Another round of highs for soybeans and corn
Soybeans were higher on commercial and technical buying, with January hitting a contract high. Rainfall missed parts of Brazil over the weekend and forecasts for this week have scattered precipitation for some of Brazil and Argentina. That rainfall won’t be enough to break the drought but did keep November and January from closing above $12. Safras e Mercado says 74.1% of Brazil’s soybean crop is planted. The USDA says the 2020 U.S. harvest is at least statistically over. Additionally, in general, commodities and the broader market are very encouraged by recent developments in COVID-19 vaccine trials. Export demand has slowed down relative to the hot start, but this marketing year is well ahead of last year. Weekly export inspections were over 2 million tons, with China and Mexico claiming the top two slots. The USDA’s Foreign Ag Services says Brazil’s National Energy Policy Council has published a resolution allowing the use of imported soybeans or soybean oil in biodiesel production. Soybean meal was up and soybean oil was mostly higher, with commercial activity the main feature for both.
Corn was modestly higher on commercial and technical buying, with a contract high for December. Corn is also watching weather in South America, with drought conditions impacting some key growing areas. That includes concerns about Brazil’s second crop, which is planted after soybeans are harvested. Safras e Mercado says 89.8% of Brazil’s first corn crop has been planted. Stateside, as of Sunday, the U.S. corn harvest is over. Unknown destinations bought 334,000 tons of 2020/21 U.S. corn. That could turn out to be China when its time for delivery. China and Mexico were the top destinations in the weekly export inspections report. Ethanol futures were higher. Ukraine’s ministry of the economy says 86% of corn is harvested.
The wheat complex was mixed with Chicago and Kansas City up and Minneapolis mostly firm. Most forecasts have light rain and snow in the southern U.S. Plains this week, against more dry weather for the Black Sea region, especially Russia. There are also concerns about some soft red winter growing areas ahead of the onset of dormancy in the northern hemisphere. According to the USDA, 89% of winter wheat has emerged, compared to the five-year average of 88% and 43% of the crop is rated good to excellent, down 3% on the week and 9% below a year ago. The trade is also watching harvest activity in Australia. New USDA supply, demand, and production estimates are out December 10th. DTN says Japan bought 101,854 tons of food wheat from the U.S. and Canada, while Pakistan purchased 340,000 tons of wheat from an unnamed seller. The list of recipients for U.S. export inspections was led by China and Mexico and while the total was below a year ago, 2020/21 remains just ahead of 2019/20, about six months into the marketing year.