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Corn, soybeans, wheat climb on supply, demand factors

Soybeans were sharply higher on commercial and technical buying. There was continued support from the tight supply and solid demand for vegetable oils and energies. Ukraine’s the world biggest exporter of sunflower oil and significant contributor to the global energy market. Last week’s export sales and NOPA crush numbers were also bullish. Weekly export inspections were up on the week and the year, mainly to China and Egypt. That said – sustained Chinese demand is a concern because of rising COVID-19 numbers in some areas. In the U.S., as of Sunday, 1% of soybeans are planted, compared to the five-year average of 2%. Soybean meal and oil were solidly higher, supported by strong demand and those NOPA crush numbers.

Corn was sharply higher on commercial and technical buying. Most forecasts have dry weather in central Brazil, potentially stressing the critical second crop, while near-term rain will be too late for corn in parts of Argentina. The Buenos Aires Grain Exchange says 20% of Argentina’s crop is in good to excellent condition. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is also a supportive factor, delaying exports and causing concerns about planted area. Export inspections were more than a million tons, but down from last week and last year, primarily to China and Mexico. Stateside, the trade is watching early U.S. planting delays, with cold, wet weather in some key growing areas. The USDA says 4% of U.S. corn is planted, compared to 6% on average. Ethanol futures were unchanged.

The wheat complex was sharply higher on commercial and technical buying. The ongoing war in Ukraine will likely have a big impact on the global supply. Ukraine’s Ag Ministry is projecting a 17% year-to-year decline in planted area for spring crops, but that is above initial expectations. Russia’s moved higher last week even as exports show signs of slowing down because of some nations refusing to deal with the world’s biggest wheat exports in the face of Moscow’s invasion. Weekly U.S. export inspections failed to break a half million tons, above the prior week, but below a year ago, with Taiwan and Mexico leading the way. The USDA was expected to lower the U.S. winter wheat condition rating in the weekly update. For winter wheat, 7% of the crop has headed, compared to the usual rate of 12%, with 30% called good to excellent, 2% less than last week. For spring wheat, 8% is planted, compared to 9% on average.

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