Soybeans, corn down, watching planting conditions

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Soybeans, corn down, watching planting conditions

Soybeans were lower on fund and technical selling. The trade is watching U.S. planting weather and while temperatures are generally cool, most areas are expected to make good progress. Nationally, planting is already ahead of average and while some key states lag, others are considerably ahead of their respective normal paces. The potential for frost late this week in some areas is a bigger concern for soybeans than corn. New supply, demand, and production estimates are out on the 12th. The USDA did not report any new soybean export sales to China Wednesday ahead of the weekly numbers. Tensions have cooled, at least publicly, but China’s ag purchases have fallen short of the marks needed to meet requirements under Phase One of the trade agreement. Soybean meal and oil followed beans lower. Statistics Canada’s 2020 planting intentions report is out Thursday, with soybean acreage expected to be down on the year at 5.5 million acres, with higher planted area for canola, up to 21.1 million.

Corn was modestly lower on fund and technical selling. Corn is also watching planting weather, expecting another strong week to week advance to be reported next Monday. Planting has already passed the halfway mark nationally but cooler conditions have hampered emergence, keeping that slower than normal. In Brazil, a lack of rain for the second crop has led to some lower production estimates. Frost has also likely damaged some of the crop. Brazil’s second crop is the larger of the two major crops and the source of most of their exports. Ethanol futures were up modestly. The U.S. Energy Information Administration says ethanol production last week averaged 598,000 barrels, up 61,000 on the week, but down 536,000 on the year, while stocks were reported at 25.612 million barrels, a decrease of 725,000 from the week before and an increase of 3.144 million from this time last year. The USDA is expected to lower its’ corn for ethanol use estimate next week because of the impact of COVID-19 related social distancing and stay at home orders. The livestock feed estimate could also decline. The European Union has nearly doubled its’ import tariffs for corn and sorghum to $11.25 per ton. Statistics Canada is expected to project that nation’s 2020 corn planted area at 3.6 million acres, slightly below 2019.

The wheat complex was lower on fund and technical selling. Recent rainfall in Europe and the Black Sea region is helping to alleviate some concerns over production. The Buenos Aires Grain Exchange sees Argentina’s wheat crop at a record 21 million tons. For now, U.S. weather concerns seem to be on the back burner. That includes recent freeze damage and dry weather for the hard red winter crop, wet conditions for soft red winter, and planting delays for spring wheat. A recent winter wheat survey in Oklahoma has a year to year loss for production. Still, that is essentially a reminder of just how global the wheat market is. DTN says Jordan is tendering for 120,000 tons of wheat. Statistics Canada Thursday is expected to estimate 2020 planted area in Canada at 25.3 million acres, a little bit larger than last year.

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