Market News

Down day for soybeans, corn

Soybeans were lower on profit taking and technical selling. Weather forecasts are generally favorable for parts of Brazil, while Argentina is expected to see a drier pattern, potentially into February. Early harvest activity is ongoing in Brazil between rainfall with mostly disappointing yields. Those yields could improve at least a little for later planted beans. CONAB’s updated outlook for Brazil and the USDA’s next round of supply, demand, and production estimates are both out February 8th. Soybean export sales were down on the week, but up a little bit from the average at 20.6 million bushels. The primary purchasers were China and Mexico, with a significant cancelation by unknown destinations. Soybean meal and oil were down on slower than anticipated demand.

Corn was modestly lower on profit taking and technical selling. Corn is watching weather in South America and early second crop corn planting in Brazil. Planted area for that second crop should be down on the year but could get boosted in some areas by recent timely rainfall. Corn export sales were under a week ago at 37.6 million bushels, while commitments remain ahead of last marketing year. Mexico and Colombia were the biggest buyers for this marketing year, with light sales to Mexico for next marketing year. Stateside, the trade has an eye on soil moisture recharging precipitation ahead of U.S. planting. Last weeks near three year low in ethanol production is being viewed as a weather-related aberration. The USDA’s attaché for China pegs 2023/24 corn production at 288.842 million tons, compared to 277.2 million in 2022/23, while anticipating a year-to-year increase in feed and residual use. Imports are seen at 20 million tons.

The wheat complex was mostly modestly higher. Wheat had an up and down day with more precipitation in the forecast for U.S. winter wheat growing areas and bearish export sales numbers. Sales of 16.6 million bushels were down on the week, up on the year, with the 2023/24 pace of shipments trailing 2022/23. The leading buyers were Mexico and the Philippines. Routine 2024/25 sales were mostly to Egypt. For the winter wheat crop, analysts are generally expecting improved crop condition ratings in the USDA’s upcoming round of monthly state stories out next week. Russia remains in control of the global market and Ukraine is still exporting, despite the ongoing war. SovEcon raised its outlook for Russia’s 2024 wheat crop to 92.2 million tons, adding exports during the first half of this marketing year are 17% ahead of the previous marketing year. The USDA’s attaché in China has 2023/24 wheat production at 136.59 million tons, compared to 137.723 million a year ago, with higher domestic feed and residual use.

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