Auto body shopin Isle of Palms, SC

Troop-Films-LLC-phone-number(843) 996-4995 Free Estimates

The Lowcountry Paint Body & Restoration Difference

Auto Body Shop Isle Of Palms, SC

One of the unfortunate realities about driving and owning cars in the Lowcountry is that you will probably have to deal with some form of body damage at some point. Whether your driver-side door gets dinged in a parking lot or you back into a light pole, accidents happen. The good news? Lowcountry Paint Body & Restoration is here to help with all of your body shop needs.

Unlike many fly-by-night collision repair companies, our auto body shop in cityname, state has served hardworking people for years. We make it a point to only employ the most experienced, highly-trained auto body technicians available, so you have peace of mind that we'll get the job done right. In fact, our mechanics have more than 60 years of combined experience. There is no collision repair job that we haven't handled - from minor bumps and scratches to complex repairs stemming from multi-car accidents.

At Lowcountry Paint Body & Restoration, we are committed to providing our customers with the highest-quality body shop services at the most reasonable prices in town. We believe that everyone deserves to have their car or truck repaired when they need it the most. After all, our vehicles are crucial to daily life. We need them to live, work and play. We use them for just about every activity we enjoy, from taking the kids to soccer practice to hitting the gym on a Saturday morning. That's why we work with just about every car insurance company out there to ensure that our loyal customers have access to the best collision repair in South Carolina.

Customers choose Lowcountry Paint Body & Restoration because they know we strive to exceed their expectations. At the end of the day, we want to do right by our customers with reliable body shop services, high-quality repair work, and helpful customer service. But that's not all. Our clients enjoy peace of mind with their collision repairs because we:

auto body shop Services

SERVICE AREAS

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Provide Free Estimates: Drop by our shop or call our office to learn more about our free estimates. Once we understand the scope of your restoration needs, our team will get to work.

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Offer 100% Guarantee: We have become a staple in our community because we guarantee our work 100%. If we missed the mark, made a mistake, or you're unhappy with our service, let us know. We'll make it right.

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Specialize in Full-Service Repairs: Our collision mechanics make repairs on all vehicle makes and models, so you don't have to worry about whether we can service your car. As a full-service collision repair company in South Carolina, we help every step of the way, from the moment we meet until you leave our parking lot.

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Love to Paint: Yes, you read that right. At Lowcountry Paint Body & Restoration, we have a team of incredibly talented car painters to supplement our collision services. We offer various auto painting services, from minor paint jobs to full-scale custom paint projects.

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Accept Car Insurance: As daily drivers and locals in South Carolina, we know that collision repairs can be pricey. Despite the cost, they are necessary for daily life. That's why we're happy to work with car insurance companies, so you can go where you need to go without stressing about safety.

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Work Hard for You: At Lowcountry Paint Body & Restoration, we try to keep it simple. You can rest easy knowing that there's no fine print, sleazy sales tactics, or lazy mechanics to worry about. When you pull into our parking lot, know that we prioritize good old-fashioned hard work and reliable service. No if's, and's, or but's.

Your First Choice for Collision
Repair in Isle of Palms, SC

According to recent statistics from the South Carolina Department of Public Safety, a new traffic accident happens every 3.7 minutes in South Carolina. That's a lot of car accidents in a short amount of time. Being involved in a car accident can be a traumatic experience, filled with complex insurance claims and complicated auto body repairs. At Lowcountry Paint Body & Restoration, we know how stressful it can be to have your care restored to its pre-collision beauty. That's why we offer comprehensive, streamlined auto body services and unsurpassed car restoration quality.

With more than 60 years of combined body shop experience in South Carolina, our repair techs leave no stones unturned and never take shortcuts when repairing your vehicle. We're proud to say we only use the latest diagnostic techniques, equipment, and parts to get the job done right. That way, you can get back on the road quickly and safely.

Auto Body Shop Isle Of Palms, SC

A few of our most common auto body shop services include but are not limited to:

Frame Repair in Isle of Palms

Studies show that about 50 percent of vehicles suffer some kind of frame damage in a car collision. Frame damage can occur easily, even in common situations involving minor fender benders. Often, frame damage is difficult to see and can go unnoticed by insurance adjusters. The unfortunate truth is that even minor frame damage can put you, your family, your friends, and your car at risk when driving. When it goes unnoticed, it can often spell disaster for everyday drivers who might think their car is fine to drive.

