Moscow was readying a pretext to justify an invasion Ukraine should diplomacy fail to meet its objectives.

Jan 17 - Algeria buys 600,000 T of wheat, France to miss out again  

Algeria’s state grains agency OAIC purchased around 600,000 tonnes of milling wheat on Friday in an international tender in which French wheat was reportedly overlooked again, European traders said. The volume was above a 500,000-570,000 tonne range cited by traders in earlier assessments. Purchase prices were still seen at about $348 to $350 a tonne, cost and freight (c&f) included.

Jan 17 - South Korea’s MFG buys some 198,000 tonnes corn in tender  

South Korea's Major Feedmill Group (MFG) purchased about 198,000 tonnes of corn in an international tender which closed on Friday, European traders said. The corn was bought in three consignments.

Jan 17 - China 2021 pork output leaps 29%, recoups most of production lost to swine fever  

China's 2021 pork output jumped 29% from the previous year, official data showed on Monday, recouping most of the production lost during a devastating outbreak of African swine fever two years before. Annual output reached 52.96 million tonnes last year, just below the 53.4 million tonnes produced in 2017, the year before the hog disease began killing pigs across the world's top pork producer.

Jan 14  - German oil mills face 'critical' situation on rapeseed tightness (AgriCensus)

- An acute shortage of rapeseed supply across Germany – Europe's top rapeseed producing country – has made securing feedstock difficult for oilseed millers and processors and threatens to derail the sector's profitability in the coming weeks, market sources have told Agricensus. The situation comes after poor seasons in main producing regions slashed global production, with trade sources warning of demand destruction at current rapeseed oil prices, and estimating that the country needs to secure 1.4 million mt of feedstock supply to keep machines running.
“German oil mills are in a critical situation because they are not getting the oilseed material needed for processing,” Stephan Arens, from German oilseed union UFOP, told Agricensus.
“Crushers are sold out (of oil), but they are struggling to get the tonnes needed for grinding,” a local trade source said to Agricensus.
-
 It comes as rapeseed oil prices have reached multi-year high levels, further incentivising the grinding of oilseeds amid good crush margins. The Agricensus’ APM-26 Rapeoil FOB DM Rotterdam assessment has averaged €1,632/mt since January 4, 2022, according to Agricensus data, surging nearly 90% from a year ago and among the highest prices assessed since the series was launched in 2018.

Oilseed woes
- Rapeseed futures listed on the Euronext exchange have hit surged to €828/mt on January 10 amid the very tight supply situation, with little relief in sight ahead of the harvest later in the year.
- While the February contract for rapeseed has settled back since then, closing at €779/mt on January 12, but still remains over 75% up versus the same time last year.
- The tightness in the physical rapeseed market follows a smaller-than-expected rapeseed crop in 2021, where output fell 7% versus the five-year average, while extreme heat in Canada cut production there and dried up a major resupply option for the continent.
- Weekly deliveries of rapeseed to the EU as of January 9 have plummeted 33% for the season that started in July 2021, at 2.56 million mt, according to the latest Eurostat data.
“Rapeseed in Europe is in very short supply and those that aren’t covered are going to be in trouble,” a trade source said.

The current high rapeseed prices
have led to farmers to contract a larger proportion of their crop, further underpinning feedstock prices. Usually, a farmer sells about a third of their crop in forward contracts, but this year German farmers have sold about 50% of the crop due to be harvested in 2022, according to market sources.
And while the rapeseed crop in Germany is expected to see an expansion of about 80,000 ha, or 9% up on the year, there are many factors that can tilt yields up or down, such as high fertilizer costs, insect problems and winterkill.
“There are too many unknown factors at the moment and speculation is very high… no one expected rapeseed futures at Euronext to exceed €800/mt,” Arens said.

Jan 14  - EU dairy commodity prices still trending upwards (IHSmarkit)

- Strong demand from nervous consumers pulling prices still higher
- EU milk deliveries now rising, but volumes still below expectations
- Big jump in whey powder prices as output lags demand

Prices have continued to forge upwards on European dairy commodity markets over the past week, with whey powder prices rising especially strongly. Milk deliveries in Europe are now rising seasonally, but raw milk availability is continuing to lag behind previous year’s levels especially in France and Germany. This is continuing to contribute to serious raw material shortages, and to fears among customers about availability of goods for the coming months. That factor in itself is pulling prices up, and creating the conditions for a possible price ‘bubble’ - although market analysts believe conditions are such that there is no scope for any significant downward corrections for the foreseeable future.

