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Hair Salon inIsle of Palms, SC

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Find the Beauty in You at Chroma Hair Studio & Spa

Choosing the right hair salon in Isle of Palms, SC, is a little bit like finding the perfect outfit. The materials feel great on your skin, the fabric is flattering to your body type, and when you try it on, you just know - this is the outfit that you have been looking for.

With thousands of hair salons and stylists in South Carolina, choosing the right one can be difficult. You want a salon that is clean, comfortable, and chic. But, more importantly, you need a stylist that "gets" you. Someone who takes the time to understand your preferences, your style, and your personality. You need a stylist who listens, is honest, and has the technical skills to turn your vision into a reality.

An excellent stylist epitomizes all those traits and knows how to adapt to changing beauty trends. They aren't afraid to take on a challenge.

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Welcome to Chroma Hair Studio & Spa

Where the most talented hairstylists in Isle of Palms help bring out the beauty in each of our clients. We strive to provide each of our customers with the highest levels of customer service in the beauty industry. At Chroma, we offer a relaxing environment, skillful professionals, and a variety of products with environmentally safe and good-for-you ingredients.

Our goal is to make your salon experience special, from the moment you walk in to the second you leave. With a variety of professional hair and beauty services to choose from, we're sure you will rediscover the "beauty of you" every time you visit our salon.

Here are just a few of our most popular hair and beauty services in Isle of Palms:

The key to a great haircut and salon experience is to understand the services we offer, so you can choose the best selection for your needs. What do our salon services entail? Keep reading below to find out.

Hair Studio Isle Of Palms, SC

Professional Hair Color in Isle of Palms, SC

Let's be honest: DIY hair kits can be tricky to get right. They can be complicated to apply and usually have hard-to-understand instructions. Half the time, the color you're left with looks nothing like it does on the front of the box. In a perfect world, you should be able to pop into Target, pick a boxed hair color, apply it at home, and emerge out of your bathroom with a new, beautiful hair color. For most people, this never happens.

That's why people who want flawless color, professional application, and ease of convenience get their highlights at Chroma Hair Studio & Spa.

Whether you are changing your hair color completely or just want a few highlights to switch things up, we are here to create the look and style that you've been dreaming about. At Chroma Hair Studio & Spa, we specialize in the latest hair coloring trends using cutting-edge technology. That way, our clients get the freshest looks, coolest colors, and longest-lasting highlights in town. When you get your highlights done at our hair salon in Isle of Palms, we want you to leave excited and ready to share your new hair all over social.

Don't spend hours in the store trying to find the color you think will look great on you. Our team of professional stylists will consult with you about your vision and craft a custom highlight plan that fits you're your unique style. There's a reason why so many customers trust us with their highlights - we genuinely care about your hair and how it looks.

Our professional hair coloring services in Isle of Palms are a combination of art and science. The artistic results only last as long as the hair coloring products used, and we use the best. Our hairstylists and colorists are committed to helping you look and feel fabulous, whether you're planning a special occasion or just want to impress that special someone.

 Women's Hair Studio Isle Of Palms, SC

Get the Look You Crave with Personalized Hair Treatments

Ever taken a chance on a new look or hair color, only to end up embarrassed and unsatisfied with the results? You're not alone - we get calls every week from people just like you who need hair treatment Isle of Palms. Sadly, sometimes even the professionals get a color procedure wrong.

Other times, your hair has suffered from years of blow-drying and straightening, and it looks dry, brittle, and unattractive. You know you need a deep conditioning treatment, and you need it ASAP.

At Chroma Hair Studio & Spa, our technicians have treated all sorts of hair problems - from unprofessional coloring with multiple bands of different colors and tones to dehydrated hair and more. Sometimes, our client's entire hairstyle needs to be corrected. To do this, we stock multiple types of color and toners to revitalize hair and give it the color you've been dreaming of. Our team always puts a priority on the health and integrity of your hair, whether it's your first visit or your fortieth.

