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Global Ag News for June 6.23


Wheat Jumps on Dam Blast, Escalation of Fighting in Ukraine

  • Dam explosion looks like ‘big escalation,’ consultant says
  • Damaged ammonia pipeline seen key to grain export dealBy James Poole

Wheat surged after an escalation in fighting between Russia and Ukraine, including the destruction of a giant dam and damage to an ammonia pipeline that Russia sees as key in talks about maintaining the flow of Ukrainian grain shipments through the Black Sea.

Ukraine said Russia blew up the dam in the country’s south, unleashing a torrent of water that threatens residents and complicates the battlefield separating the two armies along the Dnipro river. The dam is some way from the three Ukrainian ports covered under the Black Sea grain deal, but the flooding poses a severe risk to people, transport and logistics.

The dam’s destruction “looks like a big escalation with dire consequences and huge headline risk,” Andrey Sizov, managing director at agricultural consultant SovEcon, said in a tweet. “This could be just the start of the bull run.”


Wheat prices overnight are up 19 1/4 in SRW, up 19 3/4 in HRW, up 14 1/4 in HRS; Corn is up 9 1/2; Soybeans up 8; Soymeal up $3.40; Soyoil down 0.13.

For the week so far wheat prices are up 24 1/4 in SRW, up 29 3/4 in HRW, up 26 3/4 in HRS; Corn is down 2; Soybeans up 5 1/2; Soymeal up $6.80; Soyoil down 0.37.

For the month to date wheat prices are up 49 in SRW, up 51 1/2 in HRW, up 54 1/2 in HRS; Corn is up 13; Soybeans up 58 1/4; Soymeal up $11.20; Soyoil up 2.93.

Year-To-Date nearby futures are down 18.8% in SRW, down 5.2% in HRW, down 11.1% in HRS; Corn is down 10.5%; Soybeans down 10.6%; Soymeal down 15.4%; Soyoil down 23.0%.

Chinese Ag futures (JUL 23) Soybeans down 47 yuan; Soymeal up 39; Soyoil down 16; Palm oil down 22; Corn down 17 — Malaysian palm oil prices overnight were down 59 ringgit (-1.75%) at 3322.

There were changes in registrations (-4 Soymeal). Registration total: 2,389 SRW Wheat contracts; 2 Oats; 0 Corn; 0 Soybeans; 1,114 Soyoil; 43 Soymeal; 97 HRW Wheat.

Preliminary changes in futures Open Interest as of June 5 were: SRW Wheat up 430 contracts, HRW Wheat down 195, Corn down 13,335, Soybeans down 4,560, Soymeal up 6,867, Soyoil up 1,153.

Northern Plains: Isolated to scattered showers through Friday. Temperatures above normal through Friday. Outlook: Isolated to scattered showers Saturday-Wednesday. Temperatures near to above normal Saturday-Wednesday.

Central/Southern Plains: Isolated to scattered showers through Friday. Temperatures near to above normal through Wednesday, near normal Thursday-Friday. Outlook: Isolated to scattered showers Saturday-Wednesday. Temperatures near normal Saturday-Wednesday.

Western Midwest: Isolated showers through Wednesday. Mostly dry Thursday-Friday. Temperatures near to above normal Monday-Tuesday, near normal Wednesday-Friday.

Eastern Midwest: Mostly dry Tuesday. Isolated showers Wednesday. Mostly dry Thursday-Friday. Temperatures near to below normal through Friday. Outlook: Scattered showers Saturday-Sunday. Mostly dry Monday-Tuesday. Scattered showers Wednesday. Temperatures near to below normal Saturday-Tuesday, near to above normal Wednesday.

Delta: Isolated showers through Friday. Temperatures near normal through Thursday, near to below normal Friday. Outlook: Isolated showers Saturday-Sunday. Mostly dry Monday-Tuesday. Isolated showers Wednesday. Temperatures near to below normal Saturday-Sunday, near normal Monday-Tuesday.

