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Soybeans mixed as corn, wheat decline

Soybeans were mixed. Soybeans were up and down all session, with more spotty rainfall in the forecast for dry parts of northern and central Brazil this week. Parts of southern Brazil have seen a break from rain, but significant replanting is still likely in some key growing areas. Some private firms are lowering their estimates for Brazil’s crop. CONAB’s updated outlook for Brazil is set for December 7th, with the USDA’s new supply, demand, and production report out the following day. Conditions in Argentina are much better than a year ago. Still, trade in Argentina has been restricted by last year’s much smaller crop and farmers holding back commodities, waiting to see what policies are implemented by the new president. There was occasional support from unconfirmed rumors of China buying more U.S. beans. Export inspections were below a week ago and a year ago, mainly to China and Germany, with the 2023/24 pace just behind 2022/23. Brazil continues to ship beans at a very fast clip. Soybean meal was mixed on bull spreading, while bean oil was supported by demand expectations.

Corn was lower on fund and technical selling. Corn is also monitoring weather in South America, along with the very tail end of the U.S. harvest. Some near-term delays are expected stateside, but activity for this record crop is nearly over. The USDA says that as of Sunday, 96% of the crop is harvested, compared to 93% a week ago, 99% a year ago, and the five-year average of 95%. For Brazil, the slowest soybean planting pace in nearly a decade is expected to push planting of the second crop past the optimal window in some areas. The second crop was already expected to be smaller, but these soybean delays could limit acreage even further. That could open up more export opportunities for the U.S. Competition has been stiff over the past few months, even as U.S. prices declined, including recent moves to contract lows. Corn export inspections were above the previous week, but below last year, primarily to Mexico and Colombia. 2023/24 is ahead of 2022/23. A token amount of the weekly total was to China.

The wheat complex was lower on fund and technical selling, with the most active months at the U.S. pits falling to new lows ahead of Thursday’s first notice day. The slow export demand for U.S. wheat is canceling out support from tighter U.S. and world supplies. Russia remains in control of the export market due to a price advantage and Ukraine is still shipping out grain despite the ongoing war with Russia that has damaged Ukrainian port infrastructure. That slow demand was reflected in the weekly U.S. export inspections numbers, which were below last week and last year. The Philippines and Japan topped the list. Nearing the halfway point of the current marketing year, the pace remains slower than a year ago. A small amount of U.S. wheat did leave the Pacific Northwest for China last week. Part of the bearishness was also tied to lower European futures ahead of the session. According to the USDA, 89% of U.S. winter wheat has emerged, compared to 89% on average, with 50% of the crop in good to excellent condition, 2% above a week ago and 16% more than a year ago.

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