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Global Ag News for Apr 11.24


China raises 2023/24 corn, cotton import forecasts

China’s agriculture ministry raised its forecast for corn and cotton imports in the 2023/24 crop year in its April outlook released on Thursday.

Corn imports are estimated at 20 million metric tons in the season ending in September, the Chinese Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (CASDE) report showed, compared to last month’s forecast of 17.5 million tons.

“However, it is expected that the quantity entering market circulation will be limited and import volumes will decline significantly in the later period,” the report said.

Meanwhile, cotton imports in the season ending in August are forecast at 2.3 million tons, compared to 2 million tons in last month’s report.


Wheat prices overnight are unchanged in SRW, up 2 1/4 in HRW, down 2 1/4 in HRS; Corn is up 1 3/4; Soybeans down 2 1/4; Soymeal up $1.60; Soyoil down 0.49.

For the week so far wheat prices are down 8 1/4 in SRW, up 10 1/2 in HRW, up 1 1/2 in HRS; Corn is up 1 3/4; Soybeans down 21; Soymeal down $0.40; Soyoil down 1.76.

For the month to date wheat prices are down 1 3/4 in SRW, up 10 1/4 in HRW, up 4 1/2 in HRS; Corn is down 6; Soybeans down 29; Soymeal down $5.20; Soyoil down 0.85.

Year-To-Date nearby futures are down 11.1% in SRW, down 7.1% in HRW, down 10.2% in HRS; Corn is down 7.5%; Soybeans down 10.1%; Soymeal down 13.9%; Soyoil down 1.5%.

Chinese Ag futures (MAY 24) Soybeans down 2 yuan; Soymeal down 32; Soyoil up 16; Palm oil down 24; Corn down 12 — Malaysian Palm is up 23.  Malaysian palm oil prices overnight were up 23 ringgit (+0.54%) at 4318.

There were no changes in registrations. Registration total: 438 SRW Wheat contracts; 0 Oats; 37 Corn; 499 Soybeans; 710 Soyoil; 26 Soymeal; 0 HRW Wheat.

Preliminary changes in futures Open Interest as of April 10 were: SRW Wheat down 2,647 contracts, HRW Wheat down 427, Corn up 3,445, Soybeans up 6,219, Soymeal down 4,654, Soyoil down 8,446.

Northern Plains: A few showers will move through on Wednesday, but drier conditions are largely expected through the weekend outside of a few minor showers. A larger storm system will move through early next week, likely in a couple of pieces, that should bring some scattered showers through the region as well as a round of colder air. The cold may persuade producers to slow down on planting and fieldwork, but wetter soils are not very widespread through the region and folks may get out and work them anyway.

Central/Southern Plains: A system that has brought widespread and heavy precipitation to southern portions of the region will move out on Wednesday night, but not before bringing more heavy rain to the southeast. Warm and dry conditions follow for the weekend. But another storm system will move through in a couple of pieces next week that should bring more scattered showers through, as well as a burst of colder air. Forecasts are unsure about the potential for frosts later next week, but windy and limited showers could dry out soils a bit. The Texas Panhandle got some good precipitation out of this last storm, but western Kansas did not and is need of more rain as conditions are worsening there. The storm track for next week is not favorable for that to occur. Despite some heavier rain, planting conditions are not all that bad in many spots and should continue to progress between storm systems.

Midwest: Widespread areas of rain may have temporarily slowed down some fieldwork, but there are not that many areas of the region that are overly wet. Another system that is developing in the South-Central will bring more rounds of showers through the south and east through Friday, as well as some stronger winds that could slow down operations again. Warmer and drier weather this weekend should promote fieldwork, but then another long and drawn-out storm system is forecast for next week that should bring more areas of thunderstorms and heavy rain as well as a burst of some colder air. The forecast for frosts is currently not anticipated to affect wheat, but could slow down fieldwork and planting operations for a bit again.

