Explore Special Offers & White Papers from AFS

Global Ag News for May 17.23


Tour finds wheat badly damaged by drought, cold in Kansas

Crop scouts on the first day of an annual three-day tour of Kansas projected an average yield for hard red winter wheat in the northern part of the drought-hit state at 29.8 bushels per acre, the worst for the tour’s first day since at least 2003.

The Wheat Quality Council tour’s five-year average for the same area from 2017-2022 was 45.36 bushels per acre. No tour was held in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Last year’s yield estimate was 39.5 bushels per acre.

A historically poor crop from the United States, the no. 5 wheat exporter, leaves the world more vulnerable to shortages, with the future uncertain for a deal allowing the Black Sea export of Ukraine’s grain.

Three years of drought have left the hard red winter wheat crop in the worst shape in recent memory for many farmers.

Tour scouts sampled 318 fields on Tuesday between Manhattan and Colby, Kansas. The tour is scheduled to release a final yield forecast for Kansas, the top U.S. winter wheat producer, on Thursday.

In addition to dryness, the tour found that wheat in north-central Kansas suffered more damage than expected from cold winter weather, said Kansas State University wheat agronomist Romulo Lollato. “I was surprised with the status of the crop around there – in a bad way,” he said.

Fields damaged by drought and cold had short wheat with thin stalks. Lollato said he has never seen so many acres that look like they will not be harvested in his eight years on the tour.

Crop scouts are bracing to see even more drought damage in southwestern Kansas on Wednesday.

Separately, state wheat associations pegged Nebraska’s crop at 30 million bushels, up from about 26.2 million last year, and Colorado’s crop at 54 million bushels, up from about 35.8 million last year.

The USDA last week pegged Nebraska’s crop at about 33 million bushels and Colorado’s crop at 49.5 million bushels.


Wheat prices overnight are up 4 in SRW, up 15 3/4 in HRW, up 9 in HRS; Corn is down 6 1/4; Soybeans down 5 3/4; Soymeal down $0.30; Soyoil up 0.02.

For the week so far wheat prices are up 10 3/4 in SRW, up 28 1/4 in HRW, up 35 3/4 in HRS; Corn is down 10 1/2; Soybeans down 31 1/4; Soymeal down $6.70; Soyoil down 2.06.

For the month to date wheat prices are up 17 3/4 in SRW, up 134 3/4 in HRW, up 84 in HRS; Corn is down 10; Soybeans down 61; Soymeal down $5.80; Soyoil down 4.20.

Year-To-Date nearby futures are down 18.5% in SRW, up 1.9% in HRW, down 6.1% in HRS; Corn is down 15.1%; Soybeans down 10.6%; Soymeal down 10.9%; Soyoil down 25.6%.

Chinese Ag futures (JUL 23) Soybeans up 20 yuan; Soymeal down 48; Soyoil down 150; Palm oil down 106; Corn down 12 — Malaysian palm oil prices overnight were down 21 ringgit (-0.61%) at 3436.

There were changes in registrations (-44 Soybeans, -16 Soyoil, -27 Soymeal). Registration total: 2,389 SRW Wheat contracts; 2 Oats; 55 Corn; 22 Soybeans; 1,175 Soyoil; 73 Soymeal; 97 HRW Wheat.

Preliminary changes in futures Open Interest as of May 16 were: SRW Wheat down 631 contracts, HRW Wheat down 1,418, Corn up 6,990, Soybeans up 972, Soymeal up 418, Soyoil up 8,902.

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

Central/Southern Plains: Isolated showers west Wednesday. Scattered showers Thursday-Friday. Mostly dry Saturday. Temperatures near to below normal through Saturday. Outlook: Isolated showers west Sunday-Thursday. Temperatures near to below normal Sunday-Monday, near to above normal Tuesday-Thursday.

Western Midwest: Mostly dry Wednesday. Scattered showers Thursday-Friday. Mostly dry Saturday. Temperatures near to above normal through Thursday, near to below normal Friday-Saturday.

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

Argentina: It remains dry in Argentina, unfavorable for winter wheat planting and establishment. More rain is needed. A front may go through with showers late week, and the pattern will favor additional fronts moving through to end May. Precipitation coverage and intensity is uncertain, however.

The player sheet for 5/16 had funds: net sellers of 3,000 contracts of SRW wheat, sellers of 8,000 corn, sellers of 15,000 soybeans, sellers of 2,000 soymeal, and  sellers of 6,000 soyoil.


