WORLD: Steady prices in Chicago
From 03/04 to 13/04, prices for the May maturity in Chicago remained relatively stable. Indeed, although ethanol production is still in great difficulty with a 36% fall in March, the dynamics of exports (1.8 Mt sold for export last week) and the production reduction agreement of the oil-producing countries (OPEC+) supported prices. The USDA’s monthly report, which was rather bearish, did not have too much impact on world prices. In the United States, compared to March, maize consumption was revised downwards by 5.2 Mt. The increase in animal feed (+3.8 Mt) does not compensate for the sharp drop in ethanol (-9.5 Mt). As a result, carryover stocks for the 2019/20 crop year gained 5.1 Mt.
At the global level, this same report sees world production slightly up by 1 Mt to 1,113 Mt, consumption down by 4.7 Mt to 1,131 Mt and stocks up by 5.7 Mt to 303 Mt, compared to March. In the United States, as of 12/04, 3% of maize had been sown compared to an average of 4% over the last 5 crop years. Planting in the south of the country is already well advanced but planting in the Corn Belt is almost at a standstill due to soil moisture in some areas and due to a cold spell in particular this week.
In Argentina, as of 08/04, 26 % of maize had been harvested compared to an average of 19 % over the last five crop years. Growing conditions are relatively stable with 33% of maize in “good to excellent” conditions, 1 point higher than the previous week. The level of the Paraná River is historically low, which is disrupting exports. In Brazil, the monthly CONAB report reviews maize production upwards. It is up by 1.8 Mt compared to April and is now estimated at 101.8 Mt. This is explained by a slight increase in the yield projection for safrinha maize and, above all, by an upward revision of the safrinha maize acreage. The acreage gained 310 Kha and is now estimated at 13.5 Mha. This is due to very attractive prices for Brazilian producers.
EUROPE: Rainfall expected in the Black Sea
From 03/04 to 09/04, the June maturity on Euronext fell by €0.75 /t to €164.75 /t.
Romania is temporarily suspending its exports of cereals, including maize, to third countriesfor the duration of the state of health emergency. The USDA’s monthly report revised Russian exports downwards by 0.5 Mt to an estimated 4.2 Mt. Ukrainian production was revised up by 100 Kt to 38.9 Mt, which would be a new production record. After an extremely dynamic start to the crop year, Ukrainian exports have begun to slow down. However, they should remain at around 3 Mt/month in the coming months. Agritel estimates the Ukrainian maize acreage for 2020/21 at 5.35 Mha, an increase of 7% compared to the previous crop year. Rains are expected this week throughout the Black Sea basin, which should benefit maize sowings and existing crops.