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Soybeans gain ground with corn, wheat mixed

Soybeans were higher on commercial and technical buying. CONAB lowered its crop guess for Brazil to 146.859 million tons, below the USDA’s last estimate of 155 million and much closer to, but still above, many private estimates. Brazil’s harvest is over the halfway point, and they still have an export price edge, even with a recent increase in basis. CONAB cut exports, but Brazil will remain the world’s biggest exporter of soybeans. Safras e Mercado says 36.6% of the 2023/24 crop has been sold, ahead of 2022/23, but slower than average with some farmers holding out for higher prices. There was also spillover from soybean oil, which was up on the strength in global palm oil due to supply concerns. Soybean meal followed beans and oil higher. Stateside, the trade is watching weather and any potential changes in the acreage mix ahead of the USDA’s Prospective Planting report out on Thursday, March 28th. Quarterly grain stocks are also out that day.

Corn was narrowly mixed, mostly unchanged. CONAB now has Brazil’s second corn crop at 87.349 million tons, slightly lower than in February, with a total crop of 112.753 million, also under the USDA’s most recent guess. AgRural says second crop planting is 93% complete, while the first crop harvest is at 57% in central and southern growing areas. CONAB and the USDA will both issue new production projections April 11th. South American weather is generally favorable, but some areas have seen a recent drier pattern ahead of a better chance for rain in some medium-term forecasts. Still, longer term outlooks are a little questionable, which could hamper second crop development. The U.S. Energy Information Administration’s weekly ethanol production and stocks numbers are out Wednesday.

The wheat complex was mixed, with most months unable to sustain early gains. There was still some buying interest, but support was limited by the slow export demand, along with the firm trade in the dollar for most of the session. Ukraine and Russia continue to hold most of the global market share. Winter wheat condition ratings in the central and southern U.S. Plains remain much better than a year ago, even with persistently dry conditions in some areas. The trade is also monitoring conditions ahead of spring wheat planting in the northern U.S. Plains and Canada. There have been more rumors, but no confirmation, of more cancelations on U.S. wheat by China. CONAB estimates 2023/24 Brazil’s wheat crop at 9.588 million tons, a decline of 6% from February and a rise of 18.4% from 2022/23.

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