Soybeans continue bounce
Soybeans were higher on commercial and technical buying. Beans continued to bounce off the recent lows, watching U.S. planting and development weather. The USDA says 19% of U.S. soybeans are planted, compared to the five-year average of 11%. Brazil’s basis has moved higher due to slow farmer selling, which could help U.S. exports. Additionally, Argentina’s resumption of the “soy dollar” program hasn’t sparked a lot of interest. Last week’s soybean export inspections were up on the week, down on the year, mainly to China and Germany. The pace remains ahead of what’s needed to meet projections for the current marketing year. Brazil continues to hold most of the export market share. CONAB’s updated outlook for Brazil is set for May 11th, with updated USDA supply and demand numbers out May 12th. Soybean meal and oil were mostly higher on the tone in beans. The USDA says March’s soybean crush was 198 million bushels, up 21 million from February and 5 million from March 2022.
Corn was mostly lower. Corn was monitoring U.S. conditions, expecting the USDA to report planting progress around 20% in the weekly update. As of Sunday, 26% of corn is planted, matching the average, with 6% having emerged, compared to 5% normally in early May. Export demand is slow, but that could improve if the Black Sea Grain Initiative collapses. For now, Ukraine and Argentina continue to be significant competitors and last week’s cancellations by China might be linked to expectations for Brazil’s second crop. Export inspections last week were strong, but still below a year ago, and the pace remains behind what’s needed to meet projections for the current marketing year. Last week’s leading destinations were Japan and Mexico. The USDA says 437.967 million bushels of corn were used for ethanol production in March, an increase of 10% on the month, but a decrease of 3% on the year.
The wheat complex was sharply lower on fund and technical selling, along with the higher dollar during the session. Recent rain in the southern Plains likely boosted crop ratings and could provide some help for part of the hard red winter crop. For winter wheat, 28% of the crop is called good to excellent, up 2% on the week, but still historically low, with 25% headed, compared to 23% on average.
Spring wheat planting weather is improving in most of the northern Plains, but there is a lot of catching up to be done. For spring wheat, 12% is planted, compared to 22% typically this time of year, and 2% has emerged, compared to 6% on average. U.S. wheat inspections last week were under the prior week and a year ago, primarily to Egypt and Kenya. With just over a month left in 2022/23, wheat inspections remain on pace to meet USDA projections. The trade continues to keep an eye on Russia’s war in Ukraine and its potential impact on the Black Sea Grain Initiative. The USDA says the wheat grind for flour during the first quarter of 2023 was 225 million bushels, down 2% from both Q4 and Q1 of 2022. The 2022 total of 929 million bushels was 2% more than 2021.