WHEAT

- Mar 28 - Algeria's OAIC seeks at least 50,000 MT of optional-origin durum wheat for May 16-31 shipment

- US wheat export inspections for week, ending Mar 23, recorded 541,799 MT, in line with market expectations (450-650 TMT). Inspections for 2016/17 are running 28.9% ahead of year-ago

- Egypt's GASC plans to continue importing wheat during the local wheat-buying season aiming to increase its strategic reserves. But private sector imports would be banned from April 15 to July 15, due to government effort to prevent fraud in local procurement

- Turkey excluded Russia from the list of countries free of duties for imports of agricultural products starting March 15. Now the import customs duty on Russian wheat and corn is 130%, rice - 45%, sunflower meal - 13.5%, pulses - 9.7%. The import duty for Russian sunflower oil is about 36%, while a minimum customs value of 1,500 $/mt is applied (current price of sunflower oil is about 800 $/mt)

- MARS forecasts that average soft wheat yield in the EU would rise 7.7% this year to 6.02 mt/ha from 5.59 mt/ha in 2016 and 3% above the five-year mean

- Ukraine's Ag Min said that above 99% winter crops were emerged; about 85% of emerged crops are in good and satisfactory condition

- Russian Ag Min estimated spring planting 1.4% (or 745,400 ha) done as of Mar 27 vs. 836,000 ha a year ago. Of the total Russian farmers planted 532,900 ha of spring grain or 1.7% of planned area (613,400 ha a year ago)

- USDA attaché forecasts Ecuador’s wheat imports in 2017/18 at a record 1.005 MMT, up 30,000 MT or 3% compared to the 2016/17 estimate of 975,000 MT

CORN

- US corn export inspections for week, ending Mar 23, reported 1,556,091 MT, topped market forecasts (1.2-1.5 MMT). Inspections for 2016/17 are running 71.6% ahead of year-ago

- Armyworms have started spreading across Uganda. The pests have appeared in about 20 districts in mostly central and western areas and attacked about 40% of the maize in some zones

- SAGIS estimated South Africa's corn stocks as of February 28 were at 1.915 MMT vs. 2.477 MMT a month ago and 2.862 MMT a year ago

- SAGIS estimated S. Africa's May-Feb 2016/17 corn exports at 828,240 MT vs. 725,086 MT a year ago

- SAGIS estimated S. Africa's May-Feb 2016/17 corn imports at 1.994 MMT vs. 1.257 MMT a year ago

- MARS forecasts that average corn yield in the 28-country bloc would decrease 0.9% to 7.12 mt/ha from 7.19 mt/ha in 2016 but this would be 3.2% above the five-year average (6.9 mt/ha)

- MARS expects EU’s barley (winter and spring) yield at 4.89 mt/ha, up 0.4% from 2016 (4.87 mt/ha) and 1.4% above the five-year average (4.82 mt/ha)

- USDA attaché forecasts Ecuador’s corn production in 2017/18 at 820,000 MT, down from the 2016/17 revised estimate of 960,000 MT. Corn imports are forecast to increase in 2017/18 to 275,000 MT from 150,000 MT in 2016/17

SOYBEAN

- Mar 24 - South Korea’s KFA (Korea Feed Association) bought 55,000 MT of South American soymeal at 358.95 $/mt c&f plus 1.25 $/mt surcharge for additional port unloading for June 11-30 shipment with Aug 10 arrival

- US soybean export inspections for week, ending Mar 23, reported 555,012 MT, within market expectations that ranged from 500 to 700 TMT. Inspections for the 2016/17 marketing year are running 11.4% ahead of year-ago

- AgRural estimates 68% of Brazilian soybean crop has been harvested as of Mar 23 (62% a week ago) vs. 67% a year ago. Yields has exceeded expectations in practically all states

- Surveyor Intertek Testing Services estimated Malaysia's March 1-25 palm oil exports at 907,078 MT, down 1.2% from a month ago

- Surveyor SGS estimated Malaysia's March 1-25 palm oil exports at 902,628 MT, down 1.5% from a month ago

- MARS expects EU’s rapeseed yield at 3.29 mt/ha, up 6.8% from 2016 (3.08 mt/ha) and 1.1% above the five-year average (3.26 mt/ha)

- MARS forecasts the EU's 2016 average sunflower yield at 2.1 mt/ha. This is up 3.3% from 2016 (2.03 mt/ha) and 8.4% above the five-year mean (1.94 mt/ha)

- Russian Ag Min expects sunseed sowing this year at 7.141 million ha, down 4.8% from 7.499 million ha in 2016

- Russian Ag Min forecasts a growth of soybeans plantings this year to 2.264 million ha from 2.185 million ha in 2016

- Russia exported about 859,400 MT of sunflower oil between Sept 1-Mar 19, 2016/17, a 44%-increase from a year-ago

- Russia exported about 137,100 MT of sunseed between Sept 1-Mar 19, 2016/17, in 5.2 times up from a year-ago

- Russia exported about 224,000 MT of soybeans between Sept 1-Mar 19, 2016/17, down 30.7% from a year-ago

- China's February sunflower oil imports down 27.7% on year to 47,038 MT (main suppliers: Ukraine (38,795 MT) and Russia (6,690 MT)). China's Jan-Feb sunflower oil imports fell 34.4% on year to 80,867 MT