Spot corn overnight trades at $8.00.

Grain futures pushed higher overnight, with spot corn trading at $8.00 for the first time in a decade, while wheat futures recovered Friday’s losses as Sunday evenings weather models pulled needed southern plains rains that had been forecasted. Also, dryness in the Brazilian winter corn areas is becoming pronounced and noticed.

The Ukrainian/Russian war continues with no peace talks yielding any progress, as even Ukraine Pres. Zelensky has stated they are at a dead end. The fighting has shifted to primarily Eastern Ukraine, with the Western region finding some headway in planting spring crops.

China imported 870,000 MTs of wheat and 2.4 MMTs of corn during March, which is up 4.6% and 5.5%, respectively, from last year. China is elevating its imports of US corn amid the Ukrainian export halt, with the war likely to continue through year-end.

On Friday, the NOPA March crush rate was reported record large at 181.7 Mil Bu, with soyoil stocks falling to 1,908 Mil pounds. The crush rate was at market expectations, but the soyoil stocks number was smaller than the estimates.

This afternoon’s USDA winter wheat crop ratings are expected to show another decline based on last week’s wind, heat, and lack of rain. Last week had seen a bump higher of 2%, but this week is expected to decline to near 30% again. The planting for corn seeding is anticipated to be at 4-5%, with the historical average at 6%.

US weather for the coming week will be mostly dry with warming temperatures from west to east. High temperatures climbed to the 60s-70s across the southern half of the Midwest, with the warmth pushing northward into the weekend. A strong northern branch of the jet stream will keep cold air contained in the Northern Plains and upper Lake states and through the Canadian Prairies. The storm system produces rain through Missouri in the Midwest next weekend, with the heaviest totals falling into Missouri. The HRW wheat areas of the plains are forecast to be mostly dry. More moisture is expected to return to North Dakota and Minnesota later this weekend again in the form of snow/rain.

Last week, both live and feeder cattle mounted a recovery in price while deferred cattle futures beyond October pushed to new contract highs above $150. The cash cattle trade was higher across the Plains and Midwest by one dollar for the week at $139, while cattle north moved $1-3 higher at $140-142. Dressed sales were $4 higher at $226. There were some top prices paid in the Western Midwest at $143. Box beef values had choice cutout gaining $2.14 while select was down $1.43. The choice/select spread is $13.72 premium choice which is the widest since mid-December. That spread typically continues to strengthen into late May/June.