  • MILLING WHEAT TENDER: Japan’s Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF) is seeking to buy a total of 113,555 tonnes of food-quality wheat from the United States, Canada and Australia in a regular tender that will close on May 18.


  • RICE TENDER: South Korea’s state-backed Agro-Fisheries & Food Trade Corp issued an international tender to purchase an estimated 43,500 tonnes of rice.
  • FEED WHEAT, BARLEY TENDER: Japan’s Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF) said it will seek 60,000 tonnes of feed wheat and 20,000 tonnes of feed barley to be loaded by Aug. 31 and arrive in Japan by Oct. 26, via a simultaneous buy and sell (SBS) auction that will be held on May 17.

farmer in wheat fields


ETHANOL: US Weekly Production Survey Before EIA Report

Output and stockpile projections for the week ending May 12 are based on six analyst estimates compiled by Bloomberg.

  • Production seen higher than last week at 981k b/d
  • Stockpile avg est. 23.336m bbl vs 23.291m a week ago

Argentina 2023-24 Wheat Output Seen at 18m Metric Tons: Bourse

The Buenos Aires Grain Exchange published early-season estimates ahead of Argentina’s wheat and barley planting.

  • Wheat production forecast to grow 45% y/y after a brutal drought last season
  • Wheat planting to expand 3% y/y to 6.3m hectares (15.6m acres)
  • No change seen from last season’s barley area, but better weather would boost production 32% y/y to 5m tons
  • NOTE: Fields still need rain if farmers are to fulfill planting plans
  • NOTE: Argentine wheat is mostly harvested in November-December

Ukraine Crop Corridor Almost Empty as Russia Exit Threat Looms

  • Just seven outbound vessels are left in safe passage, UN says
  • Without corridor, Ukraine can’t meet its crop-export potential

Only seven crop vessels remain in the Ukraine crop corridor as Russia threatens to exit the grain pact later this week, bringing traffic grinding to a halt.

No fresh inbound ships have cleared inspection through the corridor in more than a week, after a disagreement between parties at the Joint Coordination Centre in Istanbul that’s tasked with checking all boats. That’s left only a trickle of outbound traffic transiting the safe passage, lineups posted by the United Nations show.

The Black Sea deal has allowed Ukraine to ship more than 30 million tons of produce from three major ports, helping to bring down global food prices down after they spiked following Russia’s invasion. But Moscow has repeatedly threatened to pull out of the pact, saying that a parallel agreement to remove obstacles to its own agricultural exports hasn’t made enough progress.

Nikolay Gorbachov, president of the Ukrainian Grain Association, said that Ukraine would not be able to meet its full crop-export potential — about 44 million tons — in 2023-24 without the corridor.

The UN said that of the seven ships still in the system, one is in port, one is transiting the corridor and the rest were awaiting inspection. Wheat traded in Chicago edged 0.4% lower on Tuesday, after gaining 4.1% on Monday.

The current hiatus is paralyzing shipments, according to Dmitry Timotin at Inzernoexport GmbH Agency in Odesa, which typically arranges port calls for three vessels a month.

“We don’t have any new grain contracts because everyone is waiting for information on what will happen with the grain corridor,” he said. “Our terminal is not working at the moment because there are no incoming ships.”

While Ukraine can ship some volumes by river and rail via its European Union neighbors if its own ports are not operating, those flows are also facing problems. Five eastern EU nations have temporarily restricted imports of Ukrainian grain, and are allowing only cargoes in transit.

Timotin said he had an alternative project to ship grain through the river port of Izmail, but the volumes would be much smaller.

The UN — which brokered the grain deal with Turkey — said on Monday that discussions are continuing. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Tuesday that many questions on the pact remain and that Russia would make an announcement when a decision has been made, according to Tass.

Despite Moscow’s grievances, Russia is expected to ship record volumes of grain this season, while its exports of fertilizers are climbing back to pre-war levels.

Ukraine Keeps 2023 Grain Harvest Forecast Stable at 45m Tons

Ukraine’s agriculture ministry still sees 2023 harvest forecast at 45m tons, including more than 16.5m tons of wheat, the ministry says by email.

  • Farmers have so far planted 247,000 hectare with spring wheat, which accounts for 10% of all wheat areas
  • Ministry sees the total area of spring wheat for the 2023 harvest at 285,000 hectare
  • NOTE: Government’s last forecast in March was also for 45m tons

MGEX Spring Wheat Stocks Down 16.7% From Year Ago: May 14

Stocks of hard spring wheat stored in Minnesota and Wisconsin warehouses fell y/y to 13.78m bushels in the week ending May 14, according to the Minneapolis Grain Exchange’s weekly report.