The high prices are somewhat dampening EU export trade, with butter and whole milk powder both now significantly more expensive in the EU than in Oceania or the US. However, there is price parity between the three major world dairy exporting regions for SMP and whey powder prices, and sales of the EU’s most profitable dairy export product – cheese – were still 6% higher by volume over the first 10 months of 2021 than in the same period of 2020.

Prices on the major western European markets are still predominantly tracking upwards.

- Butter has now pushed past EUR6,000 per tonne in France, having already attained that level a couple of weeks earlier in the Netherlands.
- The French AgriMer butter prices is up 3.3% to EUR6,002 per tonne, but the Dutch ZuivelNL butter price is actually down by 0.6% at EUR6,080 per tonne – the first week-on-week decrease in the Dutch butter price since July 2021.
- In Germany, the Kempten price for industrial (bulk) butter was increased to EUR5,860 per tonne, up by 0.5%, putting this price index level with the unchanged price for retail (packaged) butter.
- Skimmed milk powder has made significant gains in France – up by 4.6% to EUR3,418 per tonne – and also in Germany, which is up by 2.6% at EUR3,490 per tonne. The Dutch ZuivelNL price is also 0.3% higher than last week, at EUR3,460 per tonne.
- But a shortage of whey powder has triggered even more substantial week-on-week price gains. Whey is up by 4.1% in the Netherlands – at EUR1,270 per tonne – by 5.8% in France, to EUR1,195 per tonne, and by 6.9% in Germany, at EUR1,245 per tonne.
- For whole milk powder, the picture is a little more mixed. The Kempten price is up by 1.5% at EUR4,315 per tonne, but the Dutch price is unchanged at EUR4,270 per tonne, and France has seen a fall of 2.6%, to EUR4,152 per tonne.

Jan 14 - Iran said to buy about 240,000 tonnes wheat in tender - traders 

Iranian state agency the Government Trading Corporation (GTC) is believed to have purchased around 240,000 tonnes of milling wheat in a tender which closed on Wednesday, European traders said on Thursday. It was believed to have been bought in about four consignments of around or just over 60,000 tonnes. 

Jan 14 - IGC raises forecast for 2021/22 global wheat crop 

The International Grains Council (IGC) on Thursday raised its forecast for 2021/22 global wheat production, partly driven by an improved outlook for the crop in Australia. In its monthly update, the inter-governmental body increased its 2021/22 world wheat crop outlook by four million tonnes to 781 million tonnes.

Jan 14 - Argentina drought scorches crops as 'pivotal' rains approach 

The major Rosario grains exchange on Wednesday slashed its forecast for 2021/22 corn production to 48 million tonnes, down a huge 8 million tonnes from its previous outlook, scuppering what had been expected to be a record harvest. The exchange also cut soybean production to 40 million tonnes from 45 million tonnes previously, and said that the drought so far had caused an estimated $2.9 billion hit to grains farmers' expected incomes.

Jan 13 - FranceAgriMer cuts wheat export outlook, raises stocks again

FranceAgriMer on Wednesday lowered its forecast of French soft wheat exports in 2021/22, partly due to stalled sales to Algeria, leading the farm office to raise its end-of-season stocks projection for a third straight month. In a monthly supply and demand outlook for major cereal crops, the office reduced its forecast of soft wheat exports outside the European Union to 9.0 million tonnes from 9.2 million in December, and trimmed its projection of intra-EU exports to 7.7 million tonnes from 7.8 million. 

Jan 13 - China to produce 40% more soybeans by 2025 in self-sufficiency drive

China said it would raise domestic soybean output sharply in the next four years, in a drive to boost self sufficiency in supply of the oilseed, according to an official document released on Thursday. The country has set a goal to produce about 23 million tonnes of soybeans by end of 2025, up 40% from current output levels of 16.4 million tonnes, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs said, releasing its 14th five-year plan on crop farming. 

