Soybeans Grain prices soften on light export sales data.

Grain futures are softer today, taking a break from the heavy fund inflows on Monday, along with option-related short-covering Tuesday and Wednesday on the May corn and soybean contracts. It’s a strong cash market with the sellers abandoning their short positions in call options, with options expiring on Friday and first notice day on Friday, April 29.

The Ukrainian ag ministry estimated its farmers had seeded 2.5 Mil hectares of land, representing 20% of the total expected crop area. The Donbas region, where the fighting is mainly occurring, is anticipated to only plant 30% of its area due to the war. Landmines across northern Ukraine need to be swept, but the ministry expects two-thirds of Ukraine’s cropland to be planted. So far, the Ukrainian planting pace has been faster than expected. Overall, the concern will be when this crop is ever exported, with the 2022 calendar year not likely.

The Rosario Grain Exchange raised its estimate of the 2022 Argentine corn and soybean crops due to better-than-expected from late harvest yield data. The exchange raised its soybean crop estimate by one .2 MMTs to 40 one .2 MMTs and 1.5 MMTs increased its corn crop to 49.2 MMTs. The corn area mostly came from adjustments of an increased area of 460,000 hectares. Argentine corn offerings remain aggressive at some $1.204/Bu below US Gulf offers for May and June. Argentine soybeans are $0.65 cheaper than the US Gulf for May and June as well.

The US forecast has near to below normal rainfall, and near-normal temperatures should allow spring seeding to advance over the next 10 days in the central Midwest. A high-pressure Ridge across the Intermountain West will shove the jet stream northward and place above normal rain over North Dakota and the south-central Canadian Prairies with 10-day amounts of 1.00-2.50”. Two weak short-wave fronts will produce .25-1.25” of Midwest rain into May 1. Unfortunately, rain across the southern and central plains will be less than .15”, deepening the existing drought there. Temperatures look to reach the 60-70s across the Midwest through mid-next week. The Plains will see highs in the 70s/80s and a few spots in the 90s. 11-15 day forecast returns some cool Canadian air with temps to average 3-5° below normal.

Fueled by cash market strength and technical buying, June cattle futures closed back above the 100-day MA, and with recent strong price action as a potential to challenge 140.00 or higher. Yesterday’s cash trade started in the West, with southern live deals climbing from $139 two $141, with most trades at $140. In the north, dressed trade was at $228-$236 with mostly four dollars higher at $2 30. Beef cutouts were softer, closing choice down $1.11 with select off $2.68. Tomorrow’s COF report will see feeder placements decline year-over-year, which will support fall feeders. Overall expectations for the report have total On Feed at 100.4%, Placements at 92.2%, and Marketing at 98.2% of last year.