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WASDE Report for 8/12/13

OILSEEDS: U.S. oilseed production for 2013/14 is projected at 96.2 million tons, down 4.7 million from last month mainly due to a lower soybean production forecast. Soybean production for 2013/14 is forecast at 3.255 billion bushels, down 165 million due to lower harvested area and yields. Harvested area is forecast at 76.4 million acres, down 0.5 million from the July projection.

The first survey-based soybean yield forecast of 42.6 bushels per acre is 1.9 bushels below last month’s projection but 3 bushels above last year’s drought-reduced yield. Soybean supplies for 2013/14 are projected 5 percent below last month based on the lower production forecast. With reduced supplies and higher prices, U.S. soybean exports are reduced 65 million bushels to 1.385 billion. Lower U.S. exports will be mostly offset by increases for South America, especially Argentina. Soybean crush is also lowered as higher prices reduce prospective exports for soybean meal. Soybean ending stocks are projected at 220 million bushels, down 75 million from last month.

U.S. soybean balance sheet changes for 2012/13 include increased imports, reduced exports, and increased crush. Imports are raised 10 million bushels to 35 million based on strong shipments from South America. Exports are reduced 15 million to 1.315 billion bushels reflecting exceptionally low shipments in recent weeks and revised export data for September through December 2012 from the U.S. Department of Commerce. Crush is increased 25 million bushels to 1.685 billion to account for
increased soybean meal exports. Soybean ending stocks are unchanged at 125 million bushels. The U.S. season-average soybean price for 2013/14 is forecast at $10.35 to $12.35 per bushel, up 60 cents on both ends. Soybean meal prices are forecast at $305 to $345, up 15 dollars at the midpoint. Soybean oil prices are forecast at 44 to 48 cents per pound, down 3 cents at the midpoint reflecting the sharp drop in futures contract prices in the past month.

Global oilseed production for 2013/14 is projected at 493.1 million tons, up 0.2 million tons from last month. Reductions for soybeans and cottonseed are offset by increases for rapeseed, sunflowerseed, peanuts, and palm kernel production. Lower soybean production projected for the United States is partly offset by an increase for India where higher harvested area more than offsets reduced yields caused by excessive July rainfall.

Rapeseed production is raised in several countries including Canada and the European Union, where abundant moisture and favorable temperatures in July helped to boost yield prospects. Rapeseed production forecasts are also raised for China and Ukraine. Sunflowerseed production is also raised for the European Union and Ukraine. Global
peanut production is raised this month reflecting updated historical data and forecasts for several countries in Africa. Cottonseed changes include reduced production for China and the United States and an increase for Pakistan.

Reduced global soybean production is only partly offset by lower crush leaving 2013/14 global soybean ending stocks down 1.9 million tons at 72.3 million. Global soybean stocks remain record high despite this month’s reduction.

WHEAT: Projected U.S. wheat supplies for 2013/14 are raised slightly this month as small increases for Soft Red Winter wheat and Durum are mostly offset by decreases for White, Hard Red Spring and Hard Red Winter wheat. U.S. wheat exports for 2013/14 are raised 25 million bushels reflecting continued strong early season sales and an increased outlook for China imports. Despite larger expected crops in several major exporting countries, strong early season demand and higher projected world imports and consumption also boost prospects for U.S. shipments. Ending stocks
are projected 25 million bushels lower. The projected range for the 2013/14 season-average farm price is lowered 10 cents per bushel at the midpoint to $6.40 to $7.60 per bushel. Despit the tighter domestic balance sheet, larger world wheat supplies and lower-than-expected prices reported to date reduce prospects for the weighted average farm price.

Global wheat supplies for 2013/14 are raised 7.5 million tons with increases in production for several of the world’s largest exporters pushing world production to a record 705.4 million tons. Production is raised 2.8 million tons for the European Union with the biggest increases for Spain, France, and Germany, and smaller increases for Romania, Bulgaria, and Hungary. Production is raised 2.5 million tons for Kazakhstan where abundant spring and summer rainfall is supporting prospects for strong yields, much as in the adjoining spring wheat areas of Russia. Ukraine production is raised 2.0 million tons based on the latest harvest results. Production is raised 0.5 million tons for Canada as favorable soil moisture and a lack of heat stress across the western Prairies support higher yield prospects. India production is raised 0.5 million tons based on the latest government assessment. Turkey production is raised 0.4 million tons for wheat reflecting a favorable growing season throughout the region.

Partly offsetting this month’s production increases are reductions in South America where crops will not be harvested until late 2013. Production is lowered 1.0 million tons for Argentina based on lower reported seedings. Brazil production is lowered 0.3 million tons reflecting the late July freeze event that appears to have damaged developing wheat in limited areas of southern Brazil.

