Grains prices were mixed but mostly higher, yesterday on Chicago.
In spite some disappointing export data reported by USDA, indeed, market-friendly supply and demand fundamentals are still in good place.
China in particular weighed down the US statistics by canceling the purchase of 130 kt of wheat and 55 kt of soybeans.
However, the Middle Kingdom has contracted 265 kt of beans for the next harvest.
So, soybeans firmed by 0.5% higher.
Some wheat contracted up, as much as 0.75% higher.
Corn tested 6$/bu level, taking moderate gains early in the session, however eroded back into the red at the end of the session.
Also energy prices moved modestly higher, with crude oil and diesel both up around 0.25%.
Gasoline trended around 0.5% higher.
Better-than-expected US retail sales in March (+9.8% versus analyst estimates of +6.1%) boosted investor confidence.
Consequently, on Wall St., the Dow crossed 34,035 points for the first time ever after climbing 305 points higher.
Meantime the U.S. Dollar softened slightly.
Coming back on grains market, corn prices ultimately moved about 0.5% lower, after a lackluster round of export data from USDA triggered some technical selling.
US corn exports, indeed, saw old crop sales fall 81% below the prior four-week average to 12.9 million bushels.
New crop sales added another 2.1 million bushels for a total tally of 15.0 million bushels.
However, overall sales for the 2020/21 marketing year remain strong, staying well ahead of last year’s pace at 1.488 billion bushels.
Meantime, also US corn export shipments slipped 12% below the prior four-week average to 71.5 million bushels.
Some analist, however, believe that stars are aligning for prices to climb above the 6$/bu benchmark and stay there for more a bit.
The EPA confirmed that the U.S. generated 1.19 billion ethanol blending credits in March, which was moderately above February’s tally of 903 million credits.
The U.S. also generated 406 million biodiesel blending credits last month, also moving moderately above February’s total of 306 million.
Soybean prices, in contrast, survived a semi-choppy session with gains of around 0.5%, reaching so, one-week highs.
Traders are still watching U.S. planting trends closely, as well as the Brazilian harvest.
Meantime US soybean export sales saw old crop sales reaching only 3.3 million bushels last week, falling 14% below the prior four-week average.
New crop sales added 9.8 million bushels for a total haul of 13.1 million bushels.
Cumulative totals for the 2020/21 marketing year, however, are still nearly doubling last year’s pace, with 2.039 billion bushels.
US soybean export shipments also slipped 10% beneath the prior four-week average, to 15.2 million bushels.
The latest monthly report from the National Oilseed Processors Association (NOPA) showed a March soybean crush of 177.984 million bushels.
That was below the average trade guess of 179.179 million bushels, as well as March 2020 results of 181.374 million bushels. Last month’s crush was still the second-best crush in March on record, however.
Also wheat prices moved modestly higher during a choppy session, as traders shrugged off fast the lackluster round of export data from USDA, seen that worries over widespread frost in Europe and less-than-ideal conditions in the U.S. Plains have kept in the center of the scena.
Old crop US wheat sales, in fact, spilled noticeably below the prior four-week average to a new marketing-year low of a net reduction of 2.1 million bushels.
New crop sales found 10.1 million bushels, for a balance of 8.0 million bushels.
Consequentily, cumulative sales for the 2020/21 marketing year have slipped slightly below last year’s pace, with 763.8 million bushels.
Also US wheat export shipments dipped 16% below the prior four-week average, to 17.2 million bushels.
From South America, the Buenos Aires stock exchange, has revisits the corn harvest in Argentina.
Its expect now, that this year would stand at 46 million tonnes.
This is a revision of + 1 million tonnes compared to its latest estimates.
On the European market, Euronext succeeded in confirming its fine trend, particularly with regard to new campaign prices.
European wheat and rapeseed rised in particular in the face of the dry climate which is taking hold over the whole of Western Europe.
However, the exit of options yesterday on the last maturities of the 2020 harvest in wheat and corn, led to a slight decline in closing wheat prices.
Export activity at European level remains weak, at least in the 2020 harvest.
Purchasing interests are expected in the 2021 harvest, with in particular the hope that China will once again be interested in French origins in wheat and barley.
Meantime, consultancy Strategie Grains slightly raised its estimates for European Union 2020/21 soft wheat exports to 933.3 million bushels, failing to cite a reason for the change.
While, EU’s 2021 soft wheat production estimates are steady, at 4.762 billion bushels.
There are rumors that China is focusing its interest on French wheat for animal feed!
From Black Sea basin, political tensions in Ukraine/Russia coming back to the headlines again with the US President signing new sanctions intended to restrict US purchases of Russian government debt, and blacklisting more Russian politicians.
Russia did announce that they would be partially closing the Kerch Strait, opening a few questions about grain loadings out of Azov sea ports but only officially closing it to other government ships.
Meantime, spring sowing campaign in Russia is now in full swing.
The area sown on a daily basis is growing day by day.
A delay of two weeks compared to normal remains valid.
Yesterday, 1.5 Mha had been sown, ie 3% of the area intended to receive spring crops.
In the south, the first sunflower and corn plantings were observed.
Aussie East coast wheat markets firmed by $3-4/t yesterday, tracking the board moves.
Trade interest also lifted with some pickup in volume across the country.
New crop markets also strengthened consistent with the global shift in both grains and canola.
On the international trade scenario, Algeria purchased approximately 7.3 million bushels of durum wheat from optional origins in a tender that closed on Wednesday.
The grain is for shipment in May.
Algeria’s OAIC durum tender reportedly traded around a US$350/t C&F – that’s back a bit over 50¢/bu (about US$20/t) from their last purchases.
Japan has purchased 90,000 t of food-quality wheat from the United States and Canada in a regular tender that closed earlier today.
Of the total, 70% was sourced from the U.S.
The grain is for shipment in June.
South Korean buyers have purchased 65,000 t of corn of corn from the United States in a private deal that closed earlier this week. The grain is for arrival by June 5.
Egypt purchased 30,000 metric tons of soyoil in an international tender that recently closed, for arrival between June 1 and June 20.
Tonigth we will see how the sessions will close.