Soybeans, corn mostly higher to end the week
Soybeans was mostly modestly higher, with the most active months seeing another strong week of gains. Most forecasts have good rain in parts of South America over the few days followed by a generally drier pattern, in-line with the current La Nina pattern. Rainfall over the next week is expected to favor southern Brazil and Argentina, missing some of the drier parts of Brazil. The Buenos Aires Grain Exchange says 28.8% of Argentina’s corn crop is planted, compared to 31.3% a year ago and producers continue to hold back on selling beans. Even if U.S. soybean demand has slowed down, exports are running ahead of projections only about a month and a half into the marketing year. Soybean meal was higher and bean oil was lower, adjusting product spreads.
Corn was mostly modestly higher, posting good week to week gains, with December closing just under the contract high. Corn is also watching weather in South America, along with the tail end of U.S. harvest activity. Parts of the Midwest and Plains will get some rain this weekend, but many areas are expected to be able to wrap up harvest soon. The Buenos Aires Grain Exchange says 31% of Argentina’s corn crop is planted, compared to 45% a year ago, with 35% of the crop rated good to excellent, well below last year. The big issue of concern for Brazil is that nation’s second crop, which is planted after soybeans are harvested. Friday morning, Mexico purchased 158,270 tons of U.S. corn and unknown destinations bought 131,000 tons, all 2020/21, for a weekly total of 624,270 tons in announced sales. Ethanol futures were unchanged.
The wheat complex was mixed, with Chicago adjusting spreads, Kansas City up, and Minneapolis down. Week to week, the March contracts all posted modest losses. Near-term forecasts have rain in the southern U.S. Plains ahead of a return to drier conditions, potentially stressing the crop ahead of dormancy. The trade is also monitoring weather in Russia and Ukraine as that crop heads towards dormancy, along with harvest activity in Australia, with production estimated at 15 million to 17 million tons. Australia is expected to make a solid return to the export market after a couple of years of drought damaged production. There are also dry weather concerns in parts of Canada. The Buenos Aires Grain Exchange says 20% of Argentina’s wheat crop is harvested. DTN says Jordan is re-tendering for 120,000 tons of milling wheat.