Market News

Corn down, but still up modestly on week

Soybeans were mixed on commercial spread adjustments, favoring nearby contracts over deferred months. It was an up and down day for beans, with pressure from the broader market against periodic support from traders trying to buy back some acreage from corn. Contracts still posted solid weekly gains. The trade is also watching weather and movement issues in South America. Parts of Brazil are expected to remain dry, Safras & Mercado lowered their production outlook by 300,000 tons to 124.2 million, but dry areas of Argentina have rain in the forecast. The movement issues are related to governments attempting to stem the spread of COVID-19. Those movement restrictions in Argentina have led to a tighter supply of soybeans at crush facilities and port workers have asked Buenos Aires to suspend shipments for 15 days. Soybean meal futures were mostly weak on spread adjustments and bean oil was up on vegetable oil demand expectations. Mexico bought 163,290 tons of 2019/20 U.S. soybeans Friday morning. The International Grains Council pegs 2019/20 global soybean production at 341 million tons, down 4 million on the month on lower expectations for Argentina and Brazil.

Corn was modestly lower on fund and technical selling, but still managed a firm weekly finish. Export demand has improved, but there are a lot of concerns about ethanol demand after the drop in crude oil. Ethanol futures were mixed Friday, while crude oil was lower. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was lower on profit taking after three days of gains, but still had the best week in terms of gains in decades. There was also position squaring ahead of the USDA’s Prospective Planting and Quarterly Stocks numbers out Tuesday at Noon Eastern/11 Central. Corn is also watching conditions in South America. Safras & Mercado raised its’ outlook for Brazil’s combined corn crop to 105.8 million tons. The USDA’s attaché in South Africa expects that nation to remain a net exporter of corn in 2020/21, following a big crop in 2019/20. Unknown destinations purchased 114,048 tons of 2019/20 U.S. corn. The International Grains Council has 2019/20 world corn production at 1.116 billion tons, up 4 million from February thanks to a bigger crop for the European Union.

The wheat complex was mixed, mostly firm to modestly higher, cementing a higher weekly close at the three U.S. exchanges. Chicago had another round of support from the tight supply of soft red winter wheat and Paris milling wheat was higher ahead of the U.S. session. Kansas City was mostly up fractionally, watching hard red winter emergence conditions, and Minneapolis was higher ahead of widespread spring wheat planting in the northern U.S. Plains. Domestic demand is solid thanks to flour millers and grocers. Ukraine’s economic ministry is proposing a cap on wheat exports of 20.02 million tons, with the year to date total at 17.73 million tons; Ukraine’s marketing year runs through the end of June. Russia’s Ag Ministry says it wants to limit grain exports through the end of their marketing year, which also runs through the end of June. DTN says Turkey bought 175,000 tons of wheat from the Black Sea region and Taiwan purchased 99,450 tons of U.S. milling wheat. The International Grains Council projects 2019/20 world wheat production at 763 million tons, unchanged on the month.

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