Grains were fairly subdued overnight. Wheat was the leader to the upside gaining 3 cents while corn was 1 cent higher. Soybeans slipped 2 cents in the night trade.
Soybeans continue to trade well below $15 for front month May futures as traders expect more cancellations of soybean exports and talks of Brazil bean cargoes coming to the US markets. Basis levels continue to hold up relatively well, but deferred delivery beyond June is starting to fade pretty quickly. Export sales were disappointing this week with only 800 MT of old-crop sales, but even more bearish was the lack of significant business for new-crop with only 118,000 MT of sales versus trade expectations of 350,000 to 550,000 MT.
In corn, EIA weekly ethanol production showed a drop from the previous week with output off 29,000 barrels per day for a weekly average of 910,000 barrels per day. The weather is expected to be wet over much of Iowa and Illinois today and tomorrow which could hamper corn plantings. However, the longer term outlook is for dry weather to return to the Midwest and with it still being April, it is probably too early to be overly concerned about planting delays. On Wednesday, USDA reported China bought 120,000 MT of US sorghum for old-crop delivery, signifying they are still in the market for feed grain even if they aren't buying US corn.
For wheat, markets have remained downwardly biased after rain helped give some modest relief to the Southern Plains. Over the past week, 1 to 2 inches of rain were observed in Southern Oklahoma and Western Kansas. However, dry conditions are expected over the next 10-day forecast period for much of the Southern Plains, so it seems drought conditions will likely persist. In international deals, Morocco bought 30,000 MT of wheat overnight from Poland. This morning Stats Canada released their wheat plantings estimate for 2014, which they pegged at 24.766 million acres, just a bit more than 24.4 million acres expected, but off from 2013 plantings of 26.1 million.
WEEKLY EXPORT SALES (in thousand metric tons)
||-200 – +100