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Grain Comments: 02/15/2023

Good Morning!

Corn and soybeans have been sliding since yesterday morning with the arrow now pointed to the “Brazilian harvest pressure” side of the South American scale; a dry north and wet south pattern there yesterday was just what the doctor ordered for harvest/fieldwork/moisture supplies.

This morning’s January NOPA soybean crush is expected to come in at 181.7 million bushels, up from 177.5 mbu in December but below 182.2 mbu in January 2022. Trade estimates range from 177.0-187.0 million bushels.

Strong rains occurred yesterday from north to south across the Midwest, with a snow line on tap today and tomorrow from SW to NE, and the heaviest action lingering Southeast. Precip remains active into the 6-10 day, more mixed now for the 11-15 day period. Temps are trending colder north/northwest and warmer south/southeast for the extended periods, up into late Feb/early March

Argentine rains were confined north/northeast yesterday and remain there through tomorrow but conditions remain dry otherwise; Brazil saw beneficial rains in the south over the past 24 hours and action will be widespread through Sunday, with rains shifting out to the east for the 6-10 day period.

Country movement is again being closely monitored by trade. Cash grain movement has been on the light side ever since the end of last fall’s harvest, although we did see a slight increase on the latest market rally. Movement has again stalled which is starting to become a concern to buyers who were not able to extend their coverage cushion ahead of the upcoming spring planting season. Now spring frost laws are limiting country movement even more. Buyers have tightened their basis values in response to this in several regions of the US in an attempt to encourage as much movement as possible. If farmer movement does not increase it will force more end users to buy commercial inventory which tends to be more expensive which will strain already thinning margins, especially on ethanol. The question now is when the next wave of farm stored inventory will take place, and this may not be until after the spring planting season is complete. A concern with this is that given warming temperatures across the US this can generate quality issues in storage facilities. For today’s session trade will be focused on both the weekly ethanol data and monthly NOPA crush report for indications of domestic demand after the USDA trimmed both uses in the February WASDE report. 

Have a great day!

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