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Grain Comments: 04-18-2023

Good morning:

Gains are strong throughout the grain complex this morning, supported by solid volume across the board; Black Sea rhetoric remains on all sides with Argentina’s crops disastrous, and plenty of issues domestically as well. Cash corn is still hot and holding up the front end of that complex.

National corn planting progress advanced from 3% to 8% done on the week to Sunday night, up from 4% last year and the 5% five-year average pace; soy-bean plantings initially came in at 4%, up from 1% both LY and on average, with spring wheat planting at 3%, up from 1% a week ago but behind 8% LY and the 7% 5YA. Winter wheat heading rose from 7% to 10%, up from 7% LY and the 8% 5YA, with ratings steady this week at 27% good/excellent, down from 30% last year and the 46% five-year average figure.

Rain coverage looks strong over the next five days for all but the central and southern Plains, with extended maps mostly on the drier side precipitation wise; temperatures will hold safely on the low side of normal now through April.

For the past several months trade has been focused on Brazilian soybean production and how the crop will be record sized. Last week the USDA projected Brazil’s soybean crop at 154 million metric tons (mmt), up 1 mmt from their previous projection. Several private analysts in Brazil believe the crop will be even larger, with some approaching 160 mmt. We are now starting to see more interest on Brazil’s corn balance sheets. The corn crop in Brazil is also forecast to be a record at 125 mmt by the USDA. Private claim the crop could actually be closer to 130 mmt. While this seems like it would be negative for trade, it may not end up pressuring futures as much as expected. Corn ending stocks in Brazil are forecast to fall to a modern day low this year at just 8 mmt. Given current production and demand forecasts ending stocks may be closer to 7 mmt at the end of next year. This is especially the case if the Argentine crop continues to shrink and will need Brazil supplies to cover usage. This possibility is one of the factors for China continuing to book corn from the US. The slower than expected planting progress numbers and thoughts the US will see added demand gave us higher values in the overnight session and this is likely to carry into the day trade as well.


Have a great day!

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