The first day of the month sets a high watermark.
Grain futures faded from the overnight strength, with corn and soybeans turning lower as the first trading day of the month pushed a high watermark for the post-USDA crop report activity. Wheat remained positive after double-digit gains overnight as the crop condition reports show the winter wheat crop was rated 28% GD/EX, the second lowest rated crop since NASS started crop condition ratings in 1986. Last year’s wheat crop was rated 30% GD/EX. 36% of the winter wheat crop is rated poor/very poor, with Plain’s crop insurance adjusters already filling out claims to abandon harvest. Abandonment rates are set to rise by nearly 1 Mil acres, with the question of whether a second crop can be seeded behind a failed wheat crop depending on late April/May rainfall totals. 6% of the winter wheat crop is already in the heading phase.
Argentina is expected to offer the soybean/dollar program Wednesday, which will then go into effect next Monday. This is the third offering of the soybean dollar sales program, which is conditioning Argentine farmers to store crops for favorable government peso offers in the future. Crop quality concerns are arising in Argentina after the worst drought in 60 years. The corn harvest underway has a growing worry that the crop is least with aflatoxin, which could render it unfit for export. Also, the poor-quality beans that are small with green beans produce chlorophyll in the soy oil.
The US ag attaché in India estimated the 2023 wheat crop could harvest 108 MMTs which would be down from what the government was hoping for at 112-114 MMTs. Extreme storms and an early season heat wave trimmed yields. India is anticipated to lower their wheat standards in order to bolster its reserves.
Spring planting weather improves after Easter, but in the meantime, snow falling from ND/SD/MN will be endured in the Northern Plains. A period of warm, dry weather prevails in the 11-15 day forecast when a cold front holds across the Central US. Rains will miss the western US plains while there are prospects of showers across the Central US in the 11-15 day forecast.
After a higher start on Monday, creating contract highs in all live cattle contracts, profit-taking set in which softened trade throughout the session with feeder cattle down over $2.00. Cash markets were quiet yesterday, but trade will break out earlier this week with plants closed for Good Friday. The choice cutout value on Monday climbed to $3.02 and the select was $3.46 higher.