Soybeans, wheat end week on positive notes
Soybeans were higher on commercial and technical buying, with May up on the week, but November down modestly. Unknown destinations bought 110,000 tons of 2019/20 U.S. beans Friday morning, which might turn out to be China when it’s time for delivery. China has yet to really step up phase one purchases and might not until Argentina and Brazil have nearly exhausted supplies, unless U.S. prices become significantly more attractive. Even that would take some time, given production expectations for South America and the recent weaknesses in Argentina’s and Brazil’s currencies against the dollar. Weather in South America is mixed, with dry conditions in parts of Argentina and Brazil. The trade is monitoring port issues in South America, which also supported soybean meal, along with a new-month high for bean meal in China because of tight supplies. Argentina is the world’s biggest exporter of soybean meal. Bean oil was also higher, following the lead of meal and beans.
Corn was mostly modestly lower on spread trade, profit taking, and a lack of follow through buying after a higher start to the session. The May contract lost $.22 on the week, establishing another round of new lows. China purchased 756,000 tons of 2019/20 U.S. corn, their biggest one-day purchase since July 2013, but traders bought the rumor Thursday and sold Friday in most months. Corn is also watching weather and shipping in South America, along with U.S. conditions ahead of widespread planting. The USDA’s prospective planting report is out on the 31st, along with quarterly stocks data. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was higher to start Friday, looking for back to back gains for the first time in six weeks, but couldn’t follow through on continued coronavirus concerns. Ethanol futures were lower.
The wheat complex was higher on commercial and technical buying, with May contracts at the three U.S. exchanges higher on the week. China bought 340,000 tons of 2020/21 U.S. hard red winter wheat Friday, confirming some of the week’s rumors. With less than a quarter remaining in 2019/20, U.S. wheat exports remain ahead of the 2018/19 pace. The trade is monitoring winter wheat conditions as the crop emerges from dormancy and spring wheat weather ahead of widespread planting. Domestic demand for grocery use is also a supportive factor as retailers try to refill store shelves and brace for the next rounds of heavy demand as the public responds to concerns about the spread of COVID-19. Japan has an open tender for 90,311 tons of food wheat from the U.S. and/or Canada, and Ethiopia has two open milling wheat tenders, one for 200,000 tons and one for 400,000 tons.