The grain markets have seen some big losses over the last couple of weeks but did start to recover a bit late last week. The March WASDE report comes out today, March 8th and the thing to watch out for will be what the USDA figures for South American corn and soybean production and how that will impact the world balance sheets. Quarterly stocks as well as the prospective planting reports will come out at the end of the month, so that is something to keep in mind when making marketing decisions.
Rumors circulating about export business helped boost the markets last week. At the time I’m writing this, export sales have not yet been announced, so it still is just a rumor. Brazil exported 2.276 million metric tons of corn in February, which was almost three times the amount of a year ago. However, their February exports declined 63 percent from January’s total, which is leading some analysts to believe that the U.S. could see more export business soon as Brazil’s supplies wane as well as the seasonal trend of their exports dropping off.
The Argentina corn condition rating is now at 6 percent. There is moisture in the forecast for Argentina, but after the next week or so, it won’t have much of an impact on yields.
Wheat has seen the biggest losses in the grain world lately. Early last week, May Chicago wheat traded to its lowest price since September 2021. However, there hasn’t been much good news about crop conditions and other factors across the world. A heatwave in India is raising concern about their crop prospects, there’s still concern about whether or not Russia will extend the grain corridor agreement, and crop condition ratings throughout the United States are nothing to write home about.
Some interesting news in the wheat industry: Brazilian biosecurity agency CTNbio has approved cultivation of drought-resistant genetically modified wheat in the country. This makes Brazil the second country, after Argentina, to approve GMO wheat. In November 2021, Brazil became the first country to allow imports of flour made with GMO wheat. Genetically modified soybeans and corn have been accepted in the global market for a while now, but they are primarily fed to livestock rather than humans.
Like with corn, all eyes are on South American weather. The Buenos Aires Grain Exchange is planning to lower their estimate of Argentina’s soybean crop again, which currently stands at 33.5 million metric tons. On the other hand, there is concern about crop losses in Brazil if the wet pattern continues through the remainder of harvest.
The Ten Year Treasury snore yield jumped back above 4 percent, the highest since November. The cost of sending a freight container from China to Los Angeles is $1,238 compared to $15,600 at this time last year according to the Freightos Baltic Index.