Grains are Mixed for Monday's start.
Grain prices are mixed this morning after wheat and soybeans had seen gains overnight. Kansas wheat was up early in the session as much as $0.17, as a lack of meaningful rain for the southern and central plains remains void for another 10 days. However, overnight strength was not supported, with French Milling wheat being closed for Easter Monday.
Last Friday, Russia indicated that Western nations must allow for Russian ag and fertilizer exports to renew the Ukraine Corridor Grain Pact that Russia agrees will expire on May 17. The growing concern is that the US/Europe alliance will not allow the SWIFT banking system to return and other economic sanctions to be dropped. This raises the prospect that the Corridor may not get renewed and have geopolitical premiums start to return.
Springtime is typically the best time for a Plains drought to break, but it is starting to become a threat to summer row crop production. The Plains states seed 17.5 Mil acres of corn, over five Mil acres of sorghum, and 11 Mil acres of soybeans. The record snow pack for the N Plains is starting to melt, but rain is coming later this week. Therefore, there is the potential for 1-1.5 Mil acres to be enrolled in Prevent Plant.
On Tuesday, the USDA will release its April WASDE report with another likely sharp cut in Argentine corn/soybean production and upward revisions in US corn feed and soybean residual forecast.
The Central US forecast has summer like warmth through Thursday and then cooler with a few widely scattered showers in the Midwest after Friday. No rain is forecasted for the Plains HRW wheat for the next 10 days. The range for the Midwest has totals accumulating in the .25-1.00” range with coverage of 50% temps in the southern and central plains will be in the 80s-lower 90s, causing more stress on the HRW wheat. Again the long-term models always bring hope, with the 11-15 day period hinting of some rain chances, but confidence is low due to the northward movement of the jet stream.
Live and feeder cattle enjoyed spectacular gains last week and have a steady to firm outlook today. The sharply higher cash trade last week supported the strong rally, with even the April 2024 contract setting a record-high close at $176.50. All feeder cattle contracts beyond may set new contract highs, with November closing at $228. Cattle slaughter last week fell to 603,000 head, the lowest since the New Year’s holiday week kill. Box beef values were sharply higher, with Choice gaining $4.77 and Select rising $5.06. Estimated slaughter margins plunged to a 16-week low as Packers lost leverage to tight supplies.