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Grain Comments: 06-14-2024

Good morning.

Ag futures are lower across the board to start the last day of the week. Another set of monthly production updates have come and gone, with the trade now back to being squarely focused on US Summer weather. Forecasts today are non-threatening for crop development, but some long-range models continue to hint at a hot/dry July/August for the Midwest. Prices likely stay range bound in the meantime until traders have a better handle on crop prospects. Corn futures are 1-2 cents lower, soybean futures are 6-7 cents lower, and the Chicago wheat market is down 4-5 cents. Products are lower, soybean meal is down $2-3/ton, and soybean oil is down around 10 points. Outside markets are mixed, crude oil futures are up 20-30 cents/bbl, the Dow Jones index is down 300 points, and the US$ index is up 40 points. The $ index traded to its highest level since May 2nd overnight.

Conab yesterday raised their corn production estimate by 2.5 mmt’s to 114.1 mmt’s, while lowering their soybean estimate 0.3 mmt’s to 147.4 mmt’s. USDA is currently at 122 mmt’s and 153 mmt’s respectively, meaning gaps in estimates have narrowed, but are still rather large.

The Rosario Grain Exchange projects wheat plantings in Argentina to be up 1.4 mil ha’s y/y to 6.92 mil ha’s. With favorable weather, this could allow for the second largest harvest ever at more than 21 mmt’s. USDA currently pegs the crop at 17.5 mmt’s.

The Buenos Aires Grain Exchange, in a weekly report, estimated Argentina’s soybean harvest to be 96% complete, while corn harvest is seen at 40.3% complete. The group again made no changes to production estimates for either corn or soybeans.

Same group estimated 2024/25 wheat planting progress in Argentina at 46.3% complete, up 20.6% from last week, while barely planting was seen increasing 11.1% on the week to 14.5% complete.

The NOPA crush report, out Monday, is expected to show May soybean crush at 178.352 mil bu’s, which would be up 5.3% from April’s numbers, and up 0.2% from May of last year. Soybean oil stocks are seen at 1.775 bil lbs., which would be down 3.1% from last month, and down 5.2% from the same month last year.

The Ukrainian Ag Ministry increased its estimate of the country’s 2024 grain harvest to 56 mmt’s, up from 52.4 mmt’s previously. Grain exports were seen at 43 mmt’s.

Barge shipments down the Mississippi River in the week ending June 8th were down 39.4% from last week to 366k tons. Corn shipments were down 39.7% at 245k tons, while soybean shipments were down 36.4% at 119k tons.

The S&P 500 notched its fourth record close of the week on Thursday, though prices are lower to start Friday. Meanwhile, stock markets in the EU are on track for their worst week since January on concerns over political turmoil in France.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) approved the latest review of Argentina’s $44 bil loan program Thursday, which allowed a disbursement of $800 mil to the country.

Officials applauded President Javier Milei’s economic program, which has eased monthly inflation in the country for five straight months after he took office in December of last year.

A cold front provided showers and thunderstorms to areas of MO/IL/IN overnight last night, with totals ranging anywhere from 0.1″ to 2″. Kansas also received scattered showers out of this system.

Models again trended wetter overnight in the week-one period for the Plains and Western Corn Belt. The Eastern half of the Midwest looks to have a drier bias over the next 10 days. Maps were also wetter for week two in the same areas.

Temps will be marginally cooler today (highs in the upper 80’s), before again warming to well above average over the weekend and into next week for most of the Corn Belt. Low pressure moves into the West Coast starting Saturday, while the East stays warm.

Forecasts continue to fluctuate on precipitation for Russian wheat areas. The EU model overnight has moisture slightly farther West than yesterday’s runs, while the GFS has trended wetter to the East. Temps continue to be seen well above average in the 10-day period.

China will continue to experience temperatures much above average in the country’s Northern growing regions, while the South and East receive too much rainfall.

No change for South America overnight; Southern Brazil and Uruguay continues to see unwanted rainfall over the next 10 days, while Argentina receives normal to above normal rainfall. Temps continue to run above average for the majority of Brazil and Argentina for another 10 days.

Have a great day.

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