-Argentine forecast shows decent rains in some locations
-No USDA sales announcements
-China emphasizes grain security in new annual document
-Fund positions little-changed in latest CFTC data
In China’s annual rural policy guidelines/plan, the “No.1 document,” a heavy emphasis was put on increased food security, specifically discussing new priorities in the seed sector of the “industrial application of biological breeding,” a reference to GMO crops. An increased focus will be put on increasing grain yields/production following the stagnation of corn production in recent years given previous policy moves detrimentally impacting corn production as decisions were made to work through previous record corn stockpiles. China’s ag minister said, despite concerns in recent months over surging ASF cases being seen again in some areas, the country’s hog herd is expected to recover to 2017 levels by June.
There were no USDA sales announcements this morning.
IKAR said 12.5% protein Russian wheat for Black Sea export prices rose $5.50/tonne last week to $283/tonne fob after declining over the previous month as a result of the government’s imposition of export limits and tariffs. Ukraine wheat export values were unchanged last week at $278-$285/tonne fob according to APK-Inform. Ukraine corn prices ticked higher last week by $2/tonne to $259-$262/tonne fob.
Rabobank raised their estimate of the Brazilian soybean crop to 132.5 MMT from 131.0 MMT previously (USDA 133.0 MMT/126.0 MMT last year) and sees the corn crop at 107.0 MMT (USDA 109.0 MMT/102.0 MMT last year).
Chinese purchases of Argentine barley have soared this year amid their diplomatic spat with Australia, which prompted China to impose an 80.5% import tariff on barley from Australia. It is estimated around 1 MMT of Argentine barley will be shipped to China in 2021, with 500k tonnes scheduled for shipment in Feb-March alone. Previous record Argentine barley exports to China were 298k tonnes last year. There are indications China has already bought 180k+ tonnes for January 2022 shipment, as well. In recent years, China imported anywhere from 5-8 MMT of barley annually from all sources, with imports from Australia regularly being 2.5-3.0+ MMT annually in non-drought years. China has also been buying record amounts of Canadian and French barley, as well, to replace the lost Australian supplies.
Saudi Arabia, without issuing an official tender, said they were buying 355k tonnes of wheat for import from Saudi Arabian-owned farms in Australia, Canada and Ukraine at $330.04/tonne for May-Dec delivery periods.
South Korea passed on their tender for 69k tonnes of corn for June 20 arrival citing prices being too high.
Friday’s CFTC Disaggregated COT data for futures/options combined for the week ended 2/16/21, showed funds minor net buyers in corn of 7.0k contracts, raising their net long to 366k contracts, still moderately below the record long of 429k contracts. Funds were net sellers in soybeans of 10.4k contracts, reducing their net long to 161k (record 254k) and were net buyers of 2.0k contracts in CBOT wheat, now net long a modest 21k contracts. Funds were essentially net even in SBO and SBM for the week, net long 110k (127k record) and 69k (134k record), respectively, and were minor net sellers in KCBT wheat of 3.0k contracts and 0.7k MPLS wheat and are net long 57k and 12k contracts, respectively.
Friday afternoon’s Cattle on Feed report showed on feed as of Feb 1 higher than expected at 101.5 (100.8 expected) and Jan placements higher than expected at 103.2 (99.8 expected), with outright on feed numbers for the month matching the previous record in 2006.
Rains of .50-1.5”+ fell across the northern ¾ of Mato Grosso, Goias and Minas Gerais over the weekend, while elsewhere was dry. 1-2”+ is expected for most of Mato Grosso, Goias and Minas Gerais and the northern ½ of MGDS and Sao Paulo over the next 5 days, while the rest of Brazilian growing regions see .25-.75” amounts. The 6-10 day period shows 2-4” in Mato Grosso, Goias, Minas Gerais and most of Sao Paulo, while totals in most other areas are expected to be generally under .35”.
A few light showers of generally less than .30” fell in most of the Argentine growing regions Friday, while the rest of the weekend was dry. Rains of .20-.60” look to fall in most Argentine growing regions in the next 5 days, with the European indicating .50-1”+ in northern sections of Santa Fe/Entre Rios. Rains are in the 6-10 day outlook, as well, with .50-1” indicated for La Pampa and Cordoba, but other areas look dry for the period.