Reuters quoted the National Oilseed Processors Association (NOPA) as saying that US soybean crush fell to an 11-month low in August and was below almost all of trade estimates while end-of-month soybean oil stocks dropped to a nearly 6-year low. NPOA members, which account for 95% of US soybean crushings, processed 161.5mil bushels of soybean last month, down 6.8% from 173.3mil bushels processed in July and 2.5% lower than 165.5mil bushels in August 2022. Larger-than-expected processor downtime limited the crush, denting demand at the same time US exports are struggling to compete with record large Brazilian shipments.
Bloomberg cited Solvent Extractors Association of India as saying that India’s vegetable oil imports are set to hit a record in the current year to October 2023 as the driest August in a century threatens yields of oilseed crops. Inbound shipments may surge to 16mil-16.5mil tonnes this year also because of low import duties and cheaper global prices. This compares with the previous all-time high of 15.1mil tonnes in 2016/2017 and purchases of 14.4mil tonnes last year.
The Edge Malaysia reported that China’s imports of Malaysia’s palm oil will double to 500,000 tonnes per year from the current 250,000 tonnes following a MoU between Sime Darby Oils International and Guangxi Beibu Gulf International Port Group. The MoU would also see the joint development of a refined palm oil and fats distribution/trading centre in Qinzhou, China by Sime Darby Oils and Guangxi Beibu Gulf with exports estimated at RM2.5bil.
Singapore Straits Times reported that although Russia’s second consecutive bumper wheat harvest is reinforcing its position as the No 1 exporter, it may also be easing price pressure from Ukraine war. With the supply glut depressing prices, Russia is trying to use its dominant position to put a floor under the market in a bid to set the lowest legal price for wheat. The government can enforce the price floor for refusing to grant export documents to lower-cost shipments, sources said. But the application of the floor has been inconsistent. This month, Egypt booked a massive quantity of Russian wheat in a private deal at a price below the unofficial floor in public tenders. Several days later, Egypt said that the trader would be allowed to supply grain from other origins apart from Russia.
Energyportal.eu reported that Kellogg’s has joined the growing list of consumer goods brands that have halted purchases of palm oil from Astra Agro Lestari (AAL) following a 2022 report that the group’s subsidiaries were involved in land grabbing, environmental destruction and persecution of environmental and human rights defenders. AAL has denied the allegations and launched an independent investigation. However, activists argue that the investigation places the burden of proof on local communities instead of AAL’s subsidiaries. Other major brands such as Hershey’s, PepsiCo and Nestle have suspended purchases of AAL’s palm products.
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