-Brazil sees higher new crop soybean area/production, slightly lower corn production
-China solidly lowers corn demand estimates amid ASF
-Argentine corn/wheat crop ideas lowered
-USDA reports soybeans sold to China
-Soybean Export Sales strong/corn extremely weak
-USDA reports today – trade estimate summary included
CONAB estimates the coming soybean crop at 120.4 MMT vs 115.0 MMT last year, modestly below the USDA’s current new crop estimate of 123.0 MMT (117.0 MMT last year), with area rising to 36.57 million hectares (90.4 mil acres) from 35.874 mil hectares (88.65 mil acres) last year, a 1.9% increase. CONAB put next year’s soybean exports at 72.0 MMT vs 70.0 MMT estimated this year (USDA 76.5/75.8 MMT respectively). Based on their area increase, the production number appears to be on the conservative side if weather is favorable. CONAB put this year’s 1st corn crop at 26.3 MMT vs 25.6 MMT last year and the safrinha crop at 70.9 MMT vs 73.2 MMT last year, for total production of 98.4 MMT vs 100.0 MMT last year. USDA currently has new crop production at 101.0 MMT, unchanged from last year. 1st and 2nd corn crop estimated area are both essentially unchanged from last year. CONAB put new crop corn exports at 34.0 MMT vs 38.0 MMT this year, exactly the same as USDA on both. The USDA ag attaché’s just-released Brazilian update also sees the crop at 101 MMT and exports at 34.0 MMT.
China’s monthly balance sheet updates saw old crop, 2018/19, feed consumption lowered 3 MMT from last month to 171 MMT due to reduced demand as a result of the African swine fever epidemic. They also lowered their 2018/19 estimate of corn industrial use (ethanol, starch, etc.) by 3.5 MMT from last month to 81 MMT, resulting in a notable revision to old crop stocks now expected to decline just 12.9 MMT from the previous year vs last month’s numbers reflected an expected 22.3 MMT annual stocks decline. China does not provide actual ending stocks estimates, but instead reflects their expected change in stocks from the previous year. For 2019/20, they raised the estimate of the corn crop to 257.1 MMT from 255.5 MMT previously and is essentially unchanged from last year’s 257.3 MMT. Total consumption is estimated at 280.8 MMT, reflecting an expected 6 MMT increase from 2018/19 vs the 4.5 MMT increase in total usage from 2017/18 to 2018/19. They left their 19/20 corn import estimate unchanged at 3.0 MMT, which would be down from 4.6 MMT in 18/19. They see corn stocks declining 20.8 MMT in 2019/20.
For soybeans, China left their 2019/20 balance sheet completely unchanged this month with imports at 84.0 MMT, little-changed from 83.1 MMT in 18/19 (USDA 85.0/83.0 MMT respectively) and total consumption at 102.9 MMT, which also would be unchanged from 2018/19 and compare to 107.1 MMT in 2017/18. China sees soybean stocks in 2019/20 declining by 1.8 MMT vs the 4.0 MMT decline estimated in 2018/19 and 2017/18’s 2.2 MMT increase. USDA currently estimates Chinese total soybean consumption in 2019/20 at 102.7 MMT vs 102.1 MMT in 2018/19. They raised their estimate of 2019/20 total edible oil imports to 7.8 MMT from 6.9 MMT previously and 8.3 MMT last year, with palm oil at 4.4 MMT vs 4.1 MMT previously and 4.8 MMT last year and soybean oil at 750k tonnes vs 600k previously and 750k last year.
The Rosario Grains Exchange lowered their estimate of the Argentine corn crop to 47.5 MMT from 50.0 MMT (USDA 50.0 MMT this year/51.0 MMT last year) due to the early dryness and farmers’ apparent shifting of acreage ideas to soybeans amid the political uncertainty moving forward, which many feel will result in rising export taxes on grains. They also lowered their estimate of the Argentine wheat crop to 20.0 MMT from 21.5 MMT previously.
USDA reported the sale of 398k tonnes of soybeans to China for 2019/20 delivery this morning, bringing total sales on the books to China to 5.2 MMT, inclusive of today’s Export Sales report update.
The Malaysian Palm Oil Board reported end September palm oil stocks were 2.448 MMT, slightly lower than the average estimate of 2.520 MMT, but up from 2.241 MMT in August (the first increase in stocks in 7 months) and slightly below last year’s Sept stocks of 2.529 MMT. Sept palm oil production was 1.842 MMT vs 1.906 MMT “expected,” 1.822 MMT in August and 1.854 MMT last year Sept. Malaysia exported 1.410 MMT of palm oil in September vs expectations of 1.397 MMT, 1.736 MMT in August and 1.619 MMT last year.
Please see our Market Insights post at https://portal.rjobrien.com/MarketInsights/Blog/Read/37644 for details on the USDA Export Sales report.
U.S. soybean sales were 2.093 MMT (76.9 million bushels), coming in above market expectations of 1.3-1.8 MMT, but reported sales of 1.18 MMT to China didn’t reflect anything all that surprising relative to previously daily-reported sales. The strong sales in recent weeks, on the return of China to the market, has allowed the year-over-year reduction in total commitments to decline to 20% from 44% five weeks ago.
Corn sales were absolutely abysmal once again at just 284k tonnes (11.2 million bushels), below already-weak market expectations of 500-800k tonnes. Total commitments of 394 million bushels are now down 52% from last year’s 815 million and are the lowest for early October in 32 years.
Wheat sales continue in an unspectacular, but steady, fashion at 522k tonnes (19.2 million bushels), which were in line with market expectations of 300-600k tonnes, but reflected a decent improvement from sales of the previous three weeks, which averaged just 11.0 million bushels/week.
SBM sales were solid at 365k tonnes, above expectations of 100k-300k tonnes, in the first week of the 2019/20 marketing year, but soybean oil sales were minimal at just 1.2k tonnes vs 5-25k expected.
USDA’s monthly Crop Production and WASDE reports will be out today at 11:00 AM CT. Our pre-report comments/analysis can be found on Market Insights at https://portal.rjobrien.com/MarketInsights/Blog/Read/37574. A summary of the average trade estimates is on the last page.