Corn down on crude oil, planting progress
Soybeans were modestly lower on fund and technical selling. Brazil’s currency was down against the dollar, maintaining their competitive advantage for exports, and weekly export inspections were bearish. China’s General Administration of Customs says imports from Brazil during March were down nearly 25% on the year because rain related shipping delays. China did buy more than 600,000 tons of U.S. beans last week, mostly for 2019/20 delivery. The Rosario Grain Exchange says movement delays low water levels on the Parana River has cost the industry more than $244 million in losses this year. The trade was also watching U.S. planting weather. The USDA says 8% of U.S. soybeans are planted, compared to the five-year average of 4%. Soybean meal and oil followed beans lower.
Corn was lower on fund and technical selling, along with the lower move in crude oil. That drop in crude has led to a big decline in corn for ethanol use and the year to year drop in cattle placements reported last week by the USDA is a negative for feed demand. That concern was already present because of slower livestock processing because of COVID-19 infections at some major plants. Parts of the Corn Belt made good planting progress over the last week, while others saw continued delays. As of Sunday, 27% of U.S. corn is planted, compared to 7% a week ago and 20% on average, with 3% of the crop emerged, compared to 4% on average. Ethanol futures were pressured by the drop in crude oil. Weekly export inspections for corn were bearish. There has been more talk of China buying U.S. corn to shore up state reserves, but nothing has surfaced. The trade is also watching the impact of dry weather on Brazil’s second crop, the larger of the two and the source of most of their exports.
The wheat complex was lower on fund and technical selling. The USDA was expected to report another week of mixed condition ratings for winter wheat along with generally good planting progress for spring wheat. For winter wheat, 54% of the U.S. crop is rated good to excellent, down 3% on the week, with 21% of the crop headed, compared to the usual pace of 25%. For spring wheat, 14% is planted, compared to 29% typically in late April, and 4% has emerged, compared to 7% on average. Paris milling wheat was lower heading into the U.S. session, despite continued dry weather in parts of Europe and the Black Sea region. Russia will reportedly suspend exports once it reaches its’ second quarter sales quota and Ukraine is expected to follow suit, with wheat and corn. Weekly U.S. export inspections were bearish with less than a month and a half left in the 2019/20 marketing year. DTN says Saudi Arabia bought 655,000 tons of wheat from Ukraine and “others”.