By Kirk Maltais

--Corn for May delivery rose 1.1% to $5.60 1/2 a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade on Wednesday, amid expectations that Midwestern weather may soon turn less hospitable for farmers planting their crops.

--Wheat for May delivery rose 0.1% to $6.16 1/4 a bushel.

--Soybeans for May delivery fell 0.7% to $14.08 3/4 a bushel.

 

HIGHLIGHTS

 

False Spring: Temperatures and weather has been supportive for U.S. farmers getting out into their fields to begin planting. However, a cooldown is expected in the Midwest next week, which may slow farmers in their efforts to get their crops in the soil. "There is a lot of crowing about warm temps pushing corn planting in the Midwest... all of that may come to a screeching halt next week, though, as temperatures are due to fall below normal, and we may even get a frost over the Ohio River Valley for the middle of the month," said Charlie Sernatinger of ED&F Man Capital.

Healthy Crops: Although CBOT grains futures finished mostly higher Wednesday, the latest estimates for next year's Brazilian corn and soybean crops released by the USDA this morning served as a source of pressure for futures. For the 2021/22 crop year, the USDA projects Brazilian soybean production at 141 million metric tons and corn production at 114 million metric tons - versus estimates for the current crop year of 134 million tons and 105 million tons, respectively. "There is certainly nothing outlandish in these numbers, and economically, they should have more than enough incentive to push production higher," said Dan Hueber of the Hueber Report.

Using Up the Reserves: U.S. ethanol inventories fell more than expected by analysts surveyed by Dow Jones. Ending stocks for ethanol totaled 20.6 million barrels for the week ended April 2, according to the EIA, down 500,000 barrels from the previous week's report. This drop exceeds the expectations of analysts surveyed by Dow Jones, who had forecast a drop of as much as 400,000 barrels. Meanwhile, daily production rose 10,000 barrels to 975,000 barrels a day, the EIA said. The uptick is less than expected by analysts, who had forecast production to rise by as much as 70,000 barrels a day this week.

 

INSIGHT

 

Shipment Slowdown: Grain traders are keeping an eye on lacking confirmation of new export sales, as China is seen as purchasing more grains from Brazil. "Significant Chinese buyers for US Ag products have largely disappeared from the market in recent weeks," said Robert Yawger of Mizuho Securities USA. The last confirmation of a flash export sale from the USDA came on Monday. Grains traders surveyed by The Wall Street Journal forecast that sales of corn will total anywhere from 600,000 metric tons to 1.2 million tons, while soybeans total between 100,000 tons and 550,000 tons.

Watching China: Soyoil futures were a major driver for soybeans today, with soyoil closing down 2% to 52.85 cents a pound. Soyoil in particular has been strong due to strong crush demand and low vegetable oil stocks globally, but traders are watching China for further indications of direction in the soy complex. "This week China should start seeing a major increase in the arrivals of Brazilian soybeans," said Darin Friedrichs of StoneX. "If there's a big increase in arrivals, but crush doesn't pick up much, it would signal bad demand."

 

AHEAD

 

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

--The USDA will release its monthly supply and demand report at noon ET Friday.

--The CFTC will release its weekly commitment of traders report at 3:30 p.m. ET Friday.

 

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

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

April 07, 2021 15:21 ET (19:21 GMT)

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