Soybeans up, corn down ahead of USDA numbers
Soybeans were higher on short covering and technical buying, closing near the low end of the day’s range. Parts of the Midwest and Plains saw colder than normal temperatures over the past few days, including freezing conditions in some areas. The USDA says 38% of U.S. soybeans are planted, compared to the five-year average of 23%, and 7% has emerged, compared to 4% on average. There are movement issues in Argentina because of lower water levels on the Parana River, but Brazil’s currency has lost a lot of ground recently, keeping it competitive for exports. Still, the spread of COVID-19 in Brazil could limit shipments. Weekly export inspections were bearish. The trade is waiting to see what happens with China and the purchase requirements under the Phase One trade agreement. Soybean meal was modestly lower, unable to follow through on early gains, and soybean oil was weak with crude oil down modestly.
Corn was modestly lower on profit taking and technical selling, unable to follow through on an early modestly higher move. Corn was getting ready for the weekly crop numbers, expecting another good week of planting progress while keeping an eye on the pace of emergence. As of Sunday, 67% of corn is planted, compared to the usual pace of 56%, and 24% has emerged, compared to 22% on average. More rain is probable this week in many areas of the Corn Belt. Weekly export inspections topped what is needed to meet expectations for the 2019/20 marketing year. Corn is also monitoring livestock feed demand and forecasts for rain in Brazil. Ukraine’s Ministry of the Economy says that since the start of the marketing year last July, corn exports are 26.88 million tons. Ethanol futures were higher.
The wheat complex was mixed, with Chicago and Kansas City down and Minneapolis up. The trade was keeping an eye out for possible damage to winter wheat and probable spring wheat planting delays. For winter wheat, 53% of the crop is rated good to excellent, 2% less than last week, with 44% headed, compared to 50% on average. For spring wheat, 42% of the crop is planted and 16% has emerged, both slower than normal because of weather in the northern U.S. Plains. New USDA supply, demand, and production estimates are out Tuesday at Noon Eastern/11 Central. Recent rainfall has benefited wheat in parts of Europe and the Black Sea region but was too late to help some of the crop in Russia. The Economy Ministry in Ukraine says wheat exports since the start of the marketing year last July are 19.19 million tons, with total grain exports a record 51.5 million tons, up 19% on the year. Weekly export inspections were more than what is needed to meet projections for the current marketing year, which wraps up at the end of the month. Iraq’s state grain board says it has purchased more than 500,000 tons of wheat from local producers since harvested started in April, with a target of 1 million tons to bolster state reserves.