News > Top Ag News > Closing Comments: 3/29/2021

Closing Comments: 3/29/2021

Mar 29, 2021

Corn futures slightly extended overnight losses on Monday morning, & soybeans weakened late in the session, but wheat clawed back Sunday night losses to close higher on Monday. Traders continued to pare back long positions in corn & beans ahead of Wednesday’s USDA Prospective Planting & March 1 Grain Stocks reports. Ahead of that data, trade surveys expect USDA to report that farmers intend to plant 93.104 corn, 89.989 beans & 45.160 wheat in 2021.  Prior to the stocks data, surveys forecast March 1 stocks of corn were 7,778 mb, beans were 1,561 mb & wheat were 1,272 mb. South American weather forecasts also leaned negative for prices to start the week.  Drier conditions in southern Brazil & Argentina should allow favorable harvest progress.  Monday morning’s USDA Weekly Grain Export Inspections data failed to provide the impact one would expect. Better-than-needed corn, soybean & grain sorghum inspections failed to boost those commodities. Worse-than-needed wheat inspections did not keep wheat from rebounding.  Friday afternoon’s CFTC Commitments of Traders report that showed managed trading funds were net buyers of corn & soybeans, & net sellers of soy products & all the US wheat contracts in the week ending March 23 had the most impact on corn on Sunday night. At the 7:45 am pause in electronic trading, May corn futures were down 5c, Dec. corn was 3.25c lower, May beans were down 3.25c, Nov. beans were 2.5c higher, May soymeal was down $4.30/ton, May soyoil was 0.10c/lb. higher, May SRW wheat was down 1.25c & July SRW wheat 2.5c weaker.  At Monday’s close, May corn futures were 5.75c lower, July corn declined 4.5c, Dec. corn dropped 5.25c, May beans lost 7.5c, July beans were down 6c, Nov. beans were 2.75c weaker, May soymeal dropped $5.90/ton, May soyoil recovered 0.48c/lb., May SRW wheat rose 3.5c & July SRW wheat rallied 2.75c.
Recapping Friday’s price activity, corn & wheat rallied with May corn futures leading the charge, but a collapse in soyoil prices pressured soybeans solidly lower to end the week.  At Friday’s close, May corn futures jumped 6c, July corn gained 3.25c, Dec. corn rose 1c, May beans tumbled 13.75c, July beans lost 13.25c, Nov. beans declined 7.5c, May soymeal eased $0.60/ton lower, May soyoil plummeted 2.50c/lb. limit-down, & May & July SRW wheat edged 3/4c higher.  Corn, soybeans & wheat each traded within the previous week’s price ranges, but soyoil posted a potential key-week downward reversal after trading to highest price since Sep 2011 on Tuesday & closing below the previous week’s low on Friday. For the week, continuation charts of corn lost 5.25c, beans dropped 15.75c & SRW wheat declines 13.75c.
In export news, USDA did not report any daily export sales on either Friday or Monday.
Monday’s USDA’s Weekly Grain Export Inspections report had little influence following its 10 am release. Corn inspections for the week ended March 25 were a 3-week-low 66.738 mb, but the total was still 1.3-times the needed 52.2 mb of inspections needed weekly thru the end of USDA’s 2,600 mb 2020/21 export forecast.  Last week’s inspections were the largest same-week corn shipments since at least 2003.  Japan (16.653 mb), China (10.828 mb) & Mexico (9.966 mb) led the list of 13 nations that took at least 0.798 mb of US corn last week.  Cumulative corn inspections have reached 1,328.3 mb, the highest total at week #30 since 2007/08’s 1428.9 mb results.  Soybean inspections eased to 15.926 mb, their lowest since June 25, 2020 but that was still 2.7-times the weekly average needed to reach USDA’s 2,250 mb export forecast.  China (3.533 mb) & Japan (2.985 mb) topped the list of 10 nations that shipped at 0.639 mb of US beans last week.  Cumulative soybean inspections since Sept. 1 have reached 1,986.8 mb, 283.5 mb larger than the previous record pace set in 2016/17. Grain sorghum inspections were a 2-week-high 9.635 mb last week, twice the weekly pace needed to reach USDA’s 295 mb forecast.  China (9.633 mb) & Italy (2,000 bu.) were the only milo shippers last week. Cumulative milo inspections now stand at 175.1 mb, the best pace since 2015/16’s 233.914 mb at week #30.  Wheat inspections were particularly disappointing, diving 53.8% from the previous week to a 10-week-low 11.104 mb.  Weekly wheat inspections need to average 21.5 mb thru the end of May to reach USDA’s 985 mb 2020/21 export projection.  Nigeria (2.943 mb) & the Philippines (2.143 mb) led the list of 7 nations that took at least 0.851 mb of US wheat. China was absent as a wheat shipper last week.  With 43 weeks now concluded in the wheat marketing year, cumulative wheat inspections stand at 745.9 mb. 
Brazilian analyst AgRural estimates that Brazilian soybean harvest is now 71% completed, led by top-producing state of Mato Grosso where harvest is nearly completed.  After February rain delays that impacted both the speed & crop quality of the harvest, Brazilian farmers have caught up to the 70% 5-year average harvest pace.  Last year, bean harvest was 76% finished by March 25.  AgRural still sees Brazilian farmers binning 133.0 mmt of beans, well above the previous record set last year of 128.5 mmt, but down from the 134.0 mmt that USDA projected on March 9.  Brazilian farmers expect to plant more Safrinha corn acreage this spring, but final yields will depend on April-June rainfall.  marketing year, cumulative wheat inspections stand at 745.9 mb. Wheat shipments must improve significantly or fall short of forecasts.
Locally, corn, soybean & wheat basis levels were steady on Friday. For the week, cash prices for March delivery were 13c lower on corn, 20c weaker on  beans & down 14c on wheat. Corn basis dropped 8c & bean basis weakened 4c last week as grain movement accelerated ahead of spring fieldwork. Wheat basis was steady as most of that crop was marketed prior to last fall’s corn & bean harvest.
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"Top Ag Comments" are written by David Marshall, AgTraderTalk LLC, Nashville, IL.  To learn more about his farm marketing advisory or commodity brokerage services, contact him at or call (618) 327-4370 (voice/fax) or (618) 314-0918 (cell). This commentary is not intended for specific trading strategies. We strive to insure this information is reliable, but we cannot guarantee its accuracy or completeness.  Commodity trading involves risks. You should fully understand those risks before trading.

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