Market News

Soybeans, corn slip, wheat mostly lower

Soybeans were lower on fund and technical selling. Brazil’s soybean harvest is about 80% complete and widespread activity is starting to gain steam in Argentina. Brazil’s basis has moved higher, but it still maintains an export price edge on U.S. beans. The USDA’s updated supply and demand estimates are out Thursday, along with CONAB’s new outlook for Brazil. There was also spillover from the lower move in bean oil, which followed the decline in crude oil instead of the gains in palm oil. Meal had an up and down day, eventually finishing weak, taking the lead from the rest of the soy complex. Soybean meal has also recently seen pressure tied to questions about livestock feed demand. Unknown destinations bought 124,000 tons of old crop U.S. beans ahead of the open. That could turn out to be China when its time for delivery, but it could also be switched to another destination or canceled prior to shipment.

Corn was modestly lower on fund and technical selling. Near-term forecasts for the Midwest and Plains are mixed, with better planting conditions likely in many areas of the Corn Belt by this weekend. Still, parts of the southeast and Delta could be looking at extended rain delays for planting, which could end up having an impact on total acreage. The USDA’s first official new crop supply, demand, and production numbers are out in May. As of Sunday, 3% of U.S. corn is planted, just ahead of average. The U.S. Energy Information Administration’s weekly ethanol production and stocks numbers are out Wednesday. Ethanol and export demand continue to be relative bright spots for corn in the face of a large domestic supply and uncertainties about livestock feed.

The wheat complex was mostly lower with Chicago and Kansas City down and all Minneapolis contracts losing ground, except the May. 56% of winter wheat is rated good to excellent, the highest level at this stage of the crop in four years and steady on the week, with welcome rain in the forecast for parts of the central and southern Plains. There’s also rain in the forecast for some spring wheat areas in the northern Plains and Canada. India’s flour millers group estimates domestic wheat production at 105 million tons, compared to the official government guess of 112 million and the year ago total of 102.9 million tons. The trade is also monitoring the impact of excessively wet conditions in parts of western Europe and dry weather in Australia, Russia, and Ukraine. Full impact of Russia’s ongoing war on Ukraine on port infrastructure in and shipping out of the Black Sea region remains unknown. Phytosanitary issues could also impact Russia’s export business.

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