The grain trade worked lower after early evening strength.

This morning’s grain trade is lower as the retreat continues from yesterday morning’s price lift, and corn/wheat/beans search for a tradable bottom. Wheat prices had firmed initially overnight on an Egyptian wheat tender awaiting results, but it’s anticipated that one cargo of Ukrainian wheat will be offered to Egypt at $230/MT, reflecting the recent success of Ukraine’s humanitarian corridor within the Black Sea. This had wheat giving up the minor lift in the evening on price.

North African wheat ending stocks have fallen sharply in recent years, and any lack of yield recovery this year demands steady/higher imports in 24/25 to keep inventory stable. The USDA projects and African wheat imports in 23/24 a record 29.7 MMTs.

The grain trade remains negative, with only short covering having been the recent rally impetus from Friday into early Monday, and any pushback against fund selling remains absent. The range of the S American crop estimates continued, with numerous analytical firms pushing their crop expectations below 150 MMTs with the corn crop below 116-117 MMTs. Managed funds have now grown their corn short position to 253,000 contracts, it has only been larger than that in 13 other weeks since January 2006.

A Canadian analytics company’s satellite data indicates Mato Grosso Brazil’s soybean crops could have the lowest yield in 15 years, more than 10 bags/hectare lower than this past season. Yesterday, a farm group, as reported by Reuters news, complained that CONAB has a soybean yield 20 MMTs too high.

The South American weather forecast into the end of January remains consistent with prior runs, though a pattern of dryness has now been extended in Argentina. The Brazilian forecast is mixed with heat/dryness to persist next Wednesday/Thursday when an active shower pattern returns thereafter. Continued net soil moisture losses are probable in pockets of Mato Grosso and Mato Grosso do Sul. The heavy rains favor S and E Brazil. Near zero rainfall is forecasted in Argentina throughout the next two weeks, and this pattern of dryness becomes more important if it extends into early February.

Live and feeder cattle prices pushed higher on Tuesday with a firm outlook offered for the start of trade today. February cattle led the rally and closed above the 50-day moving average with logistical problems becoming the issue getting cattle moving again in the storm areas to harvest. Cash markets remained at a standstill, with cattle feeders looking at ongoing weather stress. Box beef values were $1-2 higher on Monday and jumped $3.57 for choice Tuesday, with select exploding $7.42. Friday’s Cattle on Feed report out after the close at 2:00 p.m. CT has analysts estimating On Feed 102% of last year, Placements 95%, and Marketings 99%.