Corn was slightly weaker overnight following Thursday’s sharp gains on booming exports. Front-month March beans were up 3 cents while wheat posted fractional gains in the night session.
Thursday’s export sales report showed astonishing high corn business for the week as old-crop sales topped 1.8 MMT, well above expectations of 750,000 MT at the high end. In addition another large sale of 127,000 MT was announced Thursday morning to an unknown destination. FOB corn basis offers at the Gulf held on Thursday following strong gains earlier in the week. Japan remains in the market for spring shipment corn and the Gulf remains short corn which is helping to support river market basis levels. Some ethanol plants are also showing signs of bumping up basis especially as more snow is expected in the coming week which could limit farmer deliveries.
For soybeans, weekly export sales of 865,000 MT came in on par with trade expectations of 750,000 to 1,050,000 MT. However, the surprise in the numbers may have been the lack of any significant cancellations, with China being rumored to have cancelled US bean exports for South American origins. However, reports of bird flu in China may curb some demand, as well as the Lunar New Year celebration that has begun and will last the next week, cutting back on Asian business. Cargill announced on Thursday it would idle its Raleigh, NC facility this spring amid reduced demand for soymeal.
In wheat, positive export sales helped wheat bounce off of its lowest level in over 3 years. US export sales for the week totaled 795,000 MT, well above expectations of 300,000 to 500,000 MT going into the report. In Australia, drought has been persisting for some time giving some concerns about wheat planting in another 4 months. Furthermore, meteorologists are starting to predict the threat of an El Nino later in the year, which would be linked to dryness in eastern Australia. Overnight export tender business was quiet, with Lebanese government's grains buyer looking to purchase 25,000 MT of milling wheat.