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Why the production of most vegetable oils is less this year

Palm Oil closed higher and made a new high weekly close once again last week. The market was supported by ideas of tight supplies coming down the road. Production of most vegetable oils in the world is less this year due to a lack of production of oilseeds. The production of Palm Oil is down in both Malaysia and Indonesia as plantations in both countries are having trouble getting workers into the fields.

Jack Scoville

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Wheat: Winter Wheat markets were higher last week after a strong rally on Thursday. Minneapolis Spring Wheat contracts closed higher as well, but lagged the strength of the Winter Wheat markets. US prices remain very close to international prices and US markets have searched for new demand.  Export demand has started to improve with the close price relationships but remains moderate. World prices have held steady or worked a little higher even with additional supplies available to the market as Russian prices remain elevated.  Australian supplies have increased as its harvest is moving forward. US weather is mixed with still dry conditions in the western Great Plains. Some precipitation was reported in the eastern Great Plains and in parts of the Midwest. Parts of southern Russia remain dry.

Weekly Chicago Soft Red Winter Wheat Futures   

Weekly Chicago Hard Red Winter Wheat Futures

Weekly Minneapolis Hard Red Spring Wheat Futures

Corn: Corn was higher and trends are still up on the daily and weekly charts. Oats moved sideways.  New export demand was weaker and the lowest for the marketing year last week. Export demand has held strong as US Corn is about the cheapest feed grain in the world market. Domestic demand has been less due to reduced demand for ethanol processing and questions about feed demand.  It has rained in parts of Argentina and in much of Brazil in the past week. Drought could develop in Brazil and Argentina as the overall weather patterns have been dry and as dry weather is in the forecast for Argentina and southern Brazil. The drought is especially serious in South America for the first Corn crop but the second crop could also be affected due to late planting in central and northern Brazil. Dry weather has delayed the Soybeans planting and that will delay the second Corn planting later. 

Weekly Corn Futures:                                                                                               

 Weekly Oats Futures

Soybeans and Soybean Meal: Soybeans and Soybean Meal closed higher once again on better demand for US Soybeans and despite rains in South America. The weekly export sales report was in line with expectations but still the lowest amount for the marketing year. US ending stocks estimates are very tight and are likely to get even tighter as time goes on. China continues to buy in small amounts each day but has cancelled and switched some contracts made to unknown destinations. Production potential is being threatened in South America due to the lack of rainfall. The situation is most serious in central and northern Brazil, but has improved in southern Brazil and Argentina due to recent rains. Southern Brazil and Argentina will now turn warm and dry and this will be much more consistent with atypical La Nina pattern. The world will need very strong production from South America to meet the projected demand. The stocks to use ration for Soybeans is now very small and the situation is the tightest projected in years. 

Weekly Chicago Soybeans Futures:

Weekly Chicago Soybean Meal Futures

Rice: Rice was lower last week as trading reflected the lack of activity in the domestic cash market.  The weekly export sales report featured strong demand overall. Trading volumes have been less for the last couple of weeks. The cash market is slow and the lack of business is reflected in futures volumes traded. Reports indicate that domestic demand has been poor to average with better consumer demand more than offset by much less demand from schools and other institutions.          

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Weekly Chicago Rice Futures

Palm Oil and Vegetable Oils: Palm Oil closed higher and made a new high weekly close once again last week. The market was supported by ideas of tight supplies coming down the road. Production of most vegetable oils in the world is less this year due to a lack of production of oilseeds. The production of Palm Oil is down in both Malaysia and Indonesia as plantations in both countries are having trouble getting workers into the fields. Export demand has been strong and ethanol demand has been moderate. Soybean Oil and Canola were higher on strong demand ideas. Production problems for Soybeans in South America and a strike by workers at ports in Argentina helped Soybean Oil. Very strong Palm Oil prices have made buying Soybean and Canola oils the better option. Trends are up in Soybean Oil and in Canola. Demand for Canola has improved in recent weeks and farm selling has been less.

Weekly Malaysian Palm Oil Futures:

Weekly Chicago Soybean Oil Futures

Weekly Canola Futures:

Cotton: Cotton closed a little lower in consolidation trading last week. Harvest is mostly done amid drier weather conditions in West Texas and the Delta and Southeast. The weekly export sales report showed very strong demand once again last week. Export demand has held strong despite stay at home orders and weaker economies around the world. Traders now hope for even more demand later as the vaccines are given out and the world economies start to recover.

Weekly US Cotton Futures

Frozen Concentrated Orange Juice and Citrus: FCOJ closed a little higher last week. Cold weather is making its way into Florida. The cold is more a reminder of the time of year it is and less an actual threat to trees and fruit. The weather in Florida remains good for the crops. The Coronavirus is still promoting consumption of FCOJ at home. Restaurant and food service demand has been much less as no one is dining out. The weather in Florida is good with frequent showers to promote good tree health and fruit formation. Brazil has been too dry and irrigation is being used. Showers are falling in Brazil now and these need to continue to ensure good tree health. However, it could turn warm and dry again next week. Mexican crop conditions are called good with rains.

Weekly FCOJ Futures

Coffee: Futures were higher last week in both markets. Trends are turning up in both markets. The market is looking ahead to next year. Vietnam has harvested its production under mostly dry conditions. Central America is also drier for harvesting. Brazil is getting some rains now to improve fruit development after an extended dry season, but the rains are sporadic and not everyone is getting helped. The demand from coffee shops and other food service operations is still at very low levels as consumers are still drinking Coffee at home. Reports indicate that consumers at home are consuming blends with more Robusta and less Arabica. The weather is good in Colombia and Peru.

Weekly New York Arabica Coffee Futures

Weekly London Robusta Coffee Futures

Sugar: New York and London closed higher and are now probing the upper end of the recent trading range on the charts. It has been raining in south central Brazil and the production of cane is winding down for the season. The first half of December crush was down as cane production has been hurt due to dry weather earlier in the year. Brazil mills have been producing more Sugar and less Ethanol due to weak world and domestic petroleum prices. India has a very big crop of Sugarcane this year.  The Indian government has not announced the subsidy for exporters of Sugar so no exports are coming out of India yet. Sources told wire services that any subsidy will need to be significant to get export sales on the books. Thailand might have less this year due to reduced planted area and erratic rains during the monsoon season. The EU is having problems with its Sugarbeets crop due to weather and disease. Coronavirus has returned to the world and has caused some demand concerns, especially for Ethanol. 

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Weekly New York World Raw Sugar Futures

Weekly London White Sugar Futures

Cocoa: New York closed higher after rebounding from very low levels and London closed slightly higher last week. Importers are still looking for ways to source Cocoa without paying a premium demanded by Ivory Coast and Ghana. Both countries have instituted a living wage for producers there and are looking to tax exports to pay the increased wages. Buyers have been accused of using certified stocks from the exchange instead of buying from origin. There are a lot of demand worries as the Coronavirus is making a comeback in the US. Europe is also seeing a return of the pandemic.  However, the grind has held amid good demand from chocolate manufacturers.

Weekly New York Cocoa Futures

Weekly London Cocoa Futures

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(Featured image by Quangpraha 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.