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European Sugar Production Is Expected To Be Reduced Again This Year

New York and London closed lower on Friday and for the week as traders continue to factor in sugar production losses in India and Brazil and other locations as well. Indian production is thought to be 33 million tons this year or less and the market has had to ration that supply via price. Thailand expects to export 7% more than last year.



Wheat:  Wheat markets were lower last week and Chicago SRW prices traded to new lows for the last year.  News that USDA estimated planted area very high for the coming production and ideas that big Russian offers and cheaper Russian prices would be a feature for a while in the world market were the driving forces for the weaker prices, and price weakness could continue this week.  News that Russia has launched a new offensive in Ukraine provided much of the support this week.  Russia appears to be sending three divisions across the border to fight and it looks as though this could be a major operation for the Russian army.  Wire reports now suggest that Russia has now committed almost its entire army to the war.  Fears of deliveries of Wheat from the Black Sea will be cut significantly are surfacing again.   Ideas are that both Australia and Russia are harvesting record to near-record Wheat crops this year.   Russia is said to be plotting a huge new invasion of Ukraine that could prevent farmers in Ukraine from harvesting Wheat and planting Corn.  Russia has a large production and is undercutting most world prices in the international market.  However, Russian production estimates have dropped recently.  The demand for US Wheat in international markets has been a disappointment all year and has been hindered by low prices and aggressive offers from Russia.  Ukraine is also looking for new business for its crops and Russia is aggressive in the world market as it looks for cash to fund the war.

Weekly Chicago Soft Red Winter Wheat Futures

Weekly Chicago Hard Red Winter Wheat Futures

Weekly Minneapolis Hard Red Spring Wheat Futures

Corn: Corn closed sharply lower last week in response to the USDA Outlook Conference that showed increased planted and harvested area and increased yields for potential production of more than 15 billion bushels and the second biggest crop on record and partly on the charts as price trends turned down and some big support areas were broken.  US prices are currently very competitive with those from South America and US demand has improved because of the price differentials.  Prices from South America should now remain strong as countries there concentrate on Soybeans exports, so the US has a chance now to see export demand improve more than it has already.  The export demand remains well behind the pace to make USDA objectives.  Brazil has been hanging on for its Summer crop although losses are now being reported.  The situation is now more stable in southern Brazil and northern Argentina after recent rains, but the situation in central and southern Argentina remains stressed.   Argentina has suffered through some extreme drought and losses could be large.  The Brazil Winter crop is harvested and China has been buying the surplus.  The Summer crop and the Argentine crop is developing under stressful conditions.  The next Winter crop is going into the ground in good conditions, but it has been wet so the Soybeans harvest has been delayed and the Corn planting is becoming delayed as well.  There are concerns about demand with the Chinese economic problems caused by the lockdowns creating the possibility of less demand as South America has much better crops this year to compete with the US for sales.  China is now moving rapidly to open the economy and allow people to move around with no lockdowns so the demand could start to improve

Weekly Corn Futures

 Weekly Oats Futures

Soybeans and Soybean Meal: Soybeans and the products were a little lower on Friday and Soybean Oil closed a little lower for the week while the others closed a little higher.  The market is weaker in response to the USDA Outlook Conference reports that showed planted and harvested area the same as last year and increased yields for increased production and in anticipation of the South American harvest coming to export channels in the near term.  It remains hot and dry in Argentina and crop conditions are getting worse.  However, the weather is becoming less important now as the harvest is already underway in central and northern Brazil and will spread south soon.  Southern Brazil and northern Argentina are getting enough rain to stabilize conditions and production losses but central and southern Argentina remain very dry.  Central and northern Brazil have seen harvest operations interrupted by too much rain.  Soybean Meal saw strong weekly export sales as Argentina is having to withdraw from the market for Soy product sales due to the drought in the country and the fact that they have already sold a lot of Soybeans into the world market.  They are now buying from Brazil.  The harvest in Brazil is slowly expanding in central and northern areas.  These areas have seen too much rain and the harvest has been slow.  Production potential for Brazil is called very strong even with potential problems and losses in the south.  Argentine production ideas continue to drop with the drought as planting is delayed and the crops already in the ground are stressed.  Ideas that Chinese demand will improve, but this could take a few more weeks as a very large part of the population now has Covid.  This has delayed a robust economic return for the country. 

Weekly Chicago Soybeans Futures:

Weekly Chicago Soybean Meal Futures

Rice:  Rice was lower again Friday and sharply lower for the week as the market is in a free fall from recent highs.  USDA forecast a jump in production and demand yesterday with a fall in prices.  Reports indicate that the farmers have been selling and ideas are that they might dump on the market if they think a big crop is coming at the end of the new growing season that is now getting ready to start in southern growing areas.  Demand has been good from domestic sources.  Export demand has been uneven.  Demand has been an issue for the market all year.  There is not much going on in the domestic market right now although mills are milling for the domestic market in Arkansas and are bidding for some Rice.  Markets from Texas to Mississippi are called quiet.  Demand in general has been slow to moderate for Rice for exports and solid for domestic uses.  