The player sheet for 6/5 had funds: net buyers of 1,500 contracts of SRW wheat, sellers of 7,500 corn, buyers of 1,000 soybeans, buyers of 1,500 soymeal, and  sellers of 1,000 soyoil.


  • WHEAT PURCHASES: Saudi Arabia bought 624,000 tonnes of wheat in an international purchasing tender for September-October shipment, the General Food Security Authority (GFSA) said on Monday.
  • WHEAT TENDER: Egypt’s General Authority For Supply Commodities (GASC) announced on Monday that it has set an international tender for wheat, with a deadline of June 6.


  • WHEAT TENDER: Japan’s Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF) is seeking to buy a total of 86,922 tonnes of food-quality wheat from Canada and Australia in a regular tender that will close on Thursday.
  • RICE TENDER: South Korea’s state-backed Agro-Fisheries & Food Trade Corp issued an international tender to purchase an estimated 62,200 tonnes of rice, European traders said. The deadline for submissions of price offers is June 8.

Planet Earth


USDA CROP PROGRESS: Corn Conditions 64% G/E, Soybeans 62%

  • Corn 64% G/E vs 69% last week, and 73% a year ago
  • Corn planted 96% vs 92% last week, and 93% a year ago
  • Corn emerged 85% vs 72% last week, and 76% a year ago
  • Soybeans planted 91% vs 83% last week, and 76% a year ago
  • Soybeans emerged 74% vs 56% last week, and 54% a year ago
  • Winter wheat harvest 4% vs 5% a year ago
  • Winter wheat 36% G/E vs 34% last week, and 30% a year ago
  • Spring wheat planted 93% vs 85% last week, and 81% a year ago
  • Spring wheat emerged 76% vs 57% last week, and 53% a year ago
  • Cotton 51% G/E vs 48% last week, and 48% a year ago
  • Cotton planted 71% vs 60% last week, and 82% a year ago
  • Sorghum planted 49% vs 42% last week, and 54% a year ago

US Inspected 1.181m Tons of Corn for Export, 214k of Soybean

In week ending June 1, according to the USDA’s weekly inspections report.

  • Wheat: 292k tons vs 391k the previous wk, 355k a yr ago
  • Corn: 1,181k tons vs 1,346k the previous wk, 1,459k a yr ago
  • Soybeans: 214k tons vs 243k the previous wk, 370k a yr ago

US Corn, Soybean, Wheat Inspections by Country: June 1

Following is a summary of USDA inspections for week ending June 1 of corn, soybeans and wheat for export, from the Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration, known as GIPSA.

  • Soybeans for Germany-bound shipments made up 69k tons of the 214k total inspected
  • China was the top destination for corn inspections, Mexico led in wheat

China Offers 200m Yuan for Henan Wheat Harvest Affected by Rain

The central government allocated 200m yuan on June 3 to help wheat harvest in central China’s Henan province, according to a statement from Ministry of Finance.

NOTE: Wheat harvesting in some areas in Henan province had been seriously affected by heavy rain in late May, China National Radio reported earlier

Ukraine’s Black Sea Crop Exports Rise 78% in Week to June 4

The volume of crops departing Ukrainian ports under the Black Sea Grain Initiative totaled about 395,582 in the week to June 4, according to data posted by the Joint Coordination Centre.

  • That compares with about 222,471 tons the prior week
  • NOTE: The grain deal was extended in mid May for two-months; the shipping corridor nearly emptied in the days before the renewal
  • TOTAL TONNAGE: Almost 40m tons of crops have been shipped since the initiative was established last July

Brazil’s 2nd Corn Crop Harvest in Center-South 1% Done: AgRural

Compares with 3% a year earlier, according to an emailed statement from consulting firm AgRural

Harvest underway mainly in Mato Grosso state

SovEcon Boosts 2023-24 Russia Wheat-Export Outlook

Consultant SovEcon increased its forecast for Russia’s wheat exports in the 2023-24 season to a record 45.7m tons from 43m tons, it said by email