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 Women's Haircut Isle Of Palms, SC

Voluptuous Eyelash Extensions in
Isle of Palms, SC

Do you ever wake up in the morning and wish that you had fuller, longer eyelashes? You're not alone - thousands of people crave darker, thicker lashes. They settle for what they have, not knowing that a revolutionary lash treatment is waiting for them at Chroma Hair Studio & Spa.

Eyelash extensions have revolutionized fashion culture, saving women untold amounts time and effort in front of the makeup mirror. The great news is that lash extensions aren't just reserved for Hollywood celebrities anymore. Anybody can have the long, fluttery lashes they've been craving, with a trip to our salon.

Eyelash extensions are a fabulous way to enhance your look on a long-term basis and provide you with a small change that makes a huge impact. From the moment you wake up to the time you go to bed, your lashes remain long, sexy, and sultry.

Our eyelash extension specialist works with your existing lashes to apply individual extensions to enhance the natural beauty of your eyes. Using a meticulous application process, we maintain the integrity of your natural lashes so they remain healthy and undamaged.

Whether you're looking for a wispy, effortless look or want your lashes to have mega volume, our lash extension technicians are here to cater to your needs.

Here are just a few reasons why women love our eyelash extension services in Isle of Palms:

  • 24/7 Beauty
  • No Damage to Your Natural Lashes
  • No More Mascara or Eye Makeup
  • No Clumps
  • Long, Lovely Lashes That Will Make Your Friends Jealous!

If you're looking for a cost-conscious way to stand out from the crowd, contact our office today. We'd be happy to tell you more about our eyelash extension process and which lashes work best for your needs.

Smooth Out Hair and Add Flair with a Brazilian Blowout

The Brazilian blowout: you've heard about the new craze, you've seen the stunning results, but haven't had a chance to sit down and receive the treatment yourself. Luckily, Chroma Hair Studio & Spa now offers this sought-after style right here in Isle of Palms, from certified Brazilian blowout stylists.

If you suffer from dull, frizzy hair that lacks life and shine, the Brazilian blowout is one of the best ways to get smooth, frizz-free hair. By using cutting-edge bonding technology, this customizable treatment doesn't damage your hair at all. Actually, it improves your hair's health by adding a protective layer of protein that smooths your hair for weeks on end.

This ultra-popular choice offers you a laundry list of benefits, like:

  • Protection Against Seasonal Damage
  • Locks in Color
  • Cuts Down on Styling Time
  • Protects Against Heat
  • Seamless Extension Blending
  • Great for All Hair Types

To get the best of both worlds, be sure to schedule your Brazilian blowout and custom hair color treatment in the same appointment. Call us today to learn more about our Brazilian blowouts and to schedule your appointment today.

 Hair Salon Isle Of Palms, SC

Custom Haircuts in Isle of Palms Crafted for You

There are many ways that you can reinvent yourself this season, but if you're ready to make a lasting impression, nothing beats a new hairstyle. While there is nothing wrong with sporting top knots, ponytails, or straight hair, a styled cut from Chroma Hair Studio & Spa will drastically improve your hair game.

Getting a new haircut isn't just fun - it makes you feel good, too, especially when you get a lot of positive compliments.

 Hair Stylist Isle Of Palms, SC

Our experienced stylists are tapped into today's hottest trends, so if you want to try something new, we're here to help. If you want to play it more traditional, our stylists have a solid foundation of time-tested techniques, to give your existing cut the edge it needs to impress. And sometimes, you need something simple and low-maintenance that cuts down on styling time and primping.

Not sure what kind of a cut you need? We're happy to give you our educated opinion and are happy to provide examples of what we think works. Whatever style you've got your eye on, we can make it a reality!

Here are just a few of the most popular haircut trends in South Carolina:

Natural Textured

Natural Textured

In a time when extravagant dyes and unique hair extensions are all the rage, the natural look will always be trending. This haircut is a great way to rediscover yourself and let your beauty shine organically without overdoing it.

The Shag

The Shag

This medium-length haircut is a classic throwback to the 79s, with a layered look, messy bangs, and lots of attitude. If you like to get ahead of trends before your friends, bring back the shag and rock this retro style with pride.

