Sept 6 – Less is More for Oilseed Prices?

Good Morning!

At 6:45 AM CDT in the North American futures markets (*not cash prices*):
(all prices in dollars per bushel unless otherwise indicated)
$1 USD = $1.2385 CAD, $1 CAD = $0.8074 USD)

Dec Corn: -2¢ (-0.55%) to $3.565 USD or $4.415 CAD
Nov Soybeans: -2.5¢ (-0.25%) to $9.66 USD or $11.964 CAD
Oct Soybean Meal (per short ton): -$1.10 (-0.35%) to $303.70 USD or $376.15 CAD
Oct Soybean Oil (cents per lbs): +$0.01 (+0.05%) to 35.20¢ USD or 43.60¢ CAD  
Dec Oats: +1.3¢ (+0.55%) to $2.325 USD or $2.88 CAD
Dec Wheat (Chicago): -2.8¢ (-0.6%) to $4.403 USD or $5.453 CAD
Dec Wheat (Kansas City): -2.8¢ (-0.6%) to $4.423 USD or $5.477 CAD
Dec Wheat (Minneapolis): +5.8¢ (+0.9%) to $6.348 USD or $7.862 CAD
Nov Canola (Winnipeg): +1.1¢/bu / +$0.50/MT (+0.1%) to $9.114/bu / $401.84/MT USD or $11.288/bu / $497.70/MT CAD

Yesterday’s Winnipeg ICE Close
Oct Barley: unchanged at $2.549 USD or $3.157 CAD
Oct Durum Wheat: -5.4¢ (-0.7%) to $6.438 USD or $7.974 CAD
Oct Milling Wheat: unchanged at $5.098 USD or $6.314 CAD

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Less is More for Oilseed Prices?

Grain markets are mostly in the red this Wednesday as they pull back yesterday’s session.

Frost concerns continue to weigh on the market in some states.

However, the opposite is raging in the west. Ruthless wildfires are raging across Rocky Mountain states, namely Montana, Idaho, and Oregon.

In those 3 states alone, nearly 1 million acres have been destroyed.

With the dry conditions, out there in the west, we remind growers to have water nearby and a plan to execute if a fire starts up. This could be equipment-based or a brush-fire, the likes of which was seen over in Glentworth, SK over the weekend.[1]

As Garrett mentioned in Grain Markets Today, soybeans had a nice run up yesterday. Bullish private yield estimates and ongoing chatter regarding less soy oil imports drove the rally. This latter factor would mean more American soybeans get crushed, supporting demand figures.

It looks like India will be importing a few more edible oil imports after the USDA dropped their estimate of domestic production this year.[2] A decline in acreage was the main factor but some areas have been missing all of the monsoon season rains. This should affect yields in the kharif / fall harvest.

This adds up to imports increasing by 10% year-over-year to 16.6 million tonnes.

Speaking of Asian countries dealing in oilseeds, the USDA’s attaché in China says that soybean stocks are starting to grow.[3] This means that instead of aligning with the official soybean import forecast from the UDSA of 94 million tonnes in 2017/18, the Beijing attaché is actually calling for 92.5 million tonnes.

As of last week, China had bought nearly 5 million tonnes of new crop US soybeans. That’s down 39% from what had been contracted by the same date a year ago. Total American new crop soybean sales of 11.5 million tonnes are also tracking 39% behind where they were a year ago.

Later this morning, we’ll get the Statistics Canada estimates of how much grain is still left in the Great White North.

Average pre-report guesstimates by traders and analysts include 1.5 million tonnes of canola, total wheat at 6 million tonnes, and 1.9 million tonnes of durum.[4]

Comparably, to end 2016, those carryout numbers were 2.02, 5.18, and 1.1 million tonnes respectively.

Canadian barley carryout is estimated at 1.9 million tonnes (1.44 million a year ago), corn at 2.3 million tonnes (2.24), and oats is 700,000 MT (930,000 MT).

Average guesstimates for flax carryout is for just 200,000 MT (274,000 MT by end of 2016), 300,000 MT for soybeans (380,000 MT), 300,000 MT of peas (176,000 MT), and 200,000 MT of lentils (73,000 MT).

Simple takeaway: the market is expecting last year’s large Canadian cereals crop to pad the start to the 2017/18 balance sheet.

For oilseeds, not so much.


Canadian USDA Attaché Says More Wheat

The Canadian attaché for the USDA came out with their new estimates for the crop in the Great White North ahead of the main WASDE report on Tuesday, Sept. 12.[5]

The biggest things to note was the USDA’s Ottawa office pegging total Canadian wheat production at 26.5 million tonnes. Last week, StatsCan’s production estimates pegged the total wheat crop at 25.5 million tonnes.

