After pretty well having their way with the corn, wheat and bean markets last week, it would appear that the bear has seen fit to take a little money off the table here as we begin this new week. News overall is relatively sparse and there is little in the macros outside of higher gold prices so one has to suspect the short-covering is in preparation of the supply/demand reports to be issued tomorrow afternoon. The current trade estimates have domestic corn ending stocks at 1.826 billion, beans at 376 million and wheat at 701 million. World corn at 189.67 MMT, beans at 89.47 MMT and wheat at 197.69 MMT. The average estimates for South American production have Argentine corn at 23.54 MMT and Brazil at 74.62. For beans, the average estimate for Argentina is 56.88 MMT and 94 MMT for Brazil.
Safras reports that the Brazilian bean harvest has reached 38% complete which is now just 4% behind normal. They should be well past the 50% mark during the next week but keep in mind truckers are still negotiating with government officials and if nothing is resolved by tomorrow, the potential for additional strikes and blockades exist.
China imported 4.26 MMT of bean in February, which was down 38% from January but year to dates imports are still 3.9% above the pace of last year. There are rumors that the government may be auctioning off up to 1.5 MMT of inventories to crushers that would then be refilled with South American beans.As I commented initially the overall news is rather sparse this morning and I suspect trade will be driven more by short-term technical signals that anything else. While unlikely, there could always be some kind of surprise in the numbers tomorrow but realistically, the focus should be on the more critical March 31st Grain Stocks and Prospective Planting reports.