Jan 13 - U.S. farmers reaped record soy harvest; S. American production view cut - USDA

The U.S. soybean crop that farmers harvested in the fall of 2021 was the largest on record, as yields were bigger than previously estimated, the U.S. Agriculture Department said on Wednesday. The higher U.S. production view comes as global demand for the oilseed soars and forecasts for South American harvests are cut due to hot and dry weather in key growing areas.

Jan 12 - Argentine grains ships cutting cargoes by 30% amid 'record' river decline, ports chamber says 

Argentine grains ships leaving the main grains port hub of Rosario are having to cut cargoes by some 30% due to a renewed "record" plunge in water levels of the Parana River, the head of the local ports chamber told Reuters on Tuesday. The Parana, which carries some 80% of Argentina's farm exports, is key to billions of dollars of grains shipments from the country, which is the world's top exporter of processed soy, the second largest of corn and a major wheat producer.

Jan 12 - EU soft wheat exports jump by 1 mln T as French data retrieved 

Soft wheat exports from the European Union so far this season had reached 15.11 million tonnes by Jan. 9, weekly official data showed on Tuesday, a 1 million tonne jump from the previous update as missing French data was incorporated. A week ago the European Commission had reported EU soft wheat exports for the 2021/22 season that began in July at 14.01 million, indicating that figures for France were only complete up to November.

Jan 12 - Brazil's Conab slashes soy, corn output forecasts due to drought 

Brazilian food supply and statistics agency Conab lowered the 2021/2022 forecast for the country's soybean and corn production on Tuesday amid a drought that was mainly affecting commercial crops in the south of the country. Still, the outlook for the grain season remains positive, with production expected to grow for both commodities in relation to 2021 and exports starting the year strong, according to separate data from Anec, an association representing global grain traders like Cargill and Bunge.

Jan 11  - EU weekly soybean imports doubled to 215,8k, total at 6.77m mt (Agricensus) 

- Weekly soybean imports into the EU almost doubled to 215,814 mt during the week ending January 9, bringing total imports since July 1, 2021, to 6.77 million mt, data from the European Commission showed Tuesday. That's down 14% year-on-year, the data showed.

- The Netherlands took the biggest volume of weekly bean imports at 131,014 mt, followed by Germany at 67,853 mt. Soymeal imports into the EU during the week came in at 230,901 mt, with the lion’s share delivered into the Netherlands (62,067 mt), followed by Ireland (60,530 mt) and Spain (54,159 mt). Total soymeal imports into the economic bloc from July 1, 2021, are now at 8.51 million mt, down 11% on the year.

- Weekly deliveries of rapeseed to the EU fell to 5,514 mt, with the total rapeseed arrivals now standing at 2.56 million mt, down 33%.

- EU sunoil imports during the week halved to 17,516 mt, taking total imports from July 1, 2021, to 892,480 mt, down 10% on the year.

- The weekly imports of soybean oil to the EU amounted to 22,942 mt, which is the highest value since July 1, 2021, with a large share of imports coming from Spain at 19,569 mt.

- Finally, weekly palm oil imports were at 17,046 mt, taking total arrivals to 2.79 million mt, down 13%.

Jan 11 - South Korea’s KFA buys about 130,000 tonnes corn in tender- traders 

The Korea Feed Association (KFA) purchased about 130,000 tonnes of corn in an international tender for up to 136,000 tonnes which closed on Monday, European traders said. The KFA’s Incheon section purchased the corn in two consignments each of about 65,000 tonnes, both at an estimated $334.17 a tonne c&f, traders said.

Jan 11 - U.S. aims to double cover crop planting to address climate change 

The United States aims to double the country's cover crop plantings to 30 million acres by 2030 under a new Department of Agriculture (USDA) conservation program launched on Monday. The agency's Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) will spend $38 million to help farmers in 11 states plant crops at a time fields are often left fallow, which can bolster soil health, limit soil erosion and capture and store carbon.

