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Soybeans, corn end Friday’s session firm

Soybeans were modestly higher on short covering and technical buying, while closing mixed on the week, with losses in the nearby months and gains in deferred contracts. Beans had a mostly mixed session Friday but were able to close firm – finding interest towards the lower end of the range and watching weather in South America. Argentina’s crop condition rating fell over the past week, now at just 9% good to excellent, but those losses are expected to be made up by a record crop for Brazil. Even with the losses in Argentina, South America could produce a roughly 5-billion-bushel soybean crop this cycle. The International Grains Council sees 2022/23 world soybean production at 378 million tons, down 7 million from the last guess on the losses in Argentina and a smaller U.S. crop. Soybean meal was mixed on bear spreading, while bean oil was down on profit taking and a drop in crude oil.

Corn was modestly higher on short covering and technical buying, still ending the week modestly lower. 11% of Argentina’s corn crop is rated good to excellent, down 9% on the week, with a drier pattern and a possible early freeze in the near-term forecast. Second crop planting in Brazil is moving forward as the soybean harvest advances. The USDA’s next supply and demand update is out March 8th, with CONAB’s updated outlook for Brazil due March 9th. The International Grains Council pegs 2022/23 world corn production at 1.153 billion tons, 8 million under the prior projection because of Argentina, and to a less extent, the U.S. Unknown destinations bought 120,800 tons of 2022/23 U.S. corn Friday morning, the second announced sale of the week for a total of 334,170 tons. That sale earlier in the week was to Mexico and came a day after the government implemented an immediate ban on GMO white corn imports for human food use.

The wheat complex was mixed, with the most active months modestly to sharply lower for the week. Recent precipitation has helped winter wheat conditions in parts of the Plains, but there is still significant drought in the region, including some of the largest hard red winter portions of the area. Soft red winter conditions in the eastern Midwest and southeastern Corn Belt remain relatively good. The trade is also keeping an eye on conditions in the northern U.S. Plains and Canada ahead of spring wheat planting. U.S. wheat remains high priced compared to most other major exporters, especially Russia and Ukraine. Australia’s also becoming a big player on the world wheat market following a record crop last year and there are signs of a big increase in wheat acreage in India after the recent surge in domestic price. The International Grains Council sees 2022/23 world wheat production at 796 million tons, unchanged from the prior projection and up 15 million from 2021/22.

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