Weekly Market Recap
4/17/2020 5:19:33 PM
May grain options expire a week from today on April 24th. Five U.S. governors are seeking a bio-fuel blending waiver during this period of reduced fuel demand; affecting both corn ethanol and soy bio-diesel requirements.
Argentina is in talks with Brazil, discussing larger water releases from the Itaipu dam in order to raise the Parana river water level to increase draft depth for boat loadings.
BAGE estimated Argentina’s corn crop is 32.7% harvested and left their production estimate at 50mmt (USDA also at 50mmt).
Weekly exports of corn were 969.5tmt vs estimates of 570tmt – 1.55mmt. Last week’s ethanol production dropped 102k bbl/day to 570K (a year ago it was 1.106 million bbl/day), and stocks increased 378k bbls to a record high 27.469 mil bbls. Valero Energy announced it is idling 8 of their ethanol plants temporarily and reducing production at the other 6 locations. NASS reported North Dakota 83% harvested on corn, up 2 from last week.
Egypt’s GASC bought 60tmt Russian wheat in their 1st tender of the week for each of the May 15-25th and May 26-June 5th shipment periods. Egypt’s GASC bought 240tmt wheat in their 2nd tender of the week; 180tmt of French and 60tmt of Russian wheat for the May 21 to June 5th shipment period. Taiwan tendered for 220tmt of U.S. milling wheat with an April 23rd deadline. FranceAgriMer increased its estimate of France’s soft wheat exports outside of the EU by 500tmt to 13.2mmt, which would be a record high level. India’s wheat harvest is reported off to a slow start with labor shortages due to COVID-19 lockdowns. More combines are running, but some farmers are complaining that straw yield is half that of manual harvest, leaving them less to use in cattle feed. Ukraine is prepared to ban wheat exports if sales exceed a pre-determined level, but so far, the current pace does not look likely to exceed it, according to an ag ministry official there.
Weekly US export sales of wheat were 597.7tmt vs estimates of 250tmt – 650tmt.
The Rosario exchanged lowered their estimate of Argentina’s soybean crop by 1mmt to 50.5mmt due to poor weather conditions.USDA is currently at 52mmt.
Weekly exports of soybeans were 304.7tmt vs estimates of 375tmt – 900tmt, soymeal 158.8tmt vs estimates of 100tmt – 275tmt and soyoil 21.2tmt vs estimates of 8tmt – 40tmt.
The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association commissioned a study on cattle industry losses due to COVID-19, which estimated those losses will hit $13.6 billion. Cash cattle traded at $105 which is steady with last week’s values. The drop in cattle futures have translated into historically huge cattle margins. Beef packers were making $313/head last week and that shot up to $400/head as this week comes to a close.
WTI prices hit new contract lows on Friday as demand falls to its lowest point in years. The economic slowdown by China and continued worldwide lock downs continues to pressure prices as we move into spring. US gasoline demand is nearly 5 million barrels per day, this is the lowest level since the EIA started keeping records in January of 1990. The average price from a gallon of gasoline at the pump is now $1.834 versus $2.257 a month ago.