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Corn finishes modestly lower on profit taking

Soybeans were narrowly mixed, with most months either holding steady or making fractional changes. Development conditions in South America are generally good, but near term export demand looks solid. Domestic demand should stay strong, even as export competition increases. Safras e Mercado says 63% of Brazil’s soybean crop is harvested and the week’s forecast for Argentina is generally dry. Soybean meal was lower and bean oil was higher on the adjustment of product spreads. Bean oil had additional support from commercial buying and higher palm oil heading into Monday’s session.

Corn was modestly lower on profit taking and technical selling. Corn is also watching South America with new higher private production estimates out of Brazil. Safras e Mercado has the combined Brazilian crop at 98 million tons with pollination for the second crop expected to start in April. U.S. corn is still at a discount to Brazilian supplies and South Korea bought 132,000 tons of 2016/17 U.S. corn Monday morning. Contracts had been up for a couple of sessions after the recent move to eight week lows. Ethanol futures were lower.

The wheat complex was modestly lower on profit taking and technical selling, along with the higher dollar. On the first day of spring, a lot of U.S. winter wheat growing areas are very dry or in a drought, but some areas could get rain later this week. The big negative for wheat is the supply side of the market with demand no better than neutral. Taiwan is tendering for 98,200 tons of U.S. milling wheat. The USDA’s ag attaché in Mexico puts 2017/18 wheat production at 3.65 million tons, down 6% from 2016/17, citing lower harvested area and less favorable conditions during key parts of the growing season.

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