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Down day for soybeans, corn, wheat ahead of USDA reports

Soybeans were lower on profit taking and technical selling. Beans gave back part of Monday’s gains, waiting for Thursday’s USDA numbers. The USDA’s Prospective Plantings report, Quarterly Grain Stocks, and weekly export sales numbers are all out on the 28th. Soybean meal and oil were also down on profit taking, with oil kicking off the pressure due profit taking in palm oil. Brazil’s basis is moving higher as their harvest nears the 75% mark, but remains below the U.S., limiting export demand. The trade is also keeping watch on early harvest activity in Argentina and conditions stateside ahead of widespread planting. Early expectations are for a decline in U.S. planted area and export sales numbers will be watched closely for signs of new demand from China.

Corn was modestly lower on fund and technical selling. Corn is monitoring conditions ahead of widespread planting, with this week’s precipitation recharging soil moisture to some extent. Still, there are many key U.S. growing areas that will need more precipitation and that’s a big question mark with an expected shift in weather late this spring or early this summer. Corn continues to hold an export advantage over Brazil into mid-summer. Dry conditions are an issue for second crop corn in parts of Brazil, limiting yield potential, and Argentina could turn warmer and drier next week. Conditions in northern Brazil are mostly comparatively favorable thanks to recent rainfall. The U.S. Energy Information Administration’s weekly ethanol production and stocks numbers are out Wednesday.

The wheat complex was lower on fund and technical selling, along with mostly firm trade in the dollar during the session. Recent precipitation should benefit hard and soft red winter, but there could be some damage from a midweek freeze. Even then, HRW remains in much better condition than this time last year and the condition numbers that have dipped recently in parts of the central and southern Plains could see a net boost from this week’s precipitation as the crop starts to emerge. The trade is also monitoring conditions ahead of spring wheat planting in the northern U.S. Plains and Canada. The big bearish factor for U.S. wheat continues to be slow export demand with Russia and Ukraine holding most of the market share.

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