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Grain Comments: 03-06-2024

Good morning.

Ag markets are mixed/quiet to start Wednesday. Corn and soybeans have seen light volume and small ranges so far in the overnight trade, as traders await the release of Friday’s March WASDE report. A lower US$ index should help support raw material markets on Wednesday. Corn futures are unchanged to up a half cent, soybean futures are unchanged to up 3/4 of a cent, and the Chicago wheat market is down 3-4 cents. Products are mixed, soybean meal is down $2/ton, and soybean oil is up 40-45 points. Outside markets are steady, crude oil futures are trading 50-75 cents/bbl higher, the Dow Jones index is up 100 points, and the US$ index is down 15 points.

March deliveries Wednesday included 134 contracts of soybeans, 30 contracts of corn, and 19 contracts of soybean oil.

Today’s weekly ethanol production report for the week ending March 1st is expected to show production in a range of 1.069 to 1.080 mil bbls. Stocks are seen in a range of 25.892 to 26.500 mil bbls. Both figures would be in line with last week.

Patria Agronegocios updated their crop estimates for Brazil on Tuesday; the group now sees soy production at 143.18 mmt’s and sees total corn production at 110.29 mmt’s.

At a conference on Wednesday, Indonesia announced its palm oil exports in 2024 were expected to reach 29.5 mmt’s; this would be down from 30.25 mmt’s last year.

Output from the world’s largest palm oil producer was expected to rise by 2.26% in 2024, to 54.4 mil tons. Stocks are estimated at 5.25 mil tons by the end of 2024.

China announced in its annual meetings plans to increase grain production by 50 mmt’s within the next seven years, and also targeted a production level of more than 650 mmt’s for 2024.

Republican candidate Nikki Haley has announced she plans to end her presidential campaign following the Super Tuesday primaries. This all but ensures former president Donald Trump will win the Republican nomination, and once again face Joe Biden in November’s election.

Hamas said overnight it was pressing forward with ceasefire talks, despite the absence of Israeli negotiators. Members of the Palestinian militant group are in talks with mediators from Qatar and Egypt over securing a 40-day ceasefire before the month of Ramadan.

Canada’s Central Bank is expected to hold its benchmark lending rate steady at 5% on Wednesday. This would be the fifth consecutive policy meeting with no adjustment, as await a clearer read of the inflation trajectory.

US Fed Reserve Chair Jerome Powell is also scheduled to speak Wednesday, as he gives his semiannual monetary policy testimony. Powell is expected to reiterate that the Fed is in no hurry to cut rates in 2024.

Weather forecasts for South America were mostly unchanged overnight; Southern Brazil into Northern Argentina sees good rains over the next several days, while Central and Northern Brazil see slightly drier conditions.

Have a great day!

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