Market News

Soybeans, corn, wheat fall further

Soybeans were lower on fund and technical selling. Soybeans are watching development weather in Argentina and harvest activity in Brazil. The USDA’s updated supply and demand report is out March 8th, while CONAB’s new outlook for Brazil is set for March 12th. The USDA’s Ag Outlook Forum is projecting increased planted area and stocks for next marketing year. Export sales were up on the week, but lower than average, with China and Spain tipping the list against a big cancelation by unknown destinations. While shipments were above the pace needed to meet USDA projections, overall movement remains behind last marketing year. Part of the recent slow demand has been Lunar New Year celebrations, with Chinese trade set to resume on Monday. Soybean meal and oil extended their losses as well. NOPA numbers for January were bearish with a smaller than expected crush and larger than anticipated soybean oil stocks.

Corn was lower on fund and technical selling. The new crop production and ending stocks numbers for corn out of the Ag Outlook Forum look bearish. Planted area and production are expected to be lower, while the USDA does expect a large carryover from 2023/24 following record production. The USDA’s Prospective Planting report, and quarterly grain stocks, are out at the end of March. U.S. export sales were solid at 51.5 million bushels, Mexico and Colombia led the way, but there’s increasing competition from Ukraine, which recently sold corn to Egypt. Physical shipments of corn did fall short of the mark for meet the USDA’s estimate for 2023/24, but the pace remains ahead of 2022/23. Corn, and soybeans, will hit the halfway point of the current marketing year March 1st.

The wheat complex was lower on fund and technical selling. Global supplies are ample and Russia continues to control the export market. That was in evidence yet again in the week sales numbers, which were down on the week and below average, primarily to the Philippines and Taiwan. There were routine sales for 2024/25, all to Japan. The current marketing year for wheat runs through the end of May. The dollar was down during Thursday’s session, theoretically helping U.S. exports, but the value remains high when compared to competing currencies. The Ag Outlook Forum is calling for lower new crop planted area and larger ending stocks. Egypt issued a tender for an unspecified amount of wheat. SovEcon raised its production projection for Russia to 93.6 million tons. France’s Ag Ministry says domestic ending stocks are near a 20-year high.

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