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AGRICULTURE WEATHER WATCH: Chances of El Nino in 2023 seen at 70%, may impact crop output

  • Author
  • Sampad Nandy    Samyak Pandey    Aditya Kondalamahanty
  • Editor
  • Aastha Agnihotri
  • Commodity
  • Agriculture

Australia's Bureau of Meteorology has increased the probability of an El Nino forming in 2023 to 70% from 50% in the previous forecast and updated the outlook to an El Nino alert, the bureau said.

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"This is roughly three times the normal chance of an El Nino," the bureau said in its update June 6. "An El Nino alert is not a guarantee that El Nino will occur, it is an indication that most of the typical precursors of an event are in place."

An El Nino event increases the tendency for wetter conditions in East Africa and East Asia and drier conditions, including drought, in West Africa, southern Africa, India, Southeast Asia, Australia, northern areas of South America and Central America.

The likely formation of an El Nino is likely to impact production prospects of key crops, like wheat, corn and oilseeds, and might alter trade routes.


** Lower than normal showers are expected over the next two weeks across Australia, the BOM said. However, some parts of Western Australia and New South Wales are likely to receive 25 mm-50 mm rainfall during the next two weeks.

** Most parts of Western Australia, South Australia, Queensland, and New South Wales are likely to see extremely warm weather, the BOM said.

** Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics has forecast Australia's marketing year 2023-24 (October-September) wheat harvest around 26.2 million mt, down 34% on the year, which is expected to weigh on exports.

** Platts, part of S&P Global Commodity Insights, assessed FOB Australian Premium White wheat at $288/mt June 7, up 1% from two weeks ago.

Malaysia and Indonesia

** Malaysia is expected to experience "weak" El Nino starting June, the country's minister for Natural Resources, Environment and Climate Change, Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad said June 7.

** A strong El Nino could reduce palm oil production in 2024 by about 20% as seen during the last El Nino year in 2016, the government regulator Malaysian Palm Oil Board had said last month.

** In Indonesia, the world's largest vegetable oil exporter, drier weather caused by the El Nino phenomenon could threaten harvests and result in forest fires, the head of its weather agency said June 6.

** El Nino is likely to affect most of Indonesia and cause drought on the main islands of Indonesia, decreasing the availability of ground water for irrigation and agriculture, Dwikorita Karnawati, head of BMKG, Indonesia's meteorology, climate and geophysics agency.

** Platts assessed Crude Palm Oil FOB Indonesia fell to $775/mt June 7, down 9.1% from two weeks ago, S&P Global data showed.


** Unseasonal rains lash over China's key winter growing region. This also coincided with harvest window, hurting crop yield and quality.

** China could lose millions of metric tons of wheat following the untimely rains, and a higher proportion of the crop could end up as feed wheat due to preharvest germination, local traders said.

** China's Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs said June 5 that 9.1 million hectares of wheat acreage had been harvested, amounting to 45.1% of the nation's total winter wheat acreage, down from 11.1 million hectares at the same time a year earlier.


** Most of Europe, especially France and Germany, are expected to witness below-normal showers over the next two weeks, according to the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts on June 6.

** Temperatures are likely to rise during the next two weeks, the center said.

** The European commission has forecast in its April update that EU cereal production in MY 2023-24 (July-June) would be 287.1 million mt, against 267.9 million mt in the previous year.

** Platts assessed EU wheat with 11% protein content CPT Rouen at $241/mt June 7, largely steady from two weeks ago, according to S&P Global data.


** Dry weather remained entrenched across much of the Midwest and Northeast, leading to topsoil moisture shortages and rapidly developing drought, the US Department of Agriculture said in a weekly Weather and Crop Bulletin June 6.

** 96% of the nation's corn crop was planted by June 4, 3 percentage points ahead of last year.

** 64% of the nation's corn was rated in good-to-excellent condition, 5 percentage points below the previous week.

** 74% of the nation's soybean acreage emerged by June 4, 20 percentage points ahead of last year.

** 82% of the nation's winter wheat crop was headed, 4 percentage points ahead of the previous year.

** Platts, part of S&P Global, assessed US corn CIF New Orleans at $264.65/mt June 7, up 2.9% from two weeks ago.


** Near complete dryness prevailed throughout the country's main agricultural districts, with exception for southeastern Buenos Aires. Weekly temperatures averaging above normal favored maturing late planted summer crops.

** According to the government of Argentina, corn was 43% harvested as of June 1 versus 53% last year, while soybeans were 86% harvested against 95% last year. Wheat was 10% planted, 4 percentage points behind last year's pace.

** Platts assessed Corn FOB at $220.18/mt June 7, down 2.4% from two weeks ago, S&P Global data showed.


** Showers benefited wheat and late-developing corn in key southern production areas. Rainfall totaled 10-50 mm in Mato Grosso do Sul and Parana, extending eastward into Sao Paulo and westward into Paraguay.

**Based on government reports, corn was 1% harvested in Mato Grosso as of June 2, lagging 5 percentage points against last year.

** Platts assessed Brazil corn FOB Santos at $214.16/mt June 7, up 3.4% from two weeks ago, S&P Global data showed.