When your car's frame is bent, your alignment is usually off, too, causing you to swerve and veer while driving. At best, this scenario results in unnecessary wear on your tires and, at worst, results in a car wreck. The bottom line? You need to get your car's frame inspected by a team of professional collision repair experts, even if you've only been involved in a minor accident.

Auto Body Shop Isle Of Palms, SC

At Lowcountry Paint Body & Restoration, we take a comprehensive approach to frame repair and alignment. Our highly-trained frame repair technicians use a multi-point process to diagnose and correct your frame problems by:

  • Inspecting your car and its frame visually to discover any denting or bending.
  • Our alignment machine uses hydraulics and torque to strengthen your car's frame back to factory specs.
  • If our technicians spot damage, we'll begin the restoration process by placing your car on our frame alignment machine.
  • Once your frame is fixed, we'll answer any of your questions and will send you back on the road with a safe-to-drive vehicle.

Your First Choice for Collision Repair in Isle of Palms, SC

Chips and cracks are bad news for your car's windshield and don't just look bad - they can do serious damage when left unrepaired. Cracks and chips can quickly turn from a minor inconvenience to a safety hazard by impairing your vision. If your windshield crack is bad enough, you might even get pulled over by a police officer. Driving your vehicle with a large crack or even with an object embedded in it is a bad idea, but Lowcountry Paint Body & Restoration is here to help.

Our windshield repair technicians have years of experience repairing car windows and windshields for many types of automobile glass, including side and rear windows. If you have been involved in a collision and need new glass, we can help facilitate that process and install a new windshield without you ever lifting a finger. New glass is usually needed with serious car wrecks, and it's always best to trust a professional auto body shop in cityname, state to get the job done. Our team uses the most modern glass and adhesives on the market, so you know your windshield and windows are high-quality and ready for the road.

Auto Body Shop Isle Of Palms, SC

Whether you have a chipped windshield or need all-new glass for your car, we're here to serve you.
Out car windshield and glass repairs include:

Auto Body Shop Isle Of Palms, SC

Door Glass

Auto Body Shop Isle Of Palms, SC

Vent Glass

Auto Body Shop Isle Of Palms, SC

Quarter Glass

Auto Body Shop Isle Of Palms, SC

Back Glass

Auto Body Shop Isle Of Palms, SC

Windshield Glass

Paintless Dent Removal in Isle of Palms

Any kind of item or stray piece of debris can dent your car. If you've been driving for at least a few years, chances are you've parked at a grocery store and, after shopping, returned to your car to see a big, unsightly dent. Whether they're due to inclement weather or rocks on the highway, dents cause noticeable damage that only gets worse with time. One of the most common dent repair solutions is paintless dent removal - a process that removes dents in your vehicle without removing any paint.

Paintless dent removal is great because it is not invasive and is a very efficient, cost-effective way to fix car dents before they get even worse. There are no fillers or sanding involved, making this option one of the quickest ways to remove dents. At Lowcountry Paint Body & Restoration, our dent removal technicians use several tools to gently massage dents out of your car. When we're done, we'll smooth everything back into place, leaving your car looking like new.

To make matters even better, most paintless dent removal is supported by car insurance agencies, meaning you may not pay a cent out of pocket for our dent removal services.

Auto Body Shop Isle Of Palms, SC

Classic Car Restoration
in Isle of Palms

At Lowcountry Paint Body & Restoration, we are very passionate about classic car restoration and offer a wide range of restoration services in Isle of Palms. We understand that no two classic car restoration projects are the same, which is why we offer a wide variety of services. We're talking mechanical upgrades, partial restorations, and full car restoration projects. If you have a repair, upgrade, or restoration plan in mind, chances are we can help you achieve your goals.

After we perform an initial inspection and provide you with a detailed estimate on the scope of work needed to restore your car, our seasoned technicians will get to work on your project.

