Chicago Close: Argentina Dryness, Frost Boosts Corn, Soy Futures

Corn and soybean futures closed higher on Tuesday with much of the upward momentum coming from continued worries about dryness - and now frost - for crops in Argentina. 

Soybeans posted the largest advance on the day, as forecasts indicate just light and scattered rainfall for many of the already drought-plagued main Argentine farming areas over the next 10 days. Meanwhile, some scattered frost was reported in areas of southern Argentina over the weekend, although major crop losses appear unlikely. Further support came from a downgraded 2022-23 soybean production estimate for Brazil, with agricultural consultancy AgRural dropping its forecast to 150.9 million tonnes, versus the USDA’s February projection of 153 million.  March beans gained 21 ½ cents to $15.48 ¾, and new-crop November was up 12 ¾ cents to $13.99. 

The Argentina dryness also boosted corn, with an expected smaller crop forecast to slash the country’s exports. The Rosario Grains Exchange forecasts 8.7 million tonnes of corn exports from Argentina for the March-June window. That would be down 40% from last year. March corn gained 2 ¾ cents to $6.80 ½, and new-crop December was ¾ of a cent higher at $5.96 ½. 

Despite the gains in corn and soybeans, wheat futures were weighed down by strength in the US dollar and export competition from the Black Sea region. March Chicago wheat lost 15 cents to $7.50 ½, March Kansas City was down 2 ¼ cents at $9.04 ¼, and March Minneapolis lost 5 ¾ cents to $9.24 ½. 

Source: DePutter Publishing Ltd.

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