  • First forecast for barley exports is 5.2m tons; for corn exports 4.3m tons
  • Total grain exports seen at 57.2m tons, also a record high
  • Wheat harvest revised higher due to harvest estimates, and bigger supplies due to confirmation by Russian agriculture ministry that there are no plans for intervention purchases
  • “Several large multinational traders stopping Russian origination are unlikely to have a noticeable impact on export volumes”

Palm Oil Stockpiles in Malaysia Poised to Jump on Output Surge

  • Inventories seen increasing for the first time since January
  • Monthly output probably surged the most since March 2022

Palm oil inventories in Malaysia likely climbed in May for the first time in four months as production in the world’s second-biggest grower recorded the largest increase since March last year.

Stockpiles expanded about 4.7% from April to 1.57 million tons, according to the median of 10 estimates in a Bloomberg survey of analysts, traders and plantation executives. That would reverse a three-month declining trend in reserves, which saw them contract some 34% since the end of January.

Crude palm oil output soared 15% to 1.38 million tons in May, the survey showed. A chronic labor shortage in Malaysia has constrained production, but an influx of foreign workers since the second half of last year and improved oil extraction rates are set to boost supplies of the tropical oil.

Exports rose about 1.9% in May to around 1.09 million tons, according to the survey, after plunging 28% a month earlier.

“Supply is worth noting as we enter the higher output season,” said Marcello Cultrera, director at Singapore-based Apricus 8 Pte. The improvement in production in May and stagnant palm oil exports against a bearish macro-economic backdrop have spurred a big reversal in prices, he said. Benchmark futures in Kuala Lumpur closed at the lowest in over 30 months on May 31.

Oil palms typically enter a higher production cycle in mid-year, when yields climb for several months before peaking. The higher-output season usually makes up about 65% of the entire year’s production. This year, Malaysian output is seen climbing rapidly to a very strong peak, according to IOI Corp.

Dry Weather Set to Slash Australia’s Next Wheat Crop by a Third

  • Australia had its second-driest May on record nationwide
  • Dry conditions come after three wet years, bumper crops

Australia’s wheat production is forecast to slump 34% in the coming season as the development of El Niño is likely to suppress rainfall across large swaths of the country, the government crop forecaster said.

Dry conditions and low soil moisture in some growing regions mean that much of the 2023–24 crop has been sown dry and will require adequate and timely rain to allow plants to germinate, the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences said. Wheat is a major winter crop in Australia with planting from April and the harvest starting in November.

Apart from Australia, wild weather is affecting crops elsewhere, including in the Americas and North Africa. The harvest in top wheat consumer China has also been hit by torrential rains, potentially boosting the need for more imports. For now, global wheat prices are near their lowest in over two years on optimism for bumper harvests across Europe, helping to keep food costs in check.

The expected onset of El Niño conditions from July will likely see winter crop output fall significantly, Abares said. Dry weather has already arrived, according to the Bureau of Meteorology, with the second-driest May on record nationwide and the driest in Western Australia since observations began. Prior to this, the country had a run of three very wet years, unusual historically.

The country’s wheat output may decline 34% from a record to 26.2 million tons, slightly below the 10-year average. Barley production is set to fall 30% to 9.9 million tons, around 11% below the 10-year average. Canola output may drop 41% to 4.9 million tons, 15% above the 10-year average, according to Abares.

More details:

  • Area planted to wheat may shrink 2% to 12.8 million hectares
  • Area sown to barley could increase 4% to 4.3 million hectares, largely because of the crop’s ability to withstand drier conditions
  • Area seeded to canola is likely to fall 11% to 3.5 million hectares, reflecting the drier outlook and to some extent lower expected returns following recent declines in global prices
  • A positive Indian Ocean Dipole can suppress winter and spring rainfall over much of Australia and potentially exacerbate the drying effect of an El Niño event
  • Abares predicted the value of Australia’s agricultural exports would fall 17% from a record to A$65 billion ($43 billion) in 2023-24, it said in a separate report. Export earnings are still forecast to be the third highest on record.

