On The Money Grain Commentary 4-4-24

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Corn Outlook:

The highly anticipated planting intentions and grain stocks report has passed which means it is back to business as usual with weather and exports being the focus. Planting of corn has just begun and should soon get into full swing. Meanwhile, exports continue to improve. Last week, inspections were a marketing year high of 56.3 MB and above the average of 49.1 MB that must be shipped each week to reach USDA’s target of 2.1 BB. The export pace has been increasing since the third week of January and has risen 66 percent. If it continues, their projection could be met. In other matters, the funds are short 1.280 BB which could give the market a lift if they cover going into the growing season. The bottom line in corn is that the fundamentals are improving but have a long way to go in captivating the bulls’ interest as stocks remain elevated at 2.1 BB.

Bean Outlook

Soybeans face some speed bumps for the season. One is that producers intend to plant 86.5 million acres, an increase of 2.9 million from a year ago. If realized, ending stocks could rise to 345 MB compared to USDA’s current estimate of 315 MB. The other obstacle is that exports continue to decline. Last week, inspections were 15.2 MB and below the average of 16.4 MB that must be shipped each week to reach USDA’s projection of 1.720 BB. This is the first time this season that weekly shipments have fallen below the average needed to achieve their target. China took 7.8 MB, their smallest shipment since mid-September. Since early November, shipments to them have fallen 76 percent, while the overall export pace has declined 69 percent. The bottom line in soybeans is that the funds are short 760 MB but may see little reason to cover unless weather becomes a factor during the growing season.

Wheat Outlook:

The winter wheat crop has come out of dormancy with 56 percent rated in good-to-excellent condition compared to last year’s rating of 28 percent. Last week’s rating is slightly below the high rating in 2012 of 58 percent. Looking at exports, inspections last week were a marketing year high of 18.3 MB. While this seems impressive, they were below the average OF 18.5 MB that must be shipped each week to meet USDA’s projection of 710 MB. Unless shipments improve dramatically, we are on track for exports of 670 MB. The bottom line in wheat is that unless there is a significant decline in crop conditions, price gains will probably be limited.

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