They also forecast total wheat consumption in Canada to decline 20% in 2017/18 due to less feed use.

On the export front, more spring wheat and durum should get shipped out this year, mainly because of the smaller crop in the US.

(If you’ve been missing the past few weeks of Breakfast Brief reading, we again remind you go and order tests for your grain and be ready for the next sale opportunity a month or 2 from now.)

This equates to the USDA’s Canadian attaché to forecast total wheat ending stocks for 2017/18 to come in at nearly 5.1 million tonnes. That would be 27% below the 5-year average.


Crop Progress Update

On the crop progress front, the USDA says that the portion of the crop rated good-to-excellent (G/E) dropped by 1 point week-over-week to 61%. [6] Conditions in US northern states slipped whereas the Corn Belt improved a bit. From a crop development standpoint, corn is still trailing behind its 5-year averages, although the gap has narrowed in the past week.

For US soybeans, G/E ratings stayed at 61%.

Those fields setting pods and those who are already dropping leaves are in-line with their 5-year averages.

On the cereals front, 89% of the US spring wheat crop has been harvested, which means by next week’s report, things will probably be wrapped up. The 5-year average by the first report of September is 78%.

Similarly, 91% of US oats have been harvested (94% 5-year average) while 92% of American barley fields are now in the bin (84%).

Manitoba’s crop progress report also came out yesterday, showing harvest ramping up in the Keystone province.[7] Many producers are reporting above-average yields in cereals and canola.

Harvest is starting up on the likes of soybeans and edible beans now.


European Production Estimates

UkrAgroConsult just raised its estimate of the total Ukrainian grain harvest to 63.2 million tonnes, up 1.5 million from its last estimate.[8]

This includes 26 million tonnes of wheat, up from their previous estimate of 25 million but still below the official USDA estimate of 26.5 million.

Total grain exports out of Ukraine in 2017/18 are estimated at 42 million tonnes, including 16 – 17 million tonnes of wheat.

Looking already into the 2018/19 crop, fall-seeding is underway but a drier summer has resulted in less-than-optimal planting conditions.

Next door in Poland, a recent USDA update says Polish wheat production this year will top 11.3 million tonnes off 70 bushel-per-acre average yields. [9]

This is a 4.4% increase from last year with acreage being similar last year at 5.93 million.

Corn acreage in the eastern European nation did increase though, up 9.2%, to 1.61 million. This equates to production of 4.4 million tonnes on average yields of 108 bushels per acre.

For barley and oats, Poland should produce 3.8 and 1.5 million tonnes, an increase of more than 10% than last year for both. Average yields are set at nearly 71 bushels per acre on barley and almost 79 for oats.

Strategie Grains recently reduced its European rapeseed crop to 21.65 million tonnes. Technically, this is still 6.7% better than last year’s crop. While the French crop has been surprising, poor harvest results in Germany was to blame for most of the EU’s downgrade.

With rapeseed, the only crop in Europe that seems to be profitable across the entire continent, AgriTel is speculating that acres will rise again in 2018/19.

Despite some biodiesel imports possibly increasing as Argentinian supply shifts away from the US to Europe, Commerzbank is still optimistic on some better rapeseed prices.[10]

To growth,

Brennan Turner
President/CEO | FarmLead
1-855-332-7653 (Toll-Free)
www.FarmLead.com
@FarmLead (on Twitter)

COMMODITY TRADING INVOLVES RISK AND MAY NOT BE SUITABLE FOR ALL RECIPIENTS OF THIS POST. Neither the information presented, nor any opinions expressed, constitutes a solicitation for the purchase or sale of any commodities. The thoughts expressed in this email and basic data from which they are derived are believed to be reliable, but cannot be guaranteed due to uncertainty about future events and complexities surrounding commodity markets. Those acting on the information are responsible for their own actions.

About the Author
Brennan Turner

Brennan Turner is the CEO of FarmLead.com, North America’s Grain Marketplace. He holds a degree in economics from Yale University and spent time on Wall Street in commodity trade and analysis before starting FarmLead. In 2017, Brennan was named to Fast Company’s List of Most Creative People in Business and, in 2018, a Henry Crown Fellow. He is originally from Foam Lake, Saskatchewan where his family started farming the land nearly 100 years ago (and still do to this day!). Brennan's unique grain markets analysis can be found in everything from small-town print newspapers to large media outlets such as Bloomberg and Reuters.

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