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News Flash: April 24, 2014


Dependence on imported edible oil to hit new high

Despite the increase in oilseed output, India’s dependence on imported edible oil is expected to hit a record high this year. The increasing direct consumption of oilseeds, including soybean, and other edible oils, has reduced their supplies available for crushing. This oil year

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(October 2013-November 2014), the share of imports to overall edible oil consumption is likely to hit 65.3%, against 61.2% in the previous year, data compiled by the US Department of Agriculture shows. India’s overall edible oil import is likely to stand at 11.8 million tonnes (mt) this year, against 10.7 mt in the previous year. “Every year, fresh addition to

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India’s existing edible oil consumption stands at 0.8-0.9 mt because of an increase in the population and lifestyle changes. However, at seven-eight mt, edible oil production from domestic sources has remained stagnant for the past few years. As such, dependence on imports will continue until production from domestic sources is stepped up,” said B V Mehta, executive director, Solvent Extractors’ Association. According to an India Ratings report, total edible oil production from domestic sources for 2013-14 is likely to stand at 7.6 mt, a slight rise compared to last year’s 7.5 mt. Business Standard


U.S. Weekly Outlook – How many acres of soybeans are needed?

The USDA’s survey of U.S. crop producers last month revealed intentions to plant 81.493 million acres of soybeans this year. According to University of Illinois agricultural economist Darrel Good, the large increase in soybean planting intentions reflects strong world demand for soybeans. As a result, prices of soybeans will be high in comparison to other crops, particularly corn. Seed Quest
Soybeans in Longest Slump Since July as China Demand May Slow

Soybeans fell to a one-week low to head for the longest slump since July amid concern that demand will decrease in China, the world’s top importer. Futures for July delivery lost as much as 0.4 percent to $14.65 a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade, the lowest since April 15. Prices were at $14.655 by 12:55 p.m. in Singapore, declining for a fourth straight session. The pace of soybean exports from the U.S. and South America will probably slow through the end of the season as Chinese demand declines because of ample stockpiles, according to Oil World. There are reports that China will soon auction 3 million metric tons of state reserves, which equates to roughly one-third of total inventories, Commonwealth Bank of Australia declared. The auction “could have negative consequences for future import demand,” said Luke Mathews, the bank’s commodity strategist in Sydney. “Worries about near-term oilseed demand in China continue to simmer within the market.” Imports by China, which buys more than 60 percent of globally traded beans, may rise 15 percent to 69 million tons in the year through Sept. 30 from a year earlier, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The U.S. is the biggest exporter after Brazil, while Argentina ranks third, according to USDA data. Combined exports from Brazil, Argentina and the U.S. will be 45.09 million tons from April through September, less than the 46.86 million tons shipped in the same period last year, Hamburg-based researcher Oil World said last week. Exports will slow after 50.73 million tons were shipped in the first half of the season that started Oct. 1, it said. Bloomberg


Crop report: Limited corn planting begins in southwestern Minnesota

Snow and cold continue to prevent preparation for planting at farms across Minnesota. In its weekly crop progress and condition report for the state, the U.S. Department of Agriculture says it received reports of limited corn planting from southwestern Minnesota last week. Other parts of the state are not yet experiencing suitable conditions to begin planting. Associated Press

Corn Export Sales Increase, China Cancels Soy

Export sales of U.S. corn increased in the latest week, with new-crop business beating estimates, while old-crop soybean sales were down sharply as expected and included China cancelling a 2-million bushel purchase, USDA said on Thursday. Soymeal sales of 186,300 tonnes topped trade estimates compiled by Reuters and were up from the previous week and the four-week average, with Denmark, Mexico and Ecuador leading buyers. Export sales for corn and soybeans typically slow at this time as buyers shift to other destinations, particularly South America, which is harvesting. Chicago corn and soybean futures rose slightly after the exports were released, with soybeans likely buoyed by the soymeal business. USDA reported old-crop corn sales of 24.4 million bushels in the latest week, which were in line with trade forecasts and up 15% from the previous week. South Korea, Japan and Colombia were leading buyers, with cancellations by unknown destinations. New-crop sales totaled 15.1 million bushels with Mexico and Japan the top destinations. Weekly soybean net sales of nearly 30,000 bushels for the current year were within expectations and led by sales to Canada and Mexico. The new-crop sales of 4.34 million bushels missed trade forecasts. While the latest week’s old-crop soybean sales were down 96% from the previous week, total sales for the current marketing year have already surpassed USDA’s forecast. Farm Futures