Auto Body Shop Isle Of Palms, SC

Our full-scale classic car restoration process includes:

Auto Body Work Overhaul

Painting

Mechanical Repairs

Repair Interior

Custom Auto Body Painting in Isle of Palms

When was the last time you got compliments on your car's paint? If you loved your car's paint when it was brand new but hate what it looks like now, Lowcountry Paint Body & Restoration can help you fall back in love with your vehicle. Whether your current paint job looks old and faded or you're craving a new color to show off, our paint technicians can deliver what you're looking for.

Between our advanced painting tools and uber-talented vehicle painting experts, our team can transform your car's aesthetic appeal, no matter the make and model. We can even fix dings and scratches in your paint while we're at it, so your car is shiny, smooth, and ready to turn heads.

We offer various auto painting services, from minor paint jobs to full-scale custom projects. We're happy to work with budgets of all sizes and can accommodate all of your painting needs, whether you want to paint a daily driver or a show car.

We recommend you call our office today, so we can get to know you a little better and understand what kind of paint job your car needs. We're happy to chat about cars and your paint job, even if you're just inquiring. After all, we're more than the best body shop in Isle of Palms - we're enthusiasts, too.

Auto Body Shop Isle Of Palms, SC

Your First Choice for Collison
Repair in Isle of Palms, SC

If you're on the hunt for the highest-quality auto body repair services in South Carolina, backed by decades of experience, look no further than Lowcountry Paint Body & Restoration. We put our customer's needs first and strive to exceed expectations with every service we offer - all at a price you can afford. Swing by our body shop or contact our office today to discover why we're the Lowcountry's first choice in collision repair.

Troop-Films-LLC-phone-number(843) 996-4995

Free Estimates

Latest News in Isle of Palms, SC

Isle Of Palms Picks Scott Pierce To Fill Final Council Seat

By Brian Sherman for The Island Eye NewsThe residents of Isle of Palms have chosen Scott Pierce to fill a seat on the IOP City Council that has been vacant since early this year. Voters turned out in large numbers for a special election on April 5 and handed Pierce a 531 to 419 decision over Gary Nestler. Phillip Pounds vacated the seat in January when he was sworn in as mayor after serving two years of the fouryear Council term he won in November 2019. Since the first of the year, the Council has been doing business with eight member...

By Brian Sherman for The Island Eye News

The residents of Isle of Palms have chosen Scott Pierce to fill a seat on the IOP City Council that has been vacant since early this year. Voters turned out in large numbers for a special election on April 5 and handed Pierce a 531 to 419 decision over Gary Nestler. Phillip Pounds vacated the seat in January when he was sworn in as mayor after serving two years of the fouryear Council term he won in November 2019. Since the first of the year, the Council has been doing business with eight members instead of nine. According to Isaac Cramer, executive director of the Charleston County Board of Elections & Voter Registration, approximately 19% of eligible IOP voters turned out for the special election. In addition to the votes for Pierce and Nestler, there were three write-ins. IOP City Administrator Desiree Fragoso said the decision as to when the new Council member would be sworn in would be up to Pierce, who pointed out that he probably would take office on April 19.

Pierce said he’s ready to go to work because “we have a short window of opportunity to address all the issues associated with accelerating growth.” “I look forward to working with our mayor, Council, neighboring communities and state legislators and agencies to identify and implement sustainable, funded solutions for all to enjoy the beaches while protecting our family neighborhoods and safety,” Pierce added. Pierce said, however, that his hopes and aspirations for what he aims to accomplish as a Council member hinge on three pillars: “Moving to a proactive government model, working on self-governance and some semblance of home rule and relationships all the way from Mount Pleasant to Columbia.” “These three pillars need to be in place, then we can address the other issues,” Pierce said. Pierce, who characterized himself as a planner and an implementer, said he hopes to focus on the future and “do the best we can to retain what’s been here for years.” “If we don’t do something about the protection of our neighborhoods, we’re not going to have that ability years from now,” Pierce said. “The pressures from outside are just going to continue to increase.” Nestler, in his first bid for public office, said he didn’t consider the outcome of the election to be a loss. “I thought we raised the issues that were important to the people of Isle of Palms,” Nestler commented. “We got people out to vote, and that was very encouraging that people took the time out of their schedules to vote for the things that were important to them.”

