Soybeans see renewed commercial support
Soybeans were higher on commercial and technical buying, with gains accelerating late in the session. Most forecasts have good crop weather in South America, with planting reportedly nearly complete in Brazil at 98% and close to average for Argentina at 62%. Brazil’s oilseed crush group ABIOVE did say this week it expects Brazil to rely at least partially on soybean imports to meet domestic needs because of projected strong export demand, especially from China. Solid demand provided most of the support, along with spillover from bean meal. Soybean meal and oil were higher following a bullish set of November member crush numbers from the NOPA. The NOPA says member firms crushed 181.018 million bushels of beans last month, down from October, a record for any month, but up sharply on the year.
Corn ended a mostly weak session firm on spillover from beans and wheat. Corn is also watching weather in South America, with longer-term uncertainties because of the prevailing La Nina pattern. The improved precipitation has helped planting pick up speed, with Argentina now at 63%, compared to 61% on average, and planting of Brazil’s first crop is a little bit ahead of normal. The key South American corn crop to watch will be Brazil’s second crop, planted after the soybean harvest. Export and feed demand are strong, but ethanol demand is a concern. The U.S. Energy Information Administration’s weekly ethanol production and supply numbers are out Wednesday. Ethanol futures were unchanged. Ukraine’s economic ministry projects 2021 corn exports at 22.9 million tons, considerably less than the nation’s grain trading union and down sharply on the year because of a smaller crop.
The wheat complex was modestly higher on short covering and technical buying, buying back part of Monday’s losses. The trade is waiting to see if Russia pushes wheat sales before enacting an export tax starting February 15th and running through the end of June. Most forecasts have mixed near-term conditions for U.S. winter wheat growing areas. There are also potential winterkill concerns in parts of Russia, with a lesser chance, right now for Ukraine. Still, it’s less about what conditions look like going into dormancy and more about what conditions will be coming out of dormancy. The USDA’s weekly national crop condition numbers resume in April, but most states will be issuing month updates during the winter into early spring. The USDA’s next set of supply and demand estimates is out January 12th, along with winter wheat planted area numbers and quarterly grain stocks. DTN says Jordan is in the market for 120,000 tons of milling wheat, while Egypt bought 120,000 tons of wheat from Romania and 115,000 tons from Ukraine.