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Global Ag News for May 25.23


German 2023 Grain Harvest Estimate Raised on Good Moisture: DRV

Germany’s grains harvest is now seen at 43.2m tons, agricultural cooperatives group DRV said Friday in a report.

  • That’s up from an April estimate for 42.8m tons, while holding slightly below 2022
  • Moisture levels are mostly satisfactory to good, and June weather will determine if the positive crop outlook comes to bear, says grain-market analyst Guido Seedler
  • Wheat harvest is seen at 22.3m tons, versus 22.5m tons in 2022; other crop estimates as follows:
    • Barley at 10.9m tons, versus 11.2m tons
    • Corn at 4m tons, versus 3.84m tons
    • Rapeseed at 4.28m tons, steady y/y


Wheat prices overnight are up 6 3/4 in SRW, up 13 3/4 in HRW, up 14 1/4 in HRS; Corn is up 3 3/4; Soybeans up 12; Soymeal up $2.60; Soyoil up 0.72.

For the week so far wheat prices are up 5 3/4 in SRW, up 7 1/2 in HRW, up 15 3/4 in HRS; Corn is up 40 1/4; Soybeans up 28 3/4; Soymeal down $9.20; Soyoil up 1.97.

For the month to date wheat prices are down 22 3/4 in SRW, up 55 1/2 in HRW, up 16 in HRS; Corn is up 9 1/2; Soybeans down 83 1/4; Soymeal down $32.60; Soyoil down 2.43.

Year-To-Date nearby futures are down 22.9% in SRW, down 6.3% in HRW, down 12.7% in HRS; Corn is down 12.3%; Soybeans down 12.1%; Soymeal down 16.4%; Soyoil down 22.8%.

Chinese Ag futures (JUL 23) Soybeans down 51 yuan; Soymeal down 17; Soyoil up 136; Palm oil up 126; Corn up 35 — Malaysian palm oil prices overnight were up 61 ringgit (+1.75%) at 3554.

There were no changes in registrations. Registration total: 2,389 SRW Wheat contracts; 2 Oats; 11 Corn; 0 Soybeans; 1,163 Soyoil; 47 Soymeal; 97 HRW Wheat.

Preliminary changes in futures Open Interest as of May 25 were: SRW Wheat up 3,799 contracts, HRW Wheat up 1,109, Corn up 9,348, Soybeans up 11,545, Soymeal up 3,192, Soyoil down 1,263.

Northern Plains: Isolated to scattered showers are forecast to continue in the Northern Plains through next week. Rain will be good for seed in the ground but may make it more difficult for those yet to plant to get done on time.

Central/Southern Plains: Areas of showers and thunderstorms have been developing in the Central and Southern Plains throughout the week and have been heavy at times in the southwestern drought areas. More isolated to scattered showers will pop up through next week as well. The rainfall will not hit all areas, but may help to further reduce drought in some, and is beneficial for developing summer crops and forages.

Midwest: Drier conditions are expected for most of the next week, which will help those with planting yet to do complete their tasks. Models are keen on developing isolated to scattered showers next week, especially late next week, breaking the drier stretch and easing concern over developing dryness.

Delta: Soil moisture continues to be mostly favorable for developing crops in the Delta. Drier conditions have developed in the region and are likely to continue through the weekend. Shower potential returns next week. Overall conditions continue to be good across the region for developing crops for now.

Canadian Prairies: Scattered showers have developed in the Canadian Prairies and are forecast to continue through next week, hitting most areas with at least some decent rainfall. Northern Alberta received some heavy rainfall earlier this week, which may help them fight the wildfires and reduce drought. Showers may slow down seeding progress at times but also may help reduce the widespread drought.

Argentina: Scattered showers continue in Argentina for the rest of the week, favorable for increasing soil moisture for wheat. Temperatures will fall below normal over the weekend and into next week, which may produce frosts and freezes, limiting growth for wheat.

The player sheet for 5/25 had funds: net sellers of 0 contracts of SRW wheat, sellers of 2,000 corn, sellers of 3,000 soybeans, sellers of 2,500 soymeal, and  buyers of 2,000 soyoil.