Jan 11 - Have analysts broken their bias on U.S. winter wheat acres? - Braun 

U.S. winter wheat plantings will not top traders' lists of the most sought-after numbers in the Department of Agriculture's upcoming data dump, but wheat should not be overlooked on Wednesday as it will play an important role in the highly anticipated 2022 acreage mix. Analysts have had a strong history with overestimating U.S. wheat acres in this report, though that tendency has recently faded, making it an unreliable trend.

Jan 10 - Brazil manages to unload wheat imports amid tax collectors' protest 

Brazil was able to clear two wheat shipments at its key Santos port after a few days of delay caused by a protest by agricultural tax collectors as part of their campaign for higher wages, industry association Abitrigo said on Friday. One of the vessels was unloaded on Jan. 2 but the shipment was not immediately cleared by officials under a work-to-rule effort, which ultimately affected a second vessel that needed to wait for these procedures to be concluded so it could discharge, according to Abitrigo. 

Jan 10 - La Nina seen hurting grain crops in Brazil, rains delay soy harvest  

The La Nina climate phenomenon affected Brazilian soy and corn crops last year and could harm production this year again, according to a Bank of America Securities research note. It said the 2020/21 season has brought opposite climate conditions for Brazil's regions: The Center-West and Northeast have suffered from heavier rainfall while the South has been hit by drought.

Jan 10 - Funds open 2022 with less CBOT optimism than last year - Braun 

Speculators have begun 2022 on an unusually enthusiastic note across Chicago-traded grains and oilseeds, though they were even more bullish a year ago at this time. Futures remain safely above the year-ago levels except for in soybeans and soybean meal. Open interest for corn, soybeans and wheat is considerably lower than last year, and commodity funds are now pessimistic toward CBOT wheat, opposite their early 2021 views.

Jan 07  - Market Briefing: Dairy (IHSmarkit)

- US cheese stocks were below expectations in November, milk production revised up for October
- WMP remained flat at 2022’s first GDT auction
- Peruvian milk production to rise 3% despite economic crisis

Production
- US milk production in November showed a 0.4% y/y drop. At the same time, the October figure has been revised up by 110 million pounds, taking the monthly US production for the month from being down 0.5% to flat y/y.
 - Total national milk production in Peru is expected to go up 3% y/y in 2021, to 2.2 million tonnes. This is despite the fact that the Peruvian dairy industry is undergoing a severe financial crisis caused by severe devaluation of its currency due to political tensions.
- Although European milk deliveries are now increasing seasonally, they remain lower than expected. Deliveries in France and Germany at the end of December were respectively 3% and 2% below the levels 12 months earlier.

Demand
- Total cheese stocks in the US in November were 7 million pounds below expectations and went up 6% y/y. American-type cheese came in slightly below forecast but still sit 10% above year ago levels. The spot cheese market has been slightly stronger for the past two weeks and that was met with good sell side interest.

Trade
- US dairy exports in October decreased for the first time this year, by 1% y/y, Although a surge in cheese and butter volume exports helped to mitigate the slump for milk powder and whey. Milk powder exports slipped 12% y/y to 9,400 tonnes and whey fell 9% y/y to 5,600 tonnes.

Prices
- The latest GDT event took place on 4 January. New Zealand’s main export WMP has remained flat on the previous event, at $3,866 per tonne, therefore holding the overall result back. Other main commodities, butter and SMP, rose 0.3% and 1% respectively. The auction SMP is now averaging £3,773 per tonne, while butter is at $5,868 per tonne.
- Cheddar emerged a winner at the auction and rose 5% to $5,487 per tonne.

Jan 07 - Market Briefing: Grains and Feed (IHSmarkit)

- Mexico’s corn production down 1% y/y to 27.1 million tonnes for 2021/22
- Thai rice exports from January 1-December 19, 2021 totalled 4.49 million tonnes
- Brazilian corn prices up 0.6% w/w to BRL90.35 (USD16.21)/60-kilo bags

Production
- Mexico’s corn production was revised downwards to 27.1 million tonnes for 2021/22, against a previous forecast of 28 million tonnes, on lower harvested area, and reduced yields, USDA’s FAS Mexico City reported. This represents a decline of 1% y/y. Harvested area is projected to fall by 1% y/y to 7.1 million tonnes.
- IHS Markit expects Brazil’s corn production at 119.8 million tonnes, up 38% y/y in 2021/22. However, this figure may be adjusted, as La Niña induced dryness could result in damages.

