Grain futures were higher overnight across the board with wheat leading prices higher posting a 6-cent gain. Nearby May soybeans were up 4 cents while corn was up 2 cents.
Soybean futures gained more ground on Thursday with Chinese buying supporting prices amid concerns over delays in shipping a record soybean crop from Brazil. Wednesday USDA announced 120,000 MT sale of new-crop beans to China and another 120,000 MT of old-crop beans to an unknown destination. Although Brazil’s record-setting crop is causing an overall bearish take on the soybean market, transportation bottlenecks are causing shipping delays and continue to keep nearby soybean prices supported.
In wheat, prices continue to recover from their steep sell-off as export business looks more promising. Saudi Arabia’s state grains authority has issued an international tender to purchase 110,000 MT of soft wheat and 440,000 MT of hard wheat. In addition, Egypt may need to come back to the wheat market soon. Data shows Egypt has strategic stocks of nearly 2.3 MMT of the grain from international and local markets, enough to last until late May, the country’s supplies minister said on Wednesday. Egypt’s wheat imports are sharply down this year caused by political and economic turmoil.
For corn, EIA reported higher ethanol production for the current week, gaining 15,000 barrels per day to total 812,000 barrels per day. Ethanol stocks were lower for the week by 0.6%. Although crush margins have improved of late, they still remain tight leading to limited economic rewards for ethanol producers.
WEEKLY EXPORT SALES
Corn: 512,600 (expected 350,000 to 450,000 MT)
Soybeans: 1,171,000 (expected 750,000 to 1,000,000 MT)
Wheat: 524,900 (expected 400,000 to 600,000 MT)