Commodities again turn lower overnight on truce hopes.
It was a headline evening for grain futures. A higher opening was inspired by Argentina working to limit exports, which had soybeans again challenging 17.00 and failing along with corn which had also bounced to a new recovery price high of 767.4, before also declining sharply overnight. Weakness in the night session came when US State Department Deputy Wendy Sherman stated that Russia showed signs of willingness to engage in substantive negotiations to end the war.
Other headlines overnight that weigh on grain prices was the Ukrainian government is going to introduce a plan to support its 2022 crop seeding campaign. No details of how farmers will receive seed, diesel, and fertilizer in the coming weeks were offered. The back-and-forth progress of a cease-fire and peace talks continue to be ongoing. Russian sanctions will likely stay in place if a truce were to occur until Pres. Putin is removed from office. Likewise, Russia is unwilling to relent unless Ukraine Pres. Zelinskyy is replaced. Hopes for a cease-fire prevail, but doubts continue to linger for it to occur anytime soon.
Grain prices are also softening as reports of wheat, barley, and sun oil exports leaking out of Russia to countries that align with Russia, such as Turkey and Syria. Amounts are not considered substantial. The shift of Black Sea grain sales otherwise continues along with Argentina looking to raise its export tax on soy products to 33%.
Heavy precipitation is forecasted for the Delta and Gulf states, with eastern Nebraska/Eastern Kansas, Eastern Oklahoma, and Eastern Texas all capturing some rain along with areas of Colorado in the 10-day models through March 24. Unfortunately, the driest areas of the HRW wheat belt only expect a moderate chance of rain. Otherwise, the warming trend is on its way for North America over the next two weeks.
Cattle futures trading stabilized last week above early week lows. Most of the cash trade was $2 lower across the northern and southern plains at $138. The were some top prices in IA/MN, where cattle sold for as much as $140. Cattle slaughter slipped to a five-week low of 644,000 head, down 10,000 from the previous week and 5000 from a year ago. Box beef values are now trading back and forth, as box beef prices seasonally bottom at the end of February into the opening of March.