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Corn manages modestly higher finish as soybeans sink

Soybeans were lower on fund and technical selling, along with spillover from the higher dollar and mostly lower bean meal. Harvest activity is ongoing in Brazil, with a new projection from CONAB out Thursday. While there are some delays in Brazil caused by wet weather, there have been no reports of quality issues and nearly every outlet is maintaining expectations for a record crop. Argentina has wrapped up planting with just 12% of the crop in good to excellent condition. Recent rain may help second crop beans, but it’s too early. The diplomatic tensions were China were an additional bearish background factor. Soybean inspections were strong, slightly less than a week ago, but more than a year ago, with 2022/23 now ahead of 2021/22. The top destinations were China and Mexico. Soybean meal was mixed, mostly lower, on bear spreading. Bean oil was mixed on bull spreading.

Corn was modestly higher on short covering and technical buying, finding some new buying interest after mostly lower trade for most of the session. Second crop corn planting in Brazil is slow because of rain delaying soybean harvest activity, but that should pick up steam in the coming weeks, while weather is the big issue in Argentina. The Buenos Aires Grain Exchange has Argentina’s corn crop at 22% good to excellent, with another 46% called normal, all improvements after some recent rainfall. U.S. corn is waiting for the export window to open a little bit wider with slower sales from competing exporters expected over the next couple of months. Weekly inspections were bearish, well below last year’s levels, mainly to Mexico and Japan. There’s talk the USDA will lower its export outlook in Wednesday’s supply and demand report, which would help alleviate some of the anticipated ending stocks tightness. Mexico bought 200,000 tons of U.S. corn, half for 2022/23 and half for 2023/24, and Japan picked up 111,800 tons, all 2022/23.

The wheat complex was mostly lower, with Chicago and Minneapolis down and Kansas seeing mixed. Export demand for U.S. wheat remains slow, with Russia continuing to hold most of the market due to a much lower price. Conversely, domestic demand is strong. Still, U.S. export inspections were up on the week and the year, with the pace slightly ahead of the pace needed to meet projections for the current marketing year. The main destinations were the Philippines and Mexico. Nearby Kansas City did see support from concerns about hard red winter wheat conditions in parts of the Plains. Recent precipitation has benefited the HRW crop in some, but not all, areas of the region. Soft red winter conditions are comparatively good. The trade also has an eye conditions in the northern U.S. Plains ahead hard red spring planting. China reportedly sold 137,701 tons of wheat from state reserves, nearly 99% of the offered total. Indications are wheat planting in India will be nearly steady with last year.

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