By Kirk Maltais

 

--Corn for May delivery fell 1.7% to $5.38 1/4 a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade Monday as fund ook the opportunity to sell their long positions.

--Wheat for May delivery fell 1.5% to $6.50 1/4 a bushel.

--Soybeans for May delivery fell 0.9% to $13.91 1/4 a bushel.

 

HIGHLIGHTS

 

Long Liquidation: Grain futures are lower with the primary driver being managed money funds liquidating long positions, said AgResource. According to the firm, an estimated 10,500 contracts of corn were sold by funds as of mid-day, while 5,400 contracts of wheat and 2,200 contracts of soybeans were also sold. On Friday, the CFTC said for the week ending Feb. 23, fund long positions in soybeans grew nearly 10,000 contracts to nearly 160,000 contracts. Meanwhile, positions on corn stayed largely long at 345,000 contracts.

Uncertainty Sprouts: Several factors are at play sowing uncertainty in the grain markets with much of it coming from China. Large grain demand is still expected, but an uptick in new African swine fever cases may derail the country's efforts in rebuilding pork supplies. If that does happen, it's expected to take a large bite out of the country's need for soybeans. Other factors, such as U.S. weather during the growing season and the outlook for South American crops, also moved CBOT futures. "Price performance in the next few weeks could prove erratic in view of the many uncertainties," said Commerzbank.

 

INSIGHTS

 

Bumper Crop: Estimates released by StoneX over the weekend show a larger than expected soybean crop in Brazil, while figures for the corn crop continue to shrink. StoneX sees Brazilian soybeans at 133.48 million metric tons, up from 132.77 million tons last month. Meanwhile, its outlook for corn is down to 108.5 million tons from 110.22 million tons the previous month. "This week's weather outlook remains quite wet in Brazil's northern belt, while continuing to lean warm and dry in Argentina," said Arlan Suderman of StoneX.

Jiffy Pop: Inspections of U.S. corn exports jumped this week, driven mostly by higher shipments to China and Japan. In today's export inspection report, the USDA said U.S. corn totaled 1.64 million metric tons for the week ending Feb. 25. That's up from 1.27 million tons the previous week. Of that amount, nearly 347,000 tons were inspected for shipment to China, while nearly 343,000 tons were inspected for shipment to Japan.

Show Me The Money: Nearly 90% of US farmers report that their primary income doesn't come from their farm, says Agricultural Secretary Tom Vilsack during a virtual interview with the National Farmers Union -- something that the USDA hopes to address in the course of the Biden administration. "If we're going to turn things around... we're going to have to work so farmers don't make money just off of the sale of commodities," said Vilsack. Other potential revenue streams the agency wants to make available to farmers include carbon sequestration and investing in new technology to monetize waste products like manure.

 

AHEAD:

 

--The EIA will release its weekly ethanol production and stocks report at 10:30 a.m. ET Wednesday.

--The USDA will release its weekly export sales report at 8:30 a.m. ET Thursday.

--USDA and Statistics Canada release its biannual reports on cattle, sheep, and hog herds at 3 p.m. ET Thursday.

 

Write to Kirk Maltais at kirk.maltais@wsj.com

 

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

March 01, 2021 15:48 ET (20:48 GMT)

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