Demand
- China’s corn imports should remain at high levels for 2021/22, estimated at 27 million tonnes, according to IHS Markit’s latest data.

Trade
- Ukraine’s Ministry of Agrarian Policy and Food reported 32.2 million tonnes of grains and pulses were exported as of December 31, an increase of 6.1 million tonnes y/y. In particular, the country shipped 15.8 million tonnes of wheat, 5.1 million tonnes of barley, and 10.8 million tonnes of corn.
- Cumulative Thai rice exports from January 1-December 19, 2021, reached 4.49 million tonnes, up 9% y/y.
- SovEcon raised its estimate for Russian wheat exports by 0.2 million tonnes to 34.1 million tonnes for 2021/22.
- IHS Markit projected Argentina’s barley exports at 2.8 million tonnes in 2021/22, slightly higher y/y, on sustained demand from China.

Prices
- Brazilian domestic corn prices rose by 0.6% w/w to BRL90.35 (USD16.21)/60-kilo bags, in the week ending December 30, in the city of Campinas, and should remain above historical values. Tight stocks and consistent demand should maintain prices at high levels in the first months of 2022, exacerbated by the current adverse weather, which may revert after the second half of the year.
- FAO’s Cereal Price Index averaged 140.5 points in December, down 0.6% m/m. Harvests in the southern hemisphere pressured wheat prices, while rice prices slipped on reduced demand coupled with weak currencies against the US dollar in major exporting countries. On the other hand, corn prices surged on strong demand and persistent dryness in Brazil.
- Thai rice export prices of most grades were unchanged in the week ending December 28, despite the strengthening of the Thai baht to THB33.36/USD1.00, from the previous week’s exchange rate of THB33.43/USD1.00, according to USDA’s FAS Bangkok.

Jan 07 - Market Briefing: Oilseeds (IHSmarkit)

- Indonesia’s palm oil output down 4% y/y to 45.5 million tonnes in 2021/22
- Russian sunflower seed prices slipped by RUB750.00 to RUB35,100/tonne
- Malaysia’s palm oil export duty remains at 8% in January 2022

Production
- IHS Markit estimated Indonesia’s palm oil at 45.5 million tonnes in 2021/22, down 4% y/y, for a supply of 51 million tonnes, a fall of 3% y/y, sustaining high prices. On the other hand, Malaysia’s palm oil output remain so far bullish, up 9% y/y to 19.5 million tonnes for 2021/22. However, La Niña which has recently brought heavy rains in key palm oil growing areas, combined with a surge in the Omicron variant, could result in possible adjustments of Malaysia’s harvest figures.
- IHS Markit’s prospects for Canadian rapeseed supply remain low at 15 million tonnes for 2021/22, down 35% y/y, hindered by a reduced production, down 33% y/y to 13 million tonnes. Although, the harvest is expected to rebound in 2022/23, the erratic weather will remain under watch.

Demand
- India has set stock limits on soybean meal to prevent hoarding, which may reduce crushing and in turn would ensure product availability for domestic crushers, and cool off soaring soybean prices, FAS New Delhi reported. The new ruling is effective from December 23, 2021- June 30, 2022, through the “Soya Meal Stock Control Order, 2021”.

Trade
- Brazil’s soybean exports reached a record volume of 83.4 million tonnes in 2021, up 1% y/y, the Secretariat of Foreign Trade (Secex) reported.
- Malaysia’s export duty for crude palm oil (CPO) was set at 8% for January 2022, unchanged m/m, on an increased reference price to MYR5, 302.01/tonne, according to the Royal Malaysian Customs Department.