Delta: Heavy rain moved across a large portion of the region over the last couple of days and continues through Thursday as a storm system slowly works through the region. That has caused localized flooding for the southern half of the region and will slow down planting progress for a while. The active spring pattern will bring another couple of rounds of showers and thunderstorms through next week as well.

Brazil: Scattered showers will likely continue across central and northern Brazil through well into next week. A front will continue to produce areas of showers for southern areas into next week as it meanders around as well. The front will eventually sweep northward next week and drier conditions will follow behind it for a while. Despite this, the recent weather pattern has been overall favorable for safrinha corn, but the wet season rainfall will be shutting down soon and fronts moving up from Argentina are going to take over the rainfall events for the rest of the season, which usually stall out in the south. Soil moisture is still well-below normal across much of the safrinha corn growing areas, even in the the more active pattern of the last couple of weeks.

Argentina: A front across the north will draw a storm system along it that will pull south through the country this weekend and early next week, bringing widespread areas of showers and thunderstorms that should include more heavy rain. With corn and soybeans maturing and in the early stages of harvest, the rainfall is not all that beneficial and should start to be a hindrance for operations. However, drier conditions are likely to develop for a period behind that system for probably a week, which will help most areas to dry out.

Black Sea: Showers will continue to be limited throughout this week as much of the widespread showers stay north of the region, which does not look all that helpful for building back in some topsoil moisture after a stretch of dry weather over the last several weeks. A front and system will push through the region next week and may offer some areas of showers as well as a burst of cooler temperatures to slow down winter wheat’s growth that has gotten to be too fast for this time of year. The cooler temperatures may or may not bring a risk of frost later next week, but probably nothing that would be damaging at this time. Instead, the system may linger in the region later next week and could provide some meaningful precipitation in the cooler temperatures.

Australia: Drier conditions are good for cotton and sorghum harvest, but not for conditioning soils ahead of winter wheat and canola planting, which typically starts up next week. Some areas may choose to delay planting to wait for more favorable soil moisture for better winter crop establishment. The ending El Nino and eventual turn to La Nina should favor the winter crops later this year.

The player sheet for 4/10 had funds: net buyers of 500 contracts of SRW wheat, buyers of 2,000 corn, buyers of 4,500 soybeans, sellers of 3,500 soymeal, and buyers of 1,000 soyoil.


  • SOYBEAN SALE: The U.S. Department of Agriculture confirmed private sales of 254,000 metric tons of U.S. soybeans for shipment to unknown destinations in the 2024/25 marketing year.


  • WHEAT TENDER: Japan’s Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF) is seeking to buy a total of 121,485 metric tons of food-quality wheat from the United States, Canada and Australia in a regular tender that will close on April 11.
  • WHEAT TENDER: Jordan’s state grain buyer issued an international tender to buy up to 120,000 metric tons of milling wheat which can be sourced from optional origins.
  • FEED BARLEY TENDER: Jordan’s state grains buyer issued an international tender to purchase up to 120,000 metric tons of animal feed barley.
  • CORN TENDER: South Korea’s Major Feedmill Group (MFG) has issued an international tender to purchase up to 140,000 metric tons of animal feed corn to be sourced from optional origins


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GRAIN EXPORT SURVEY: Corn, Soy, Wheat Sales Before USDA Report

Estimate ranges are based on a Bloomberg survey of five analysts; the USDA is scheduled to release its export sales report on Thursday for week ending April 4.

  • Corn est. range 750k – 1,300k tons, with avg of 1,006k
  • Soybean est. range 200k – 650k tons, with avg of 431k

DOE: US Ethanol Stocks Fall 0.8% to 26.208M Bbl

According to the US Department of Energy’s weekly petroleum report.

  • Analysts were expecting 26.436 mln bbl
  • Plant production at 1.056m b/d, compared to survey avg of 1.05m

Argentina Corn Harvest Forecast Cut 6.5M Tons on Pests: Rosario

Argentina’s 2024 corn harvest is now seen at 50.5m tons, down from a March estimate of 57m tons, according to a monthly report from the Rosario Board of Trade.

