Grains start the week mostly firmer, extending last week's recovery.
Grain futures are higher this morning after a rough start Sunday night. The large short position in wheat, corn, and soybean oil helped prompt further buying as they lightened up their trade ahead of the growing season and the pending closing of the Black Sea corridor on May 18. A barrage of missiles was launched into Ukraine from Russia on Sunday as the offensive picked up ahead of Russia’s May 9 Victory Day Celebration. Some suspect that the attacks could be even bigger in the next 24 hours.
Outside markets are positive, with energies higher again as banking concerns settle down. It’s just the San Francisco Fed district, one of the 12 districts in the Federal Reserve system, that is been revealing all the problems, with only one bank in the New York district having had issues. The banking system is overall sound, and the market is starting to rationalize this.
This afternoon’s crop progress reports are anticipating that corn will be 51-54% planted and soybeans 36-39% completed. The pace will be considered just ahead of the five-year historical average. Any delays will be in the Northern Plains, where saturated soil is keeping seeding at a crawl. US winter wheat ratings are forecasted to rise 1-2% due to recent rains to 29-31%. This Friday is the May WASDE crop report, and balance sheets could potentially be bearish with the recent slow exports and reduced ethanol grind.
The weather forecast for the Central US is warm, with daily Midwest shower chances into Friday. The grains for Texas, Oklahoma, and Arkansas of 2-4.50” of rain later this weekend is anticipated, with a dry pattern returning in the two-week forecast. A midweek storm for the Northern Plains will cause further seeding delays, while Canadian Prairie dryness looks to worsen amid limited rain for another 10 days with above-normal temperatures.
Live and feeder cattle prices moved lower last week with a mixed outlook offered for today. June cattle are at a five-week low, while August feeders are down over $10.00 from their highs. The market is working off an overbought status created the week of April 10-14 for live cattle and the opening of May for feeder cattle. Box beef values last week were down $2.25 for the choice while select off only $0.18. Negotiated cattle were a dollar lower last week in the southern plains at $172, while Iowa/Minnesota ranged 172-178, which was steady to $6 lower. To start the week, the outlook, at best, appears steady. Feedlot placements in the last 150 days have been 5% less than a year ago and the lowest since 2016, excluding Covid year 2020.