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Grain Comments: 03-23-2023

Good morning:

The grains are generally recovering from a rough week thus far, as speculative interest wanes during a period of high Fed and outside market activity, and most importantly rising interest rates. Conversely, nearby corn contracts have proven resilient amid the chaos, with the spot May hitting a two-plus week high this morning as old-crop/new-crop spreads widen out. Supplies remain a bit tight across the Midwest as we head into the next growing season, with a key export sales report coming up this morning after a solid run of flash sales to China as of late (over 95 mln bushels since last Tuesday).

Scattered snow and rain are stretching across the northern Plains and Midwest this morning after some heavier action in the ECB yesterday; action will continue to favor the southeastern half of the Midwest through the weekend, with some chances in Kansas and surroundings as well. Extended maps continue to favor the wetter side of normal going forward, with temperatures closer to normal but still on the low side of average levels up into the first week of April.

Rains will continue to favor northern crop areas in Argentina up into early next week, for what it’s worth, with drier central/southern conditions favoring a dry down and harvest there. Brazil once again saw scattered rains from north to south over the past 24 hours, while chances shift into western crop areas over the next week or so and a 6 to 10 days map dry up a bit. Dryness will continue for northeastern safrinha corn areas.

Trade will again be heavily vested in today’s export sales totals. A very large corn sales figure is expected given last week’s flash sales to China, although not all of this demand will show up in today’s report. The question will be what demand on corn are we seeing to buyers other than China as China has once again become absent from the market. Soybean sales will also be closely monitored to see if demand remains high or we see cancellations such as we did two weeks ago. Our current soybean sales pace is 10% ahead of expectations so any added demand now increases the odds of a carryout reduction in future balance sheet updates. Wheat sales are expected to again be so-so as the United States continues to be underbid in the global market by Russia, Ukraine, and the EU. Weather forecasts will start to play more of a role in price discovery as we approach the US planting season. Current outlook models remain cool and wet for a good share of the Corn Belt, but these are expected to improve in the next few weeks. Even with current conditions it is too early for trade to react to possible delays, especially with the ability of the US farmer to plant the entire crop in a short amount of time. Late yesterday it was rumored Brazil soybeans were working into the US East Coast. Trade will be looking for confirmation of this today.

 

Have a great day!

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