WHEAT/CEPEA: Wheat sowing begins in Argentina; in Brazil, activities advance

Sowing of the 2023/24 wheat crop in Argentina, the major origin of the wheat imported by Brazil, has recently begun. According to the Bolsa de Cereales, 6.3% of the total estimated for the Argentinean wheat crop (6.3 million hectares) had been sown by the end of May.

In Brazil, wheat sowing is in progress in all the states in the southern region, which is the top wheat-producing region in the country. According to Conab, by May 27th, 34.6% of the national wheat crop had been sown, 5.1 percentage points behind that in the same period last year. Activities have ended in Goiás, Minas Gerais, Bahia and Mato Grosso do Sul, are in progress in São Paulo (85%) and Paraná (58%) and have begun in Rio Grande do Sul (1%) and Santa Catarina (0.5%). In Paraná, by May 29th, 66% had been sown, according to Seab/Deral.

As for prices, slight fluctuations were observed in the last days. Cepea surveys show that, between May 26 and June 2, the prices paid to wheat farmers dropped 0.68% in Rio Grande do Sul and 0.51% in Paraná but remained stable in Santa Catarina. In the wholesale market (deals between processors), values decreased 1.86% in RS, 1.76% in SC, 1.34% in PR and 0.21% in São Paulo. In the same period, the US dollar decreased 0.7%, closing at BRL 4.957 on Friday, June 2.

Based on data from Conab (Brazil’s National Company for Food Supply), between May 22-26, the import parity price for the wheat from Argentina delivered to Paraná State was at USD 350.99/ton. Considering the average of the US dollar in that period, at BRL 4.978, the wheat imported was sold at BRL 1,747.23/ton, while for the Brazilian wheat traded in Paraná, the average was lower, at BRL 1,428.21/ton, according to data from Cepea. In Rio Grande do Sul, the price of the product from Argentina closed at USD 329.21/ton, which accounts for BRL 1,638.82/ton – against BRL 1,292.73/ton on the average of the State calculated by Cepea.

TRADE BALANCE – According to data from Secex, in May (22 working days), Brazil imported 283.5 thousand tons of wheat, against 534.2 thousand tons in May 2022. As for exports, a slight 70.8 thousand tons were shipped last month, against 107.9 thousand tons in May last year.

Ukraine may lose 20% of winter grain yield if poor weather persists

Most of Ukraine’s winter grain crops are in good condition but grain yields could fall by 20% if current dry and hot weather persists, APK-Inform consultancy quoted agricultural scientists as saying on Monday.

Ukraine is a major grain grower and exporter but its production has fallen sharply since Russia invaded the country in February last year.

Grain output decreased to around 53 million tonnes in 2022 from a record 86 million tonnes in 2021. The government has said that in 2023 the harvest could decline to 44.5 million tonnes.

Winter wheat dominates the Ukrainian winter grain harvest and accounts for 95% of the country’s overall wheat production.

“In general, weather conditions for most of the spring period were sufficiently favourable for growth and development of winter cereal crops,” Ukraine’s national academy of agricultural science said in a report.

“However, in case of continuation of dry weather in the period of grain filling, especially on the background of high air temperatures… the share of lost yields can be from 15% to 20%,” it said, giving no exact forecast of the harvest.

Scientists noted that crops which were sown very late were particularly at risks.

The Ukrainian agriculture minister told Reuters on Friday that the ministry forecast the 2023 winter grain crop at around 18 million tonnes, or 20% less than in 2022.

India’s palm oil imports hit 27-month low, buyers pick cheaper soft oils – dealers

India’s palm oil imports sank to a 27-month low in May as buyers cancelled expensive cargoes of the edible oil and replaced them with cheaper soyoil and sunflower oil, six dealers told Reuters on Tuesday.

