A lower morning start to get the week underway.
A mostly lower overnight session, as liquidation picks up with uncertainty heading into the Wednesday NASS Stocks/Seeding report. With a large 350 Mil Bu range guesses for the March 1 US soybean stocks, uncertainty is becoming prevalent with risk off being the future. There will be only one full day of trading after Wednesday's report, with all markets closed for Good Friday internationally.
The cargo ship Evergreen is 80% re-floated in the Suez Canal, with high tide continuing to later today to be able to get the ship moving. It's estimated that it will take weeks to move 400 stacked up ships through the Suez and that normality will be returned to world shipping by mid-April. This should allow for a weakening trend of world freight rates in coming weeks.
USDA Sec Vilsack indicated that he is seeking ways to expand the number of acres that are enrolled in the CRP program in an interview with the National Press Club. The acres could be enticed by larger payments in a joint effort with states. There are just over 20.7 Mil acres enrolled in the CRP this year, which is below the 25 Mil acre limit set by Congress. 3 Mil CRP acres are set to expire this fall with another 4 Mil acres in 2022. Larger CRP participation would be helpful for lifting US farm income and battling climate change.
The US and the EU weather models agree that a dry weather pattern will hold across Argentina and the winter corn areas of Brazil into April 8. The US/GFS model does introduce a few showers (.25=1.25″) across Central Brazil on April 7, but the EU and Canadian models do not see the frontal pass and remain arid. Confidence in the GFS's April 7-8 rainfall is low with adjustments forthcoming. The GFS in the 11–15-day period has been suggesting the return of showers since mid-last week. The EU/Canadian models have held onto a drier upper airflow pattern. A dry weather pattern will be maintained for Brazilian corn areas into April 8.
Cattle futures enjoyed a strong recovery week, as the cash cattle market finally exited a 7 week range of trading at 114 before finally lifting and seeing the Plains market trade at $115-$116. $2 higher than the prior 7 weeks and marking the highest price paid for cash cattle in nearly a year. Choice boxes finished the week $7.67 higher at $238, and select beef moved at $228 or $7.82 higher on Friday. Estimated slaughter margins were up $34 and still, a record for late March at $330/head. Based on Friday's beef prices, it's estimated Packers have a breakeven cattle price of $149, lots of room to bid up if they ever cared to. So much for the $1.00 check-off, it's turned out to be a wonderful source of advertising for retailers and packers, with no incentive to pass back to producers.