“Now it’s up to the citizens to continue to be involved in our community,” Nestler added. “That’s what it’s all about. It’s not about me. It’s part of our responsibility to continue to give back to the community.”

Spend a day in Charleston on a $20 vs. $200 budget

Photo by @flashlightpowderWhether you’re ballin’ on a budget or just balling out, there are plenty of options around town to enjoy a quintessential Charleston day — all within various price ranges.Well folks, here’s how we’d spend a day in the Holy City on a $20 vs. $200 budget.$20 budgetFirst stop of the day? Coffee. Swing by ...

Photo by @flashlightpowder

Whether you’re ballinon a budget or just balling out, there are plenty of options around town to enjoy a quintessential Charleston day — all within various price ranges.

Well folks, here’s how we’d spend a day in the Holy City on a $20 vs. $200 budget.

$20 budget

First stop of the day? Coffee. Swing by Brown Fox Coffee at 307 Simmons St. for a 16 oz. drip for $2.60. Heads up: This is the cost of the joe + your milk of choice, but any flavored syrup can be added for 40 cents.

Head across the street to Vintage Coffee Cafe at 219 Simmons St. for an order of avocado toast served with tomatoonion marmalade + olive oil. The cost of this masterpiece is $6.

The weather is most likely sunny, so drive downtown to stroll through Waterfront Park, check out the iconic Pineapple Fountain + enjoy panoramic views of the Charleston Harbor while getting our steps in for the day. Cost = free.

Just a short walk away from Waterfront Park is Rainbow Row. Soak in the sun and appreciate the vibrant colors at 83107 E. Bay St. for free.

By this point, you may be pretty hungry. Walk over to Benny Ravello’s at 520 King St. for a massive slice of cheese pizza at $5.

To wrap up the day, swing by happy hour at The Cocktail Club for a $6 glass of wine on the outdoor patio at 479 King St. — above The Macintosh.

Total: $19.60

$200 budget

Start your day with some movement at The Works. Choose from a sculpt vinyasa, HIIT, yoga flow, or strength training class for a $27 drop-in fee. The studio has two locations: Mount Pleasant at 1421 Shucker Cir. + downtown at 465 Meeting St.

Brunch + coffee are next on the agenda. Roll out to The Darling Oyster Bar at 513 King St. for $5 hushpuppies, the $23 Seafood Frittata + an oyster shooter for $6. In case you didn’t know, The Darling serves a mean Bloody Mary, so it’s definitely on our list. Expect to spend $25 for the cocktail.

If you’re big beach people like we are, the next stop is Sullivans Island. But first: Frosé. Enjoy a 16 oz. frosé for $11 from The Co-Op + snap a few photos in front of the infamous neon sign. Find the sign at the Sullivans Island location 2019 Middle St. — or swing by the business’ Isle of Palms + downtown locations.

Grab a few friends and spend some time listening to the ocean + enjoying the weather beachside at no cost. If you plan to be out there for a while, we’d recommend grabbing a Cali Turkey from The Co-Op at $10.50.

Catch the sunset at a RiverDogs game with an $8 ticket. Pro tip: Read up on the history of the team before you go. Find the team at The Joe: 360 Fishburne St.

Afterward, swing by the Island Cabana Bar at 50 Immigration St. to split a $15 bucket of beer with some friends. The drinks are good + the views are even better.

Round out the evening at Le Farfalle15 Beaufain St. — starting with an order of the octopus carpaccio for $18 before the main course: Squid ink spaghetti for $26. You’ll want to leave room for some chocolate cake dessert, which costs $10.

For those who like an evening stroll: Enjoy a brisk walk around Colonial Lake to wrap up the evening. Cost = free.

Total: $184.50

And there you have it: A Charleston day through the lens of two separate budgets. Let us know how you’d spend your $20 or $200 day in the Holy City.

*And just so y’all know: These prices do not include the cost of gratuity. For the sake of this piece, we only included the price of the items themselves, but prices would be higher with tip + tax. Be sure to factor that in.

Here's the most expensive suburb in the world

A California town that had a population of just 8,638 in 2020 is the clear-cut most expensive suburb in the entire United States, according to data from Redfin and Zillow in a recent Travel and Leisure list.The median sale price of a home in Montecito, California was a whopping $5.6 million. It's located just 10 minutes away from Sant...