Prices
- Brazilian domestic soy prices fell by 1.2% w/w to BRL172.34 (USD30.91)/60-kilo bags at the Paranaguá port, and by 0.2% w/w in Paraná state to BRL170.22 (USD30.53)/60-kilo bags, in the week ending December 30.
- Global vegetable oil prices fell by 3.3% m/m in December, driven by reduced demand of palm oil over Covid-19 surging cases, and demand rationing impacting sunflower prices. On the other hand, soy and rapeseed oil values remained virtually unchanged. In 2021, FAO’s Vegetable Oil Price Index rose substantially by 66% y/y, an all-time high.
- Average prices for Russian sunflower seed fell further by RUB750.00 to RUB35,100/tonne (excluding VAT), in the week ending December 24, according to SovEcon. As for sunflower oil, prices declined RUB325.00 to RUB85,350/tonne (including VAT), while export prices rose marginally by USD5.00 to USD1,300/tonne.

Jan 07  - Market Briefing: Meat and Livestock (IHSmarkit)

- German pig herd shrinks to 25-year low.
- EU poultrymeat exports lose ground in South Africa.
- Chinese pork price recovery loses steam in December.

Production
- Germany’s pig herd has shrunk to its smallest since 1996 as disease outbreaks and export bans add to other problems faced by producers. Provisional results from German statistics office, Destatis, show that total pig numbers fell to 23.6 million on 3 November – down by 2.45 million or 9% when compared to the same time last year. The herd has shrunk by more than a million head, or 4.4%, just since the start of May. In the US, large supplies of hogs appear to be behind the industry until sometime in late 2022. Commercial pork production for 2022, should be relatively close to 2019 levels, forecast at 27.56 billion pounds.

Demand
- On US poultry markets, whole bird trading prices remain unexpectedly strong, moving up in the holiday-shortened processing week ending 25 December. The whole bird national composite average price moved up $0.06 to $1.33 per pound – up $0.52 when compared to the same week last year. US infection rates from the Omicron COVID-19 variant have gained momentum and mitigation orders are likely setting back dining room traffic recovery. However, marketplace interest is enough to press limited availability of poultrymeat. In the context of elevated shelf and menu pricing for competing protein options, whole broiler product spot price levels seem supported nearby.

Trade
- South African imports of European chicken meat fell again in 2021 as the country’s hardline approach to avian flu kept it off-limits to many EU countries. Newly released figures show that South Africa imported just 30,783 tonnes of chicken meat from the EU27 in the first eleven months of 2021 – a drop of 61% y/y. With most other EU countries effectively shut out of the market, Spain now accounts for almost 97% of all EU chicken meat going to South Africa.
- Beyond the EU, Brazil strengthened its position as the dominant supplier of chicken to South Africa in 2021, with shipments in the first eleven months rising 6% y/y to 255,422 tonnes. South African imports from the US were down 16% y/y at 57,660 tonnes while imports from Argentina were down 21% y/y at 22,036 tonnes.

Prices
- Prices of pork and pigs weakened slightly in China in December – halting the recovery that took hold in early October. Wholesale prices for pork slipped to CNY23.03 per kg ($3.61/kg) on 24 December – a drop of 5% m/m but still significantly higher than the low-point of CNY16.62 per kg reported in the first week of October. Average prices for slaughter-ready pigs ended December at CNY17.34 per kg – down from CNY18.75 a month earlier. Although pig prices have eased back slightly over the past four weeks, they remain almost 40% up on the low-point reported in mid-October. After three years of volatility, local analysts and officials believe prices are likely to remain relatively stable ahead of the Chinese New Year celebrations at the start of February.

Jan 07 - Brazil unable to unload wheat imports due to tax collectors' protest 

Brazil has been unable to promptly unload wheat shipments at its key port in Santos as agricultural tax collectors protest as part of a campaign for higher wages, local association Abitrigo said on Thursday. Abitrigo's head Rubens Barbosa told Reuters that two vessels carrying imported wheat had their unloading operations delayed due to the work-to-rule effort.

Jan 07 - Ukraine grain exports up 25.7% so far in 2021/22 to 33.2 mln T 

Ukraine has exported 33.2 million tonnes of grain so far in the 2021/22 July-June season, up 25.7% from the same stage a season earlier, agriculture ministry data showed on Thursday. The total included 16.1 million tonnes of wheat, 5.2 million tonnes of barley and 11.5 million tonnes of corn, the data showed.