Curly Bangs

Curly Bangs

This cut will look great during the summer and will give you an innocent look that will get plenty of attention. Great for a short-term haircut or even something special for a big party or Gen-X event.

Long Length

Long Length

Go against the status quo and let your hair down this season. Pixie cuts and shags are all the rage, but rocking a Rapunzel-like haircut will set you apart from the crowd. If you're looking for a more natural, classic look, this could be your haircut.

Find Your French Flair with Balayage

If you're looking to switch up your hair color but can't decide between Balayage or Ombre because, well, you don't know the difference - don't worry. You're not alone!

Balayage is a French technique for highlighting the hair in which the dye is painted to create a natural-looking effect. The goal is to create soft, subtle highlights that make your hair look like it's been kissed by the sun.

While Balayage is the technique of painting the hair, Ombre focuses on the style of the hair. It is the transition from a lighter shade to a darker shade. Typically, Ombres work best for brunettes, but the style can is suitable for blondes too. To achieve the effect of an Ombre, there must be a smooth transition between colors. While the Ombre is a beautiful look, you'll need to work with a professional to get the best results.

Luckily, we offer both Ombre and Balayage in Isle of Palms, SC! Short on time? Busy schedule? Only available on weekends? Chroma Hair Studio & Spa offers flexible appointment scheduling to accommodate even the busiest clients. You deserve a fresh new style, and we're here to help when the time is right for you.

The Top Hair Salon in Isle of Palms, SC

If you're looking for a hair salon that offers high-end styling without expensive pricing, you're in the right place. Our goal is to exceed your expectations and leave you feeling beautiful, whether you need a touch-up or a total makeover. We offer a relaxing salon atmosphere, skillful stylists, and only the best in professional brands. When it's time for your next haircut, highlight session, or eyelash extension, look no further than Chroma Hair Studio & Spa.

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Latest News in Isle of Palms, SC

New upgrades completed at Isle of Palms County Park designed to improve accessibility

ISLE OF PALMS, S.C. (WCSC) - The start of Spring is right around the corner, and those who hope to spend these warmer days while at the beach will see some new upgrades at the Isle of Palms County Park that are designed to make the beach and park area more accessible for everyone.Construction on these upgrades began last fall and has recently wrapped up, according to Charleston County Park and Recreation Commission officials.There a...

ISLE OF PALMS, S.C. (WCSC) - The start of Spring is right around the corner, and those who hope to spend these warmer days while at the beach will see some new upgrades at the Isle of Palms County Park that are designed to make the beach and park area more accessible for everyone.

Construction on these upgrades began last fall and has recently wrapped up, according to Charleston County Park and Recreation Commission officials.

There are now seven accessible car parking spots and four accessible van parking spots at the park that are all fully compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act or ADA, Recreation Director Steve Hutton says.

There were also upgrades made to the access ramp and stairs at the Park Center to bring them up to current ADA standards. An updated handrail system was put in place that will last longer and require less maintenance, according to Charleston County Park and Recreation Commission documents.

The accessible parking, route improvements, stairs, ramps, handrails and other updates are all part of Phase 1 improvements at the Isle of Palms County Park. In total, the upgrades cost about $220,000, Hutton says.

“We are absolutely committed to making sure we are as accessible as possible for all of our residents,” Hutton says. “We don’t want to serve a small segment of the community. We want to serve anyone who wants to be able to come to our beach parks, or our day parks or our natural areas. We feel it’s essential.”

Though these changes might not seem major, they can make a huge impact for those who want to enjoy the amenities there, according to Hutton.

“While these improvements are called for by the ADA, improved curb cuts, accessible routes, ramps, etc. benefit parents with strollers, customers with fishing carts, etc., so it’s not just about wheelchair users,” he says.

This is the first major capital project that is part of Charleston County Parks’ 11-year plan to improve accessibility throughout the system and resolve any accessibility barriers for folks wanting to use the parks, according to Hutton.

Next fall and winter, there will be more upgrades made to Isle of Palms County Park as part of Phase 2 of the project, including replacing the beach access ramp and adding a viewing station, Hutton says.

Other accessibility options currently at the park include accessible picnic tables under shade structures, accessible restrooms and beach wheelchairs.

