Rains in Argentina and declining export sales set a soft tone.

Grain prices are soft this morning as the last of Argentine rain showers work through northern crop areas with better-than-expected rainfall overnight. Even RGDS in Southern Brazil received good soaking rain after a strong round occurred in Córdoba and Santa Fe. The fall in Brazilian soybean export premiums, which is a discount to the CBOT and weakening Russian wheat prices, are stalling speculative enthusiasm for ownership. Export sales data this morning reflected declining interest, as expected.

Yesterday’s soybean crush data released by the NOPA shows a monthly trend of less than expected crush, which is concerning if the crush rate does not return to record large monthly numbers from here forward to keep WASDE from increasing carryouts.

China has not only been absent from US soybean buying, but they have not been buying Brazilian beans lately, as FOB basis offers in Brazil have collapsed to the lowest level since May 2021. With a record bean crop of over 153 MMTs in Brazil, basis offers will stay competitive for months and well into the summer. This weakening basis is a problem for the Brazilian harvest as it gets closer to two-thirds, as the storage capabilities beyond half of the crop are nonexistent.

The rain showers that rolled through W and C Argentina on Wednesday and into Río Grande do Sul ranged from .2-2.50”. Some rains continue currently in Córdoba and Santa Fe this morning. Meanwhile, southern Argentina and Southern Brazil were dry. So far, Argentine rainfall since Sunday has been far better than the forecasting models have indicated and will help the crop in the upcoming dry and reasonably cool period until the heat starts returning after February 23 into the 90s. There is another chance of rain developing around February 24 with showers in the 10-14 day forecast.

On Wednesday, it was a mixed trade day for live cattle, while feeder cattle found support in the weakening feed grain market. Negotiated fed cattle was non-existent for the southern plains, while Nebraska cattle traded steady at $159, and the IA/MN area was $2 higher for the week at $162. Asking prices in the South remained at $163. Box beef values were strong, with choice gaining $3.61 and select higher by $2.41. This week, Collective gains have the choice up $6 and select higher by $7.