A California town that had a population of just 8,638 in 2020 is the clear-cut most expensive suburb in the entire United States, according to data from Redfin and Zillow in a recent Travel and Leisure list.

The median sale price of a home in Montecito, California was a whopping $5.6 million. It's located just 10 minutes away from Santa Barbara on the coast, and is about a two hour drive north of Los Angeles.

The median price in Montecito rose by 0.2% since March 2021, as the COVID-19 pandemic and rising inflation have had a major impact on the housing market.

According to Mortgage News Daily, the average rate on a 30-year fixed mortgage began the year at 3.29%, but has since increased to 5.5% as of May 2, per CNBC.

Daryl Fairweather, Redfin's chief economist, explained how there has been some signaling that the housing market could be slowing down with less people searching for homes this year compared to last year.

"In addition, we are seeing a fast-growing amount of sellers dropping their prices. These are all things that show a cooldown in the market after more than 18 months of a housing frenzy," Fairweather said. "There's still way more demand for housing than supply, but these early signs of a slowdown indicate that sellers can no longer overprice their home."

The overall median price of a home in California was the second-highest in the country at $758,360, so the ridiculously high price of a house in Montecito should come as no surprise.

There were plenty of suburbs around the country that also had a median price well more than seven figures including, Paradise Valley, AZ ($3,487,300), Wesley Heights, District of Columbia ($2,452,000), Westport, CT ($2,410,000), Palm Beach, FL ($2,207,600), and Mercer Island, WA ($2,150,000).

Other suburbs in the United States that topped a million dollars included Greenwood Village, CO, Kaanapali, HI, Hinsdale, IL, Chevy Chase, MD, Brookline, MA, Big Sky, MO, Sea Isle City, NJ, Talaya Hill, NM, Rye, NY, Isle of Palms, SC, Brentwood, TN, West University Place, TX, Park City, UT, Great Falls, VA, and Moose Wilson Road, WY.

Hedgesville, WV had the lowest median price out of any suburb in the country at just $315,000. Other locations under $400,000 included St. Matthews, KY ($338,000), Palmer, AK ($349,450), Hernando, MS ($359,950), Johnston, IA ($387,000), and Oak Hills Place, LA ($390,811).

Drive-By Truckers share new song; new album out June 3

Drive-By Truckers have announced today’s premiere of “Every Single Storied Flameout,” the latest track from their upcoming 14th studio album, Welcome 2 Club XIII, due via ATO Records on Friday, June 3. Pre-orders are available now. The spirited, horn-blasted “Every Single Storied Flameout” sees founding member/vocalist/guitarist Mike Cooley looking back at his younger years with unsparing self-reflection and a bit ...

Drive-By Truckers have announced today’s premiere of “Every Single Storied Flameout,” the latest track from their upcoming 14th studio album, Welcome 2 Club XIII, due via ATO Records on Friday, June 3. Pre-orders are available now. The spirited, horn-blasted “Every Single Storied Flameout” sees founding member/vocalist/guitarist Mike Cooley looking back at his younger years with unsparing self-reflection and a bit of rambling wisdom.

“I wrote that song when my son was turning 16 and going through a rough patch for a bit,” Cooley says. “Luckily, he’s turned it around and he’s doing great now, but it was a tough time for a while. Part of my way of dealing with it was to take ownership of the example I might’ve set, in the hope of leading him out of it.”

PRE-ORDER WELCOME 2 CLUB XIII

Welcome 2 Club XIII also includes the swinging centerpiece, “Welcome 2 Club XIII.” The track – which pays homage to the Muscle Shoals honky-tonk where founding members Patterson Hood and Mike Cooley got their start – is joined by an official music video streaming now via YouTube.

