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Soybeans, corn see slight oversold bounce

Soybeans were higher on short covering and technical buying. Beans bought back part of last week’s losses with help from a rebound in bean meal. Crush margins have improved, but South American weather looks mostly bearish. Rain favors Argentina over most of Brazil, but parts of Brazil should see some near-term precipitation. The USDA’s next set of supply, demand, and production estimates is out March 8th, with CONAB’s updated look for Brazil set for March 12th. Production estimates for Brazil have been trickling lower, but recent rainfall should help to stabilize some of the later planted beans. Soybean export inspections were below last week and last year, mainly to China and Italy. The 2023/24 pace remains behind 2022/23, largely because of Brazil’s control of the market. Soybean meal was up and bean oil was down on the adjustment of product spreads. Stateside, the trade is watching conditions ahead of planting.

Corn was modestly higher on short covering and technical buying. Near-term forecasts have more rain over the next couple of weeks in dry parts of Argentina, while rain chances for Brazil this week are mixed. Export demand is solid, but the domestic supply outlook for corn remains negative. Corn is also starting to see increased export competition from Ukraine, which will probably cut into the U.S. market share. U.S. export inspections were down on the week and the year, primarily to Mexico and Japan. Nearing the halfway point of the 2023/24 marketing year, corn inspections remain ahead of the needed pace to meet USDA projections. Corn is also keeping an eye on weather in the Corn Belt ahead of spring planting.

The wheat complex was mixed, mostly lower. There’s early week snow and rain in some winter wheat growing areas, which should further help conditions ahead of emergence. The USDA has two more rounds of monthly state crop story compilations ahead of the resumption of weekly national crop progress and condition numbers in April. The trade is also monitoring conditions in the northern U.S. Plains ahead of spring wheat planting. Russia’s dominance of the export market and relatively large global stocks continue to be the big bearish factors. U.S. export inspections were higher than the previous week, but lower than a year ago, with Mexico and South Korea leading the pack. Nearing the third quarter of the marketing year, the 2023/24 pace remains behind 2022/23.

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