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Corn, soybeans up on slow planting paces

Soybeans were sharply higher on commercial and technical buying. Beans followed soybean products and palm oil, which were supported by tight supplies and solid demand. There’s talk, but no confirmation, Indonesia will also suspend exports of crude palm oil, along with refined, which would further tighten the global supply with sunflower exports from Ukraine halted by Russia’s invasion. That pulled July soybean oil to a contract high, with the strength in beans and bean oil pulling soybean meal from its early doldrums. Domestic crush margins are strong and more U.S. planting delays are likely. Sustained exports to China are a question mark due to poor crush margins and expectations for slower feed demand. ANEC estimates Brazil’s April soybean exports at 12.09 million tons, up slightly on the year.

Corn was higher on commercial and technical buying, with July establishing a new contract high. Most forecasts into early May show cool, wet weather in some key U.S. growing areas, further delaying planting. Near-term weather outlooks for central Brazil show more probable stress their critical second crop, with about 65% of that crop threatened by drought or near drought conditions. Unlike wheat, corn is seeing at least some boost from Ukraine being out of the export market right now, especially from China. ANEC sees Brazil’s April corn exports at 793,000 tons. The U.S. Energy Information Administration says ethanol production last week averaged 963,000 barrels a day, up 16,000 on the week and 18,000 on the year, while stocks were reported at 23.965 million barrels, a 14-week low, and a decrease of 377,000 from the previous week, but an increase of 4.229 million from a year ago.

The wheat complex was mixed, with Chicago consolidating, Kansas City taking profits, and Minneapolis watching spring wheat planting activity, sending those deferred contracts to fresh highs. Drought in the southern U.S. Plains, excessively wet conditions in parts of the eastern Midwest, and spring wheat planting delays in the northern Plains continue to be bullish factors. Still, that wasn’t enough to shake off the bearish demand outlook, at least in Chicago and Kansas City. With just over a quarter remaining in the 2021/22 marketing year for wheat, export sales and shipments remain behind the paces needed to meet USDA expectations. The USDA’s weekly sales numbers are out Thursday morning. There hasn’t been any appreciable increase in demand for U.S. wheat linked to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Ukraine might be mostly out of the market right now with a lot of uncertainties about planting, but Russia remains in the market despite sanctions and other nations, including India, are picking up some of the export slack.

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