Global wheat consumption for 2013/14 is raised 6.9 million tons with increases in wheat feeding projected for a number of countries and higher food use expected for India and Iran. Feed use is raised again this month for China with higher projected imports. Feed use is also increased for the European Union, Syria, Moldova, Kazakhstan, and Morocco. Wheat feeding is lowered for Thailand and Vietnam with lower imports projected for both countries. Imports are raised for Iran, Pakistan, Syria, and Turkey. Global wheat exports for 2013/14 are raised 4.9 million tons with increases for
Kazakhstan, the European Union, Ukraine, and Canada totaling 7.0 million tons. ports are lowered for Argentina and Brazil with reduced production prospects. India exports are also lowered as relatively high internal prices limit export opportunities. Rising world supplies reduce prices and support global consumption growth, thereby limiting the increase in projected 2013/14 global wheat ending stocks to 0.6 million tons.

COARSE GRAINS: Projected 2013/14 U.S. feed grain supplies are reduced this month with lower forecast production for corn and sorghum. Corn production for 2013/14 is lowered 187 million bushels to 13.8 billion. The first survey-based corn yield forecast, at 154.4 bushels per acre, is down 2.1 bushels from last month’s projection. Sorghum production is forecast 36 million bushels lower with the forecast yield 5.9 bushels per acre below last month’s projection.

Corn beginning stocks for 2013/14 are projected 10 million bushels lower with a 15-million-bushel increase in 2012/13 exports only partly offset by a 5-million-bushel increase in imports. Feed and residual use for 2013/14 is lowered 50 million bushels this month with the smaller crop. Exports are projected 25 million bushels lower with reduced domestic supplies and increased foreign competition. Ending stocks for 2013/14 are projected 122 million bushels lower. The projected season-average farm price for corn is raised 10 cents at both ends of the range to $4.50 to $5.30 per bushel. Prices
received by farmers are expected to remain above cash bid levels through the fall as producers who forward-priced corn earlier in the year support the weighted average farm-gate price.

Global coarse grain supplies for 2013/14 are projected 2.9 million tons lower as the reduction in the United States more than offsets an increase in foreign supplies. Global 2013/14 corn production is lowered 2.7 million tons. In addition to the United States, corn production is lowered for Mexico, the
European Union, Russia, and Serbia. Partly offsetting are increases for Ukraine, India, and Turkey. Ukraine production is raised 3.0 million tons as higher reported area combines with favorable July temperatures to raise production prospects. Production is raised 1.0 million tons for India as favorable monsoon rainfall supports increased plantings and a higher yield outlook. Turkey corn production is raised 0.4 million tons with higher area and higher expected yields. Global barley production is raised 1.1 million tons with increases for the European Union, Argentina,and Turkey more than offsetting a reduction for Canada. Global rye and mixed grain production are also raised slightly this month with increases for the European Union.

Global 2013/14 corn trade is raised with increased imports projected for Mexico, South Korea, the European Union, and Egypt. Corn exports are projected higher for Ukraine, but partly offset by declines for Russia, the European Union, and the United States. Corn trade is also increased for 2012/13 with higher imports for Egypt, South Korea, Turkey, the European Union, and Indonesia. Exports for 2012/13 are raised for Brazil and Argentina. Supporting the increase in Brazil export prospects, particularly over the next few months, is a 3.0-million-ton increase in 2012/13 corn production. Global corn consumption for 2013/14 is projected 2.3 million tons lower. Reduced U.S. feed and residual use is only partly offset by increases for South Korea, Ukraine, and Egypt. Global corn ending stocks for 2013/14 are projected 0.8 million tons lower with the increases for Ukraine, India, and Brazil, mostly offsetting the reduction projected for the United States.

RICE: U.S. total rice supplies for 2013/14 are projected at 238.4 million cwt, up 2.9 million from last month. Projected beginning stocks and production are each raised from a month ago, while imports are lowered. USDA’s first survey-based forecast of the 2013/14 U.S. rice crop is 181.4 million cwt, up 1.9 million from last month’s projection, but down 9 percent from the previous year. Average all rice yield is forecast at 7,406 pounds per acre, up 76 pounds per acre from last month’s projection, but down only slightly from last year’s record. Area harvested is unchanged at 2.45 million acres. Longgrain production is forecast at 124.8 million cwt and combined medium- and short-grain production at 56.6 million, up 0.8 million and 1.1 million from a month ago, respectively. The all rice import projection is lowered 1.0 million cwt to 22.5 million due in part to an expected larger crop. All rice beginning stocks for 2013/14 are raised 2.0 million cwt to 34.6 million because of a decrease in the 2012/13 export estimate to 107.0 million.