Copyright 2022 WCSC. All rights reserved.

The Best Resorts To Stay In Across South Carolina

When it comes to resorts, South Carolina does it right. Whether you're looking to relax at a luxurious spa, stroll a sandy beachfront, or sit down to memorable meals, there's a resort in the Palmetto State with your name on it. Browse the amenities at these properties, and find what speaks to you. (There's plenty to choose from at each and every one.) The next step is booking a stay, packing your gear, and—finally—setting out on an ad...

When it comes to resorts, South Carolina does it right. Whether you're looking to relax at a luxurious spa, stroll a sandy beachfront, or sit down to memorable meals, there's a resort in the Palmetto State with your name on it. Browse the amenities at these properties, and find what speaks to you. (There's plenty to choose from at each and every one.) The next step is booking a stay, packing your gear, and—finally—setting out on an adventure to a resort that feels like an oasis, whether it's a home away from home or just a break from the day to day. Rent bikes and pedal the sands. Order room service and enjoy the view from your windows. Find the poolside bar and relax awhile. Memories, and a whole lot of fun, await. Want to travel farther afield? Check out some of the best places to stay in every Southern state.

This consistently lauded stay is a waterfront retreat near Charleston. Palmetto trees welcome you to the property, where you'll find wraparound porches, the serenity-inducing Estuary Spa, and a water taxi for ferrying you to downtown adventures. The abundance of patios and porches means that you'll get your fill of harbor breezes (and handcrafted cocktails to enjoy en plein air).

Book a stay at The Inn & Club at Harbour Town, part of The Sea Pines Resort in Hilton Head, for a warm welcome and rooms with a view. The boutique luxury hotel has 60 guest rooms and offers opportunities for rounds of golf, swings on the tennis courts, and relaxation at the pool. You can also book private fishing charters, cruises, and boat tours at the nearby full-service marina.

Find pools galore at this Myrtle Beach resort. Sun, sand, and plenty of bright blue umbrellas and loungers await when you book a beachfront stay at this inviting spot. There are also indoor and outdoor pools, beach access, and opportunities for pampering at Hibiscus Spa. Open your windows to the beach air, enjoy a meal at the resort's restaurants, or stroll outside to the pool deck—there's fun to be had here.

This Lowcountry property is situated along the May River in Bluffton, which means it has instant appeal—and a marina on the waterfront. Located between Hilton Head and the Georgia border, this resort is equal parts relaxation and adventure, as it has fantastic restaurants, a nature preserve, and a Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf Course.

Book a stay at The Omni Hilton Head Oceanfront Resort and it won't be long until you're enjoying sea breezes. Dining, swimming, golfing, lounging on the sands—this resort has something for everyone. In addition to the resort's amenities, you can book packages (like the Family Fun Package with bike and kite rentals) to complement your stay.

Find a barrier island getaway at Kiawah Island Golf Resort—an oasis of sandy beachfronts and championship golf courses near Charleston. There's also decadent dining at the resort's many stellar restaurants, including Jasmine Porch and The Ocean Room. With so much to enjoy, you don't want to miss the opportunity to stay at this luxury property.

Head to Isle of Palms for a stay at Sweetgrass Inn at Wild Dunes Resort, a 1,600-acre property near Charleston that's a destination for golfing (the Links Course has Atlantic views) and enjoying the coastline. With plenty of pools, bike rentals, and opportunities to relax (check out the Spa at Sweetgrass, where you can contact the spa concierge to customize your stay), you'll never want your vacation to end.

While not necessarily classified as a resort, you can find the epitome of South Carolina hospitality at this historic hotel, which is nestled in the resort town of Aiken. In addition to gracious accommodations, it also has fantastic dining offerings for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and a relaxing spa, plus easy access to the town's shopping, antiquing, arts, equestrian, and cycling opportunities.

The Best National Parks in South Carolina

Clemson LIFE holds ceremony for 2022 graduates

Download imageThe Clemson University Clemson LIFE program graduated 14 students during its recent commencement ceremony, which was held April 30 at NewSpring Church of Clemson.Clemson LIFE is a post-secondary education program for students with intellectual disabilities that prioritizes job skills and independent living. The recent ceremony allowed graduates to attend with faculty, staff, family and fri...

