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Grain Comments: 02-15-2024

Good morning.

New day, more of the same on Thursday at the CBOT, as markets continue to drift lower. Corn and soybean futures are again making new lows this morning in both the old and the new crop, as has been the case almost daily this week. Today’s US Ag Outlook Forum likely provides some sense of direction, but as we have mentioned previously, the numbers we see today are far from a sure thing for the rest of the year. Corn futures are a penny lower; soybean futures are 2-5 cents lower, and the Chicago wheat market is down 4-6 cents. Products are lower, soybean meal is down $0.50/ton, and soybean oil is down around 50 points. Outside markets are mixed/quiet, crude oil futures are down 10-20 cents, the Dow Jones Index is up 60 points, and the US$ index is down 15 points.

USDA released intimal balance sheets for the 2024/25 season this morning. Numbers were mostly as expected.

The corn balance sheet featured planted acres of 91.0 mil acres, yield of 181.0 bpa, ethanol use of 5.4 bil bu, exports of 2.150 bill bu, and ending stocks of 2.532 bil bu.

Soybean balance sheet featured planted acres of 87.5 mil acres, yield of 52.0 bpa, crush at 2.400 bil bu, exports of 1.875 bil bu, and ending stocks of 435 mil bu.

Wheat balance sheets featured planted acres of 47 mil acres, yield of 49.5 bpa, exports of 775 mil bu, and ending stocks of 769 mil bu.

This morning’s weekly export sales report is expected to show corn sales of 800k-1.5 mil mt’s; soybean sales of 300k-800k mt’s; and wheat sales of 300k-550k mt’s.

Today’s monthly NOPA crush report is expected to show soybean crush for January at 189.9 mil bu, which would be a new record for the month. Dec crush was seen at 195.3 mil bu.

Soy oil stocks are forecast to increase 70 mil lbs. from December to 1,430 mil lbs. This would be well below last year as demand for biodiesel feedstocks has increased.

France AgriMer announced Wednesday soft wheat stocks for 23/24 were up 37% from the year prior, to 3.5 mmt’s. This would be the highest total since the 2018/19 season.

Mexico’s Ag Minister announced Wednesday the country expects to import between 14 and 16 mmt’s of yellow corn this year, which would be in line with recent yearly averages.

The EPA announced Wednesday it would allow the use of dicamba herbicide that is stored in farm storage or in the delivery pipeline this Spring.

As Spring planting fast approaches, this is seen as a win for US farmers. However, future use remains in question following an Arizona court ruling last week that vacated dicamba’s EPA approval in 2020.

Financial markets today will see a host of data released, namely initial and continuing jobless claims. Initial claims are expected to rise by about 1,000, to 219,000. This is still relatively low.

Overnight weather models were slightly dryer for South America; Argentina continues to see a dry forecast for the next week to 10 days, before rains return. However, totals were reduced in the two-week period. Extreme heat is limited.

Have a great day!

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