-South Korea buys Brazilian corn after excluding U.S. origin from tender
-U.S. soybean harvest makes huge gains last week ahead of return to wetter conditions
-Brazilian/Argentine planting continues at impressive pace
-U.S. winter wheat conditions lower than expected, but of limited impact
-Brazil’s President-elect cites ambitious ethanol goal
South Korea bought 69k tonnes of Brazilian corn for January shipment at $199.00/tonne c&f. Perhaps the most concerning situation with this
purchase was the fact that the tender was specifically only for Brazilian corn, not the typical optional-origin tender, preventing U.S. offers from
even being made.
Brazil’s President-elect Jair Bolsonaro has said he is committed to fully supporting Brazil’s ethanol industry and that the country will again
regain the position of being the world’s largest ethanol producer. That appears to be a rather optimistic goal as Brazil produced roughly 7.5
billion gallons of ethanol in 2017 vs U.S. production of 15.8 billion gallons, while Brazil’s production is seen around 8.1 billion gallons in 2018.
Tomorrow is first notice day for November soybeans, with moderate deliveries seen likely.
A wire service poll of market participants’ early ideas on this year’s Brazilian crops indicates average expectations for soybean production of
120.4 MMT vs last year’s 119.3 MMT crop, with soybean area expected to rise to 36.12 million hectares (89.3 million acres) from last year’s
35.15 million hectares (86.9 million acres). CONAB’s early ideas on the coming crop are 117.0-119.4 MMT. The poll also showed expectations
for Brazil’s 1st corn crop planted area to rise 5.5% from last year to 5.36 million hectares (13.2 million acres), prompting an expected increase
in summer corn production to 27.48 MMT from last year’s 26.8 MMT. CONAB’s early ideas on the 1st corn crop are 26.0-27.3 MMT.
Chinese soybean meal and rapeseed meal futures were under notable pressure today as the government’s recently-announced guidelines to
lower the protein content in hog and chicken feed continues to be assessed by market participants, while also being influenced by the
announcement of new African swine flu cases being reported in Shanxi, Hunan and Yunnan provinces. SBM futures declined by 1.8%
overnight, the largest single-day decline in a month, while rapeseed meal fell 2.7%, the largest drop since June.
Safras & Mercado estimated the Brazilian soybean crop was 44% planted as of 10/26/18, further accelerating from the previous week’s 28%,
and continuing to widen the gap relative to average which is 27% at this time. Last year’s crop was 30% planted in late October. They put
planting of the 1st corn crop at 67% complete, up from 59% the previous week, and continues to run slightly ahead of last year’s 61% pace, as
well as average of 62%. In terms of Argentina, their Ag Secretariat indicated the corn crop is 38% planted as of 10/25/18, continuing to run
ahead of last year’s 31% and well ahead of average of 27%, and is the fastest since 2012.
Poet announced they are moving forward with production of their planned 80 million gallon/year capacity ethanol plat in Shelbyville, IN, with
completion slated for spring 2020, citing the recent approval of year-round E15 blend ethanol sales as a supporting factor.
Yesterday afternoon’s USDA Crop Progress update indicated the U.S. soybean crop is 72% harvested, above average expectations of 70%, and
continues to gain ground on average of 81%. Iowa harvest surged to 71% complete from 37% the previous week and compares to 86%
average, while ND, SD and NE all jumped substantially, posting weekly advancements of 25%, 29% and 20%, respectively, from the previous
week. While still behind average, last week’s surge puts the western belt harvest into the final 25%.
The U.S. corn harvest advanced to 63% (62% expected) from 49% the previous week and is right in line with average of 63%. Modest delays
in the western belt continue to be seen as farmers focused on soybean harvest last week.
The first crop condition rating of the year for the U.S. winter wheat crop showed much lower-than-expected results with just 53% of the crop
rated good/excellent vs average expectations of 58%, and compares to last year’s 52% g/e in late October. However, with 14% of the crop
rated poor/very poor vs last year’s 12% at this time, the crop is technically rated slightly worse than last year’s initial rating and the 2nd lowest
for late October of the last 6 years. Again, though, we will remind of the essentially non-existent relationship between fall conditions of the
winter wheat crop and actual yields.