Food (and other) inflation: a globally growing concern.
Earlier this month, in the U.S., the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) recommended reducing biofuel blending mandates below the 2020 levels. But nothing has been confirmed yet. Last Monday, for its next auction, Brazil again chose to reduce the minimum biofuel content in diesel to 10% from 13% previously. What will happen in Indonesia in 2022 remains unsure but everywhere authorities are more inclined to lower biofuel goals when they realize its effect on edible oil stocks and prices. But sudden changes in policies also make demand unpredictable and contribute to volatility!
Happy new season!
The overall edible oils production outlook remains poor and supplies are likely to tighten further. Leaving markets tight well into next year. Supply uncertainty kept prices well supported. Newly added, are concerns over deteriorating oilseed production prospects in India.
But there is hope that, in the new Sept. 21 – Aug. 22 season, global production might exceed consumption. And that, in the coming months, generally, prices might trend lower. For this to happen we are counting on a record Brazilian soybean crop of 144 Mmt, of which planting starts mid-September, to be harvested around march. And we need good weather. And we need pressure coming from the (delayed rape, sun, soy) harvests.
At the time of writing, we haven’t yet seen the results of the USDA report on Friday nor the new palm oil stocks report. All eyes will be on these numbers. We’ll see.
Unpredictable Chinese demand and U.S. biodiesel mandates remain the key market drivers. Hurricane Ida damaged export facilities and is blocking goods which also weighs on prices. With the U.S. harvest upcoming, market attention will soon turn to South America (with focus on Brazil) where weather concerns (La Nina) remain and some regions show soil moisture deficits.
Speculation on demand from India supported prices. More important will be the evolution of stocks in Malaysia which are expected to having recovered due to higher productions. We will see on Friday how the market digests these new numbers.
Prices of olive oil have been on the rise because of good demand but also on concerns that dry conditions in the olive growing areas of Spain, Italy and Greece, good for 60% of global production, could curb production.
On the bright side: ABARES (Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences) estimated the coming Australian rapeseed crop at a new record level slightly over 5 Mmt! Thanks to the farmer’s response to high prices (bigger area) and good weather. But rapeseed is likely to remain very tight this season.
In Canada weather forecasts are now showing rain, which is no longer welcome with the harvest coming. The hot and dry conditions led to a 30 - 40% lower than anticipated crop.
In Rotterdam crude rapeseed oil prices broke records as strong demand and a tight international oilseeds market supported EU rapeseed oil prices. Good EU demand for food and non-food oil also supported price increases. This season, the EU-27 demand for food is estimated at 2.4 Mmt vs a non-food demand of 6.7 Mmt.