Monthly Grain Market Outlook

Nate Bruce, Farm Business Management Specialist,

The trend for grain prices thus far in 2024 has been down, fast. Historically, January is not a big month for major corn market news. Since 1970, cash corn prices have bottomed out during the months of January and February only once a piece. Will February 2024 bring a second occurrence? At this point anything is possible. Soybean price decline can be attributed to cheaper Brazilian soybeans pushing US soybeans out of the export market. Last production season $13.00 per bushel was a sales target by many producers in our region. In 2024, has $12.00 become the new $13.00? The good news is soybean crush and meal demand are strong at current prices. Soybean demand is becoming increasingly dependent on domestic demand, with growth in renewable diesel, this trend will continue.  Wheat prices have followed corn and soybean prices thus far in 2024 and have declined as well.

The February USDA (World Agriculture Supply and Demand Estimates) WASDE estimated lower domestic use, and total export use but increased ending stocks. Beginning stocks, production, imports, feed and residual demand, and exports remained unchanged from the January estimate. Ending stocks increased from 2,162 million bushels to 2,172 million bushels. Food, seed, and industrial demand decreased from 6,790 million bushels to 6,780 million bushels. Export use decreased from 14,565 million bushels to 14,555 million bushels. The farm season-average price remained unchanged at $4.80 per bushel. The February USDA WASDE estimated decreased soybean exports and total residual use. The February estimate increased seed demand from the January estimate. Beginning stocks, production, imports, and crushing’s remained unchanged from the January estimate. Ending stocks increased by 12.5% from the January estimate, from 280 million bushels to 315 million bushels. Exports decreased from 1,755 million bushels to 1,720 million bushels from the January estimate. Total residual use decreased from 4,179 million bushels to 4,144 million bushels. Seed use increased from 101 million bushels to 102 million bushels. The season-average farm price dropped from $12.75 to $12.65 per bushel. The February USDA WASDE estimated decreased wheat export use, total domestic use, and food demand. Beginning stocks, production, imports, and seed remained unchanged from the January estimate. Ending stocks increased from 648 million bushels to 658 million bushels. The farm season-average farm price remained unchanged from the January estimate at $7.20 per bushel. The next WASDE report will come out on March 8th.

In international grain market news, Brazil’s equivalent of the USDA named CONAB, lowered the countries outlook for corn and soybeans from their January estimate. They estimated soybean production decreased to 149.40 million tons. This decrease can be attributed to dry weather and planting issues. CONAB decreased corn production as well by 3.4% of the January estimate to 88.10 tons. Brazil’s second corn crop has been impacted by soybean issues this year. The country is currently harvesting soybeans and planting corn. Argentinian soybean production is projected to increase by 150% during the 2024-2024 marketing year according to a report done from USDA Foreign Agriculture Service (FAS). The past few years, the country had drought issues occur. Timely rains during the crops key production cycle have attributed to this increase. China recently approved several Argentine companies to its list of approved exporters in a move to purchase wheat from the South American country. Much of Ukraine’s 2023 crops have made their way out of the country, despite Russian attacks on infrastructure. However, Polish farmers upset with cheaper imported grain entering the country, stopped three Ukrainian grain trucks at the border entering the country, ultimately resulting in the grain being spilled.  The Black Sea export situation is far from being stable.

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