March 27: Soybean Prices Retreat on Brazil Weather, Output Expectations

In Chicago, soybean prices and wheat prices retreated thanks to news that rains have finally come to crop-producing regions across North and South America. Agricultural commodities bucked the trend of Wall Street’s gains as markets prepare for a slate of key reports in the weeks ahead for the sector. It all begins with the Prospective Plantings report on Thursday.

Here’s our daily recap of grain trading from the Chicago Board of Trade.

Soybean Prices Slip Again Tuesday

Soybean prices slipped again Tuesday as markets prepare for this week’s Prospective Plantings report. The May contract in Chicago shed 6 cents to close the day at $10.195. The July contract shed 6.25 cents to finish the day a tick above $10.30 per bushel.

We’re eyeing the latest trade estimates for South American production before the April WASDE report. Today, AgroConsult projected that Brazilian soybean output will increase to 118.9 MMT. That figure is 1.4 MMT higher than the analysts’ previous estimate.

Traders were also questioning just how much weather has affected Argentina’s crop. Today, reports indicated that two Argentine cargoes began moving Up River this week. These are believed to be the first shipments from the country’s new crop to be exported. [1] The USDA projects that exports will fall from 7 MMT to 6.8 MMT in the year ahead.

Markets are paying close attention to trade estimates ahead of Thursday’s Prospective Plantings report.

Corn Prices Unchanged in Chicago

Corn prices were unchanged in Chicago on Tuesday. The May contract finished the day at $3.74 per bushel, while the July contract closed at $3.825 per bushel. Markets digested updates from individual states on the progress of their corn planting report and continued to monitor weather down in South America.

According to individual state reports, we have seen some solid planting progress across the Southern portions of the United States. The NASS reported 43% progress in corn planting in Texas, well ahead of the 33% average pace.

Markets are preparing for two reports of importance this week. The first is tomorrow with the weekly release on ethanol from the Energy Information Administration.

Wheat Prices Fall Again

The U.S. Plains are starting to see some moisture this week, which helped push state ratings up on Monday afternoon just enough to push prices lower. The U.S. Drought Monitor showed that for data through March 20, 39% of the winter wheat crop area is experiencing drought conditions.

May SRW wheat contracts shed 5.25 cents to close the day at 4.49 per bushel. The July contract shed 5 cents to finish at $4.665.

Kansas City HRW contracts fell 4.25 cents to end the day at $4.64 per bushel. The July contract shed 4.25 cents to close at $4.4835 per bushel.

Yesterday, the USDA’s local offices reported wheat quality across the nation. Kansas winter wheat saw an improvement from 55% to 49% of the crop rated “poor or very poor.” Crop rated “good to excellent” increased by 6 percentage points to hit 13%.

In Texas, the share of crop rated “poor or very poor” dipped another 3  percentage points to 63%. The percent of crop rated  “good or excellent” jumped 2 points to 12%.

Then, in Colorado, the amount of crop rated “poor or very poor” improved from 27% to 21%. Crop rated  “good or excellent” jumped 8 points.

The Spring Wheat contract for May shed 4 cents to end the day at $5.9325. July MGEX contracts shed 3.25 cents to end the day just under $6.02 per bushel. Wheat prices dipped as analysts weighed growing sentiment that acreage is poised to rise by 528,000 acres to 11.53 million acres.

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About the Author
Garrett Baldwin

Garrett Baldwin is a content strategist and editor at FarmLead. He covers the global grain markets and public policy issues related to the agricultural industry. He is a graduate of the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University. He also holds a Master’s Degree in Economic Policy from The Johns Hopkins University, an MS in Agricultural Economics from Purdue University, and an MBA in Finance from Indiana University.

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