WATCH “WELCOME 2 CLUB XIII” OFFICIAL MUSIC VIDEO

Arriving as Drive-By Truckers enter its 26th year, Welcome 2 Club XIII marks a sharp departure from the trenchant commentary of The Unraveling and The New OK (both released in 2020). Produced by longtime Drive-By Truckers collaborator David Barbe and mainly recorded at his studio in Athens, GA, Welcome 2 Club XIII took shape over the course of three frenetic days in summer 2021 – a doubly extraordinary feat considering that the band had no prior intentions of making a new album. Featuring background vocals from the likes of Margo Price, R.E.M.’s Mike Mills, and Mississippi-bred singer/songwriter Schaefer Llana, Welcome 2 Club XIII was recorded live with most songs cut in one or two takes, fully harnessing Drive-By Truckers’ freewheeling energy. The new songs see the band – whose lineup also includes keyboardist/guitarist Jay Gonzalez, bassist Matt Patton, and drummer Brad Morgan – looking back on their formative years with both deadpan pragmatism and profound tenderness, instilling each song with the kind of lived-in detail that invites bittersweet reminiscence of your own misspent youth.

“Cooley and I have been playing together for 37 years now,” Hood says. “That first band might have failed miserably on a commercial level, but I’m really proud of what we did back then. It had a lot to do with who we ended up becoming.”

Drive-By Truckers are currently celebrating Welcome 2 Club XIII with a marathon live schedule, including top-billed festival dates, and North American, European, and UK headline tours. For complete details and ticket information, please visit www.drivebytruckers.com/shows.

DRIVE-BY TRUCKERS LIVE 2022

MAY

12 - Memphis, TN - Soundstage at Graceland

13 - Natchez, MS - Mudbug Music Festival *

14 - Huntsville, AL – The First Waltz *

24 - Helsinki, Finland - Tavastia Club †

26 - Stockholm, Sweden - Berns †

27 - Oslo, Norway - Rockefeller †

28 - Copenhagen, Denmark - Amager Bio †

29 - Aarhus, Denmark - Train †

31 - Hamburg, Germany - Markthalle †

JUNE

1 - Berlin, Germany - Kesselhaus †

2 - Koln, Germany - Kantine †

3 - Antwerp, Belgium - De Roma †

5 - Raalte, Netherlands - Ribs & Blues *

6 - Amsterdam, Netherlands - Paradiso †

7 - Brighton, UK - Chalk †

8 - London, UK - O2 Forum †

9 - Leeds, UK - Leeds University Stylus †

11 - Dublin, Ireland - Vicar Street †

12 - Glasgow, UK - SWG3 TV Studio †

14 - Tilburg, Netherlands - 013 (Jupiler Zaal) †

15 - Paris, France - La Maroquinerie †

17 - Mendizabala, Vitoria-Gasteiz - Azkena Rock Festival *

19 - Eridge Park, UK - Black Deer Festival *

JULY

14 - Breckenridge, CO - Riverwalk Center

15 - Denver, CO - Levitt Pavilion

16 - Kansas City, MO - Knuckleheads

19 - Omaha, NE - Falconwood Park

20 - Minneapolis, MN - Utepils Brewing

22 - Des Moines, IA - Hoyt Sherman Place

23 - Dayton, OH - Dayton Masonic Center

24 - Kalamazoo, MI - Bell’s Beer Garden

27 - Fort Wayne, IN - The Clyde Theatre

29 -S t. Louis, MO - Open Highway Music Festival *

30 - Maryville, TN - The Shed

31 - Wilmington, NC - Greenfield Lake Amphitheater

AUGUST

2 - Virginia Beach, VA - Elevation 27

4 - Deerfield, MA - Tree House Brewing Company

5 - Buffalo, NY - Town Ballroom

8 - Patchogue, NY - Patchogue Theatre

10 - Isle of Palms, SC - The Windjammer

11 - Isle of Palms, SC - The Windjammer

12 - Charlotte, NC - Neighborhood Theatre

13 - Pelham, TN - The Caverns

SEPTEMBER

17 -Louisville, KY -Bourbon & Beyond *

* Festival Appearance

† w/Special Guest Jerry Joseph

Ukrainian corn production likely down 50%

ISLE OF PALMS, SC. — Though futures markets already have priced in uncertainty tied to the ongoing Russia-Ukraine conflict, grain markets the world over will truly begin to feel the impact of supply deficits on the global wheat and corn balance sheets beginning in August and September.How a three-million-tonne global wheat supply deficit plays out is largely dependent on how the rest of the world treats Russia financially. But for corn, the principal uncertainties lie in Ukrainian farmers’ ability to procure enough diesel ...

