Brazil, U.S., Ukraine, Australia Grain Exports, and China Growth, in Focus

“China recently was buying record amounts of Brazilian corn but with supplies in South America now running thin demand will shift to the US through July when Brazil should start exporting a record safrinha crop. Safrinha is a second-crop corn planted after the soybean harvest.

“‘Of course we lost some bean business but the corn business basically is going to be with us until the crop in Brazil,’ said ADM Chief Executive Officer Juan Luciano. ‘And the US will be exporting a lot of that from here until probably July.’”

The Bloomberg article noted that, “The pivot could boost corn futures on the Chicago Board of Trade, which are tied to delivery points along the US river system that was battling low water levels and elevated costs. The US traditionally has been the world’s top corn exporter but could lose its crown to Brazil in the coming years.”

“Argentina is facing one of the worst droughts in recent years and Brazilian corn exports reached a record 44 million metric tons last year but are starting to trend down as stocks in the country come to an end.”

Also regarding U.S. corn exports, Dow Jones writer Kirk Maltais reported yesterday that, “Export inspections for corn are lower this week, while marketing year totals continue to drag behind last year’s levels. In its latest grain export inspections report, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said corn export inspections totaled 527,932 metric tons for the week ended January 26. That’s down from 728,792 tons reported last week. The pace of corn export inspections in the 2022/23 marketing year is now even further off from last year’s pace – with inspections this year totaling 12.03 million tons, down over 31% from last year.”

Elsewhere, Reuters writer Pavel Polityuk reported yesterday that, “Ukraine has exported almost 26.3 million tonnes of grain so far in the 2022/23 season, down from the 37.9 million tonnes exported by the same stage of the previous season, agriculture ministry data showed on Monday.”

“A major global grain grower and exporter, Ukraine’s grain output is likely to drop to about 51 million tonnes in 2022 from a record 86 million tonnes in 2021,” the Reuters article said.

And a in a separate Reuters article yesterday, Pavel Polityuk reported that, “Ukraine’s grain harvest is likely to fall to 35 to 40 million tonnes in 2023, including 12-15 million tonnes of wheat and 15-17 million tonnes of corn, a senior analyst and producer said on Monday.”

Meanwhile, the USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) indicated in a report last week, “Australia: Grain and Feed Update,” that, “Australia is set for a third consecutive record grain crop, and strong exports. Wheat production is estimated to have reached a record 37 million metric tons (MMT) in marketing year (MY) 2022/23, while barley is estimated to achieve 13.5 MMT of production, the fourth largest on record.”

In more detail regarding exports, the FAS report stated that, “After achieving a second successive year of record wheat exports of 27.5 MMT in MY 2021/22 from 23.8 MMT in MY 2020/21, FAS/Canberra anticipates Australia to achieve a new wheat export record in MY 2022/23 of 28 MMT. This estimate is 500,000 metric tons (MT) higher than the official USDA forecast, largely due to the higher production anticipated by FAS/Canberra for MY 2022/23, the improving grain logistics capabilities in Western Australia, continued strong global import demand and a very strong start to the first two months (October and November 2022) of exports.”

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