Corn futures are narrowly mixed at midday Thursday; soybean futures are 4 to 7 cents higher; wheat futures are 5 to 10 cents higher.
Corn futures are narrowly mixed at midday with softer spread trade as we look to chop into the stocks and acres reports at 11 a.m. CDT with little fresh news ahead of that. On the stocks and acres reports, trade is looking for corn stocks to be at 7.877 billion bushels (bb) and acres at 92.00 million, putting stocks 200 mb ahead of a year ago and acres 1.3 million acres below a year ago.
Ethanol margins will remain tight with the stocks overhang needing to be cleaned up into summer with some talk of better discretionary blending. Weekly export sales were decent at 636,900 metric tons (mt) old crop and 286,600 mt of new. On the May contract chart, we have resistance at the 20-day moving average at $7.48, which we tested Wednesday, and support the lower Bollinger Band at $7.29, which we bounced off Monday.
Soybean futures are 4 to 7 cents higher in quiet pre-report action with early gains fading as we consolidate in the lower part of the recent range. Meal is $3.00 to $4.00 higher and oil is 40 to 50 points lower. The report is expected to show stocks at 1.902 bb and acres at 88.73 million versus 1.562 bb last year and 87.2 million aces last year.
Energy weakness could trigger more selling if it returns with South America pushing deeper into harvest to improve availability. New crop has struggled to hold any advantage to corn, which could change post report. Weekly export sales improved at 1.31 million metric tons (mmt) of old crop, 54,000 mt of new, meal was 103,000 of old, 60,500 of new, and oil 30,900.
On the May soybean chart, we have resistance at the 20-day moving average at $16.75 which we faded from Wednesday, with the lower Bollinger band at $16.35 1/4 as support, which we bounced off Monday.
Wheat futures are 5 to 10 cents higher with two-sided action continuing into the report with 30 cent higher action fading to lower trade before bouncing again with little fresh progress in peace talks between Russia and Ukraine; more talks are scheduled to start Friday. Spring wheat has led so far with KC back to a 17-cent premium versus Chicago and -17 cents versus Minneapolis.
Plains weather looks to be closer to seasonal norms in the short term after the recent rains for many, with the dollar sliding to boost world export competitiveness a bit. The report is expected to show all wheat acres at 47.77 million versus 46.70 million last year, and stocks at 1.045 bb versus 1.311 bb last year.
Weekly export sales softened more at 95,000 mt of old crop and 81,300 mt of new crop. The KC May chart has resistance at the 20-day moving average at $11.08, with support the lower Bollinger Band we tested and bounced from Tuesday at $9.95.
The U.S. stock market is weaker with the DOW 120 points lower. The U.S. Dollar Index is 25 points higher. Interest rate products are firmer. Energies are weaker with crude down 4.40. Livestock trade is mixed with hogs leading. Precious metals are mixed with gold up 7.00.