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Grain Comments: 04-08-2024

Good morning.

Markets are mixed in light volume to start the new week at the CBOT. Aside from the April WASDE report on Thursday, this week looks to be more of the same as last week as traders gauge US spring weather and what type of planting progress can be made in the coming three weeks. Weather forecasts did not see a ton of change over the weekend, with warm/dry weather still advertised beyond next weekend. Corn futures are unchanged to a penny higher, soybean futures are up a penny to down a penny, and the Chicago wheat market is up 3-4 cents. Products are mixed, soybean meal is up $2-3/ton, and soybean oil is trading around 70 points lower. Outside markets are also mixed, crude oil futures are down 70 cents/bbl, the Dow Jones index is unchanged, and the US$ index is up 10 points.

Friday afternoon’s COT report showed that in the week ending April 2nd, managed money traders were sellers of 7,826 contracts of corn futures and options, sellers of 3,476 soybean futures and options, and buyers of 157 contracts of wheat futures and options.

Managed money is now seen short 259,556 contracts of corn, short 138,256 contracts of soybeans, and short 91,944 contracts of Chicago wheat.

FranceAgriMer reported that as of April 1, 65% of French soft wheat is rated in the good/excellent category. This is down 1% from last week and compares to 93% in the same week last year.

Data from Brazilian firm Secex indicates soybean shipments out of the country in Q1 totaled 22.09 mmt’s, which would be a new record for the period. This is also seen up 15.7% from Q1 2023.

Also of note, while volume for the period was a record, the price received on the international market was on average the lowest since 2019.

The Buenos Aires Grain Exchange cut Argentina corn production on Friday by 4 mmt’s and decreased the amount of crop in the g/ex category by 5%; the group cited damage from Spiroplasma bacteria, which causes stunt disease, and is caried by the maize leafhopper insect.

US federally inspected beef production for the week ending April 6th was up 4.2% from the week prior at 514 mil lbs. Pork production was seen at 521 mil lbs., which was up 0.7% from last week. YTD beef production is down 3.7% from 2023, while pork production is up 0.1%.

In outside markets, crude oil futures are lower this morning on news that Israel would be removing some troops from Southern Gaza. Tensions in the Middle East are far from over, and this is not seen as anything more than a brief pullback.

Gold futures have again made new all-time highs in the overnight trading session. The June contract is currently trading near 2360, while at this time last year, June ’23 was trading near 2060.

Financial markets this week will be keyed by Wednesday’s CPI data, as well as a European Central Bank meeting on Thursday. There is growing speculation that the ECB could cut rates in June, even if the US Fed does not.

Weekend precipitation of 0.5 to 3″ favored areas of Wyoming into Nebraska and South Dakota. Much of Minnesota also saw a fair amount of precipitation over the weekend.

Heavy storms will be in the Southeast/East this week, with a strong system expected to make its way through the Delta region Monday/Tuesday/Wednesday. The rest of the corn belt will be mostly dry.

Temps look to be warmer for most of the Midwest this week. Long range forecasts over the weekend have added a chance at another shot of cold air beyond April 15th, which will need monitoring.

South America is wetter over the weekend into Southern Brazil/Argentina, but otherwise unchanged. Eastern areas into Paraguay/Argentina will need monitoring for too much moisture in the next 10 days. Temps are still seen average.

Have a great day.

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