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Grain Comments: 01-04-2024

Good morning.

Ag markets are again choppy/mixed in overnight trade, as this week’s back and forth trade appears set to continue for another day. Volume remains holiday-reduced, with most traders not likely to fully jump back into the market until after the January reports. Corn futures are unchanged to down a tick, soybean futures, other than the Jan, are down 2-3 cents, and the Chicago wheat market is 3-4 cents lower. Products mixed/unchanged, bean meal is up about 10 cents and bean oil is down 10-15 points. Outside markets are mostly higher, crude oil futures are up about 70 cents/bbl, the Dow Jones index is up 100 points, and the US$ index is down 14 points. Gold/silver higher, bonds lower.

The UN released what officials are describing as a final warning to the Houthi rebel group, saying “Ongoing Houthi attacks in the Red Sea are illegal, unacceptable, and profoundly destabilizing.”

US officials say the US military has prepared options to strike the Iran-backed rebel group should the attacks continue.

Polish farmers have resumed a blockade at the Medyka border crossing with Ukraine. The protest, intended to secure government subsidies for corn and prevent tax increases, was paused December 24th following a meeting with the Polish Ag Minister.

European farmers have been angry since the beginning of the export corridor with the flood of Ukrainian grain that had hit their markets. Rail transit to the west has been Ukraine’s most efficient way of exporting grain.

French inflation rose 4.1% in December, up from 3.9% the month prior. This matched analysts’ expectations.

Palm oil prices traded higher overnight, following yesterday’s higher soybean oil trade. Strong biodiesel demand from Indonesia will likely keep prices underpinned this coming year. Demand in the country is expected to be up 16.5% vs last year.

The January Fats and Oils report pegged November soybean crush at 200 mil bu, the highest crush rate ever for a single month. Soybean meal disappearance, on a per day basis, was also record large at 158,000 tons/day.

Forecasts continue to call for a strong storm system moving across much of the Midwest next week. The exact timing of the storm is not clear. The system starts in the Central/Southern Plains early next week, and then moves northeast through the Great Lakes by mid-week.

Brazilian crop areas continue to see heavy rainfall overnight, with forecasts keeping this pattern intact through next week. Southern Brazil into Argentina sees dryness for another few days before shoers return next week.

Have a great day!

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