U.S. total rice use for 2013/14 is projected at 208.0 million cwt, up 1.0 million cwt from last month. The all rice export projection is raised 1.0 million cwt to 96.0 million cwt-all in medium/short grain. Long-grain and combined medium- and short-grain exports are projected at 66.0 million and 30.0 million, respectively. All rice domestic and residual use is unchanged at 112.0 million cwt. U.S. all rice ending stocks for 2013/14 are projected at 30.4 million cwt, up 1.9 million from last month, but 12 percent below the previous year.

The 2013/14 long-grain U.S. season-average farm price is projected at $14.00 to $15.00 per cwt, down 50 cents per cwt on each end of the range. The combined medium- and short-grain price is projected at $15.80 to $16.80 per cwt, unchanged from a month ago. The all rice price is projected at $14.50 to $15.50 per cwt, down 40 cents per cwt on each end of the range. A year-to-year smaller crop and tighter supplies, particularly for long-grain rice, are expected to provide some support to prices; however, plentiful supplies among the major Asian exporters will dampen the increase. Global 2013/14 export prices are expected to be lower than a year ago.

The projected decrease in global 2013/14 total supply is greater than the drop in total use thus resulting in a decrease in world ending stocks. Global production is lowered 0.8 million tons to 477.9 million, still a record, due primarily to a forecast reduction for China, which is partially offset by increases for Pakistan and the United States. China’s 2013/14 rice crop is lowered 1.0 million tons to 143.0 million nearly the same as 2012/13. Hot dry weather in the lower Yangtze River Valley and in the southwest has stressed both the single and late rice crops. Rice production is likely to be negatively affected in Hunan, Jiangxi, and Anhui provinces. Global beginning stocks for 2013/14 are lowered 0.6 million tons due mostly to a 0.5-million-ton reduction for Indonesia-Indonesia’s 2012/13 crop is lowered nearly a million tons to 36.6 million. World 2013/14 consumption is reduced 0.8 million tons with most of the decline in Indonesia and China.

Global trade is raised 0.7 million tons with increases in exports for India, Pakistan, the United States, and Vietnam. Import projections are raised for China and a number of West African countries, which are partially offset by reductions for Turkey and the United States. Global ending stocks for 2013/14 are projected at 107.5 million tons,
down 0.5 million from last month, but an increase of 2.7 million from the previous year. The largest stocks reduction for 2013/14 is for India, down 0.5 million from a month ago.

SUGAR: Projected U.S. sugar supply for fiscal year 2013/14 is increased slightly from last month, as higher beginning stocks and imports are nearly offset by lower production. The decline in production is due to lower forecast sugarbeet and sugarcane yields, compared with last month’s trend-based projections. For Mexico, higher supplies are due to increased production more than offsetting lower carryin stocks. Harvest area of sugarcane is higher than initially projected, but slightly lower than Mexico’s final estimate for 2012/13. With 2013/14 supplies up in Mexico, exports to the United States
are increased. Ending stocks are raised slightly for both Mexico and the United States.


Grain prices tick higher as key data loom

Grain futures consolidated their gains on Thursday, at least in early deals, with at least two significant factors likely to determine if they end that way.

One is the latest monthly Wasde report from the US Department of Agriculture, giving closely-watched estimates of world crop supply and demand.

This report is expected to trim the estimate for US corn stocks at the close of 2013-14 by some 50m bushes to 1.90bn bushels, reflecting reduced yield prospects.

Even if potentially-damaging hot weather for the US Midwest is still forecast rather than arrived there is reason for investors to cut expectations for yield, with the 97.4m acres that farmers have planted slightly more titled towards lower-productivity states, such as Texas, than had been thought.

Not that everyone agrees, with one broker saying that “there is a chance to see a higher yield since the crop ratings have been improving”.

Wasde expectations

For soybeans, the US stocks figure for the close of 2013-14 it seen coming in little changed, at 266m bushels, with the wheat number trimmed by 27m bushels to 632m bushel, after a decent start to the season for exports and slightly diminished harvest prospects.

The hard red winter wheat crop is seen coming in a touch below previous expectations, at 773m bushels.

World wheat numbers will be in the spotlight too, with some anticipation over the Russian crop number, which the USDA currently sees at 54.0m tonnes, but which some domestic analysts have downgraded following undue dryness in the Central and Volga regions.

On demand, there is likely to be some focus on Chinese demand, with concerns that the USDA has been too generous on the soybean import number, at 69m tonnes, a jump of 10.0m tonnes year on year, but has underestimated wheat needs (of which more later).

Hot topic

The other factor that the market will focus on are the latest rounds of the US weather outlook, whose turn hotter has been behind the revival in Chicago corn and wheat prices from multi-year lows.

In fact, “early summer Wasde estimates of new crop US corn and soybean production are secondary to updated weather forecasts”, Richard Feltes at RJ O’Brien said.

And there are still some concerns over heat – at a threatening time of year for corn especially, given the US crop’s increasing development into the heat-sensitive pollination phase – even if the threat is not seen as large as it was.

