Ag Market View for Feb 16.23
The soybean complex recovered from the midday lows to close mixed. Soybeans were down $.08 – $.12, closing near the midpoint of today’s range. Soybean meal was down $5 – $10, while soybean oil rallied to close up 50 – 90. The midday NOPA report showed fewer soybeans were crushed in Jan-23 than expected, leading to lower than expected soybean oil supplies. Support in Mch-23 soybeans is at last week’s low of $15.05 ¾, vs. the midday low of $15.16 ½. NOPA members crushed 179 mil. bu. of soybeans last month, up from 177.5 mil. in Dec-22, however was below expectations of 181.7 mil. Today’s NOPA crush figure supports the USDA’s lower crush est. in last week’s WASDE report. Soybean oil stocks rose 2% from last month to 1.829 bil. lbs. however, were below expectations of 1.906 bil. lbs. Based off the NOPA figures implied census crush for Jan-23 is 188.5 mil. bu., a 4 year low for January. That would bring cumulative crush in the first 5 months of the Sept-22 thru Aug-23 MY to 930 mil. bu., down 1.5% from YA, vs. the revised USDA forecast of up 1.2%. In order to reach the new USDA forecast of 2.230 bil. bu. crush Feb thru Aug. would need to reach at a record 1.30 bil. bu. The previous high for the 7 month stretch was 1.267 bil. in 2020. While crush margins remain historically strong they are well off the highs from last fall. Export sales tomorrow expected at 15 – 35 mil. bu. for soybeans, 100 – 325k tons soybean meal, and 0 – 10k tons of soybean oil.
Prices closed down $.03 – $.06. The Mch-23 low at $6.75 ½ was just above key 100 day MA support at $6.73 ½. Lite rains are still possible today across Northern Argentina followed by a week to 10 days of dry weather. Temperatures are likely to remain seasonally mild until heat returns the last week of Feb. Crop stress is likely to be on the rise the 2nd half of Feb in Argentina. The GFS model is suggesting beneficial rains to return the closing days of Feb, however confidence that far out is low. Better than expected rains across Southern Brazil yesterday will help improve crop prospects. Ukraine has pressed the UN and Turkey to force Russia from hindering grain shipments with delay tactics that have lowered the volume of ag. products to flow thru Black and Azov Sea ports. Late last week there were 117 ships awaiting inspection in Bosphorus Turkey. According to Ukraine’s Ag. Ministry daily inspections are down to only 2.5 per day this year, down from 3.5 in Dec-22. The USDA announced the sale of 213k tons (8.4 mil. bu.) of corn to Mexico. Ethanol production rose to 1,014 tbd last week, up from 1,000 tbd the previous week. Corn usage at 102 mil. bu. was just below the pace needed to reach the revised USDA corn usage forecast of 5.250 bil. bu. Ethanol stocks surged to 25.3 mb, the highest since April-22. Gasoline demand last week was down 3.5% from YA. Overall demand has been below the pace from YA for 18 of the past 19 weeks. Export sales tomorrow expected between 30 – 50 mil. bu.
Prices were lower across the board giving back much of the recent gains. Chicago was down $.12 – $.17, KC down $.10 – $.12, while MGEX was $.06 – $.08 lower. Thailand bought 60k mt of Australian feed wheat paying $337/mt CF. Jordan issued a tender for 120k mt of feed wheat to close Feb. 21st for June/July shipment. The USDA attaché to India est. their 2023 wheat production would reach 100 mmt, below the official USDA forecast of 103 mmt, and well below India’s government forecast of 110 mmt. Export sales tomorrow are expected to be between 6 – 16 mil. bu.
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