Safrinha Corn Crop Looks to Be Off to a Good Start:
Brazil’s crop supply agency (Conab), and the USDA will publish their latest production forecasts for Brazil’s second-corn (safrinha) crop Thursday. Brazil’s safrinha corn crop is currently pegged at 58.6mn tonnes—a roughly 44% jump from the previous season. Improved planting conditions and expanded acreage will boost initial prospects this season. With USDA-FAS expecting the safrinha crop to be fully planted by mid-March, we also will be closely monitoring vegetation indices for initial green-up after emergence.
A Surging Russian Ruble Shakes Up Trade Flows:
We are keeping an eye on whether the performance of the Russian ruble continues to diverge with oil prices. A stronger ruble has reduced the competitiveness of Black Sea wheat exports. That has led SovEcon to reduce its export outlook for Russian wheat this season from 30.0 million metric tons to 26.6 million metric tons. As a result, US wheat exporters are temporarily back in the driver’s seat. On the other hand, Russians should see their purchasing power improve for agricultural inputs, machinery, and food products.
Note: Treemap reflects select food-related imports rather than all imports to Russia in 2013.
Yuma Is Looming Over Your Romaine:
Distributors are expecting supply issues with romaine/mixed lettuce, broccoli, and cauliflower over the next month, owing to a warmer growing season. During the past several weeks, temperatures have been averaging over 16 degrees Celsius in Yuma, Arizona—the lettuce capital of the United States. It is important to note that studies have shown “increasing the average temperature from 16.3C to 21.1C increased early season growth and reduced crop duration. This effectively reduced total yield by 17%.” We will be closely monitoring not only daily temperature values in Gro, but market reports in the coming week.