Grain futures continue the spring break.

Grain futures are lower again this morning, with wheat futures reflecting double-digit losses again on the southern plains receiving rain accumulations of 1-3.00” in the past 72 hours, along with Canada showing a large jump in spring wheat acres yesterday of 600,000 acres above average estimates and a 1.3 million acre increase over last year.

Ukraine is said to be following through on Istanbul checkpoints today as vessels push to exit the Black Sea in fear of its future closure. A Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman indicated that only a full implementation of Russian demands for the Black Sea grain pact can save it. Ironically, it’s been reported that the Russian state bank had done a transaction through J.P. Morgan in the past 30 days, which implies it’s familiar with what the UN is offering for transaction purposes.

Cargoes chief Brazilian commodity trader indicated that Chinese demand for Brazilian soybeans was not as strong as expected. However, he did state that this would allow for more constant Brazilian soybean exports through the year-end. China has so far been a record early exporter of Brazilian soybeans. The May Paranagau soybean basis has firmed to a negative $1.50 today from a basis of a negative $1.90/Bu last week. This may start to prompt support for July beans.

Rain is now coming to an end across the Plains, with showers lingering this morning across E Kansas and E Oklahoma. This has been the best rain since last summer for the southern half of KS/OK/E TX where totals have averaged 1.50-3.00” For now, there’s not much additional rain for Kansas/Nebraska, or the Northern Plains through the W Midwest into May 10. Temperatures would be cool but not cold as last week. Highs will range from the 50s/60s and lower 70s. Rain will fall across the Delta and E Midwest into the weekend, totaling .25-1.50”. The southern plains will go to the 80s/low 90s with no indication of any extreme heat, but the overall drying trend will allow now for fast corn/soybean/spring wheat seeding.

Live and feeder cattle turned higher yesterday after a weak start and rumors of an explosion at a cattle processing plant in Port Morgan, Colorado. (It turns out the explosion was a hot water tank). Small numbers of cattle traded yesterday in IA/MN at $180 live, which is steady for the week, while dressed sales were $2 lower at $285. Elsewhere in the plains, show lists offer their numbers at $1-2 higher at $176. Feed yards in the north have passed on dress bids of $285. The cash market typically tops now through the early portion of May, and the June contract is discounted to the cash market a bit more than normal, which keeps it well supported in the low 160.00 range.