Mostly firm finish for soybeans, corn
Soybeans were mixed, mostly modestly higher on spread adjustments, with most months able to really from midday losses. The export outlook is neutral to bullish, with unknown destinations and China the leading buyers last week. The trade is also monitoring harvest and development weather in South America. Parts of Argentina are expected to see near-term rainfall and while some outlets have lowered production estimates for Brazil, it should still be a record large crop. Argentina’s port workers are asking the government to suspend exports because of coronavirus. The Buenos Aires Grain Exchange says 4.6% of the Argentine soybean crop is harvested. Soybean meal was higher and bean oil was lower on the adjustment of product spreads. Soybean product exports were bullish, including a new marketing year high for oil. Meal picked up additional support from the potential suspension of exports from Argentina.
Corn was steady to mostly fractionally higher, recovering from the early modestly lower profit taking trade. The overall export pace is bearish, but last week’s sales were a marketing year high, with China and Japan the top purchasers. That sale to China was one large report sale of 756,000 tons, their biggest in years, so the trade is waiting to see if that was an aberration or the start of a trend. China was the biggest buyer of sorghum and there’s more talk of interest in U.S. DDGS. Past that – corn is watching weather with the USDA’s prospective planting and quarterly stocks numbers are out on the 31st. Corn is also watching conditions in South America. The Buenos Aires Grain Exchange says 15.8% of Argentina’s corn crop is harvested, but new crop sales have slowed down on movement disruptions caused by COVID-19. Ethanol futures were higher on a tighter supply, even as some plants idle or close down because of the concerns about demand and poor margins.
The wheat complex was lower on profit taking and technical selling, with Chicago and Kansas City leading the way down after the leading the way up. China was the biggest buyer of U.S. wheat last week, both old and new crop, but U.S. prices are above most competing nations after the recent rally. Chicago continues to have the tightest supply and the best fundamental argument. Paris milling wheat futures were lower heading into the U.S. session and Russia’s currency has moved sharply lower recent. Winter wheat development weather and spring wheat planting conditions look generally non-threatening. In the broader market, the dollar was down, which should help U.S. wheat be more competitive on the export market, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average was higher for the third consecutive session. DTN says Taiwan is tendering for 99,000 tons of U.S. wheat.