“The European model again has followed the GFS model in weakening the heat dome over the western Corn Belt /Plains early next week into a heat ridge,” said.

“This weakening keeps temperatures from getting hot over the Midwest and allows for some rains over the eastern Corn Belt, the western Great Lakes into northern Minnesota, North Dakota and south central Canada,” although is not as enthusiastic on this score as the GFS.

‘Flash drought’

In fact, not all commentators are quite so concerned about the heat, with one US broker saying that while “the forecast is still calling for ridge next week, although the south west section of the Corn Belt is looking at potentially crop damaging conditions the rest of the Belt should be rather favourable”.

The broker added: “We still have to get through pollination with average weather but as we get closer to harvest the market should be working out more risk premium as it shifts its focus back to demand.”

Whatever, the outlook has focused attention on some of the more troubled US areas, including the Delta where Mr Feltes reported talk of a “flash drought” across much of the region, parts of which have not seen significant rainfall for five or six weeks at a time of rising temperatures

In Kansas, heat has left the western quarter of the state under “severe stress”, causing some abandonment already in dry areas.

Crude talk

Furthermore, ags used as biofuels, notably corn, are getting some support from energy markets.

Brent crude continued its recovery to approach $109 a barrel in early deals, despite the International Energy Agency saying on Thursday that the rise of US shale gas offered oil bulls “cause for alarm”.

Mr Feltes said that the “impressive” crude oil rally was “another reason to approach the post-Independence Day row crop price strength with respect and caution”.

US ethanol data on Wednesday showed production bouncing 18,000 barrels a day to 881,000 barrels a day, meaning more corn consumption on this score.

More on demand from importers will be seen later with weekly US export sales numbers expected to come in at 300,000-600,000 tonnes for corn old crop and new, a figure which will exclude 120,000 tonnes revealed on Wednesday as sold to China (and too late for today’s export sales report).

Corn for December added 0.4% to $5.23 ¾ a bushel as of 09:50 UK time (03:50 Chicago time).

Beans bounce

New crop November soybeans rose 0.2% to $12.87 ¾ a bushel, also helped by the weather concerns, at a time when many investors are already questioning the USDA’s estimate of a 44.5 bushels-per-acre domestic soybean yield.

“Prospects for the US harvest were questioned as the soybeans crops were developing slower than usual,” Joyce Liu at Phillip Futures said.

“Worsening the situation were the showers that stalled the harvesting of the eastern Midwest’s soft red wheat, which in turn slowed down the planting of soybeans,” at least the sowing of double-crop soybeans seeded on land vacated by the wheat harvest.

These have been expected to account for an unusually large 10% of total US soybean plantings this year, a size approaching 8m acres.

The old crop July contact, up 0.3% at $15.97 bushel, recouped some of the last session’s losses, blamed on a weakening US cash market after elevated values teased out producer selling.

“Producer pricing of old crop beans has certainly accelerated in recent days with many northern elevators telling me that producers who told them last week they had no old crop beans were ‘finding’ and selling them,” Kim Rugel at Benson Quinn Commodities said.

Chinese imports

And wheat gained too, helped not just by the rise in its fellow grain corn, an alternative for some uses such as animal feed, but on its own score, amid a renewed focus on demand.

Some of this has been spurred by Chinese purchases, after a rain-disrupted harvest, which affected the quality, if not quantity, of the crop.

Indeed, China’s CNGOIC official crop bureau forecast the country’s wheat imports in 2013-14 at 5m tonnes, up from 2.89m tonnes last season, and well above the 3.5m tonnes that the USDA has the figure at.

It kept the harvest estimate at 120.6m tonnes, above a 118m-tonne figure from USDA staff in Beijing last week.

… and other buyers too

However, Iran has also been on a wheat-buying spree, buying 450,000 tonnes for August shipment, after 800,000 tonnes purchased last month.

Egypt, the top wheat importer, this month made its first purchase since February, after a gap blamed on the country’s poor finances, with Jordan, Syria and Tunisia among other recent buyers, and Pakistan said to be importing after a poor domestic harvest.

As for what part the US is playing in this, more will be known with the weekly US export sales data, expected at 600,000-900,000 tonnes, and released at 12:30 GMT, 3.5 hours ahead of the Wasde.

Wheat for September added 0.6% to $6.82 ¾ a bushel in Chicago.

Sweeter sugar

Among soft commodities, raw sugar managed some bounce, adding 0.2% to 16.289 cents a pound in New York for October delivery, as traders took a less downbeat view of Brazil cane crushing data released late on Wednesday.

The data showed Brazilian Centre South sugar producing down 16% year on year, thanks to rain interruptions and a switch by mills to producing more ethanol from cane, although the figure had been largely discounted by investors.