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WEEKLY SUMMARY WEEK 15
  • Bulgaria

During the next seven-day period, the vegetation processes for agricultural crops will proceed at an accelerated pace with average day-night temperatures above the climatic norms for the first ten days of April, NIMH informs.
During the period, the spindle phase will prevail for wheat and barley – beginning and massive. In some places in the western regions there will be a transition from broaching to spinning. Until the end of the first ten days of April, precipitation of economic importance is not forecast. The warm weather and the absence of precipitation led to a decrease in moisture reserves in the surface soil layer, and in places in the eastern regions to a moisture deficit, which will delay the initial phases of the development of spring crops.
During the period, the conditions will allow the seasonal agrotechnical activities to be carried out – the sowing of sunflowers and pre-sowing treatments of the areas intended for sowing with spring crops.

  • Europe

In their latest report, AMIS (the United Nations Market Information System) is still looking at the 2023 harvest, and at the expense of Argentina and Australia, their latest estimate for world wheat production has been raised by 0.5 to 787.8Mt (2022/23 – 806Mt). World consumption and trade, however, was increased by more, leading to a lower stock estimate by 1Mt to 318Mt (324). Wheat production in the EU, however, was reduced by 0.3Mt, which was compensated by increased imports by 0.5Mt, leading to an increase in stocks by 0.2Mt. In terms of the state of the new crop, AMIS put the crops in western Europe in an “unfavorable” state, while those in the east, including Bulgaria and Romania, remain in “favorable”.
AMIS also lifted world corn production marginally, by 1.4 to 1234.4Mt (1171), but again due to increased consumption, the estimate for ending stocks moved down 1Mt to 316Mt (287). Very interestingly, the EU is a significant part of the increase in the world harvest by 0.8Mt, but due to a decrease of 1.5Mt in imports, stocks are also decreased by 0.3Mt. AMIS confirm the end of the El Niño weather phenomenon in the summer with a 75% chance of La Niña after July. Exactly what weather conditions this transformation will lead to remains to be seen, but in general, a continuation of extreme weather and a global increase in temperatures is expected.
After a prolonged price decline of the main agricultural crops, in March AMIS reported an increase in the prices of some of them for the first time since last autumn. The largest is soybeans, whose price index on a monthly basis increased by 2.1%, although on an annual basis it was down by 24%. A minimal growth for the month with 0.5% is also reported for corn, whose change on an annual basis is also negative with 34%. The price index of wheat in March fell by 5.4%, with which on an annual basis the fall increased to 23.4%. With extremely depressed gas prices, falling by up to 40% year-on-year, the fertilizer markets also moved in different directions in March, with urea in France falling by 6%, DAP (di-ammonium phosphate) in the US increasing in price by 7%, and MAP in Brazil by 2%. Potash is almost unchanged.

America

As mentioned, AMIS raises the estimate for the Southern Hemisphere wheat crop, with 0.5Mt more for Australia and 0.4Mt more for Argentina. With increased consumption, exports from both, however, are flat, while balances in the US and Canada remain the same. Export sales of wheat from the USA last week disappointed for the old crop with only 16 kmt, against expectations of up to 400 kmt. Sales of the new crop, however, are increasing and with 262 kmt exceed expectations for 75-250 kmt.
The export sales of corn are also not impressive, with the expected 800-1400kmt of the old harvest accounting for 948kmt. The new one has only 11 km, with expectations of up to 200 km. February US exports were 5.37Mt, up 64% from a year ago and 14% higher than the average volume for the last 5. AMIS make no changes to US and Brazilian corn balances, but boost Argentina’s crop by 0.4 Mt, which with increased consumption is an export leads to a decrease in stocks. The condition of crops in central Brazil (Mato Grosso), according to AMIS, is “poor”, while in southern and almost all of Argentina it is “favorable”.
They have absolutely the same rating for soybeans, with the clarification that the harvest in Brazil has already been harvested, and despite its “bad” condition, it is still a record. The production itself in Brazil was reduced by 1 Mt, which did not prevent an increase in exports by 1.2 Mt. The harvest in Argentina is unchanged, but they have also increased by 0.5Mt exports. The balances in the USA are unchanged, and at the expense of India, world production has even increased by 0.5 to 393 Mt (375). Weekly sales from the USA disappoint with a total of only 194 kmt of old and new crop, with expectations for up to 800 kmt. The monthly export in February was 5.26Mt, falling by 2% on an annual basis, but increasing by 25% compared to the average for the last 5 years.

Black Sea Region

Without changing the harvested wheat crop in Russia in 2023, AMIS increases exports from the country by 1.5Mt, which also leads to the same decrease in stocks. Wheat balances in Ukraine and Kazakhstan are unchanged. Regarding the condition of the new crop, it is defined as “favorable” throughout European Russia, while in Ukraine the same applies only to the northern half of the country. In the south, much of which is under Russian occupation, it is defined as “unfavorable”. Corn and soybean balances in Russia and Ukraine are unchanged.
The processing of sunflower seeds in Ukraine in March was 1.49Mt, increasing by 9% monthly and by 10% year-on-year. For the first 7 months of the season, processing reached 9.3Mt, which is 11% more than the same period last year and is the largest since the beginning of the war. The increased processing levels are entirely due to the increased export of sunflower oil that has occurred since the opening of the maritime export corridor. Due to the increased demand from local processors, the export of seeds is significantly weaker than a year ago, which also contributes to the rather complicated regime for acquiring export licenses for trade with Bulgaria.
There is also good news for Ukrainian grain exports in the direction of processed railways. cargo (much cheaper and faster transport), which for the first quarter of this year reached 9.43 Mt, which is the best result since 2020. The railway passengers wagons of grain and oil crops and products in March were 3.17 Mt, which is 23% more than in February, with the daily freight rate reaching 111 kmt. 85% of cargo was for export through seaports and only 15% for export through western borders.