At this time of year, market attention is firmly on Brazil’s production—especially this year, as the projected corn crop, currently pegged at around 129 MMT, could be down 6 percent or more from last year.  

U.S. corn exports are shipping briskly compared to last year. Total commitments seem higher than expected, given USDA’s forecast of 2.1 billion bushels, but that doesn’t necessarily mean another increase to exports in the January WASDE. Mexico bought early and often this fall, and we should see a sharp decline in purchases from our top trade partner in January. 

NOPA processors crushed more soybeans than analysts estimated. One NOPA plant will no longer report crushing while a new member has joined the already existing NOPA processors. Brazil’s soybean exports picked up compared to last year. NOPA oil stocks increased in November after a lengthy period of decline. Crude canola oil supply also declined in October. 

After consolidating in mid-December, sugar futures continued their downward trend over the last week. Mar-24 #11, #5, and #16 contracts all approached or are nearing nine-month lows, defying technical factors and instead responding to mixed news for energy markets and uncertain economic outlooks for key countries and regions in 2024. 

Crude oil futures teased but failed to set fresh December highs this week. Uncertainty has mounted for India’s sugar and ethanol supply: the Modi administration is struggling to balance food security and inflation policies and prior biofuel targets, setting and then rapidly altering quotas and bans for the use of juice, molasses, and IP sugar as ethanol feedstocks. 

ICCO (International Cocoa Organization) estimates that global demand will be weaker. Cocoa arrivals from Ivory and Ghana have dropped from last season.  

Wheat futures are trading sideways below their mid-December one-month highs. Rains have fallen and are still forecast for some important wheat regions, such as the central and southern Plains, but drought is still reported for areas that cover 25 percent of spring wheat output and 32 percent of winter wheat output. Planting was on trend and wrapped up at the end of November, and emergence was ahead of last year and the five-year average. Acreage in good to excellent condition was then reported at 50 percent vs. 48 percent a year prior. 

U.S. export demand is showing some promising signs, prompting an increase of 25 million bushels in the 2023/24 export forecast, but purchases from China may be nearly done for now. 

Stocks of ULSD diesel are having a hard time recovering and that is keeping prices elevated along with demand for soybean oil as a feedstock in biofuel blending.

This report summarizes a small sampling of the information available on our IQ Ingredient Intelligence platform. Further insights, statistics, analysis, and pricing information for these commodities and others are available to IQ subscribers.   

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Posted by: Information Services
Our Information Services team assists our clients with understanding commodity and ingredient market dynamics. Using our extensive database of intelligence, we also produce regular commodity and commercial market publications covering supply and demand fundamentals, news alerts on events that shape the markets, and resource guides to give you a complete picture of the industries we monitor.