Jan 07 - Russian wheat stable in thin trade, market eyes Kazakh unrest 

Russian wheat prices are stable so far this year amid holiday-thinned trade, the IKAR consultancy said on Thursday, adding that the market was watching developments in neighbouring Kazakhstan, a major flour exporter. Kazakhstan, which is also a major buyer of Russian wheat in Siberia, is experiencing its worst unrest since independence in 1991, spurred initially by protests against gas price hikes.

Jan 06  - Drought denies Brazil its biggest soybean crop in history  (Agrural)
- Brazil is no longer expected to deliver the largest soybean crop in its history as production estimates have been slashed by 11.3 million mt due to droughts in the south, local consultancy Agrural said Thursday.
- Brazil’s soybean crop was previously estimated at an all-time record of 144 million mt but has now been reduced to 133.4 million mt, below the 137.3 million mt harvested in the previous marketing year.
“High temperatures and droughts that have been predominant in the south of Brazil and southern Mato Grosso do Sul since November have hit the soybean crop harshly,” Agrural said.
“[The reduced estimate is] based on an average yield of 54.8 bags per hectare, the lowest since the 2015/16 crop,” the consultancy added.

- According to Agrural, the severest losses to date have been reported in the state of Paraná and yield prospects have also been cut in the southern states of Santa Catarina and Rio Grande do Sul.
- In Rio Grande do Sul, “rains and milder temperatures are necessary immediately to prevent further estimate cuts,” Agrural said.
- Mato Grosso do Sul’s yield estimates have also been reduced due to low rainfall volumes in the southern parts of the state, although expected losses are much less severe than in southern states.
- Crop development conditions remain favourable in the rest of the country, with high yields expected in Brazil’s main producer Mato Grosso where harvest works have already begun.

Jan 06 - Tunisia buys soft wheat, durum and barley in tenders - traders 

Tunisia's state grains agency is thought to have purchased about 125,000 tonnes of soft wheat, 75,000 tonnes of durum wheat and 75,000 tonnes of animal feed barley in international tenders on Wednesday, traders said. The volumes were the same as those sought in the tenders. 

Jan 06 - Jordan buys 60,000 tonnes of wheat in tender - traders 

Jordan's state grains buyer purchased 60,000 tonnes of wheat to be sourced from optional origins in a tender which closed on Wednesday, traders said. The wheat was bought from trading house Agro-Chirnogi at an estimated $326 a tonne c&f for shipment in the first half of August 2022, they said.

Jan 06 - New bird flu has higher risk of spread to humans -animal health director 

A wave of bird flu in Asia and Europe has a greater risk of spreading to humans because of a high number of variants, the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) said. The spread of highly pathogenic avian influenza, commonly called bird flu, has raised concern among governments and the poultry industry after previous outbreaks led to the culling of tens of millions of birds and trade restrictions.

Jan 06 - Soy health tumbles across South America under La Nina's grasp - Braun 

Most market participants are well aware that a La Nina weather pattern often spells risk for South American corn and soybeans, though things had been going relatively well several weeks back and concerns were very mild. In fact, decent November rains in Argentina weighed down Chicago futures at that time as traders assumed La Nina was overhyped.

Jan 05 - EU 2021/22 soft wheat exports 14 mln T by Jan. 2, French data up to Nov 

 Soft wheat exports from the European Union in the 2021/22 season that started in July had reached 14.01 million tonnes by Jan. 2, according to data published on Tuesday by the European Commission, which said that figures for France were only complete up to November. That compared with 13.63 million tonnes by the same week in 2020/21, the data showed.

Jan 05 - 'Drastic change' toward dryness threatens Argentine corn yields -analysts  

Better-than-expected rains boosted Argentine wheat production this season but the weather panorama has changed "drastically" since mid-December, with dryness threatening corn crops just as they enter critical development stages, analysts said. Indeed, analysts might start marking down their record high 2021/22 corn harvest estimates if it gets too dry next month.

Jan 05 - Farming for the climate: Off-season 'cover' crops expand as U.S. growers eye low-carbon future 

More and more U.S. farmers are planting cover crops, from grasses like rye and oats to legumes and radishes. While some are converted into biofuels or fed to cattle, most are not harvested because their value is greater if they break down in the soil.