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The Clemson University Clemson LIFE program graduated 14 students during its recent commencement ceremony, which was held April 30 at NewSpring Church of Clemson.

Clemson LIFE is a post-secondary education program for students with intellectual disabilities that prioritizes job skills and independent living. The recent ceremony allowed graduates to attend with faculty, staff, family and friends to celebrate the accomplishments of its new alumni.

The program welcomed special guests to the ceremony, including Clemson University President Jim Clements and Clemson University First Lady Beth Clements, who presented certificates and rings, respectively, to LIFE graduates. George J. Petersen, founding dean of the College of Education, and Joe Ryan, Sue Stanzione Distinguished Professor of Special Education, were also on hand to welcome students and their families to the event.

Eric Mac Lain, studio analyst for ESPN and the ACC Network and former Clemson student athlete, delivered the ceremony’s commencement address.

Learn more about all of the Clemson LIFE graduates, what they have planned after graduation and what they consider highlights of their time at Clemson in the LIFE program.

Frankie Antonelli

Mt. Pleasant, SC

Plans after graduation

I will be living in Clemson and continue working at Your Pie.

Favorite thing about Clemson LIFE

My favorite part of Clemson was being a manager for the Women’s Basketball team, and I made so many new friends.

Katie Beck

Charleston, SC

Plans after graduation

After graduation, I am going to spend more time hanging out with my family and get a job in Charleston.

Favorite thing about Clemson LIFE

My favorite thing about Clemson was meeting new friends and having roommates!

Graham Bitzer

Plans after graduation

I am staying in Clemson and working at the Shepherd Hotel and interviewing at Madren Center.

Favorite thing about Clemson LIFE

My favorite thing during my time at Clemson LIFE was joining a fraternity, BYX, and being the first Clemson LIFE student to partner with the Air Force ROTC.

Emily Parkey Ferguson

Atlanta, GA

Plans after graduation

I am moving into a new apartment in Clemson and working at the Shepherd Hotel.

Favorite thing about Clemson LIFE

I have loved everything about Clemson – from my teachers and roommates to tailgating and attending so many fun events!

Blakeley Kress

Houston, TX

Plans after graduation

I am staying in Clemson and working at TD’s and Sully Steamers.

Favorite thing about Clemson LIFE

My favorite part about being a part of Clemson LIFE was making lifelong friendships.

Bryson Marsh

Waco, TX

Plans after graduation

I am moving to Waco, Texas and working at Raising Canes.

Favorite thing about Clemson LIFE

My favorite part about Clemson was getting involved with FCA.

Grace Myatt

Isle of Palms, SC

Plans after graduation

I am moving to Isle of Palms and working at Harris Teeter.

Favorite thing about Clemson LIFE

My favorite part of Clemson LIFE was getting to meet Dabo!

Mary Catherine Price

Jefferson, GA

Plans after graduation

I am staying in Clemson living at U Centre and working at The Delish Sisters restaurant inside the Shepherd Hotel.

Favorite thing about Clemson LIFE

I loved having the opportunity to go to college – especially joining my sorority, Tri Delta!

Leah Shelton

Perry, GA

Plans after graduation

I am moving back home and can’t wait to find a new job with all the skills I have learned!

Favorite thing about Clemson LIFE

I had so much fun here because I had great teachers and friends.

Tanner Smith

St. Matthews, SC

Plans after graduation

I am staying in Clemson and working at the Shepherd Hotel.

Favorite thing about Clemson LIFE

My favorite part of being at Clemson was all the people I got to meet and build relationships with and my roommates.

Alana Spencer

Atlanta, GA

Plans after graduation

After graduation, I am going to look for a job and opportunities to dance.

Favorite thing about Clemson LIFE

My favorite part of Clemson was learning new skills, especially grocery shopping and cooking!

Tyler Trout

Atlanta, GA

Plans after graduation

I am staying in Clemson and working at Evolve, a restaurant downtown.

