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Corn, wheat gain on week, soybeans mixed

Soybeans were higher on short covering and technical buying, ending a volatile week mixed, up for old crop, mostly weak for new crop. Beans continue to look at a tight near-term supply and solid domestic demand. There’s been more talk of U.S. soybean imports from Brazil, especially into the East Coast. Export demand has slowed because of high U.S. prices, lower prices in Brazil, and Argentina’s ongoing harvest. April is expected to be a big month for sales from Brazil, particularly to China, and the trade is watching the soybean product shipping pace from Argentina closely. The USDA’s next set of supply and demand estimates is out May 12th. Soybean meal was mixed, adjusting old crop/new crop spreads, and bean oil was supported by commercial buying, shrugging off the losses in palm oil ahead of the U.S. session. Global vegetable oils are concerned about demand from India, the world’s leading importer of veg oils.

Corn was higher on short covering and technical buying, finishing the week higher. There were no first notice day deliveries reported for May corn, reflecting the tight near-term supply, pushing that contract to a gain of $.38 and pulling July limit up. There are no trading limits for in-delivery contracts. The trade is expecting the USDA to report solid planting progress in the coming Monday’s update. Most forecasts have more hot, dry weather in Brazil, likely further stressing their second crop and compromising yields. Friday, Safras e Mercado cut their outlook for Brazil’s critical second crop by about 10 million tons to 70.7 million tons, pulling the projection for total production to 104.1 million tons. Argentina’s harvest is reportedly 19% complete, compared to 30% on average. According to reports, 40,000 tons of corn is headed from Argentina to Brazil, via COFCO. Ethanol futures were unchanged. Ukraine’s customs body says marketing year to date corn exports are 19.106 million tons, 7.072 million less than this time last year.

The wheat complex was higher on short covering and technical buying, closing out the week with gains in the most active months. Dry weather is an issue in parts of the U.S. Plains creeping into the Midwest and France’s soft wheat crop rating took a 4% hit from recent dry, cold conditions, now at 81% good to excellent, but remains well above the year ago rating of 57%. The global supply is ample and most projections are calling for a record large world crop this year. Ukraine says that since the start of the marketing year, wheat exports are 15.078 million tons, 3.885 million behind the 2019/20 pace. DTN says the Philippines is tendering for 185,000 tons of wheat. The USDA’s attaché for Australia estimates 2021/22 wheat production at 27 million tons, down from the 33.3 million in 2020/21, but well above 2019/20. Exports next marketing year are seen at 19 million tons, compared to 23 million this marketing year.

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