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Grain Comments: 03-05-2024

Good morning.

Ag markets are lower overnight at the board of trade, as the choppiness of the markets persists. The back-and-forth likely continues ahead of Friday’s key March WASDE report, where traders will be watchful for any updates to South American crop production. It is also likely that some measure of profit taking will take place in the coming days ahead of the report. Corn futures are 2-3 cents lower; soybean futures are 5-6 cents lower, and the Chicago wheat market is down 6-7 cents. Products are mostly lower, soybean meal is down $1-2/ton, while soybean oil is down around 40 points. Outside markets are quiet/mixed; crude oil futures are down 50-60 cents/bbl, the Dow Jones index is down 60 points, and the US$ index is up 10 points.

Today is Super Tuesday; North Carolina, Texas, Oklahoma, and California, are among more than a dozen states set to hold Republican or Democratic primaries today.

Tuesday March deliveries included 99 contracts of corn, 42 contracts of Chicago wheat, 2 contracts of soybeans, and 55 contracts of soybean oil.

Wheat prices found support Monday from heavy rainfall and strong winds in India, with damage being reported to wheat crops in the main growing area.

This caused farmers to call for government support to mitigate losses at a time when farmers have already been actively protesting over the prices for their crops. India is a major world exporter of wheat and rice.

For the week ending March 3rd, winter wheat conditions were lowered in Kansas, Oklahoma, and Texas. G/ex in Kansas went from 57% to 53%, Oklahoma went from 70% to 65%, and Texas went from 46% to 43%.

Ukraine reported exports for the month of February totaled 7.34 mmt’s of all ag products; this total included 2.92 mmt’s of corn, and 2.50 mmt’s of wheat. This compares to 6.36 mmt’s last month, and 6.33 mmt’s in Feb 2023.

ABARES (Australian Bureau of Ag and Resource Economics and Sciences), in a quarterly crop report, update wheat production for 2023/24 to 26.0 mmt’s, an increase of 0.5 mmt’s.

In the same report, Australian barley production was unchanged from the previous estimate, and canola production was increased 0.2 mmt’s, to 5.7 mmt’s.

China’s minister of Ag announced Tuesday that total grain output in the country hit 695.4 million tonnes last year. This is the 9th consecutive year of grain output above 650 mil tonnes.

Bunge and Chevron announced final investment approval for their joint venture to build an oilseed processing plant on the Gulf Coast in Louisiana.

The facility will be adjacent to an existing processing facility and is expected to start operations in 2026. The news release did not include production figures but did estimate the project would add 150 construction jobs, and 30 jobs once the plant was operational.

Ceasefire talks between Hamas and mediators in Egypt again fell through overnight, with just days remaining before the start of Ramadan.

Weather models show Argentina is expected to receive normal moisture for most growing areas into next week, while Brazil sees more scattered showers.

Brazil’s monsoon season appears to be showing signs of ending early, with the chances of regular soaking rainfall reduced beyond March 15th.

2-week forecasts show the US Midwest will be wetter in the South and the East, with a chance at below average temps into the first of April. Temps remain above average into the middle of March, but an increase in soil moisture East of the Mississippi is desired prior to planting.

Have a great day!

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