Mixed finishes for soybeans, corn, wheat
Soybeans were mostly lower on bull spreading. U.S. soybean planting is ahead of average with some areas wrapping up this week and emergence is faster than normal. Early projections are for a record U.S. crop on the heels of a record crop in Brazil. The nearby domestic supply is tight, which supported July beans. However, the deferred contracts extended their losses on expectations for a record U.S. crop following record production in Brazil. Chinese domestic prices have wilted, a bad sign for export demand, and the U.S. has been largely squeezed out of the global market by Brazilian supplies. The USDA’s next round of supply, demand, and production numbers is out June 9th and the new marketing year for soybeans, and corn, gets underway September 1st. Soybean meal was mostly lower, also on bull spreading, while bean oil was narrowly mixed, mostly weak, adjusting spreads.
Corn was mostly lower, with July steady and the other contracts modestly lower. Planting and emergence for corn are moving ahead of the typical respective paces. No states have officially wrapped up as of last Sunday, but a number are very close to being done for the season. Mostly dry weather in parts of the central and eastern Midwest is causing some stress and starting to be a concern in those areas. Argentina has set phytosanitary standards for corn exports to China, setting the stage for an agreement between those nations similar to the agreement between Brazil and China. That, along with recent moves by Beijing to cut back on corn and soybean meal feeding in favor of wheat and the corn trade relationship between China and Ukraine, is expected to further cut Chinese demand for U.S. corn. Early harvest activity is underway for Brazil’s second crop. The European Commission estimates E.U. corn imports next marketing year at 17 million tons, compared to 24.5 million this marketing year. The U.S. Energy Information Administration’s weekly ethanol production and supply numbers are out Thursday, delayed by Memorial Day.
The wheat complex was mixed. The USDA’s winter wheat condition rating improved slightly and spring wheat planting has caught up in many areas after a slow start. The big issue for spring wheat right now is how many acres have actually been planted, with a lot of talk about an increase in prevent plant for the northern Plains because of those early delays. It was an up and down day across the complex, but slow demand will continue to limit any upside, even if contracts are heavily oversold. Russian wheat producers are reportedly delaying delivery to exporters, waiting for higher prices, and causing a build-up in domestic supplies. Beijing is telling producers in Henan province to speed up wheat harvest and drying following recent flooding. Henan produces a significant amount of China’s domestic wheat crop. The European Commission projects 2023 European Union soft wheat production at 131.5 million tons, compared to 125.7 million last year. France’s AgriMer says 93% of that nation’s wheat crop is in good to excellent condition, unchanged on the week.