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Spring Planting Underway in Ukraine, as Soybean Prices Lower (Again)

Reuters writer Pavel Polityuk reported today that, “Most Ukrainian regions have started 2023 spring sowing, seeding a total of 293,000 hectares of various crops, the agriculture ministry said on Friday.

“Ukraine has said it expects a reduced sowing area this year because of the invasion by Russia and occupation of a significant part of the country.

A ministry statement said that farmers in 18 regions had sown 76,100 hectares of spring wheat, 168,100 hectares of barley, 35,300 hectares of peas and 14,200 hectares of oats as of March 24.

Polityuk added that, “The ministry also said the 2023 grain harvest could drop to 44.3 million tonnes from 53.1 million tonnes while oilseed output could rise to 19.2 million tonnes from 18.2 million tonnes.”

“Grain Traders Bank On Renewal of Vital Ukraine Crop Deal,” by Megan Durisin and Aine Quinn. Bloomberg News (March 8, 2023).

Meanwhile, Reuters writer Jonathan Saul reported yesterday that, “Insurers continue to cover grain shipments from Ukraine through a U.N.-backed corridor although more clarity will be required soon, a senior Lloyd’s of London official said on Thursday, after the export accord was renewed for at least 60 days.”

Insurance for ships going into the three Ukrainian ports covered by the agreement has been vital, and the war-cover policies need to renewed every seven days,” Saul said.

And a separate Reuters News article from today reported that, “Russia could recommend a temporary halt in wheat and sunflower exports after a sharp drop in global prices in recent weeks, the Vedomosti business daily said on Friday, citing two unidentified sources who attended a government meeting on the move.

“The paper said Russia’s agriculture ministry would meet industry representatives this week to discuss the idea of a temporary curb on exports.

“An agricultural powerhouse, Russia is among the world’s largest exporters of wheat, sunflower oil and seeds.”

Elsewhere, Dow Jones writer Kirk Maltais reported yesterday that, “Soybeans for May delivery fell 2.1%, to $14.21 1/4 a bushel, on the Chicago Board of Trade on Thursday, with funds liquidating their long positions in soybeans in the face of strong competition from Brazilian exports.”

Reuters writer Cassandra Garrison reported yesterday that, “CBOT May soybeans settled down 29 cents at $14.19-1/2 per bushel after falling to $14.15-1/4, the lowest on a continuous chart of the most-active contract since Nov. 18.”

Also yesterday, Reuters writer Maximilian Heath reported that, “Argentina’s Buenos Aires grains exchange maintained its 2022/2023 production forecasts for both soy and corn on Thursday, but cautioned further cuts were possible with yields on the first batches of soy coming in below expectations.

“The exchange, which has been forced by a historic drought hitting the country to repeatedly sharply cut soybean and corn harvest forecasts, held its soy estimate at 25 million tonnes and its corn outlook at 36 million tonnes.”

And Reuters columnist Karen Braun indicated today that, “November soybean futures on the Chicago Board of Trade ended lower for a thirteenth consecutive session on Thursday, the longest such streak since at least 1973 for new-crop soybeans within their expiration year.”

“Column: New-crop CBOT soybeans notch longest losing streak in over 50 years,” by Karen Braun. Reuters (March 24, 2023).

Braun noted that, “Soybeans’ recent losses are steep, but not overly so. November soybeans on Thursday settled at $12.58 per bushel, down 8.8% over the latest 13 days. New-crop beans had been down in both June 2021 and July 2022 by around 13% within a 13-session span.”

Reuters writer Naveen Thukral reported today that, “Chicago soybeans lost more ground on Friday, with prices dropping to their lowest levels in almost five months, as supplies from freshly harvested record Brazilian crop continue to pressure the market.”

Keith Good Photo

Keith Good is the Farm Policy News editor for the farmdoc project. He has previously worked for the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service, and compiled the daily News Summary from 2003-2015. He is a graduate of Purdue University (M.S.- Agricultural Economics), and Southern Illinois University School of Law.

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