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Grain Comments: 01-19-2024

Good morning!

Volume was weak overnight, but the grains did post higher highs and lows across the board; that higher high for the March soybean contract is just the second in more than three weeks, after the $12/bushel level seemingly held up yesterday. Fundamental help remains slow to arrive, but the trade continues to keep an eye on the ever-growing managed money short, with the funds still holding bearish bets across most of the grains & oilseeds, and those net shorts expected to increase further in this afternoon’s CFTC.

South Korea’s MFG and KFA combined to purchase 120k tonnes of South American soybean meal yesterday morning, for arrival around mid-July; their MFG then bought 66k tonnes of optional-origin corn in an international tender this morning, at $245/tonne C&F for late May arrival.

Private firm Agroconsult yesterday cut their 2023/24 soybean production estimate from 161.6 to 153.8 MMT; they reported record replanting of 2.9 million hectares (7.2 mln acres) this season, or 6.4% total planted area. The firm will visit Mato Grosso twice this year on crop tours to attempt to estimate the effect of said replanting and the overall negative weather conditions.

This afternoon’s USDA Cattle on Feed Report is expected to show all U.S. cattle on feed as of January 1 at 11.927 million head, or 102.1% of last year; December cattle placements are seen at 95.4% of last year, with December marketings estimated at 99.3% of last season.

Snow fell from the northern Plains and northwest belt down through the central Midwest over the past 24 hours, with action in the ECB this morning; conditions will turn back dry for this weekend before rains move back up from the south to start next work week. 6–10-day maps hold amounts more to the southeastern half of the belt and southern Plains with the northwestern belt and northern Plains drier. 11–15-day forecasts are turning back drier. Temperatures will be cold this weekend but rebound back safely above normal next week and beyond, right up into the early days of February.

Argentina was dry again over the past 24 hours and rain chances will be confined to the far west and north through early next week; conditions remain dry throughout corn and soybean areas for the next week to ten days, with temps warming in the south by next week. Brazil again saw scattered northern rains over the past 24 hours with some isolated action southeast as well; coverage still looks strong for all but the far south over the next five days, with rains shifting into the far north for the 6–10-day time frame.

Have a great weekend!

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