Market News

Soybeans, corn, wheat up on weather concerns

Soybeans were higher on fund and technical buying. Soybeans are watching the probable harvest delays in parts of Argentina and Brazil, along with potential quality issues. The USDA’s next round of supply, demand, and production numbers are out May 10th, with CONAB’s updated outlook for Brazil slated for the 14th. Most of last week’s U.S. planting progress was in central and southern growing areas. Most of the region is expected to see a warm-up this week and while rain will delay planting in some areas, it’ll help set the crop up for development. The USDA says 8% of U.S. soybeans have been planted, compared to the five-year average of 4%. Soybean meal and oil were up on crop quality concerns in Argentina, which is normally the world’s largest exporter of soybean products. U.S. export inspections last week were below the previous week, but above a year ago, primarily to China and Mexico. Brazil remains in control of the global market due to a price advantage over the U.S.

Corn was higher on fund and technical buying. There’s rain in the forecast later this week for most of the Corn Belt, delaying planting, but that’s coming with warmer temperatures and is viewed as favorable for long-term development. As of Sunday, 12% of U.S. corn is planted and 3% has emerged, both faster than the respective average paces. Corn is also monitoring the probable harvest delays in parts of Argentina. Several private firms and USDA have recently downgraded their expectations for Argentina’s crop because of pest issues, but it should still be significantly larger than last year. Conversely, the rain in southern Brazil is welcome ahead of an anticipated switch to a drier weather pattern. Ethanol and export demand continue to be positives for corn, even with the large available supply. The USDA says corn export inspections were up on the week and the year, mainly to Mexico and Japan. Approaching the final quarter of 2023/24, the pace remains ahead of 2022/23.

The wheat complex was higher on fund and technical buying. There was a frost reported in parts of the Plains as far south as northern Kansas in addition to a large swath of Europe over the weekend. That’s in addition to dry weather in parts of Russia, Ukraine, and Canada. Portions of the Canadian Prairies could see some relief soon and eastern Australia got some much-needed rain over the weekend. Most U.S. winter wheat growing areas are expected to see at least some rain this week, which would help the hard red crop, but add to excess soil moisture concerns for some of the soft red crop. For winter wheat, 50% of the crop is good to excellent, 5% lower than last week, but 24% higher than this time last year, with 17% headed, compared to 13% on average. For spring wheat, 15% of the crop is planted, compared to 10% normally this time of year. U.S. wheat export inspections were below the week before, but larger than last year, with Japan and the Philippines topping the list. Nearing the end of the marketing year, the pace continues to be slower than 2022/23, largely due to the dominance of Russia and Ukraine, despite the ongoing war.

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