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Ag Market View for Feb 6.23


The soybean complex closed mixed.  Soybeans were down $.08 – $.11 in old crop, with new crop down only $.02 – $.03.  Nearby soybean meal contracts were down $4 – $8 with deferred up $1 – $2.  Soybean oil was up 10 – 25 points.  Brazilian soybean harvest estimates are running 8 – 10% as of last Friday, down from 17% YA and the 5-year average of 10%.  Mato Grosso harvest progress at 24% is well below the 47% pace from YA, and below the 5-year average of 32%.  The average trade guess for US soybean ending stocks is unchanged at 210 mil. bu.  Range of guesses is 175 – 230 mil.  Traders expect Argentine soybean production to be cut 3 – 4 mt, down from USDA 52 mt est. in Jan-23.  The average estimate is for no change for Brazil.  Stats Canada tomorrow is expected to show Canadian canola stockpiles grew to 11.7 mmt, up from 8.8 mmt in Dec.  Export inspections at 67 mil. were above expectations of 40 – 60 mil.  YTD inspections are up 1% from YA, vs. the USDA forecast of down 8%.

Barns on a farm


Prices firmed up late in the session finishing with gains of $.01 ½ – $.03.  The Mch-23 contract experienced an inside trading day suggesting the market is buying time until the USDA updates.  This week markets brace for USDA updates on Wednesday, Stats Canada stocks report tomorrow, a hot dry week in Argentina, and potential fallout after the US military downed a Chinese spy ballon this weekend.  China has threatened unspecified retaliation for the downing of what they call a research craft.  A recently cancelled trip to China for US Sec. of State Blinken hasn’t been rescheduled.  Cooler temperatures and needed rains are forecast for Central Argentina this coming weekend into the early part of next week.  Coverage and rain totals will become better known during the week.  A dryer outlook is also expected to help Brazilian soybean harvest and 2nd crop corn plantings accelerate this week.  Over the weekend Egypt finally completed their purchase of 60k tons of corn from Ukraine at $308/mt FOB for late Feb early Mch shipment.  AgRural is reporting Brazil’s 2nd corn crop is 12% planted, half of the 24% pace from YA.  US corn stocks expected to increase 25 mil. bu. in Wed. USDA WASDE report to 1.267 bil., likely due to lower exports. Estimates range from 1.20 bil. to 1.335 bil.  Traders expect Argentine corn production to be cut 3 – 4 mt, down from USDA 48 mt est. in Jan-23.  The average estimate is for no change for Brazil.  This AM the USDA announced the sales of 112k tons (4.4 mil. bu.) of 2022/23 corn to Japan and 200k tons (8 mil. bu.) of corn to Mexico, 4 mil. each old and new crop.  Export inspections at 19 mil. bu. were below expectations of 20 – 30.  YTD inspections at 493 mil. bu. are down 33% from YA, vs. the USDA forecast of down 22%.  Despite to slow pace to inspections I believe the USDA will hold off reducing their export forecast again on Wed.  Recall last month the USDA cut their forecast 150 mil. bu.  With the recent uptick in commitments and uncertainty with SA production I sense the USDA will hold a month before making further adjustments.


Prices closed mixed with all 3 classes experiencing 2 sided trade.  Chicago was down $.05 – $.07, MGEX down $.03 – $.04, while KC was up $.01 – $.03.  Mch-23 KC closed at a $1.25 premium to Chicago today, a new high for the contract.  While drought conditions across the US Southern plains have loosened its grip a touch since peaking last fall, they remain stubbornly high as the crop grows closer to breaking dormancy.  Moisture this week is expected to favor SRW wheat areas while much of the HRW wheat will see scattered rains at best.  Until this pattern is broken Algeria has issued 2 separate 50k ton tenders for wheat expected to close on Tues.  India’s Ag. Minister reports wheat plantings at 84.8 mil. acres, up less than 1% from YA.  Stats Canada tomorrow is  expected to show wheat inventories at 22.3 mmt, up from 16.8 mmt the previous month.  US ending stocks on Wed. are expected to increase roughly 10 mil. bu. on Wed. to 575 mil. bu.  Export inspections at 20 mil. bu. were at the high end of expectations of 10 – 20 mil.  YTD inspections at 506 mil. bu. are down 2% from YA, vs. the USDA forecast of down 3%. 

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