Soybean futures plunged overnight and grains also were lower as traders react to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) report earlier this week.
Ending stocks for the 2021-2022 marketing year that ends on August 31 are forecast at 285 million bushels, down from the previous month’s outlook for 325 million bushels, but well ahead of trade expectations for 273 million.
Global inventories are pegged at 90 million metric tons, down from 92.8 million tons expected last month, the government said, but topping trade forecasts for 88.6 million metric tons.
Corn stocks in the U.S. at the end of August are now seen at 1.44 billion bushels, down from the previous outlook for 1.54 billion and just under trade expectations for 1.46 billion bushels.
Global inventories are forecast at 301 million metric tons, down slightly from the February estimate of 302.2 million tons but above analyst expectations for 299.6 million metric tons.
Domestic wheat inventories are seen at 653 million bushels, up from the previous month’s forecast for 648 million bushels and well ahead of analyst forecast for 627 million.
Wheat prices, however, are being underpinned by escalating Russian attacks on Ukraine.
Russian forces launched attacks on several cities they’d previous avoided in Ukraine, including Dnipro, according to media reports. Troops also have moved closer to the capital city of Kyiv.
About 2.5 million people have been forced to flee Ukraine after the Russian attacks, according to data from the United Nations.
The UN also said it has “credible reports” that Russia is using cluster bombs in Ukraine, which is against international law and may be construed as a war crime.
Russia is the world’s largest exporter of wheat and Ukraine is the third-biggest, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Soybean futures for delivery dropped 13½¢ to $16.72½ a bushel overnight on the Chicago Board of Trade. Soymeal was down $4.80 to $478.90 a short ton and soybean oil futures fell 1.3¢ to 73.38¢ a pound.
Wheat for May delivery lost 8¼¢ to $10.78¾ a bushel while Kansas City futures fell 1¢ to $10.64¾ a bushel.
Corn futures for May delivery dropped 3½¢ to $7.52¼ a bushel.
Sales of corn last week jumped to the highest level since the marketing year started on September 1, according to the Ag Department.
Corn sales in the seven days that ended on March 3 totaled 2.14 million metric tons, a marketing-year high.
That’s up from 485,100 metric tons a week earlier and a noticeable gain from the prior four-week average the agency said in a report.
An unnamed country was the big buyer at 800,600 metric tons, followed by Japan at 398,400 tons and Mexico at 290,200 tons. Saudi Arabia purchased 140,000 metric tons and Colombia bought 129,600 tons.
The total would have been higher but El Salvador canceled cargoes of 22,500 tons.
Exports for the week were reported at 1.76 million metric tons, up 14% week-to-week, the USDA said.
Wheat sales were modestly higher, rising to 307,200 metric tons, a 2% increase from the previous week and up 21% from the average, the government said.
The Philippines bought 133,100 metric tons, Mexico took 111,700 tons, Japan was in for 26,200 tons, Colombia took 17,400 tons, and the Dominican Republic purchased 13,100 tons. Sales for the 2022-2023 marketing year that starts on June 1 totaled 63,000 tons.
Exports for the week rose 5% to 384,500 tons.
Soybean sales last week jumped to 2.2 million metric tons, up from 857,000 tons the previous week and noticeably from the prior average, the USDA said.
China led buyers, purchasing 1.1 million metric tons from U.S. supplies; an unknown destination bought 334,000 metric tons; Egypt took 181,000 tons; Mexico was in for 142,700 tons; and Vietnam purchased 114,700 tons.
For the 2022-2023 marketing year that starts on September 1, sales of 895,000 metric tons were reported as China bought 797,000 tons.
Exports for the week totaled 834,900 tons, up 11% week-to-week, the USDA said in its report.
Winter-weather advisories have been issued from southeastern New Mexico northeast into southern Michigan, according to National Weather Service maps.
In the southern Plains, up to 3 inches of snow is expected along with winds sustained from 10 to 20 mph, the NWS said in a report early this morning.
Temperatures in the Oklahoma and Texas panhandles is hovering around 17°F. this morning.
In eastern Missouri and southern Illinois, about 1 inch of snow is on the ground, creating slippery conditions, the agency said.
In southern Michigan, meanwhile, snow is expected to keep falling throughout the morning with about 0.5 inch an hour forecast in some areas near Lansing, the NWS said.
Winter-storm warnings have been issued starting this evening from northern Mississippi up into northern New York, weather maps show.
As much as a foot of snow is expected in northern areas with wind gusts of up to 35 mph, the NWS said.
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