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- As WASDE tells it, "The soybean crush forecast is raised 5 million bushels to 2.2 billion, reflecting improved prospects for soybean meal exports with a lower export forecast for Argentina."
- The government is acknowledging a smaller soy harvest in Argentina, the top exporter of soybean meal and soy oil, by boosting the U.S. soybean crush. Argentina typically sells soybean meal cheaper than the U.S. But dry weather there could push more demand to the U.S.
- The department reduced the South America nation harvest to 48m tons versus an average of 48.4m tons seen by analysts surveyed by Bloomberg (was seen at 50m tons in December.)
- Corn is rallying hard. The USDA now expects China to import 17.5 million tons, 1 million tons higher than the December forecast.
- USDA estimates corn product at 14.182 billion bushels, down 324 million on a lower yield and slight reduction in harvested area.
- Russia is making waves with its biggest wheat crop on record. USDA boosts its outlook for the country's harvest to 85.3 million tons.
Even so, the agency shaves its estimate for Russian export by 1 million tons. The recently announced wheat-export tax and grain-export quota will "temper" sales from mid-February, it said.
- Rising wheat prices during the planting season last year in the U.S. helped to boost sowings of wheat for the first time in several years -- sowings had slumped to the lowest in roughly a century early in 2020. Wheat had been falling out of favor in America as Russia dominated the global export market.
That is changing a bit as supplies started to finally dwindle. In the U.S., planting of soft red winter wheat used for cakes and biscuits saw bigger gains than the hard winter red winter variety used to make bread flour. In the USDA's first look at plantings, SRW wheat sowings jumped 12% from a year ago and HRW wheat was up 4% Meanwhile, white wheat plantings were down less than 1%.
- Cotton futures jumped as much as 1.2% to the highest since December 2018 after the USDA cut its U.S. crop forecast more than expected.
Outlook shows higher exports, and lower production, and ending American stocks this month. Production is lowered nearly 1m bales to 15m, led by a decline in Texas, the top grower. U.S. mill use is reduced, but exports are raised as rebounding world demand helps sustain a strong export pace. With lower production and higher demand. 2020/21 U.S. ending stocks are 1.1m bales lower relative to last month.
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