The weekly Export Sales report seemed supportive of the short-term corn outlook, since the 253,400-tonne total came in toward the upper end of forecasts in the 150,000-300,000 tonne range. That seemingly enabled futures to rebound toward unchanged levels around mid-morning. However, weather news reemerged as the driving factor affecting crop futures later in the morning, since the latest forecast models imply the pressure ridge previously expected to dominate the skies over Southern Brazil and Argentina now looks likely to form over Chile or the Eastern Pacific. Thus, the improved prospects for South American rainfall next week apparently weighed upon corn and soybean futures in late morning trading. March corn slipped 1/4 cent to $7.40, while December fell 2 1/4 cents to $5.90 3/4 per bushel.
The Export Sales report for the soybean complex might easily have been construed as being moderately bullish, since strong bean sales probably more than offset weak product totals. The USDA stated the weekly sales total at 1.253 million tonnes, whereas pre-report forecasts had peaked at 850,000. However, soybean traders were diverted by the latest results of the major weather models, which suggested recent worries about emerging South American dryness were overdone. That is, the high pressure ridge previously expected to block rainfall over the corn and soybean growing areas of Southern Brazil and Argentina will apparently form well to the west, thereby opening the door to precipitation over that region. The soy complex turned sharply lower as a result. March beans were down 14 3/4 cents, at $14.64 per bushel, late Thursday morning, while March soyoil dipped 0.15 cents to 52.45 cents/pound and March meal sagged $6.0 to $426.7/ton.
Although the winter wheat situation still seems rather dire at this juncture, the USDA Export Sales report apparently caused traders to forget those conditions for the moment. It stated the weekly sales total at 387,900 tonnes, whereas traders were expecting something between 350,000 and 550,000 tonnes. The result was not that bad when viewed in that context, but it looks rather poor when compared to the previous weekly total (at 647,500). That news, along with the concurrent losses in the corn and soybean markets almost surely dragged wheat futures downward as well. March CBOT wheat futures had declined 4 cents to $7.83 just before lunchtime Thursday, while March KCBT wheat dropped 1 1/4 cents to $8.39 1/2 and March MGE futures dipped 2 1/4 cents to $8.66 3/4 per bushel.