  • WHEAT PURCHASE: The Taiwan Flour Millers’ Association purchased an estimated 56,000 tonnes of milling wheat to be sourced from the United States in a tender on Friday
  • EGYPT DEFERS WHEAT IMPORT PAYMENTS: Egypt has deferred payments for its large wheat purchases, in some cases by months, according to a government official and traders, as the country grapples with a shortage of hard currency. Most deferred payment cargoes have been shipped and unloaded without interruption so far and Egypt’s state wheat reserves used to make subsidized bread have not been impacted.
  • EU EXTENDS TARIFF SUSPENSION: The European Union agreed on Thursday to suspend restrictions on imports from Ukraine for a further year after warding off an import ban on grain imposed by some EU nations.


  • 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.

Hands Across The World

TODAYUS Export Sales of Soybeans, Corn and Wheat by Country

  • Germany purchased the most soybeans in the week with 58k tons
  • Mexico was the top buyer of corn and Japan led in wheat
  • Cancellations of corn purchases from China and unknown buyers totaled 545k tons

US Export Sales of Pork and Beef by Country

  • Mexico bought 14.4k tons of the 29.2k tons of pork sold in the week
  • Japan led in beef purchases

Ukraine 2023 spring grain sowing 97% complete by May 25 – ministry

Ukrainian 2023 spring grain sowing was 97% complete at almost 5.3 million hectares on May 25, agriculture ministry data showed on Thursday.

The ministry has said the overall spring grain sowing area could shrink to 5.5 million hectares in 2023 from 5.9 million in 2022 because of Russia’s invasion and occupation of a significant part of the country.

The total sown area at May 25 included 261,900 hectares of spring wheat, 763,300 hectares of barley, 135,600 hectares of peas, 145,500 hectares of oats and 3.7 million hectares of corn.

The ministry gave no comparative figures.

Ukraine’s grain sowing area – for both winter and spring – could decrease by 1.4 million hectares to 10.2 million hectares this year while the area sown to oilseeds could rise, the ministry said last month.

It said the 2023 grain harvest could drop to about 45 million tonnes from 53.1 million tonnes while oilseed output could rise to 19.2 million tonnes from 18.2 million tonnes.

The ministry said farmers had also sown 240,900 hectares of sugar beet, 4.62 million hectares of sunflowers and 1.6 million hectares of soy beans.

India likely to harvest record wheat crop in 2023 despite rains, hailstorms

India is likely to harvest a record 112.7 million tonnes of wheat in 2023, the farm ministry said on Thursday, reiterating its previous estimate of 112.2 million tonnes despite lower crop yields due to unseasonal rains in February and March.

Earlier this year, torrential rains and hailstorms hit India’s fertile northern, central and western plains, damaging ripening winter-planted crops including wheat and exposing farmers to losses.

India, the world’s second-biggest producer of wheat, banned exports in May last year after a sharp and sudden rise in temperatures clipped output, although exports picked up to meet the global shortfall triggered by the Russia-Ukraine conflict.

India’s wheat output fell to 107.74 million tonnes in 2022, from 109.59 million tonnes a year earlier, according to the Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers’ Welfare.

The country grows only one wheat crop in a year, with planting in October and November, and harvesting from March.

Despite the expected rise in output, India is likely to keep a lid on wheat exports as it seeks to replenish state reserves and bring down domestic prices.

The country’s wheat procurement in 2023 could fall by a fifth from the initial estimate, as government purchases have slowed down in the last few days after local prices jumped.

Meanwhile, India raised its rice production estimate for 2022-23 to a record 135.5 million tonnes from an earlier estimate of 130.8 million tonnes, the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare said in a statement.

India banned overseas shipments of broken rice and imposed a 20% duty on exports of various other grades in September 2022 amid concerns over production because of below-average monsoon rainfall in key growing states.

The government on Wednesday said New Dehi could consider supplying broken rice to other countries only through diplomatic channels.

India’s 2023 monsoon seen normal despite El Nino, says weather office

India is likely to receive a normal amount of monsoon rains in 2023 despite the likely emergence of the El Nino weather phenomenon, the state-run weather office said on Friday, the fifth year of normal or above-normal summer rains.

The monsoon is the lifeblood of the country’s $3 trillion economy, Asia’s third-largest, and delivers nearly 70% of the rain it needs to water farms and recharge reservoirs and aquifers. Nearly half of India’s farmland doesn’t have irrigation cover and depends on the annual June-September rains to grow a number of crops.

The rains, which usually lash the southern tip of Kerala state around June 1 and retreat by September, are expected to total 96% of the long-term average this year, D. S. Pai, a senior official at the India Meteorological Department (IMD), told reporters on Friday.

