Market News

Soybeans, corn fall further

Soybeans were lower on fund and technical selling. Beans followed soybean products, while watching harvest activity in Argentina and Brazil. Old crop U.S. export sales were up on the week, but the pace remains the slowest in four years, during the tariff battle with China. Old crop sales were 17.9 million bushels, mainly to China and Mexico, while new crop sales were 9.7 million bushels, mostly to unknown destinations. The USDA’s next round of supply and demand estimates is out May 10th, with CONAB’s updated outlook for Brazil on the 14th. Soybean oil was down on a bearish week for export sales, while meal tried to trade mixed, but eventually bowed with the rest of the soy complex. Meal is contending with slower than expected exports due to a larger crop in Argentina, which is, most years, the world’s leading exporter of soybean products. The Philippines did buy 138,000 tons of 2023/24 U.S. bean meal ahead of the open.

Corn was modestly lower on fund and technical selling. There’s been rain in dry parts of the Corn Belt this week and after cooldown in any areas this weekend, temperatures for the rest of the month should be above average in most of the region. Supply bearishness is canceling out some of the bullish demand influence. 2023/24 U.S. corn export sales were 19.7 million bushels, Colombia and Mexico topped the list, while 2024/25 sales were 2.6 million bushels, all to unknown destinations. The pace of shipments remains ahead of what’s needed to meet USDA projections for the current marketing year. Corn is also monitoring harvest in Argentina and second crop development conditions for Brazil. A drier pattern in South America is expected to benefit that harvest but hamper development of that second crop. The USDA’s attaché for Argentina estimates 2024/25 corn production at 48 million tons, compared to 51 million in 2023/24.

The wheat complex was mixed, with Chicago mostly firm on bear spreading and Kansas City and Minneapolis up on short covering. Rain forecasts for the U.S. Plains remain mixed, favoring northern areas over most of the south. Soil moisture in the eastern Midwest and Delta ranges from beneficial to excessive. Globally, the trade is keeping an eye on dry conditions in parts of Australia, Canada, Russia, and Ukraine, and very wet conditions for portions of western Europe. The USDA’s attaché for the European Union estimates 2024/25 wheat production at 129.85 million tons, compared to 134.63 million in 2023/24. Exports are also expected to dip from the current marketing year. The office in the United Kingdom sees production at 10.75 million tons, compared to 13.98 million tons a year ago on lower harvested area due to excessively wet conditions. Gains were limited by the slow old crop export demand. 2023/24 had a net reduction of 3.4 million bushels following several cancelations headlined by China and unknown, while 2024/25 sales of 8.2 million bushels were primarily to Mexico and unknown. The new marketing year for wheat starts June 1st.

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