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-NOPA crush report tomorrow – another record expected
-Russia proposes higher wheat export tax beginning March 15
-Export Sales strong for soybeans, corn, SBM
-No USDA sales announcements

 NOPA’s monthly soybean crush report will be out tomorrow at 11:00 AM CT. The average trade estimate of December crush by NOPA members is 185.2 million bushels (182.0-188.5 million range of ideas), up from 181.0 million in November and considerably above last year’s 174.8 million, which is currently the record for December. Based on the recent-month relationship between NOPA and nationwide crush, U.S. total crush for December would be implied at 195-196 million
bushels vs last year’s 184.7 million and would put marketing year to date crush at around 754 million bushels, up 45 million from last year’s 709 million, while the USDA’s 2.200 billion bushel annual crush estimate reflects an expected 36 million bushel increase for the entire year. The average estimate of end December soybean oil stocks held by NOPA members is 1.712 billion pounds, (1.553-1.800 billion range), up from 1.558 billion in November, but below last year’s Dec
stocks of 1.757 billion.
 There were no USDA sales announcements this morning.
 Preliminary December trade data showed China imported 7.524 MMT of soybeans in December vs 9.586 MMT in November and 9.543 MMT last year December. This put 2020 calendar year imports at 100.3 MMT vs 88.6 MMT last year, with 2020/21 Oct-Dec marketing year to date imports at 25.8 MMT vs 24.0 MMT last year. China imported a total of 1.244 MMT of edible oils in December vs 815k tonnes in November and 904k tonnes last year. 2020 calendar year total edible oil imports of 9.831 MMT were up 3.1% from last year.
 Russia’s ag ministry officially proposed raising the wheat export tax to 45 euros/tonne (~$55) for the March 15-June 30 period, leaving the currently-proposed 25 euros/tonne tax for the Feb 15-March 15 as is.
 Strategie Grains maintained their estimate of 2021/22 EU soft wheat production at 129.7 MMT (129.6 MMT last month), reflecting a solid increase from last year’s 119.3 MMT, while a much more modest increase in corn production is expected to 63.6 MMT (63.5 MMT last month) from last year’s 61.9 MMT.
 The sharp rise in global prices is seen opening the door for strong Indian soybean meal export potential through the end of the 2020/21 marketing year, according to the Solvent Extractors Association of India. They see the potential for marketing year total SBM exports of 2.0+ MMT, up sharply from last year’s reduced 850k tonnes as Indian meal was not competitive in the global market. SBM exports of late have been solid with Oct-Dec exports of 600k tonnes, sharply above last year’s 236k tonnes. Indian meal export values are said to currently be around $10/tonne cheaper than South American on an fob basis.
 The Rosario Grains Exchange raised their estimate of the Argentine wheat crop to 17.0 MMT from 16.5 MMT previously, with their estimate identical to the Buenos Aires exchange’s recent revision. They see the soybean crop at 47.0 MMT (USDA 48.0 MMT/48.8 MMT last year) and corn at 46.0 MMT (USDA 47.5 MMT/51.0 MMT last year).
 Despite court rulings over the last year against the allowance of small refinery biofuel waivers, industry participants have said they expect the EPA to grant waivers on around 22 of the 32 pending requests for the 2019 compliance year, amounting to roughly 1.1 billion gallons, prior to the end of the Trump administration. The RFA said they will challenge any waiver approvals.
 Please see our Market Insights post at https://portal.rjobrien.com/MarketInsights/Blog/Read/42645 for details on today’s USDA Export Sales report. NOTE: Next week’s Export Sales report will be delayed until Friday due to Monday’s Martin Luther King Jr. holiday.
 U.S. soybean sales of 908k tonnes (33.4 million bushels) were an 8-week high, were up strongly from the previous week’s mere 1.3 million bushels and were above market expectations of 300-700k tonnes. New net sales to China were solid at 574k tonnes, which included switches of 264k tonnes from unknown and cancellations of 80k.
 U.S. corn sales last week of 1.434 MMT (56.6 million bushels) were above market expectations of 700k-1.2 MMT, up considerably from the previous week’s 29.5 million bushels and were a 4-week high.
 U.S. wheat sales last week were 222k tonnes (8.2 million bushels), below market expectations of 250-500k tonnes, down from the previous week’s 10.0 million bushels, last year’s same-week sales of 23.9 million bushels and were an 8-week low.
 U.S. soybean meal sales were quite strong at 337k tonnes, a new marketing year high, exceeding market expectations of 100-300k tonnes and comparing to the most-recent 4-week average sales of 171k tonnes/week. Soybean oil sales last week of 11.1k tonnes were within market expectations of 5-30k tonnes.
Weather
Brazil saw .50-1.5”+ in Mato Grosso, MGDS, Goias, Sao Paulo and the western ½ of Minas Gerais and Parana yesterday. Over the next five days, 1-3” will fall across most of the Brazilian growing regions, with only the eastern ½ to 2/3 of Minas Gerais missing out. The 6-10 day period sees 1-3”+ in most of Santa Catarina, Parana and SE MGDS, with totals of .50-1” elsewhere, with totals in the western ½ to 2/3 of Minas Gerais under .50”. Argentina saw 1-2” rains across the northern 1/3 to 1/2 of Santa Fe, Entre Rios and most of Corrientes over the last 24 hours, with things dry elsewhere. Over the coming weekend, widespread .75-1.5”+ rains are expected with coverage of essentially 100%. The 6-10 day period continues to look dry, but additional rains are again seen as a possibility in the 11-15 day period.

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