Soybeans sharply lower, corn ends week on spread adjustments
The soybean complex closed mostly lower with some spread adjustments in deffered soybean contracts. Nearby contracts continue to trade lower following USDA’s estimated record 91 million U.S. soybean acres for this growing season. Expected soybean ending stocks are also driving the market downward. Lower moves for crude oil this week have added downward pressure for soybean oil. Private Brazilian soybean production estimates are continuing to fall, giving U.S. soybeans more opportunity on the global market. Expected above average rainfall in Brazil could boost crop expectations. And demand concerns are looming with COVID related lockdowns in China potentially impacting crush facilities. May soybeans closed 35 and 1/2 cents lower at $15.82 and 3/4, July beans down 31 and 1/4 at $15.66 and 3/4, May soybean meal closed sharply lower – down $17.50 at $450, May soybean oil closed 126 points higher at $71.20.
Corn futures were mixed to close the week, losing gains in the nearby contracts from Thursday. USDA’s expected U.S. corn acreage this year came in four percent below last year at 89.5 million acres – that’s been supportive to defferd contracts. USDA announced the sale of 136,000 metric tons of old crop U.S. corn to uknown destinations for delivery this marketing year. The market continues to watch developments in the conflict between Russia and Ukraine. The potential for Ukraine to lose much of its corn crop remains if the country is unable to plant around war conditions. The two sides met this week for in-person peace talks, but they were short lived with reports of little progress made. South America’s safrinha corn crop has had an up and down planting season. Expected heavy rain in Brazil could benefit the crop just put in the ground. A light to moderate crop is expected for Argentina and other key growing areas in the next week. Gasoline demand is trending downward with continued rising and elevated gas prices from global supply concerns. Loss of gas demand is causing a 1:1 loss in ethanol demand as the two markets are tied tightly together. Less gas demand means less ethanol demand to be blended into gasoline to meet octane standards. Weather is becoming more of a market driver as planting season is picking up. May corn closed the week losing 13 and 3/4 cents at $7.35, July corn closed down 11 and 1/4 at $7.21 and 3/4.
Wheat futures are mixed on spread adjustments. USDA’s expected wheat acreage and stocks came in below the pre-report estimates. Dry weather has come back in the Western Plains with weather patterns in the region becoming dryer after March in most years. The wheat complex continues to watch the Russian – Ukrainian war intently. A back and forth between peace talks in the region and Russian advances will likely continue to send the market higher and lower from day to day. However, the market has seemingly started to consolidate, setting firmer prices that are less reactionary to everything coming out of the region. Ukraine’s ag minister recently said he expects only about half of the country’s crops to be seeded because of the conflict. Wheat export sales dropped 39 percent compared to last week. May Chicago closed 21 and 1/2 cents lower at $9.84 and 1/2, the May Kansas City wheat contract lost 16 and 3/4 cents on Friday, May Minneapolis lost 14 and 1/4 cents closing at $10.65 and 1/4.