NOPA crush numbers out today at 11:00 a.m.

Today’s early morning grain trade is mixed with the row crops drifting while world wheat values debate when China is repurchasing its recent cancellations as they will need to be rolled forward. In the end, China is required, due to entering the WTO, to purchase almost 10 MMT of wheat a year. Soybeans are drifting as there is talk that with Argentina having 23/24 sales of soybeans at the lowest in 10 years, a new “soy dollar” program could be implemented again to encourage farmer selling. Recent strength has found renewed selling interest in Brazil.

Today’s NOPA Crush Report will be out at 11 a.m. CT, with the average trade guess for the February crush at 178.06 mbu (a new February record). Soyoil stocks are forecasted to be 1.591 billion lbs compared to 1.809 billion lbs in February 2023. The warm winter weather and profitable cash margins have helped encourage strong crush rates. The USDA will likely have to increase the crush by 30 Mil Bu in their WASDE numbers.

The USDA ag attaché has trimmed the estimate of Argentine soybean production to 49.5 MMTs due to the hot/dry weather from mid-January through mid-February. The heat/dryness trimmed yield potential, but this year’s soybean crop will be double last year’s drought-devastated production. The Buenos Aires Grain Exchange showed Argy corn conditions 25% G/E (down -4%) while bean conditions are 30% G/E. Corn harvest is 3.2% complete.

The USDA Prospective Plantings and Quarterly Stocks Report is on March 28th. The next FOMC rate decision is March 20th .

The Northern and Central Brazilian weather forecasts continue like prior runs. A near to below normal rainfall trend persists across the region for the next 14 days. The soybean harvest will push ahead, and enough rain will fall for the needs of the winter corn with 10-day accumulations in the 1.5-3.00” range. Rainfall is not enough to counter evaporation losses in soil moisture levels that stay short. Southern Brazil in the Río Grande do Sul state they have 10-day totals of 3-6.50” which is sparking flooding. It is heavy rainfall across Southern Brazil, which is the biggest crop worry, with Argentina enjoying a nice mixture of sunshine and showers.

Live and feeder cattle futures turned sharply lower yesterday, and similar to last week Friday when a new recovery high was scored, immediate selling materialized. Losses of $2-3 developed in live cattle trade while the feeder cattle tumbled $3-5. Even though this occurred, cash trade developed sharply higher in the northern area. Live sales were quoted at $187-190, which was $2-5 higher from last week, with dressed sales $1-7 higher at $295-301. The top end of the ranges matches the record prices that were traded last summer. Southern markets remained quiet, with a similar number of cattle selling steady for the week at $185.

April live cattle yesterday touched a long-standing chart gap at 190.27 created last October. They found support at the 20-day MA. Further weakness through yesterday’s lows of 186.77 could trigger a test of the late February low of 184.50. April feeder cattle produced an outside trade day lower, similar to last Friday, and have broken their uptrend moving average support. The February low near 247 looks to be the next downside target if a recovery fails to develop sharply today.