Palm oil imports by India fell to 441,000 tonnes last month, down 14% from 510,094 tonnes in April, according to average estimates from the dealers. May imports were the lowest since February 2021, the dealers added.

The drop in purchases by the world’s biggest importer of vegetable oils could weigh on palm oil prices FCPOc3, which are already trading near their lowest level in 30 months.

India buys palm oil mainly from Indonesia, Malaysia – the top two producers – and Thailand, while it imports soyoil and sunflower oil from Argentina, Brazil, Russia and Ukraine.

Price-sensitive Asian buyers typically rely on palm oil because of the low cost and quick shipping times.

But the edible oil started trading at a premium to soyoil and sunflower oil over the past few months, prompting buyers to shift to the cheaper soft oils, said Sandeep Bajoria, CEO Sunvin Group, a vegetable oil brokerage and consultancy firm.

In April, buyers opted to cancel large amounts of palm oil purchases for May shipments for the first time in many years.

India’s average monthly palm oil imports in the first six months of the 2022/23 marketing year that started on Nov. 1 were 818,203 tonnes, according to the Solvent Extractors’ Association of India, up 52% from a year earlier. The trade body is likely to publish its May import data by mid-June.

India’s sunflower oil imports in May jumped 28% from a month ago to 319,00 tonnes, while soyoil imports rose 10% to 290,000 tonnes, according to an average estimate from the dealers.

“Palm oil has been losing market share for the past few months and is unlikely to regain it unless it becomes competitive, said Rajesh Patel,” managing partner at GGN Research, an edible oil trader and broker.

Indonesia braces for forest fires, crop loss from severe dry season

Indonesia is expecting a severe dry season from the impact of the El Nino weather pattern, threatening harvests and raising the risks of forest fires, the head of its weather agency said on Tuesday.

“Looking at the data we have, El Nino started in June and will affect almost all of Indonesia and worsen until September,” said Dwikorita Karnawati, head of the BMKG, Indonesia’s meteorological, climatological and geophysics agency.

She told a press conference El Nino would cause severe drought on the main islands of Indonesia, with some likely to see no rain or just 30% of the typical amount.

“This will decrease the availability of groundwater that will impact agriculture and irrigation, harvest failure, as well as forest fires,” Dwikorita said, urging stakeholders to prepare to mitigate the risks, including by use of weather modification technology.

“We have to be extremely careful,” she said.

Indonesian experienced devastating forest fires in 2019 which blanketed the country and the region with haze and caused about $5.2 billion of economic losses in the eight affected provinces, according to the World Bank.

Early signs of hot, dry weather caused by El Nino are threatening food producers across Asia, with palm oil and rice production likely to suffer in Indonesia and Malaysia – which supply 80% of the world’s palm oil – and Thailand, according to analysts.

Strong Supply, Delayed Demand Pressure Brazil Fertilizer Prices

Nitrogen prices in Brazil failed to respond to pressure from a new Indian tender during the week and continued falling amid light off-season demand. Delayed demand continued to pressure potash and phosphate prices as well, with 1Q fertilizer consumption down overall vs. a year earlier.

Brazil Urea Prices Weaken Despite India Tender

Brazil fertilizer prices keep falling ahead of next season as demand retracts and suppliers compete. Urea dropped again vs. the previous week, dimming hopes that an Indian tender on May 31 would spark a price correction. Delayed negotiations and strong inventories are expected to pressure urea further for the corn winter season. Potash prices were also down as Russian, Canadian and Belarusian suppliers competed for business, while an oversupply of phosphates pushed that market lower as well. The market pressure may linger until demand rises for what’s left of the soybean season.

National production dropped 9% and imports fell 7% in 1Q vs. 1Q22, the National Fertilizer Association reported, while consumption slipped 1.2%. Delayed demand and record inventories are expected to continue to pressure fertilizer prices in Brazil.


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