Market News

Corn sees firm finish, wheat mostly up

Soybeans were mixed, with nearby contracts down and deferred months up on bear spreading. Brazil’s harvest is past 60% complete and their basis is moving lower, adding to their export advantage. The USDA’s next round of supply, demand, and production numbers is out April 11th, along with CONAB’s updated outlook for Brazil. Domestic crush demand is solid, canceling out some of that bearish export impact from Brazil. Conditions in Argentina are mostly favorable, with production expected be roughly double 2023. Soybean meal was higher and bean oil was lower on the adjustment of product spreads. China’s General Administration of Customs says February soybean imports were 5.12 million tons, down 18.5% on the year.

Corn was modestly higher on short covering and technical buying. Brazil’s second corn crop is nearly fully planted with generally favorable weather, aside from a few dry spots in the south. Stateside, soil moisture conditions are generally better than a year ago, but parts of the Corn Belt will need more precipitation ahead of planting and during the early stages of development. Export and corn for ethanol use demand continue to be solid. The U.S. Energy Information Administration’s weekly ethanol production and stocks numbers are out Wednesday, while the USDA’s export sales numbers are out Friday. China’s General Administration of Customs says February corn imports were 2.6 million tons, 15.7% below the previous year.

The wheat complex was mixed with Chicago and Kansas City up and Minneapolis mostly higher. There was support from the recent escalations in the ongoing Russia/Ukraine war, which could slow down movement out of the Black Sea. Still, some shipping slowdown has been expected for since the war began and exports out of the region remain solid, especially for Russia and increasingly for Ukraine, due to a price advantage. The European Union says it will put tariffs on grain imports from Russia and Belarus in answer to complaints from some member states. Winter wheat crop conditions in the U.S. Plains over the past week were mixed, improving in some areas and declining in others. The trade is also watching conditions ahead of spring wheat planting in the northern U.S. Plains and Canada. The USDA’s Prospective Planting numbers are out on the 28th, along with the Quarterly Grain Stocks report.

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