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Closing Market Commentary

Closing Market Commentary

Grains are mixed to close:
Mar Corn -1 cents/bu (4.47 1/4)
Mar Soybeans – 19 cents/bu (12.03 1/4)
Mar Chi Wheat +6 ¼ cents/bu (6.01 1/2)
Cdn $ +0.00075 (74.740 cents)
WTI Crude Oil -1.82/barrel (74.04)

Not much to write about this afternoon from where we were at
midday. We got a bit of everything for export sales (good, bad, & neutral),
and the same for price activity today. Other than export sales, headlines about
soybeans were fairly favourable, but did not stand a chance when next to the
disaster that was exports.

As I wrote this morning, export sales this week were abysmal
for soybeans which was the headline that stole the show. Corn was quite
impressive, and wheat was within expectations, but beans poor performance is
shooting the price lower today. China is said to have delayed the buying of 3-5
US soybean cargoes from February and March out to April. There is concern these
cargoes could be canceled completely or simply delayed making room for future
bean shipments, given China’s currently high stocks. Surprisingly, today we
also got the news that Private exporters reported sales of 206,834 metric tons
of soybeans for delivery to Mexico during the 2023/2024 marketing year.

Today, StoneX came out with their Brazilian soybean
estimates at 150.35mmt, down from the previous estimate of 152.8mmt, now down
almost 5% from last year’s 157.9 mmt record. First-crop corn production rose
slightly from 25.8 to 25.9 mmt this month, still below 28.6 mmt LY, with
second-crop output down slightly from 96.6 to 96.4 mmt (below 108.4 mmt LY).
Total corn production for 2023/24 is basically unchanged this month at 124.5
mmt, down from last season’s 139.2 mmt record harvest.

Analysts expected USDA to report December soybean crush to
total 206.5 million bu. in December, (10.2% above last year). It was noted that
soybeans crushed for crude oil totaled 204 million bushels which is still a
record high.

Today’s drought monitor notes that 28% of corn area is
experiencing drought, 28% of spring wheat area, 17% of winter wheat area and
29% of the soybean area. These percentages are all down from the prior week.

Farm policy shared an interesting map with some interesting
global crop conditions including areas to watch, to help give a better
perspective on what we are watching weather wise right now.
Funds were thought to have been mixed with corn and beans
sellers and wheat a buyer.

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