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Grain Comments: 04-30-2024

Good morning.

Markets seem to be doing a ‘follow-through’ Tuesday instead of the traditional turn-around Tuesday so far in overnight trade. Chicago wheat futures have given back a little more of last week’s gains, while corn and soybeans are slightly lower. July meal is some $20 off yesterday’s lows and trading at its highest price since the beginning of February as funds add to their net long position. Corn futures are trading around a penny lower, soybean futures are down 2-3 cents, and the Chicago wheat market is down 9-10 cents. Products are mixed, soybean meal is up $4-5/ton, and soybean oil is down 1.10-1.20. Bean oil has again made new lows for the move this morning. Outside markets are also mixed, crude oil futures are trading 40-50 cents/bbl higher, the Dow Jones index is down 20 points, and the US$ index is up 20 points. After closing with an inside day on Monday, the $ index is again having an inside day at this point in the overnight trade.

Monday afternoon’s crop progress update showed corn planting in the US had reached 27% complete as of April 28th, while soybean planting was seen at 18% complete. Both remain ahead of the 5-year average pace.

Of note, corn planting saw a 15% increase w/w, and soybean planting saw a 10% increase w/w. This week last year, corn planting was 23% done and soybean planting was 16% done.

On the wheat side, Spring wheat was seen 34% planted, which was well above the average trade guess, while winter wheat conditions continued to slide further to just 49% g/ex.

According to data from Ukraine’s ag ministry, grain exports for 2023/24 reached 40.7 mmt’s as of April 29th, compared with 41.4 mmt’s on the same date last year. April exports totaled 5.7 mmt’s, vs expectations of 6-7 mmt’s.

Tuesday’s Fats and Oils reports is expected to show soybean crush in the month of March at 205.6 mil bu, up 3.9% from 2023. Oil stocks are seen at 2.315 bil lbs., down from 2.388 bil lbs. last year.

For the Grain Crush report, also out tomorrow, traders see corn used for ethanol production in March totaling 464.5 mil bu, up 6.5% from last year.

Private Brazilian consultancy firm Datagro raised their soybean crop estimate to 147.9 mmt’s, up from 146.3 mmt’s. They also see the total corn crop in Brazil at 115.85 mmt’s, vs their previous estimate of 114.9 mmt’s.

The Federal Reserve’s May FOMC meeting kicks off today, with another month of no rate changes the likely outcome when the meeting concludes tomorrow. Economists will be carefully listening though for any sign of a more hawkish tone out of Fed Chair Jerome Powell.

Other important financial market data this week includes this morning’s consumer confidence report, as well as weekly jobless data at the end of the week.

Rain this morning is seen in the South and Southeast, and also the far Northern Plains, but most of the Corn Belt will be dry today before the North gets set for more rains tomorrow into Thursday.

The EU model is further North with coming rainfall this week than yesterday’s runs but is generally the same over the next 5 days. A strip through the Missouri Valley where the heaviest rains fell last weekend looks to be the wettest area in the Midwest through next week as systems continue to dive out of the Mountains and then head North in the mid-section of the country.

Long range forecasts continue to indicate a pattern shift is coming sometime in May, though the exact timing of the shift has not been resolved. Temps will be mostly average to above average by the start of next week.

Again, no change to the South American pattern; monsoon season rainfall has subsided, leaving much of Brazil dry over the next 10 days. While this is normal, the heat that has accompanied it this year is not and has caused stress to safrinha corn.

Have a great day!

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