VEGOILS-Palm oil falls on improved weather, weak soyoil prices

Malaysian palm oil slid 1.2percent on Wednesday, giving up some of this week’s gains due to pressure from improving weather in Southeast Asia and lower prices for rival commodity soybean oil. Palm oil output could recover as rains have eased drought condition in oil palm plantations across Southeast Asia. “The output could start recovering from May or June as we have had good rains and sunshine,” said one Kuala Lumpur-based trader. “But the downside is limited as we are expecting very strong demand at the same time.” The benchmark July contract on the Bursa Malaysia Derivatives Exchange closed down 1.2 percent at 2,650 ringgit($812) a tonne. Traded volume stood at 34,061 lots of 25 tonnes each. A slowdown in China’s demand for soybeans is adding pressure to palm oil as the two products complete for a similar market segment. U.S. soybean futures dropped to a one-week low on Wednesday, falling for a fourth consecutive session due to declining demand in China, the world’s top buyer. Importers in China have already defaulted on at least 500,000 tonnes of U.S. and Brazilian soybean cargoes worth around $300 million amid slowing demand and tightening credit. Two Brazilian soybean cargoes initially sold to China have been switched to the United States, according to port and shipping data updated on Tuesday, the first clear evidence that the U.S. is absorbing some of China’s excess Brazilian purchases that were at risk of default. A bullish target at2,703 ringgit per tonne has been temporarily aborted for palm oil, due to the sudden drop from the April 22 high of2,688 ringgit, according to Wang Tao, a Reuters market analyst. Reuters


Canadian Farmers Will Plant Less Wheat, Canola This Season

Wheat growers in Canada, the world’s biggest exporter after the U.S., are planning to decrease seeding by 4.8 percent this year and also reduce canola planting, a government report showed. Farmers may sow 24.8 million acres of the grain, down from 26.0 million a year earlier, Statistics Canada concluded. The average estimate of 12 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg News was 24.3 million acres. Canola seeding may fall 0.7 percent to 19.8 million acres. That compares with 20.75 million acres forecast by analysts. Seeding is declining after record crops last year spurred price declines and placed unprecedented pressure on rail lines that handle 95 percent of Canada’s output. The backlog left as much as $20 billion of crops stuck on prairie farms, and prompted the government to order railways to increase grain shipments or face penalties of as much as $100,000 per day. Statistics Canada said it interviewed about 11,500 farmers between March 24 and March 31 about their planting intentions. Net returns for canola are higher than wheat and farmers historically underestimate how much they will plant early in the season. Bloomberg

Wheat, canola worries growing

Farmers in the Southern Plains are feeling increasingly dismal about the state of their canola crops, as conditions continue to deteriorate due to a harsh winter and dry, windy days. Canola officials gathering for a field day at a farm west of Oklahoma City near El Reno on Tuesday were also weighing the impact of the freeze. An estimated 400,000 acres across the state are planted to canola this year, and most of those fields are now in full bloom. Some plants already froze out last fall after getting off to a late start and then getting hit by a blast of record-breaking cold over the winter. The latest U.S. Drought Monitor shows abnormally dry conditions spreading from California and the Southwest across Texas and Oklahoma, up into Kansas and Nebraska, and even as far east as Iowa and Minnesota. Many ranchers are watching stock ponds dry up due to the dry conditions. Ag Journal