Corn, soybeans see slight rallies
Soybeans were modestly higher on short covering and technical buying. Beans and nearby meal rallied from early losses, with help from bean oil on higher global vegetable oil prices. Planting in Brazil is slower than average, with some areas too wet and others too dry. There’s talk of a significant amount of replanting and there have been some recent lower private production estimates, even as the trade still seems to have dialed in a second consecutive record crop, for now. CONAB’s updated outlook for Brazil is scheduled for December 7th. There have been some improvements in export demand for U.S. beans, especially from China, as the market watches that planting activity in Brazil. Stateside, harvest activity should wrap up soon in some key U.S. growing areas. The NOPA’s member soybean crush numbers for October are out Wednesday, with analysts expecting a month-to-month increase in the crush rate against tighter soybean oil stocks.
Corn was modestly higher on short covering and technical buying, pulling contracts up from the initial losses. Corn is watching weather in Brazil, with soybean planting delays expected to push back second crop corn planting. That’s the largest of Brazil’s three crops and the source of most of their exports. Most forecasts have more rain for parts of Argentina through the end of the year. Mexico bought 101,745 tons of 2023/24 U.S. corn ahead of Tuesday’s open, continuing to be the bright spot for the U.S. corn export program. Demand has been a little slower than expected during the first quarter of 2023/24 with Brazil, and to an extent, Ukraine, holding significant portions of the market, including corn purchases by China. Corn is also watching late U.S. harvest activity. The USDA’s next round of supply, demand, and production numbers is scheduled for December 8th, but could be delayed if there’s a shutdown of the federal government due to a lack of funding. The U.S. Energy Information Administration will be releasing two weeks of ethanol production and stocks numbers Wednesday. France’s Ag Ministry estimates domestic corn production at 12.5 million tons, up 400,000 from the October projection.
The wheat complex was mixed, with Chicago and Kansas City down on a lack of follow through buying, even as Minneapolis managed to close firm, albeit in the middle of the day’s range. Winter wheat planting and emergence are close to average, with the good to excellent rating down slightly on the week. Still, U.S. winter wheat conditions are considerably better than this time last year as the crop inches towards dormancy. The big bearish factor for wheat continues to be slow export demand with Russia holding a price advantage over most other sellers and Ukraine still exporting grain, just via alternative routes following the collapse of the Black Sea Grain Initiative and continued attacks on infrastructure by Russia. The anticipated demand for U.S. wheat from China following crop damage has not materialized, outside of a handful of sales earlier this fall. France’s Ag Ministry left its soft wheat production guess steady on the month at 35.1 million tons.
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Author: John Perkins