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Soybeans, wheat end volatile week mixed

Soybeans were mixed on commercial spread adjustments, with the most active months finishing the week higher, despite the big drop after Tuesday’s USDA numbers. It was an up and down day for beans, watching harvest delays in parts of Brazil and dry weather for Argentina, while still expecting big crops. Both CONAB and the Rosario Grain Exchange raised their projections for Brazil and Argentina, respectively, this past week, with the USDA kept their outlooks unchanged, for now. Datagro says producers in Brazil have sold 60.4% of the 2020/21 crop, compared to 40.8% on average, with 9.4% of the 2021/22 sold, compared to 2.3% normally. Datagro projects Brazil’s 2021/22 crop at 141.17 million tons, anticipating a 2.9% rise in planted area to meet demand. China has been quiet on the U.S. export front lately, probably because of the Lunar New Year, but also possibly waiting for Brazil’s 2020/21 crop to start hitting the export market. For now, nothing has changed fundamentally. The NOPA’s January member crush numbers are out Tuesday, with the average estimate at 183.087 million bushels, which would be an all-time high for the month and the third largest month on record. Soybean meal was lower and bean oil was higher on the adjustment of product spreads.

Corn was modestly lower profit taking and technical selling, with the most active months ending a wide-ranging week lower. Corn was unable to follow through on a firm start, also watching South America, especially the second crop planting delays in Brazil. Still, while that’s a big unknown, CONAB is expecting a significant increase in second crop planted area, raising its projection this past week. The Rosario Grain Exchange also hiked its outlook for Argentina’s crop, citing January weather, even as February is expected to be mostly dry. The USDA might adjust its’ numbers on March 9th after not doing so this month. The USDA prospective planting numbers and quarterly grain stocks estimates are also out in March, both scheduled for the 31st. Costa Rica and Guatemala both bought U.S. corn Friday morning. Costa Rica picked up a total of 195,338 tons, 135,644 for 2020/21 and 59,694 for 2021/22, and Guatemala purchased 115,577 tons, all for 2020/21. Ethanol futures were unchanged.

The wheat complex mixed, with Chicago and Kansas City up modestly, and Minneapolis down modestly, while March contracts at all three exchanges were lower on the week. Winterkill is a concern for some U.S. winter wheat growing areas and parts of the Black Sea region, depending on snow cover. The trade is also monitoring overwintering conditions in the European Union, conditions ahead of spring wheat planting in the U.S. and Canada, and harvest activity in Australia, expecting a big crop. India is also expected to produce a large, if not record, crop this year, and could export some of the surplus. DTN says Jordan is tendering for 120,000 tons of milling wheat. The USDA’s weekly export inspections report will be out Tuesday, with most USDA offices and the markets closed in observance of Presidents’ Day.

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