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Soybeans, wheat extend declines, corn mostly weak

Soybeans were modestly lower on fund and technical selling. Soybean planting remains behind a year ago, while staying ahead of the five-year average. Beans are watching that corn planting pace for any signals on acreage switching. Export sales continues to be slow, but Brazil’s basis has been up, which could help demand for U.S. beans. Old crop U.S. sales have been a little disappointing and there have been no new crop sales to China reported yet. The new marketing year for soybeans gets underway September 1st. The state crop agency in Brazil’s Rio Grande do Sul pulled their soybean production estimate below 20 million tons because of widespread flooding and crop damage. The USDA’s next round of supply, demand, and production numbers is out June 12th, with CONAB’s updated outlook for Brazil due on the 14th. Soybean meal and oil were down on fund and technical pressure.

Corn was mostly modestly lower, unable to follow through on periodic gains. The USDA’s first national crop rating of the season was better than expected at 75% good to excellent following the widespread rainfall in much of the Corn Belt. 91% of the crop is planted, with more near-term delays probable in many areas, throwing just how much of that 9% actually gets planted into question. Still, the improved soil moisture in much of the Corn Belt should be a long-term benefit for this year’s crop. In Brazil, 4.7% of the second crop has been harvested, compared to about 2% last week. Brazil’s second crop is the largest of the three and the source of most of their exports. Near-term forecasts for most of Argentina look good for harvest activity. The U.S. Energy Information Administration’s weekly ethanol production and stocks numbers are out Wednesday. Corn, and soybeans, also saw another round of spillover pressure from a lower move in crude oil.

The wheat complex was lower on fund and technical selling. The USDA’s winter wheat rating was up slightly on the week and the first spring wheat rating of 2024 was above a year ago with planting faster than average. Forecasts for parts of Russia and Ukraine continue to look hot and dry, but at this point, it seems like the trade wants to see some yield results, not projections from private firms. That’s probably also true for the excessively wet portions of western Europe. Global demand for U.S. wheat continues to be slow at the start of 2024/25. Egypt bought 470,000 tons of wheat, including 180,000 tons from Romania, 120,000 tons each from France and Ukraine, and 50,000 from Bulgaria. Algeria purchased 800,000 tons of wheat with most of that reportedly from the Black Sea region. The European Union says marketing year to date wheat exports are 29.287 million tons, 4.6% slower than a year ago, with imports of 11.209 million tons, 8.1% faster.

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