Crop markets continue to trade sideways in February, with global markets making the biggest headlines.
South America’s crop continues to progress, albeit slower than expected. The second corn crop planting in Brazil is about 8 percentage points behind the five-year average, as recent wet weather continues to delay the soybean harvest.
Those delays for soybeans haven’t hurt the prospects of a “projected record Brazilian crop,” said Brian Doherty of Total Farm Marketing. That is being balanced out by an expected pullback in Argentina’s soybean crop, leaving U.S. markets in a standstill.
This all comes at a time where markets are waiting for the upcoming U.S. growing season.
“The market may be marking time waiting for more information that will likely come in the form of USDA baseline projections for budgetary reasons at the Outlook Forum (Feb. 23-34),” Doherty said. “Tight world supplies keep bullish hopes alive yet as the old saying goes, ‘you need to feed the bull.’”
Wheat markets continue to watch the ongoing Russian war on Ukraine, as uncertainty about exports from the Black Sea region continues to force wheat markets to show mixed trade.
“Ukraine still claims that Russia is intentionally delaying inspections so it will be interesting to see what the outcome is,” Doherty said. “Also, the Ukraine Grain Union recently said that the 2023 harvest could reach 64.8 mmt of grain, with the possibility of 14 mmt of wheat exports (if the export deal continues).”
Mexico also continues to take attention in the corn market as the country plans to go forward with a ban of GMO corn for human consumption. The ban will not include corn used for animal feed and industrial use, so the impact on U.S. exports will not be as large as once feared, but that hasn’t stopped U.S. agriculture officials from voicing their disappointment.
“The U.S. believes in and adheres to a science-based, rules-based trading system and remains committed to preventing disruptions to bilateral agricultural trade and economic harm to U.S. and Mexican producers,” U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack said in a statement.