Corn, soybeans lower Friday
Soybeans were sharply lower on profit taking and technical selling, still finishing higher for the week, with nearby months outgaining deferred contracts. Soybean followed bean meal, taking profits, even as bean oil was mostly higher on Indonesia’s decision to ban palm oil exports starting April 28th. That ban comes in the face of tight global vegetable oil supplies, exacerbated by the lack of sunflower oil exports from Ukraine. Ukraine’s Ministry of Ag says 13.8% of this year’s sunflower crop has been planted, with APK-Inform projecting exports to Europe through the end of the marketing year at 745,000 tons. Most forecasts did have improved planting weather in some key U.S. growing areas during the coming week. The Buenos Aires Grain Exchange says 31% of Argentina’s soybean crop is harvested, with 18% rated good to excellent, a 5% drop from a week ago. Ahead of the open, Mexico bought 144,000 tons of U.S. soybeans, with 48,000 tons for 2021/22 delivery and 96,000 tons for 2022/23.
Corn was lower on profit taking and technical selling, closing mixed for the week. China bought 1.347 million tons of U.S. corn, continuing their recent improvement demand as Ukraine remains largely out of the export market due to Russia’s invasion and damage to port facilities. 5.9% of Ukraine’s corn crop is planted. Additionally, Mexico picked up 281,000 tons of U.S. corn. From that purchase by China, 735,000 tons is for 2021/22 delivery and 612,000 tons is for 2022/23 and for Mexico, 90,200 tons are old crop and 190,800 tons are new crop. That solid demand is despite U.S. prices being at a big premium to Argentina and Brazil, but that also probably explains part of Friday’s losses. Corn is also watching U.S. planting weather, expecting improved conditions in some areas in the coming week. The Buenos Aires Grain Exchange says 23% of Argentina’s corn crop is harvested with just 18% of the crop rated good to excellent, 2% under last week. Central Brazil is expected to remain dry, potentially harming their critical second crop.
The wheat complex was mixed, with Chicago down and Kansas City and Minneapolis up, with all three ending the week with losses. Most forecasts had continued drought conditions in hard red winter areas against excessively wet weather in portions of the soft red winter region ahead of a warmer, drier pattern. More spring wheat planting delays caused by cold and either wet or dry conditions are probable in parts of the northern U.S. Plains. The trade is also watching the implications of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on global supply and demand factors. Ukraine’s government says it will extend martial law until May 25th and says it will extend restrictions on some ag imports to Poland via rail through May 3rd. 85.6% of Ukraine’s spring wheat crop is planted. Russia says it is temporarily suspending reports of import and export data, citing “speculation”.