US Spring Wheat Harvest Slips From Year Ago Pace, Crop Ratings Decline: USDA

August 27th, 2019


Category: USDA

( New Delhi — The US spring wheat harvest for the 2019-2020 crop (June-May) reached 38% in the week to August 25, down 37 percentage points from a year ago, led by slower harvest seen in states such as Minnesota and the Dakotas, US Department of Agriculture data showed.

The estimates for harvest progress were below the five-year average of 65%, according to the USDA’s Crop Progress Report released late Monday.

Spring wheat harvest in Minnesota, which is expected to account for the second-largest spring wheat crop in the US in 2019-2020, reached 45% in the latest week, down from 91% a year ago.

The USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service in a separate report said Minnesota’s spring wheat harvest was 10 days behind normal.

The harvest in North Dakota trails sharply from last year’s levels, reaching 34%, compared with 74% a year earlier, the data showed.

Spring wheat harvested in South Dakota at 53% is well behind the 96% seen last year, NASS said in a state crop progress report.

Spring wheat crop ratings across the six key states declined further, with only 69% of the crop rated in good to excellent conditions, down from 70% a week ago.

That was also behind the year-ago ratings of 74% and market expectations of 70%.


Winter wheat harvest in the US reached 96% in the week that ended August 25. Wheat harvest was 100% complete by this time of last year.

Harvest estimates were also behind trade expectations of 97%.

Progress has been slow in states like Idaho, South Dakota and Montana, which are expected to account for 14% of the total winter wheat production in the US during the 2019-2020 marketing season.

Earlier, winter wheat crop progress struggled after key states like Kansas and Oklahoma faced difficult weather conditions in May and early-June.

While the Asian light naphtha market has seen a lack of spot demand from steam cracker operators, heavy naphtha is seeing some buying interest in the third quarter delivery cycle. S&P Global Platts refined product editors Sue Koh and Wendy Cheong examines the unusual flow of naphtha from Malaysia to China.

China’s July soybean imports from Argentina increase 328% on month amid trade tensions with US

New Delhi — Amid trade tensions with the US, China’s July soybean imports from Argentina increased 328% month on month and 269% year on year to 1.07 million mt, according to customs data.

The focus in China might turn to Argentinian soybeans, world’s third largest soybean exporter, as Brazilian inventories are expected to deplete in the coming months, sources said.

China’s soybean imports from Brazil in July totaled 6.42 million mt, up 17% month on month, the data showed.

Other major soy suppliers in July were the US (0.91 million mt) and Uruguay (0.16) million mt, according to a Chinese customs report released Sunday.

China’s soybean imports in July rose 32.5% month on month and 8% year on year to 8.64 million mt, according to data released earlier in August by the General Administration of Customs.

The rise in July imports is because the unloading of shipments was delayed in June, as Chinese traders were closely monitoring the volatile crush margins, sources said.

The crush margin is the profit derived from processing soybean into soy meal and soy oil.

Through the first seven months of 2019, soy imports in China totaled 46.9 million mt, down 11% year on year, the data showed.

Due to the ongoing US-China trade tension, Brazil and Argentina continue to sell more soybeans to China, world’s biggest purchaser, at the expense of the US, sources said.

Prior to the US-China trade spat, the US supplied 34% (33 million mt) of China’s soybean needs in 2017, which decreased to 18% (16 million mt) in 2018. Simultaneously, Brazil gained 23 percentage points of market share in 2018 and met 75% (51 million mt) of Chinese soy purchases.

Despite a series of trade talks since last December to resolve the tension, Beijing and Washington have yet to reach an agreement. Both sides continue to blame each other for failure to resolve the differences. US-China trade relations hit a new low Friday when both hit the other with fresh tariffs or additional duties, China slapped tariffs ranging between 5% and 10% on a total of 5,078 US-origin trade goods worth $75 billion, including soybeans.

According to the Chinese government, effective September 1, total import duties on US-origin yellow soybean will be 30%, while a 35% import tax will be imposed on other soy varieties, such as green soybean, soybean seed and other soybean.

As the trade tension continues unabated, China looks to South American beans.

Soybeans are one of the major cash crops in Argentina, the world’s third-largest soybean exporter, with an average shipment of 5 million-6 million mt in a marketing year – October 1 to September 30.

However, there are reports of Argentinian soybean trade slowing down due to increased speculation among traders as political uncertainty continues in Argentina, sources said.

Soybean farmers and traders may be holding onto inventory in expectation of a further Peso depreciation, according to sources, ahead of presidential elections in October.

Increased demand for domestic soybean crushing in Argentina might also put additional pressure on exports to China, sources said. Argentina’s soybean crushing industry is one of the world’s biggest as the country is a major soymeal and soybean oil exporter.

Domestic crushing in Argentina is expected to rise to 8.73 million mt, up 215% year on year, in the 2018-19 marketing year, according to the latest US Department of Agriculture report.

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