ISLE OF PALMS, SC. — Though futures markets already have priced in uncertainty tied to the ongoing Russia-Ukraine conflict, grain markets the world over will truly begin to feel the impact of supply deficits on the global wheat and corn balance sheets beginning in August and September.

How a three-million-tonne global wheat supply deficit plays out is largely dependent on how the rest of the world treats Russia financially. But for corn, the principal uncertainties lie in Ukrainian farmers’ ability to procure enough diesel fuel, fertilizer and labor to seed the crop.

These global outlooks were the central focus of market research analyst Joe Lardy’s presentation earlier this month at the North American Millers’ Association 2022 Spring Conference. Mr. Lardy honed his expertise in the commodities over a 25-year career in grain, initially as a trader with Cargill, Minneapolis, and for the past eight years with CHS Hedging, Inver Grove Heights, Minn.

“The way I look at markets, I’m up at the space station, looking at markets at a super-high level,” Mr. Lardy said. “Sometimes I feel like Tony Stark in ‘Iron Man’ with his giant movable touchscreen computer as I try to bring the perspective of what’s happening here and here and here and what’s interconnecting them.”

The spring session at Wild Dunes Resort in Isle of Palms, SC, provided milling and non-milling members of NAMA background information and analysis on wheat, a commodity in which Russia and Ukraine provide 14% of global supply, and corn, production of which is important to Ukraine but negligible in Russia.

Ukraine, one of the biggest countries in Europe and the 45th largest in the world, features a land area roughly the size of the US Midwestern states stretching from Chicago to central Kansas to Nashville tup to northwestern Ohio. Half of that land is devoted to agricultural endeavors that employ about 15% of the population compared with 3% of the US population. Wheat is produced throughout Ukraine, but most production takes place in the eastern areas, currently a hot spot for fighting, Mr. Lardy said. That’s unfortunate for grain since the region is a key southerly logistical route for crops to ocean-going ports, which are closed indefinitely and will require extensive rebuilding.

“Even if a peace treaty was signed tomorrow, there’s infrastructure that has been damaged and going to need to be replaced,” Mr. Lardy said. “The longer the war goes on, certainly the more destruction takes place, but there’s still going to be this period after the fact that’s still going to take a lot of time to get resolved.”

The USDA has reduced production and export projections in Ukraine for the current marketing year but eliminated neither. That’s because Ukraine already shifted a significant portion of its wheat crop before Russia invaded, Mr. Lardy said. Whatever remains in storage has the advantage of most easily feeding the populace compared with corn, which feed animal in an intermediary step toward feeding people. As for new crop, Ukraine is a few months out from a winter wheat harvest and, under normal circumstances, their supplies would hit the market in July-September. This year, Ukraine likely won’t be able to sell or ship any wheat in that period.

“We can see this on paper now, but when are we really going to start to feel the impact of this?” Mr. Lardy asked. “When the boats aren’t there, when the product doesn’t arrive, when people reach for the panic button, that’s when we’re really going to start to feel the lack of those shipments really kicking in.”

On the other side of the territorial dispute sits Russia, which turned wheat into a front-and-center commodity over the past decade since the country was stung by depressed oil prices. Most Russian wheat is grown in its western region, adjacent to the conflict. As a major exporter of wheat, Russia now factors heavily into the “world grid” of supply, Mr. Lardy said, but the flow of wheat remains in a war-time haze for now. The USDA lowered Russian wheat export expectations by 3 million tonnes, to 32 million tonnes in February. To date, restrictions imposed on Russian exports by the United States and many other countries have yet to curtail their exports of food and fertilizer, he said.

“Is Russia going to be able to continue to export and have that system operate?” Mr. Lardy asked. “If they don’t, that changes the whole dynamic. And we’ve seen the futures market react, pricing in the uncertainty. But it has not priced in a calamity. The US futures market has suddenly become the international market for wheat prices. The Chicago Board of Trade represents 4% of the world’s wheat. But right now, it’s getting all the trade, it’s acting like it is the benchmark of world wheat prices. Rightfully, it probably should. There needs to be this risk premium in the market because if you take out one of the leading exporters in the world, where does that gap get filled?”

