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Wheat up on winter crop conditions, slow spring planting

Soybeans were mixed, mostly modestly higher, adjusting spreads. Domestic crush demand is strong and China and unknown destinations both bought U.S. soybeans ahead of the open. Unknown picked up 133,000 tons, 78,000 for 2021/22 and 55,000 tons for 2022/23, while China purchased 133,000 tons, all for 2022/23. That pushes the two-day running total to 799,000 tons, most of that new crop. There are concerns about long-term demand from China due to increased domestic production and the continued possible spread of COVID-19. The trade is also monitoring the slower than average U.S. planting pace. Statistics Canada says producers are expected to plant 20.897 million acres of canola in 2022, down 7% from 2021 despite high prices and strong global demand. Soybean planted area in Canada is estimated at 5.358 million acres, up 0.7%. Canada is also expected to increase sunflower acreage. The USDA’s attaché for Argentina projects 2022/23 soybean production at 51 million tons, compared to the unofficial guess of 41 million tons and the official estimate of 43.5 million tons. Crush demand is seen at 41.5 million tons, compared to around 39 million last marketing year. Argentina is the world’s biggest soybean product exporter. In Brazil, 90.8% of the soybean crop has been harvested. Bangladesh will reportedly lower import taxes on several edible oils, including palm and sunflower, due to the tight global supply of vegetable oils and Indonesia’s impending ban on refined palm oil exports. Soybean oil was up on the bullish fundamental outlook, while bean meal was down on technical selling.

Corn was modestly higher on commercial and technical buying, along with spillover from wheat. Near-term forecasts remain dry for central Brazil, likely causing some harm to the critical second corn crop, the source of most of their exports. The USDA’s attaché for Argentina estimates 2021/22 corn production at 51.5 million tons, compared to the official guess of 53 million, and sees the 2022/23 crop at 52 million tons. 2021/22 exports are projected at 37.5 million tons, compared to the USDA’s last estimate of 39 million and the 2022/23 expectation of 38 million tons. Stateside, planting weather continues to look mixed in many key growing areas, with more delays likely in parts of the region against good progress for other producers. Statistics Canada sees 2022 corn planted area for that nation at 3.715 million acres, an increase of 6.4% on the year. The U.S. Energy Information Administration’s weekly ethanol production and supply numbers are out Wednesday.

The wheat complex was higher on commercial and technical buying. The USDA’s winter wheat rating dipped again, largely due to conditions in the southern U.S. Plains, and spring wheat planting is slower than average because of cold weather and snow in the northern U.S. Plains. Statistics Canada has that nation’s spring wheat planted area at 17.634 million acres, 7% above a year ago, with better conditions in parts of the Canadian Prairies. Durum planted area is expected to see a rise of 12.5%, while winter wheat acreage in Canada is expected to drop 13%. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine continues to create a lot of global supply concerns that probably won’t be fully answered for some time. APK-Inform estimates Ukraine’s 2022 wheat crop at 16.96 million tons, compared to the prior guess of 14.9 million, with 2022/23 exports at 12.3 million tons. Ukraine’s exports have largely been halted by Russia’s invasion, but some grain has been moving by rail and about 80,000 tons of Ukrainian grain has arrived for exports at a Romanian Black Sea port. The USDA’s attaché for Argentina has 2021/22 wheat production at 21.9 million tons, compared to the USDA’s most recent official estimate of 21 million, falling to 18.6 million for 2022/23 on lower planted area and yields. Exports for 2021/22 are seen at 15.2 million tons, compared to the mid-April projection of 14.5 million, with the guess for 2022/23 at 12.6 million tons. The Australia USDA outpost estimates 2022/23 wheat production at 29 million tons, compared to 36.3 million in 2021/22, with the reduction tied to a return to normal yields. Exports are expected to be 22 million tons, compared to 27.5 million during the previous marketing year.

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