Jan 04 - Soybean sowing is 98.2% complete in Brazil; corn 90%: Conab

- Soybean sowing reached 98.2%% complete in Brazil as of January 1, up 0.4 percentage points on the previous week, the latest report from the country’s food agency Conab showed late Monday. Planting was 99% complete at the same period last year based on figures for 12 states representing 97% of the total area, which is currently estimated at 40.3 million hectares. Only Maranhão, Santa Catarina, and Rio Grande do Sul are still sowing, but all are 90% complete or more.

- The sowing of the first corn crop has also reached 90% complete, a 1.7 percentage points weekly advance. At the same point last year, planting was 88.5% complete.

- The figures cover nine states, which represent 92% of the expected 4.5 million hectares. Sowing is close to the end in Santa Catarina, and is still happening in another four states. The first corn crop harvest has started in the southern states of Paraná, Santa Catarina and Rio Grande do Sul and reached 2.3% complete on January 1, a 2.1 percentage points weekly advance and above last year’s 1.4% figure of complete.

Jan 04 - Argentina exported record $32.8 bln in grains and derivatives in 2021 - CIARA-CEC 

Argentina exported $32.8 billion in grains and their derivatives in 2021, a record amount of earnings since the beginning of this century, the country's CIARA-CEC grains exporters and oilseed crushing chamber said in a report released over the weekend. In December alone the sector exported $2.68 billion in grains and derivatives. 

Jan 04 - Turkey extends custom tax exemption on some grain imports  

Turkey has extended a customs tax exemption on some wheat, rye, barley, oats, maize, chick pea and lentil imports until the end of 2022, according to the country's Official Gazette. It also extended the customs tax exemption on sunflower seed oil until the end of June, the Gazette showed on Friday.

Jan 04 - Biden unveils plan to boost competition in U.S. meat industry 

The United States will issue new rules and $1 billion in funding this year to support independent meat processors and ranchers as part of a plan to address a lack of “meaningful competition” in the meat sector, President Joe Biden said on Monday. The initiative comes amid rising concerns that a handful of big beef, pork and poultry companies have too much control over the American meat market, allowing them to dictate wholesale and retail pricing to profit at the expense of their suppliers and customers.

Jan 04 - France finds bird flu at turkey farm in west, industry group says  

France has detected highly pathogenic bird flu on a farm in the west of the country, marking the first outbreak in the region, poultry industry group Anvol said on Monday, citing a local government publication. The outbreak was found at a farm of about 13,000 turkeys in Beaufou in the Vendee department, Anvol Director Yann Nedelec told Reuters.

Jan 03 - Ukraine grain exports up 23.5% in H1 2021/22 to 32.2 mln T 

Ukraine has exported 32.2 million tonnes of grain in the first half of the 2021/22 July-June season, up 23.5% from the same stage a season earlier, agriculture ministry data showed on Friday. That included 15.8 million tonnes of wheat, 5.2 million tonnes of barley and 10.8 million tonnes of corn, the data showed. 

Jan 03 - Russian govt approves grain export quota at 11 mln T for Feb 15 to June 30  

The Russian government approved a grain export quota at 11 million tonnes, including 8 million tonnes of wheat, for Feb. 15 to June 30, according to a government document published on Friday. The economy ministry said earlier this month that Russia planned to set grain export quotas each year from now on after not having had quotas before this year.

Jan 03 - China's biggest soybean grower to increase planted acreage in 2022 

China's biggest soybean grower - the northeastern province of Heilongjiang - plans to increase the area planted to the crop by 10 million mu (666,667 hectares) in 2022, the official Xinhua news agency said on Sunday. China's soybean output dropped sharply last year as farmers decided to grow more corn because it was more profitable. 

Jan 03 - China's sow herd at end-Nov rises 4.7% from year earlier - Ag ministry 

China's sow herd at the end of November was 4.7% higher than the previous year at 42.96 million heads, the agriculture ministry said late on Thursday. The size of the herd was down 1.2% from the previous month, according to the latest data released on the website of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs