Friday, May 20

Chicago futures firm ahead of USDA weekly exports report

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US grains futures rose in early Asian trading on Thursday ahead of a weekly export sales report from the US Department of Agriculture, while traders kept a close watch on the Ukraine crisis that has disrupted global supplies.


* The most-active wheat contract on the Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) rose 0.3% to $10.43-3/4 a bushel by 0159 GMT, after swinging back and forth in a tight range.

* CBOT soybeans climbed 0.3% to $16.24-1/2 a bushel, while corn added 0.2% to $7.57-3/4 a bushel.

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* Ahead of the USDA report, analysts expected the government to report US corn sales in the week ended March 31 at 575,000 tonnes to 1.4 million tonnes (old and new crop years combined), soybean sales at 600,000 tonnes to 1.550 million tonnes and wheat sales at 100,000 to 750,000 tonnes.

* Weather forecasts showed little rain for the coming two weeks for winter wheat in the parched southwestern US Plains, although northern spring wheat zones were expected to get some showers.

* Wheat remains underpinned by global supply fears, exacerbated by Black Sea shipment disruptions amid the Russia-Ukraine conflict and unfavorable US weather, and as countries continue to restrict exports.

* A USDA attache report estimated China’s 2021/22 corn imports at 24 million tonnes, below the USDA’s official figure of 26 million tonnes, and projected that 2022/23 corn imports would fall to 20 million tonnes. The USDA is scheduled to release its first official 2022/23 supply/demand forecasts on May 12.

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* Iraq’s agriculture minister, Muhammad Karim al-Khafaji, said on Wednesday the country had managed to secure 3 million tonnes of wheat, adding food security had been ensured until the end of the year.

* Consultant UkrAgroConsult sees Ukraine’s grain and oilseed production in 2022 falling sharply from last year due to Russia’s invasion which lowered access to fuel, seed and fertilizers and hampered field work.

* Ukraine wants sanctions that are economically destructive enough for Russia to end its war after accusing some countries of still prioritizing money over punishment for civilian killings that the West condemns as war crimes.

* Brazil accelerated fertilizer imports in the first quarter as Western sanctions on major suppliers Russia and Belarus pose a risk to shipments going forward.


* Asian shares retreated in line with a global sell-off, as markets were spooked by more aggressive noises from US policymakers about the need for tighter monetary policy, which also kept the dollar near a two-year peak.


0600 Germany Industrial Output MM Feb

0600 UK Halifax House Prices MM March

1230 US Initial Jobless Claims Weekly (Reporting by Enrico Dela Cruz in Manila; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)