On The Money Grain Commentary 3-28-24

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Corn Outlook:

The highly anticipated planting intentions report shows that producers intend to plant 90.036 million acres of corn, which was on the low end of estimates and 4.605 million fewer acres than a year ago. Meanwhile, stocks of corn on March 1st are less than expected, but up 951 MB from last year to 8.347 BB. While the stocks number is negative, it is being overshadowed by the reduction in acres. While not a shining star, exports have been improving since the third week of January. Last week, inspections were 48.3 MB, which was below the previous week and the average of 49.5 MB that must be shipped weekly to meet USDA’s projection of 2.1 BB. Right now, it is a toss up as to whether their target can be reached. The bottom line in corn is that acres are lower than expected, exports are improving slightly, and the growing season is just ahead.

Bean Outlook

The planting intentions report shows that producers aim to plant 86.510 million acres of soybeans, which was above estimates and 2.910 million more acres than a year ago. Meanwhile, stocks as of March 1st were more than expected at 1.845 BB, up 158 MB from a year ago. In other matters, export inspections last week were above the previous week at 28.2 MB with China taking 18.9 MB. Brazil continues to be a thorn in our side as the overall export pace has fallen 62 percent since early November, while shipments to China have declined 67 percent. The bottom line in soybeans is that more acres are expected to be planted, stocks are higher, and exports continue to decline which will tend to limit rallies.

Wheat Outlook:

USDA projects all wheat acres to decline 4.6 million to 47.498 million, winter wheat acres to fall 2.0 million to 34.135 million, but spring wheat acres are projected to be up 135,000 to 11.335 million. Meanwhile, stocks of wheat as of March 1st are estimated at 1.087 BB, up 146 MB from a year ago. In other matters, saying that exports stink is putting it mildly. Last week, inspections were 11.5 MB which is well below the average of 18.9 MB that must be shipped weekly to meet USDA’s target of 710 MB. Unless there is a surge, we are on track for shipments of 645 MB.

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