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Soybeans, corn, wheat see declines

Soybeans were lower on fund and technical selling. The USDA raised U.S. ending stocks, mostly on slower export demand, and left production unchanged for Argentina and Brazil. CONAB did cut its guess for Brazil’s crop due to weather issues impacting yields, now seen at 146.522 million tons. Brazil’s soybean harvest is upwards of 80% complete. CONAB’s next Brazil production update is out May 14th. The Rosario Grain Exchange left its estimate for Argentina’s crop unchanged at 50 million tons. U.S. soybean export sales were above a week ago, still lower than average, at 11.2 million bushels, primarily to Mexico and Egypt, with a cancelation by unknown destinations. Brazil still has the export market price advantage, but that is starting to slip. Soybean oil was down sharply on losses in crude and palm oils, along with competition with other sources of biodiesel, while bean meal was up on the adjustment of product spreads. The gains in meal were despite projections for heavier sales from Brazil and an increased supply in for Argentina thanks to a larger crop. Soybeans continue to keep an eye on U.S. conditions ahead of widespread planting.

Corn was lower on fund and technical selling. U.S. corn ending stocks were down on the month thanks to feed and fuel use expectations, with no changes, this month, for exports. The USDA’s next round of supply and demand estimates is out May 10th and will include the first official peeks at new crop production and ending stocks. The USDA’s crop guess for Brazil was steady, while Argentina was slightly lower at 55 million tons. The Buenos Aires Grain Exchange now has Argentina’s corn crop at 49.5 million tons, a decline of 2.5 million from the last guess. That compares to the Rosario Grain Exchange’s estimate of 50.5 million tons, a drop of 6.5 million from March. CONAB reduced its corn production expectations, with a 0.2% cut for the first crop to 23.356 million tons and a 2% reduction for the second crop to 85.617 million tons. With no changes, yet, for the third crop, total production is seen at 110.964 million tons, which would be 15.9% below last year. The first crop harvest is past the halfway point, while second crop planting has mostly wrapped up. CONAB also lowered its corn export guess because of the smaller production expectations. U.S. corn export sales were a marketing year low at 12.8 million bushels with sales led by Japan and Mexico partially offset by a cancelation from unknown destinations. Shipments remain ahead of the pace needed to meet USDA projections for 2023/24. Routine new crop sales were to Nicaragua and Honduras. China has reportedly canceled some previously purchased corn from Ukraine because of Beijing’s domestic farmer support measures. The trade is anticipating minor near-term U.S. corn planting delays in parts of the Corn Belt.

The wheat complex was lower on fund and technical selling. U.S. ending stocks were above a month ago on a cut in feed demand, with minimal changes to the global numbers. Global ending stocks were up slightly, but with China removed, the carryover should be at multi-year lows. Concerns about U.S. and world weather issues are on the back burner. For the hard red winter region, the worry is a warm, windy pattern, for soft red winter, it’s excessively wet conditions in some areas. Globally, the trade is monitoring dry weather in Australia, Russia, and Ukraine, while portions of western Europe have had too much rain. Weekly old crop U.S. export sales were quite a bit larger than the previous week, but slightly smaller than average at 3 million bushels, with the Philippines and Algeria topping the list and a handful of cancelations led by unknown and Japan. New crop sales were 10.1 million bushels, mainly to Japan and South Korea. CONAB raised its outlook for Brazil’s wheat crop by 1.5% to 9.73 million tons, which would be 20.2% above a year ago.

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