The IMD defines average, or normal, rainfall as ranging between 96% and 104% of the 50-year average of 87 cm (35 inches) for the four-month season.

A spell of good rains could lift farm and wider economic growth and help bring down food price inflation, which jumped in recent months and prompted the central bank to raise lending rates.

Ample farm production may also allow India to lift curbs imposed on sugar, wheat and rice exports. India is the world’s second-biggest producer of wheat, rice and sugar and the biggest importer of palm oil, soyoil and sunflower oil.

However, rainfall totals for June are likely to be below average as the onset of the southwest monsoon over Kerala will probably be delayed to June 4 from the typical June 1 start, Pai said.

Grain trader Viterra in talks to merge with rival Bunge – source

Global grain trader Viterra is in talks to merge with U.S. rival Bunge Ltd BG.N, a person familiar with the matter said, in a potential mega deal that would reshape the top tier of global grains merchants.

There is no certainty that Viterra, part-owned by Switzerland-based mining and trading giant Glencore GLEN.L, will be able to reach an agreement on the terms, the source said, requesting anonymity as these discussions are confidential.

The deal structure is being discussed by both parties, sources said.

Any deal would be closely scrutinized by regulators as trade in staples such as wheat, corn and soybeans is already concentrated among Bunge and three other large players, raising global concerns about food security.

Bunge last year was the largest corn and soy exporter from Brazil, the world’s top source of the staple crops for making animal feed and biofuels, according to data from shipping agent Cargonave. Viterra was the third largest corn exporter and No. 7 soybean shipper.

A merger with Viterra would also lift Bunge, with 2022 revenues of $67.2 billion, closer to its nearest publicly traded agribusiness rival Archer-Daniels-Midland Co, which registered sales of nearly $102 billion last year.

Shares of Bunge closed at a three-week high of $93.61 on Thursday, valuing the company at about $14 billion. Glencore shares fell 0.7%.

Global commodities merchants have built up cash reserves after turning in hefty profits over the past year as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine disrupted shipments and crop prices soaring.

The agribusinesses make money buying, selling, storing and processing crops, often capitalizing on supply disruptions caused by crises like drought or war.

A merger with Bunge would put Viterra among the top tier of global grains merchants, with access to export terminals in the United States, one of largest grain producers and suppliers.

Viterra bought U.S.-based Gavilon from Japan’s Marubeni last year for $1.1 billion, giving it significantly more physical grain handling assets in the U.S. and making it the third-largest exporter of soybeans in Brazil, where Bunge already has a strong presence.

Viterra, formerly known as Glencore Agriculture, made the headlines in 2017 for a failed takeover approach to Bunge, one of the giant names of global grain trading, then valued at $11 billion.

In May 2017, Bunge rebuffed Glencore after the latter made an informal approach to discuss “a possible consensual business combination.”

Glencore had publicly said it was reviewing options for its interest in Viterra, looking to unlock more value.

Glencore, Viterra and Bunge declined to comment. Bloomberg first reported on the talks between Viterra and Bunge.

LIVESTOCK: US Red Meat Production Fell 7.5% Y/y in April

Commercial beef and pork production fell to 4.2b pounds in April, according to the USDA’s monthly livestock slaughter report.

  • Beef production down 11.1% y/y to 2.07b pounds
  • April cattle slaughter totaled 2.54m head, a 9.6% decline from a year ago
    • Avg live weight dropped by 19 pounds from last year to 1,354 pounds
  • Pork production down 3.7% y/y to 2.12b pounds
  • Hog slaughter fell 3.1% y/y to 9,770m head
    • Avg live weight was 291 pounds vs 293 pounds a year ago

US Crops in Drought Area for Week Ending May 23: USDA

The following table shows the percent of US agricultural production within an area that experienced drought for the week ending May 23, according to the USDA’s weekly drought report.

  • Corn crops experiencing moderate to intense drought rose by a percentage point from the previous week to 26%
  • At this time last year, 20% of corn crops were in drought
  • Soybean crops in drought also rose by a point

US Miss. River Grain Shipments Rise, Barge Rates Decline: USDA

Barge shipments down the Mississippi river increased to 506k tons in the week ending May 20 from 293k tons the previous week, according to the USDA’s weekly grain transportation report.

  • Barge shipments of corn rose 84% from the previous week
  • Soybean shipments up 66% w/w
  • St. Louis barge rates were $8.44 per short ton, a decline of $0.59 from the previous week


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