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Wheat extends gains, corn closes higher

Soybeans were mixed on bull spreading. Near-term cash supplies are tight, reflecting those spreads, with NOPA crush numbers out Wednesday. February’s member crush is expected to be down on the month, but at least slightly above a year ago. Brazil’s harvest remains slower than normal, but over the halfway point with a record large crop, while outlooks for Argentina continue to get smaller. The USDA’s next round of supply, demand, and production numbers are out April 11th, while CONAB’s updated outlook for Brazil will be out April 13th. Soybean meal was mixed on bull spreading and bean oil was higher on oversold signals and demand expectations tied to biodiesel and projections for tighter global vegetable oil supplies later this year.

Corn was higher on fund and technical buying. China bought 612,000 tons of 2022/23 U.S. corn Tuesday morning, the largest announced sale in months and their biggest purchase of U.S. corn in nearly a year. The lack of demand from China this marketing year has been the big culprit behind the slowdown in sales. The export window for U.S. corn is open, but it’s going to take a big improvement in sales and much stronger shipments. Corn is watching second crop planting in Brazil and the continued woes in Argentina. The U.S. Energy Information Administration’s weekly ethanol production and supply numbers are out Wednesday. The trade is watching conditions in the Midwest ahead of planting. Activity is already underway in parts of the south. The USDA’s prospective planting numbers are out on the 31st, along with quarterly grain stocks.

The wheat complex was higher on fund and technical buying. Winter wheat conditions ratings in the southern Plains were steady to lower and a significant portion of the crop is seeing some form of drought, even after improved precipitation in parts of the region. Some of the wheat crop in the southwestern Plains has emerged and is starting to head, which should start to give indication of yield. Soft red winter conditions are comparatively good and the trade is also watching conditions in the northern U.S. Plains and Canada ahead of spring wheat planting, which could get off to a slow start. Russia has reportedly agreed to a 60-day extension of the Black Sea Grain Initiative, half of what was requested by Ukraine, but still an extension. Further negotiations for whatever follows the current version of the agreement are reportedly ongoing.

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