Weekly Chicago Rice Futures

Palm Oil and Vegetable Oils:  Palm Oil closed higher last week on ideas of stronger demand due to the coming Ramadan holiday period and also on a weaker Ringgit.  China was a noted buyer of Palm Oil today.  Indonesia is now revoking some export permits to keep internal prices controlled and to support the bio fuels industry.  The controls are expected to last through Ramadan.  China has tried to relax some Covid restrictions so that the economy can start to function again.  However, new outbreaks of the virus are being reported and infection rates are rapidly increasing but will start to decrease soon as most have now had Covid.  Canola was higher in narrow-range trading last week.  Moves late in the week came due to currency relationships as much as anything  Reports indicate that domestic demand has been strong due to favorable crush margins.  Production was much improved this year on better weather during the Summer. 

Weekly Malaysian Palm Oil Futures

Weekly Chicago Soybean Oil Futures

Weekly Canola Futures:

Cotton: Cotton was higher on Friday and for the week as USDA kept with low planted area forecasts in its ideas released to the market on Thursday.  Export demand was very strong when the sales report was released on Friday morning.  USDA forecast a significant reduction in US planted area for Cotton in its outlook conference at about 10.5 million acres.  Demand was very strong in the report last week and has been ramping up for the last couple of months. Some idea that demand could soon increase more as China could start to open its economy in the next couple of months as Covid outbreaks should start to weaken as people get vaccinated or immune.  Covid is now widespread in China so the beneficial economic effects of the opening are being delayed but these effects should start to be felt as the people there achieve immunity over the next week or two.  The charts show that futures held at a test of the lows formed since November and that prices could start to move higher to the top end of the range at ab out 90 cents in the next few weeks. 

Weekly US Cotton Futures

Frozen Concentrated Orange Juice and Citrus: FCOJ was higher Friday and for the week as production remains the overriding force.  The charts show that May is now challenging contract highs, but futures need to trade t about 367.00 to make new all-time highs.  Historically low estimates of production due in part to the hurricanes and in part to the greening disease that have hurt production, but conditions are significantly better now with scattered showers and moderate temperatures.  The weather remains generally good for production around the world for the next crop including production areas in Florida that have been impacted in a big way by the two storms seen previously in the state.  Brazil has some rain and the conditions are rated good.  Brazil continues to export to the EU and is increasing its exports to the US.  Mexico is also exporting to the US.  Even so, the Florida Dept of Citrus reported that inventories are still 40.6% below last year at 102.39 million pounds.

Weekly FCOJ Futures

Coffee: New York and London closed lower Friday in correction trading after the big rally early last week tied to higher differentials in Brazil and Vietnam caused by a lack of offers from producers in both countries.  Futures finished higher for the week and could work higher again this week.  Producers are not offering right now and the market wonders how much Coffee is left.  Ideas of big production for Brazil continue due primarily to rains falling in Coffee production areas now.  Vietnam is estimated to have very good production this year due to a good growing season.  There are ideas that the production potential for both countries has been overrated.  The weather in Brazil is currently very good for production potential but worse conditions seen earlier in the growing cycle hurt the overall production prospects as did bad weather last year.  Vietnam is getting less rain now to aid harvest progress but the volumes offered have not increased.

Weekly New York Arabica Coffee Futures

Weekly London Robusta Coffee Futures

Sugar: New York and London closed lower on Friday and for the week as traders continue to factor in production losses in India and Brazil and other locations as well.  Indian production is thought to be 33 million tons this year or less and the market has had to ration that supply via price. Thailand expects to export 7% more than last year. Good production prospects are seen for crops in central and northern areas of Brazil, but the south has seen drier weather. There is concern that the rainy areas will stay too wet and delay the harvest and dilute the Sugar concentrations in the cane in central areas. The harvest is active in Thailand.  Australian and Central American harvests are also active.  European production is expected to be reduced again this year.

Weekly New York World Raw Sugar Futures

Weekly London White Sugar Futures

Cocoa:  New York and London closed mostly a little lower on Friday and for the week in correction trading as West African exporters are not offering.  Wire reports suggest that exporters are currently looking for Cocoa to make good on current contracts and are not entering into new contracts right now.  However, the Ivory Coast Cocoa and Coffee Council said that there will be more than enough Cocoa for export and that exporters can fix contracts.  Trends have turned up in both New York and London for the longer term, but have turned mixed for the short term.  The talk is that hot and dry conditions reported in Ivory Coast could curtail mid-crop production, but main crop production ideas are strong.  Ghana has reported disease in its Cocoa to hurt production potential there.  The rest of West Africa appears to be in good condition.  Good production is reported for the main crop and traders are worried about the world economy moving forward and how that could affect demand.  The weather is good in Southeast Asia. 

Weekly New York Cocoa Futures

Weekly London Cocoa Futures


(Featured image by pasja1000 via Pixabay)

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Jack Scoville is a futures market analyst specializing in grains, softs, rice, oilseeds, and tropical products such as coffee and sugar. In addition to writing daily market commentaries in both English and Spanish, he offers brokerage services to an international clientele of agricultural producers, processors, exporters, and other professional traders. He is regularly quoted by major wire services including Dow Jones, AP, and Reuters. His comments are sourced by newspapers around the world and on various radio and television programs.