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It has been a wild ride in the grains this week because of the Prospective Planting Intentions Report, and Russia signaling their intentions to de-escalate military operations in Ukraine while the ceasefire talks are being held. However, this is being met with skepticism as Russian attacks continue. Meanwhile, the planting report was bullish as the USDA projects corn acres at 89.5 million, down 3.8 million from a year ago. This was below the lowest trade guess and does not give much wiggle room if adverse weather develops during the growing season. Right now, the long-range outlook through June points to hot, dry conditions in the western Corn Belt. Looking at exports, inspections were a marketing year high last week at 63.2 MB. Following a downtick in shipments to China, they were up this week.
The Planting Intentions Report was a disappointment for the bulls as the USDA projects a 3.7 million acre increase in soybeans to 91.0 million. This was 2.1 million acres more than expected, and near the top end of the range of guesses. This may give the bulls a moment of pause until their focus turns to weather. In other developments, export inspections last week were 23.1 MB with China taking 45.8 percent of shipments. Meanwhile, shipments to China peaked last November and have since declined 83.2 percent.
The planting report was mostly a nonevent for wheat as the USDA projects all wheat acres at 47.3 million, up 648,000; winter wheat at 34.2 million, up 588,000 thousand; and spring wheat at 11.2 million, down 220,000. Although the report was mostly neutral, it was friendly for spring wheat. Wheat will likely pick up support from corn. In other developments, export inspections were less than inspiring last week at 12.5 MB and must average 19.9 MB for the rest of the marketing year to reach USDA’s target of 800 MB. Currently, shipments are on track for 728 MB.
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