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-Germany’s wheat crop expected to rebound sharply from last year
-US seeking increased wheat exports to Brazil
-Brazil seeking increased meat exports to China
-US corn/spring wheat planting slow but it’s still early…
Germany’s association of farm cooperatives sees a nearly 21% increase in the country’s wheat production this year as it recovers from last year’s drought. A wheat crop of 24.4 MMT vs last year’s 20.3 MMT is currently expected. A sharp recovery in corn production is also anticipated to 4.3 MMT from last year’s 3.3 MMT. On the other side of the equation, though, German rapeseed production is expected to decline solidly following the massive 25% reduction in planted area last fall due to the ongoing drought conditions at the time of planting. Current ideas for this year’s German winter rapeseed crop, according to the association, are around 3.24 MMT vs last year’s 3.67 MMT as improved yields will help offset some of the acreage reduction.  A U.S. delegation of wheat industry officials (US Wheat Associates, Kansas Wheat Commission, among others) is in Brazil this week to gauge the potential for the U.S. to increase wheat exports to Brazil once they open the 750k tonne annual tariff-free import quota Brazilian president Bolsonaro announced during his White House visit in March. However, the quota will be open to other wheat exporting nations, as well. In recent years, the U.S. has exported as little at 121k tonnes of wheat to Brazil to as much as 1.5 MMT depending on their crop size. Record U.S. wheat exports to Brazil were 4.4 MMT in 2013/14 following Argentina’s back to back very poor wheat crops in 2012/13 and 2013/14 which sharply reduced their export availability.  Chinese and Brazilian officials are set to meet in May to discuss the opportunity to increase Brazilian meat exports to China as up to 78 processing plants in Brazil are seen as possible additions to the list of approved exporters.  Taiwan tendered for 109k tonnes of U.S. wheat and 65k tonnes of optional-origin corn. Corn offers are due by tomorrow, while U.S. wheat offers are due by April 23.  India opened their tender for an unspecified amount of non-GMO corn, with offers due by May 8 and must remain valid until May 26.  U.S. planting activity was, unsurprisingly, very limited last week, with yesterday afternoon’s USDA Crop Progress report putting corn planting at 3% complete vs 2% a week ago, 3% last year and 5% average. Wire service expectations were 5%. Essentially no planting has gotten underway across the heart of belt yet, while MO is 6% complete vs 15% avg. Delays are being seen in AR with 39% planted vs 58% avg, but no delays are being reported from TX east through GA.  U.S.-wide winter wheat conditions were reported as unchanged for the week at 60% g/e and compare to 31% g/e last year. If it weren’t for several states posting solid declines (CO down 8% g/e, NE down 6%, AR down 8%), overall ratings likely would have increased as the majority of states did report better conditions, particularly for SRW states with IL, IN and OH all up 4% g/e last week, KS was up 1%, TX up 4% and SD up 7%, while OK was down 2%. Overall HRW conditions are the best since 2010, and while SRW conditions are still the lowest since 2007, they have improved by 6% g/e over the last two weeks.  U.S. spring wheat planting barely budged last week, now at 2% complete vs 1% last week and 13% average. ND and SD have yet to start vs their respective average progresses of 5% and 30% at this time. PNW planting is very slow too with WA 17% vs 46% avg and ID 18% vs 42% average. 

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