Soybeans firmer on absent rain in Argentina forecast models.

The last trading day before the New Year break has grains mixed with the soy complex higher as a result of Argentina moisture still lacking. Soybeans are up 14 cents while corn is up 1 and wheat markets mixed. The chances of moisture falling in Argentina in the second half of January have improved but confidence is still low. Little to no rain is expected for Argentina the nest two weeks with temperatures forecasted in the 90s to low 100’s. Brazil’s weather remains favorable with rainfall expected to continue to fall accompanied by mild temperatures throughout the growing areas. This weather market will continue as will the volatility into late February.

Buenos Aires reported their planting progress for soybeans at 72% done vs 81% last year, corn at 63% vs 71% last year. Corn will be finished planting later in the season this year and might allow corn to miss the extreme heat during pollination and the current heat and dryness they are experiencing. Soybeans are rated 10% gg/ex vs 12% last week and 57% last year. Corn is rated 15% gd/ex vs 58% last year at this time.

Corn is being governed by the rapidly slowing ethanol production and the higher-than-normal Russian wheat exports as grain is continued to be moved in bulk. There still is risk in the black sea region as we are seeing Russian missile attacks continue and how that effects insurance on grain cargoes is an uncertainty in 2023.

December cattle expire today and the current price marks the second highest December expiration price on record. Thursday cash sales were quoted at $157 in the south, up $1 from last week. The massive beef cow kill of 3.8 million is the second largest on record. Heifer retention is at a multi-year low with slaughter as a percent of the fed cattle kill has been 39% which is the largest since 2003.