Market News

Another down day for soybeans, corn, wheat

Soybeans were lower on fund and technical selling, unable to hold onto early modest gains. CONAB lowered its outlook for Brazil’s crop slightly from last month and there are harvest delays, but it will still be record large, currently seen at 151.419 million tons. Harvest is about halfway complete with CONAB’s next round of projections out April 13th. The Rosario Grain Exchange slashed its estimate for Argentina to just 27 million tons, 7.5 million less than their last guess. Weekly 2022/23 export sales were a net reduction and a marketing year low following cancellations by unknown destinations and Pakistan. New crop sales were routine. Unknown destinations bought 184,000 tons of 2022/23 U.S. soybeans ahead of the open. China’s National Grain and Oils Information Center says domestic crush volumes were down for the third week in a row due to tight supplies. Soybean meal was firm on an oversold bounce, while bean oil dropped on questions about crude oil demand due to concerns about the economy.

Corn was lower on fund and technical selling. CONAB has Brazil’s combined corn crop at a record large 124.677 million tons, including 95.606 million tons in the second crop. Still, they note later-than-ideal planting in some areas could trim yields. The Rosario Grain Exchange has Argentina’s corn crop at 35 million tons, a decrease of 7.5 million from the prior projection with some expectations that number will fall further. Argentina’s government says it will allow grain exporters to adjust schedules on physical corn shipments for 180 days. U.S. corn exports continue to show signs of improving with last week’s sales at 1.4 million tons, mainly to Japan and South Korea. At the halfway point of the marketing year, the 2022/23 pace is far behind 2021/22, so it’ll take strong shipments for the USDA to not trim expectations again in the next round of supply and demand estimates April 11th.

The wheat complex was sharply lower on fund and technical selling. Russia and Ukraine continue to dominate the export market due to favorable prices. The Black Sea Grain Initiative is scheduled to expire on the 18th and while there have been reports of negotiations, there’s been no real public progress. Ukraine’s planted area is expected to fall further this year due to tight supplies of cash, Russian mines in the fields, and continued aggression on other fronts by Moscow. Concerns about expanding drought in the southwestern U.S. Plains are on the back burner with generally good weather in most other U.S. wheat growing areas. Weekly U.S. wheat sales were just over 260,000 tons, primarily to China and South Korea, but with a significant cancellation by unknown destinations. With a little less than a quarter remaining in the marketing year, the 2022/23 pace is behind 2021/22, with a noticeable amount yet to be shipped.

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