Favorite thing about Clemson LIFE

It’s hard to pick one favorite memory – I loved everything about my time at Clemson!

Allison Watry

Milton, GA

Plans after graduation

I am moving to Atlanta after graduation and working at an elementary school.

Favorite thing about Clemson LIFE

My favorite part of Clemson LIFE was meeting new people and all the fun activities – especially swim team!

Noah Wynne

Statesville, NC

Plans after graduation

I am staying in Clemson, moving into a new apartment and working at the Shepherd Hotel.

Favorite thing about Clemson LIFE

My favorite part of Clemson was meeting the football players and watching them play!

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Keeping it clean on Earth Day

Earth Day is here and it’s a perfect time to honor the beautiful outdoors that we enjoy on a daily basis in the Lowcountry. It’s a day to give thanks to the land that grows our food, and it’s a day to give back to our Mother Earth.Of all the many ways to give back to our environment, picking up litter is of high importance for me. Not only is it a pet peeve to see trash on the ground, but I see litter as being disrespectful to our natural surroundings. I also think about the animals that have to live amongst the litt...

Earth Day is here and it’s a perfect time to honor the beautiful outdoors that we enjoy on a daily basis in the Lowcountry. It’s a day to give thanks to the land that grows our food, and it’s a day to give back to our Mother Earth.

Of all the many ways to give back to our environment, picking up litter is of high importance for me. Not only is it a pet peeve to see trash on the ground, but I see litter as being disrespectful to our natural surroundings. I also think about the animals that have to live amongst the litter. When I see someone leave belongings behind at the beach, where do they think those will end up when the tide comes in? I think about the fish having to swim around and dodge soda cans or plastic cups.

How can we teach our children to be cognizant of the long-term detriments of litter? It is up to us as parents to show our children by example that keeping our planet clean is vital for maintaining the quality of life we enjoy for future generations.

From parks to rivers to beaches, opportunities abound year-round to get out with your family and get involved in cleaning up the community, including with various service groups.

Here are some local organizations that host litter cleanups in the Charleston area:

Keep Charleston Beautiful: An affiliate of Keep America Beautiful and Palmetto Pride, Keep Charleston Beautiful hosts a number of cleanup events in Charleston throughout the year and will also assist a group sponsoring a cleanup event.

Community Pride: Established in 1966, Community Pride Inc. of Charleston County coordinates and promotes Adopt-A-Highway cleanup efforts across the county and hosts six litter sweep dates throughout the year.

S.C. Sea Grant Consortium: The Beach Sweep/River Sweep is always held in September. This is South Carolina’s largest one-day volunteer waterway cleanup event.

Palmetto Pride: The Francis Marion National Forest Cleanup effort is one of the most successful cleanup programs that Palmetto Pride sponsors and it takes place every February. They also sponsor programs like Clean Teams, Palmetto Prideways and the Great American Cleanup.

Charleston Parks Conservancy: Trash along the West Ashley Greenway became one of the major focuses of this conservancy that is responsible for caring for the city parks in Charleston.

Isle of Palms Cleanup Crew: This local crew holds spring litter sweeps every other Monday from 6-7 p.m. on April 25, May 9 and May 23. Before each spring sweep, individuals and groups can attend a 5:30 p.m. welcome session when volunteers can learn more from Isle of Palms Cleanup Crew and the South Carolina Aquarium’s conservation team about the litter problem, its ecological impact and solutions. The spring welcome sessions are a great opportunity for groups from schools, civic organizations and businesses to get engaged. As the busy beach season heats up, Isle of Palms Cleanup Crew will hold sweeps weekly, Memorial Day to Labor Day, from 6-7 p.m. No advance registration is required, but if you have a large group coming, email Susan Hill Smith at susanhillsmith@gmail.com with information about your group and a head count estimate. The group meets at the beach access at the 1100 block of Ocean Boulevard on Front Beach, tucked between the City of Isle of Palms showers and facilities, next to Coconut Joe’s. Reusable buckets, bags, gloves, clipboards, pens and data collection sheets are provided. Each volunteer is offered a free IOP Cleanup Crew magnet that’s good for free parking during future sweeps.

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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