Brazil eliminated the ethanol import tax exemption, put in place last March by the previous administration, effective immediately. This will prompt an immediate 16% import tax on all ethanol imports, which will rise to 18% in 2024. While Brazil is the 2nd largest ethanol producer in the world and regular exporter, they imported a solid amount of ethanol, primarily from the U.S., into the country’s northeast where it was economically viable to do so rather than transport domestically from ethanol-producing areas. In 2022, the U.S. exported roughly 150 million gallons of ethanol to Brazil (169 mil gallons in 2021), accounting for around 19% of total U.S. exports for the year. The return of the import tax could effectively end U.S. exports to Brazil.
The Buenos Aires Grains Exchange said nearly half of the country’s soybean crop is now in “good or adequate” condition, an increase of 17% over the last 20 days, following the recent widespread improved rains. However, they warned the previous hot/dry conditions in Dec/early Jan detrimentally impacted yield potential for early-planted crops.
Russian ag consultant IKAR lowered its estimate of the coming 2023/24 Russian wheat crop to 84.0 MMT from 87.0 MMT previously due to less than ideal weather conditions during the winter months. Earlier in the week, Rusagrotrans lowered their estimate 1 MMT to 81.5 MMT. However, Sovecon maintained their 86.0 MMT crop estimate this week’s update despite “challenging weather.” A decline in production from this year’s USDA-estimated 91.0 MMT crop is widely expected on ideas winter wheat area declined modestly and a pullback in yields from last year’s record levels. The Russian government has put this year’s crop as high at 104.4 MMT, which USDA claims in not feasible based on weather and past yield performance analysis.
Egypt bought 535k tonnes of wheat as a result of their recent tender, all expected to be Russian and priced from $323.40-$325.80/tonne c&f for Feb 26-Mar 20 shipment periods.
South Korea bought 126k tonnes of expected South American corn at $336.60-$337.80/tonne c&f for April 20 arrival.
Ukraine’s ag ministry put the corn harvest at 91% complete, rising a minimal 1% over the last week, with 25.9 MMT collected so far. USDA is currently estimating this year’s total harvest at 27.0 MMT. Over the last month, corn harvest has advanced by 13% since early January, so progress is being made, albeit very slowly.
U.S. trade officials said palm oil/product imports from Malaysia’s Sime Darby Plantation, one the country’s largest palm oil producers, can resume, after being banned in December 2020 on forced labor issues, as changes have been made.
Malaysian markets will be closed on Monday for a local holiday.
Cargill permanently closed its Portage, IN grain elevator, which handled corn, soybeans and wheat and had a storage capacity of 7.2 million bushels. They will relinquish control of the facility to the Ports of Indiana effective June 1, which is looking for a new operator.
Mpls wheat -11
KC wheat -12
Chic wheat -8
Matif wheat -1
Soybean oil -23