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consuming countries. That takes much of the demand pressure off the market as it attempts to reflect the increases in the wheat market (through the feed link between the two grains). Futures markets have maize a year ahead at a 10.6 percent premium. The USDA is hedging its bets on forward price forecasting with a wide range that allows for average US farm prices to either fall 10 percent or increase 13 percent from the current season’s median range of around US$3.35/bu. Of course, if the US does get a summer drought/heat wave or stressed EU/FSU crops do start to get serious weather issues, all bets are off. Oil meals Heavy soya supplies from all the major supplying regions should mean cheaper meal is here to stay. Certainly the current global supply/demand balance offers no justification for price rises. For the current season that ends in September, estimates have recently been raised for South American soyabean crops, the three main producers (Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay) expected to jointly produce over 182m tonnes – about 20m more than last season. That comes on top of a record 117m tonne crop in the USA (+ about 10m), which, because demand is not quite keeping up will end this season with a surplus of over 12m tonnes – seven million more than last year. The South Americans got off to a slower start with their own marketing season (which started last spring) so they too will

have more than usual to sell as the next US crop comes on line from September onward. That too will be a whopper again if the weather stays favourable. As we go to press the USDA has reaffirmed US soya bean acreage will jump this season by a hefty 6.1m acres to a new record 89.5m, largely because of farmers turning away from less remunerative maize crops. Based on the USDA’s trend line yield projection of 48 bu/acre, that suggests the coming crop will be close to 116m tonnes. With good weather, it could even exceed last year’s record one. Since soya beans supply about 70 percent of world oil meal production – and are the market leader in terms of protein and standardisation of quality – where soya meal prices go, the rest of the meal market must follow to a large extent. But even without this record soya bean supply (new crops plus stocks), the meal market is being dealt a generous hand by supply of the other leading oilseed crops. Bigger Canadian, Ukrainian, possibly European and Russian, rapeseed crops are expected to boost rapeseed meal output while Europe east and West should produce more sunflower meal too. Along with larger supplies of cottonseed, palm kernel, copra and groundnut meal; the current forecast for world meal supplies in 2017/18 is about 12m tonnes or 3.7 percent greater than this season’s. The soya glut has already pushed prices of soya meal in the EU down to a 14-month low in US dollar terms and it could get cheaper still if the US crop comes through as indicated.

WORLDWIDE CALENDAR 2017-2018 VIV MEA 2018

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JUNE 20-22, UTRECHT, THE NETHERLANDS

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JULY 6-8, ISTANBUL, TURKEY

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POULTRY Africa 2017 OCTOBER 4-5, KIGALI, RWANDA

AUG 2017 - Milling and Grain magazine  
AUG 2017 - Milling and Grain magazine