  • The large cut is due to damage from the spiroplasma bacteria that is being spread by leafhoppers
  • The widespread impact of the pest is unprecedented, the report says
  • Soybean harvest estimate kept at 50m tons

Chinese Buyers Cancel Corn Shipments as Beijing Supports Farmers

  • Importers canceled 4 or 5 cargoes set for delivery by June
  • Chinese customs is limiting deliveries to bonded areas

Chinese buyers are canceling corn shipments as they seek to comply with new government measures to support domestic farmers.

Chinese importers won’t take delivery of four or five cargoes of Ukrainian corn previously booked for delivery between April and June, according to people familiar with the matter. The cancellations took place within the past two weeks, and more shipments from the European country could be scuppered in the future, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the information isn’t public.

A cut in deliveries to the top importer could further weigh on global prices already under pressure after bountiful harvests in the US and Brazil.

The cancellations come after Chinese customs officials asked traders to limit deliveries of foreign corn into bonded areas in a move aimed at easing domestic oversupply and supporting prices for farmers before the planting season.

Traders can bring corn into bonded areas and blend them with other ingredients into animal feed, before importing it at a lower tax rate.

Local authorities have told some merchants and processors to not build new blending facilities in bonded areas, and to keep corn cargoes delivered to these zones below prior year levels, the people said. Some importers had already booked more cargoes than desired by the government, leading to the cancellations, they said.

India March Vegetable Oil Imports Rise 1% Y/y to 1.2 Mln tons

India’s vegetable oil imports were about 1.2 million tons in March, rising nearly 1% y/y, according to the Solvent Extractors’ Association of India.

  • Imports during the first five months of the oil year starting November 2023 have plunged 17.4% y/y, the industry body said Thursday
  • Palm oil imports were 485,354 tons in March vs 497,824 tons a month earlier
    • Soybean oil imports were 218,604 tons vs 172,936 tons m/m
    • Sunflower oil imports were 445,723 tons vs 297,092 tons m/m
  • In the last few weeks, lower production of palm oil in Malaysia and Indonesia has resulted in tight supply and a jump in prices, leading to a shift in demand to soft oils, such as sunflower and soybean, the association said
  • India’s edible oil stockpiles at 2.32 million tons as of April 1, -2.6% m/m

Brazil Rebuffs US Pressure to Abandon Tariffs on Ethanol Imports

  • Country will protect its producers, agriculture minister says
  • Brazilian authorities suggested US increase blend mandate

Brazil will maintain tariffs on US ethanol imports despite “tough” complaints from the Biden administration, said Agriculture Minister Carlos Fávaro.

“We cannot risk making things more precarious for Brazilian producers,” Fávaro said during a sugar cane industry conference in Brasilia on Wednesday.

Ethanol is a hot-button issue in major corn-producing states such as Iowa and Illinois as US farmers face increasing competition from the Brazilian agricultural sector. Producers of South American ethanol made from sugar cane and corn want to increase sales to the US, where some renewable aviation fuel plants plan to use the biofuel as a feedstock.

US authorities have been pressuring Brazil to remove the tariffs reinstated by President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva’s administration. Fávaro said one option may be for Brazil to reduce tariffs in exchange for an increase in the domestic US gasoline-blending mandate. Such a move would increase overall demand for the biofuel, he noted.

“This way we would have a market big enough for everyone,” Fávaro said.

Urea, Phosphate Prices Fall as Global Demand Takes a Pause

US urea prices dropped sharply at New Orleans after India committed to significantly less volume in its latest tender. Price declines were also reported for Corn Belt ammonia, though ammonium sulfate prices remained strong on tight supply. Phosphates and potash remained under pressure at New Orleans as global softness tested buyers’ appetites.

Brazil Fertilizer Prices Mixed as Demand Switches to Soybeans

Fertilizer-price negotiations stalled in Brazil as nitrogen demand remains at a seasonal lull and sellers switch to potash and phosphates for soybeans. Nitrogen prices are lower, led by a sharp drop in urea, while phosphates and potash were stable after recent increases in March.



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