Ag Market View for Feb 2.24


Prices were $.04 – $.05 lower today, closing near session lows.  Support for spot Mch-24 rests at the contract low of $4.36 ½ with resistance at last week’s high of $4.53 ¼.  Agricultural commodities were mostly lower today pressured by a surge in the US $$$ while shrugging off extreme heat in key SA growing regions.  The US economy added 353k jobs in Jan-24, nearly double expectations while Dec-23 payrolls figures were revised up 117k.   The BAGE reports the Argentine crop is 98% planted while 11% of the crop is rated poor/VP, up from 5% LW.  Despite the recent decline in ratings the USDA attache raised their production forecast 2 mmt to 57 mmt, vs. the official USDA est. of 55 mmt.  US corn area in drought fell 5% LW to 28%, the lowest since reaching 25% last May and well below last summer’s peak at 70%.  Corn used in the production of ethanol in Dec-23 at 482 mil. bu. was up 5% from Nov-23 and up 13% from Dec-22.  Usage was above expectations and the highest monthly figure in 5 ½ years.  In the first 4 months of the 2023/24 MY, consumption is up 7% from YA, vs. the USDA forecast of up 4%. 

QST Corn Chart 2.2.24


Prices were lower across the complex with several contracts closing at or near session lows.  Beans were $.14 – $.16 lower, meal was down $4 – $5, while oil was 75 – 85 lower.  Mch-24 beans established a new low for the week at $11.86 ¾.  Mch-24 oil fell to a new 8 month low however held above its contract low 44.49.  Hot/dry conditions are expected to continue over much of Argentina and Southern Brazil until late next week.  100+ degree temperatures in Southern Argentina continue to stress developing crops.  Showers are forecast to bring relief late next week into the weekend.  Conditions across northern regions of Brazil will remain mostly favorable, drying down from recent heavy rains.  For the week spot board crush margins rebounded $.14 to $.88 ½ bu., still historically weak.  US soybean area in drought fell 7% LW to 29%, the lowest since last May.  The BAGE reports Argentine crop ratings fell 8% LW to 36% G/E, while fair increased 2% and poor/VP rose 6%.  Census soybean crush in Dec -23 at 204.3 mil. bu. were a new all-time high however were slightly below expectations.  Crush was up 2% from Nov-23 and up 9% YOY.  In the first 4 months of the 2023/24 MY crush has reached 781 mil. bu., up 5.4% from YA, vs. the USDA forecast of up 4%.  Soybean oil stocks rose 14% to 1.824 bil. lbs. above expectations and a 5 month high. 

QST Bean Chart for 2.2.24


Prices are mixed today, unable to hold early strength.  Chicago and MGEX were mixed while KC was $.02 – $.04 higher.  Spot KC was supported by cancellations of 110 contracts of deliverable receipts.  Mch-24 Chicago is back below its 50 and 100 day MA’s after making a new weekly high overnight.  The UN World Food Price Index slipped to 118 in Jan-24, down from 119.1 in Dec-23, nearing a 3 year low.  Russia’s Ag. Ministry lowered their export tax 5% to 3,805 rubles/mt for the period ending Feb. 13th.  Taiwan reportedly bought 90k mt of US milling wheat.  US winter wheat areas in drought fell 5% to 17%, well below the 58% from YA.  The USDA attaché from Argentina raised their wheat production forecast to 15.4 mmt, just above the official USDA forecast of 15.0 mmt. 

QST Wheat chart for 2.2.24

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