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There is a dearth of fresh fundamental news in the grains with all eyes being on the war in the Middle East with its impact primarily affecting the energy market. Meanwhile, corn harvest is slightly short of reaching the halfway mark at 45 percent complete compared to 43 percent a year ago and 42 percent for the average. Looking at exports, inspections last week were a marketing year low of 17.1 MB. They must average 40.5 MB each week to reach USDA’s projection of 2.025 BB. For the past few weeks, they have been averaging 22.3 MB, which is well short of the 5-year average of 30.8 MB for this time of the year. The bottom line for corn is that with ending stocks of 2.1 BB, it will be difficult to sustain price gains unless a weather threat develops in South America, or a sharp break occurs in the dollar.
Soybean exports have picked up the past couple of weeks with inspections last week a marketing year high of 73.9 MB. China was active taking shipments of 50.0 MB. This has boosted our average weekly shipment the past few weeks to 44.0 MB. However, this is short of the average of 61.0 MB that is normally shipped at this time of the year. Keep in mind that shipments tend to peak in November shortly after Brazil’s crop is planted. Currently, seventeen percent of their crop is planted compared to 24 percent a year ago. Meanwhile, harvest in the Midwest is progressing quickly at 62 percent done versus 60 percent a year ago and 52 percent for the average. Right now, the hurdle facing the bulls is that Brazil is on track to produce a record crop, unless weather becomes a factor, while U.S. exports have been declining since 2020.
There is not much news in wheat other than producers are busy planting the winter crop which is 68 percent done and on par with the average. Meanwhile, exports are nothing to get excited about as inspections last week were 13.0 MB and slightly below the average of 13.6 MB that must be shipped each week to reach USDA’s target of 700 MB. The greatest obstacle to wheat, for the moment, is that the dollar continues to climb, and Russia’s exports are growing. In the last crop report, USDA increased them 500,000 tons to a record 50 million tons.
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