  • Compared to the previous week, stockpiles fell by 60k bu
  • Stockpiles in Duluth/Superior warehouses unchanged w/w
  • The following is for stockpiles in deliverable positions for futures contracts, in thousands of bu:

Malaysia says crude palm oil futures expected to remain strong, demand to grow

Crude palm oil futures are expected to remain strong for the rest of the year, with the commodity trading “at a good price point”, Malaysia’s commodities minister said on Wednesday.

“As such, we can safely anticipate that the demand for palm oil will only grow,” Fadillah Yusof, who is also deputy prime minister, said at an event in Kuala Lumpur.

EU 2022/23 rapeseed imports at 6.92 mln tonnes by May 14

European Union rapeseed imports in the 2022/23 season that started last July had reached 6.92 million tonnes by May 14, up 44% from 4.80 million a year earlier, data published by the European Commission showed on Tuesday.

India April Oilmeals Exports Fall to 493,448 Tons

India’s oilmeals exports fell to 493,448 tons in April from 575,958 tons in March, according to the Solvent Extractors’ Association of India.

  • Rapeseed meal exports fell to 246,568 tons from 248,063 tons in March
  • Soymeal exports fell to 177,243 tons from 235,233 tons in March
  • Rice-bran extract exports fell to 37,479 tons from 51,770 tons in March
  • Castorseed meal exports fell to 29,477 tons from 39,710 tons in March

LIVESTOCK SURVEY: US Cattle on Feed Placements Seen Falling 3.8%

April placements onto feedlots seen falling y/y to 1.75m head, according to a Bloomberg survey of ten analysts.

  • That would be eight consecutive months of y/y declines
  • Estimates range from -8.2% to -0.4% y/y change
  • Feedlot herd as of May 1 seen falling by 3.5% y/y to 11.61m head
  • Marketings seen falling 10% y/y

CROP WEATHER: Summer Dryness Possible in N. America, Black Sea

The forecast for June-August points to warmer, drier conditions across the western US corn belt, Kyle Tapley, meteorologist at Maxar, says at the GrainCom conference in Geneva.

  • Meanwhile, precipitation and temperatures are expected to be near-normal in the eastern belt, benefiting crops there
  • Warm, dry conditions are also a worry for crops in the Canadian prairies
  • In the Black Sea region, western Ukraine and Russia’s Central region and spring-wheat areas have recently turned dry, while there is good moisture elsewhere
    • The June to August outlook points to normal to drier-than-normal weather across Ukraine and southern and western Russia
    • “It’s not a really favorable outlook for crops in those areas for the summertime,” particularly for corn

US Fertilizer Price Hikes Likely to Revert Lower as Demand Ebbs

A surge in spring fieldwork and near-term US demand caused fertilizer supplies to tighten at New Orleans and inland, yet surging prices for urea, phosphates and potash show strain as consumption wanes and suppliers strive to empty bins by summer. China’s spring season is ending, sending lower-priced exports into the global market.

NOLA Prices in Broad Ranges as Prompt Tons Garner Premium

New Orleans (NOLA) prices for urea and phosphates stretched widely this week as strong near-term demand kept prices high for prompt, loaded barges. NOLA urea remained at a premium of $440-$450 a short ton (st) for prompt tons, while late May or June barges fell to $300. A similar gap was seen for NOLA diammonium phosphate (DAP), with prompt tons fetching a high of $630/st vs. $500-$520 later in May. Firm demand and tight supply are holding inland prices high for urea, phosphates and potash, with ammonium sulfate also moving up amid tight supply in some markets.

US ammonia and urea ammonium nitrate (UAN) prices remained under pressure, however, with inland ammonia terminals falling $50/st or more as preplant applications wind down and sidedress demand remains light until later in May.


Interested in more futures markets?  Explore our Market Dashboards here.

Futures and options trading involve significant risk of loss and may not be suitable for everyone.  Therefore, carefully consider whether such trading is suitable for you in light of your financial condition.  The information and comments contained herein is provided by ADMIS and in no way should be construed to be information provided by ADM.  The author of this report did not have a financial interest in any of the contracts discussed in this report at the time the report was prepared.  The information provided is designed to assist in your analysis and evaluation of the futures and options markets.  However, any decisions you may make to buy, sell or hold a futures or options position on such research are entirely your own and not in any way deemed to be endorsed by or attributed to ADMIS. Copyright ADM Investor Services, Inc.

Latest News & Market Commentary

Explore Special Offers & White Papers from Archer Financial Services

Get Started

Contact Us Today