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Fresh news in the grains will probably be limited until the crop report on March 8th and the planting intentions report that will be released March 31st. Meanwhile, corn tumbled this week from the prospect that Russia may renew the agreement allowing the flow of grain from the Black Sea Region. This has heightened concerns leading to an increase in volatility every time Russia blinks. In the meantime, exports are under pressure as inspections last week were a token 22.5 MB. China was AWOL again for the fourth consecutive week. Currently, we are running 41 percent short of the pace needed to reach USDA’s projection of 1.925 BB. Furthermore, Brazil has overtaken us as the world’s leading exporter of corn. With livestock numbers declining, it will be difficult to maintain current prices unless additional markets are found.
Everyone on the planet should know by now that Argentina will have a short soybean crop because of dry conditions. The sell-off this week indicates that their shortfall may largely be baked into prices. Meanwhile, Brazil is expected to produce a record crop. Currently, they are 33 percent complete with their harvest which means supplies are available for export. That can be readily seen as U.S. export inspections last week were only 25.3 MB, the lowest since the end of September. China took 13.5 MB which was their smallest shipment since the first week of October. Furthermore, overall shipments have declined for three straight weeks. That said, a flux of positive input will be needed to support current values.
Wheat futures have been struggling because of improved moisture in the southern Plains in addition to concerns easing about a disruption of grain shipments from the Black Sea Region. Meanwhile, U.S. exports have been on the upswing the past few weeks but have offered little support as Russia continues to garner the lion’s share of global business. Last week, export inspections were 21.7 MB, their highest since the first week of October. Currently, shipments are on track to meet, or possibly exceed USDA’s projection of 775 MB.
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