At least in part by Australia and India, Mr. Lardy said. In the case of the latter, India historically hasn’t exported much wheat. But its crop is considerable and the country is looking to significantly increase its presence in the world market, Mr. Lardy said. At the same time, China was expected to lift Russian import restrictions and provide a potential home for excess Russian capacity. If China takes in more Russian wheat, that leaves Australian wheat to go other places, he said.

But no matter how some wheat supplies find homes via atypical lanes and bring the market into relative equilibrium, the global wheat balance sheet is going to have some holes in it, he said. How the rest of the world treats Russia in terms of its financing is expected to dictate the path forward for the next crop year, Mr. Lardy said.

“The more severe the sanctions, the bigger the hole in the grid is going to be, and the bigger the hole, the firmer the price is going to be,” he said. “Every impact from this war is kicked down the road. The market has priced in the uncertainty. The 2022-23 crop is a calamity, and we don’t know how to price that yet. I don’t see markets going down until we see a signed peace treaty, and then I think we take a substantial chunk out of the wheat market the day that happens.”

So small is Russia’s corn production it doesn’t factor into the world grid, Mr. Lardy said. In Ukraine, unlike its wheat crop, corn grows largely in the northern and central regions that aren’t under Russian occupation and are outside the key fighting areas. Thus, the biggest unknowns as Mr. Lardy sees them are whether Ukrainian farmers can find enough supplies and labor to plant the crop in spring. Seventy per cent of Ukraine’s diesel fuel was supplied by Russia prior to the start of fighting, Mr. Lardy said. The availability of inputs such as fertilizer, also a major export from Russia, is in doubt, as is labor, though for far different reasons than in the United States.

“To me, the manpower aspect is a greater concern,” he said. “If you have able-bodied people, are they going to be planting crops or are they going to be fighting? What I think is going to happen, longer term, is that Ukraine is just going to be sitting on a stockpile of corn. So, whatever they can’t export, they’ll keep and as long as it doesn’t get destroyed, they’ll have it.

“Is their production going to be down this year? Absolutely. You can probably cut Ukrainian corn production in half this year. That’s a significant hit. However, they’re going to have a lot of stock left over. If this conflict doesn’t persist for years, when Ukraine comes back to the market, they should probably have a decent exportable surplus. The Ukraine problem isn’t a right-now problem, it’s a big-time next-year problem. Are they going to be able to harvest soon, and are they going to be able to get their corn crop in the ground?”

Another war-time impact to consider is sunflowers. Ukraine is the biggest global sunflower exporter in the world at 46% of the world market.

“They’re huge in sunflowers,” Mr. Lardy said. “Sometimes there are things we normally don’t hear about, see or talk a lot about, but that can have a major impact, especially if, as in this example, you’re impacted by sunflower oil and seeds. That could be a big loss for the world grid.”

Russia’s importance to crop inputs such as fertilizer — it provides 44% of the global supply of potash — and South America’s ability to source it for the upcoming crop will be an important factor to watch, Mr. Lardy told the NAMA millers. Potash and urea price spikes were noted as far back as July 2021, six months before the Ukraine conflict. Prices made a significant bump then and took off substantially when the conflict began.

“The Southern Hemisphere is going to start their growing season soon,” Mr. Lardy said. “July and August are the key import times for fertilizers into South America. In a couple months, we’re going to have a pretty good understanding of what South America’s going to be facing in terms of their fertilizer availabilities. What South America has to apply will be huge on what their yields are next year. The world grid needs South America to produce a good crop.”

And tight world corn supplies mean we can’t afford a corn crop failure here in the United States, either, Mr. Lardy said. US farmers balked at high fertilizer prices but purchased them anyway after weighing it against good margins and high futures prices on corn, he said.

“Our farmers and producers said prices are so high,” he said. “Well, we’ve got pretty expensive corn. It pencils. There was some griping, of course, but they’ve bought it and put it down. Our balance sheets are tight, but we’re setting up OK in terms of availability. We’ve got seed, we’ve got fuel, we just need Mother Nature to cooperate.”

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