Corn futures ended the session higher today, finding support news Russia rejected the humanitarian move to allow Ukraine grain exports through the Black Sea. In addition, reports are surfacing that China is starting to lift Covid restrictions and also provide economic stimulus for its people. The hope is this will spark their economy, potentially increasing commodity demand. Weekly U.S. corn export inspections were solid in this morning’s report at 66.9 mln. bu. This was a sizeable uptick from last week’s 41.7 mln. bu. and exceeded the weekly volume “needed” to reach USDA’s annual export forecast. It is also important to note that Census corn exports are roughly 266 mln. bu. above FGIS inspections- with the bulk of that corn going into Canada. China is said to have been actively booking Brazilian corn for September/October shipment as elevations at the USG are said to be limited for that timeframe. Argentina is rumored to have pulled their corn offers this morning due to shrinking supplies and decreasing harvest yields. There was also talk today that Argentina may be looking to increase their export taxes. NASS will release updated U.S. corn planting progress this afternoon. The trade is looking for roughly 75-80% of the corn crop to be planted. Weather remains a main market focus. Midwest weather models currently indicate a large rain event will move across the region Tuesday through Thursday with cooler temps forecast to stick around the balance of the week then turn warmer this weekend. Some frosts have been reported in spots of S. Brazil but crop damage has been deemed unlikely. Conditions in C Brazil remain dry while light showers are expected for Argentina this week.
Despite starting the day in the green, soybeans closed mostly weaker. Futures turned lower following reports President Biden said the U.S. will use troops to defend Taiwan-sparking concern this will raise tensions between the U.S. and China. Rumors circulated late last week that China had bought 3 cargoes of U.S. beans for August and was interested in U.S. offerings for February/March. While no flash sales were announced to China this morning, private exporters did report sales of 130,000 metric tons of beans for delivery to Egypt for the 21/22 marketing year. Weekly U.S. soybean export inspections came in lower than a week ago at 21.2 mln. bu. but did reach the weekly volume “needed” to meet USDA’s annual export forecast. Recent Chinese customs data showed bean imports from Brazil increased significantly in April, with China importing 6.3 MMT of Brazilian soybeans. This was largely attributed to the arrival of delayed vessels due to the slow start of the Brazilian harvest. This total compared to the 2.87 MMT’s imported last March. Unloading’s in May are expected to be just as high. For reference, China’s April imports of U.S. soybeans only totaled 1.6 MMT. Traders are expecting to see sizable advances in this afternoon’s weekly U.S. planting progress report. Analysts are expecting to see soybean plantings near 55% complete.
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