Category Archives: Mark’s Minutes

Russia Continues To Export Cheap Grain…

Russia continues to export cheap Grain, Ukraine is finding workaround solutions via the Danube River, and E.U. Grain is cheap, which lessens North American Wheat export prospects


Corn remains range bound to start the week with soybeans working on a slight technical rebound ahead of expected yield/output/stocks cuts tomorrow

Chic Dec wheat put in a fresh contract low, looking to get down to the level of the expiring Sept with cheap Russian wheat setting the global bar

SovEcon estimated September Russian grain exports at 5.7 MMT, down from 6.1 MMT in August, with wheat at 4.9 MMT vs 5.3 MMT last month.

September CBOT Deliveries: Chicago wheat 28 contracts, with next trade date 9/12/23; soybean meal 50 contracts and 9/12/23; soybean oil 35 contracts and 9/12/23


Mpls wheat -6

KC wheat -8

Chic wheat -4

Matif wheat -2

Canola -6

Rapeseed -1

Soybeans +7

Soybean oil -36

Crude +25

Corn +2

CAD +37


Agricultural Commodities Mixed To Lower Overnight….

Agricultural commodities mixed to lower overnight.

Yesterday’s strength was driven by a larger than expected drop in US crop conditions and renewed attacks on Ukraine’s agricultural infrastructure.

Russian missile strikes killed a civilian in Kyiv and the Odesa region, while a number of fires were reported around agricultural port facilities near Izmail.

Romania’s President pointed out that the Russian missile attacks came within a half mile of their border with Ukraine, significant as they are a NATO member.


Wheat futures are mixed.  Matif wheat futures are lower due to record Russia monthly wheat exports vs lower US and EU.

South Korean millers issued a tender for 95k tonnes of milling wheat from the U.S. & Canada, including 50k from the former and 45k the latter; the country’s FLC bought 57k tonnes of optional origin feed wheat at $273/t C&F.

Chinese customs reports August soybean imports at 9.36 million tonnes, down 3.8% from 9.73 MMT in July; cumulative Jan-Aug soybean imports of 71.65 MMT are still up from last year’s 60.78 MMT pace.

StoneX estimated US corn yields at 175.0 bushels per acre yesterday afternoon, down two bushels per acre from last month, with production implied at 15.102 billion bushels, just a shade below the USDA Aug figure.  Soybean yields fell from 50.5 to 50.1 bpa, with output there coming in at 4.144 bln bu, around 60 million below the working government figure.

A farmer survey by brokerage firm Allendale, Inc. released yesterday pegged 2023 U.S. corn yields at 171.5 bushels per acre, (3.6 bpa below the USDA) with production at 14.805 billion bushels (over 300 mbu below the govern-ment); soybeans came in at 49.6 bpa (1.3 bpa below the USDA Aug) and 4.100 bln bu (105 mbu below the USDA Aug).

Brazil’s Conab raised their ‘22/23 second crop corn production estimate from 100.1 to 102.1 million tonnes yesterday, with total corn output up from 129.9 to 131.8 MMT; soybean production was steady this month at 154.6 MMT, with 2023 wheat output at 10.817 MMT, up from 10.554 MMT in 2022.

French consultancy Agritel estimated Ukraine’s 2023 corn crop at 29.3 MMT, up almost 6% from last year due to stronger yields.


Mpls wheat +1

KC wheat -5

Chic wheat -3

Matif wheat -1

Canola -5

Rapeseed +1

Soybeans -5

Soybean oil -48

Crude -30

Corn +1

CAD -3

Wheat Opens Slightly Stronger On ‘No Deal’

Wheat opens slightly stronger on ‘no deal’

Wheat futures have opened marginally higher following the Labor Day holiday in the US and the failed talks between Erdogan and Putin to resume the grain deal.

I keep hearing that Ukraine doesn’t need the grain deal now as their infrastructure is damaged and it will take time to repair it.  Russia still benefits as wheat exports grow, see below

Following a meeting between Putin and Erdogan in Sochi, both sides were unable to come to a compromise on the resumption of the grain deal.  Putin blamed the West again and Erdogan didn’t push back to find any middle ground and even went so far as to say, “Ukraine needs to soften its approach”.

The leaders instead confirmed plans to send 1 million tons of Russian grain via Turkey to African nations concerned the disruptions would raise food prices.


Soybeans opened higher last night but saw that rally sold again, as they have across the past week; one more stressful weather day is left here in the heart of the belt before temps finally ease and rains eventually arrive.

Egypt’s GASC bought 480k tonnes of Russian wheat in a private deal late last week with lower pricing than in traditional tenders, reportedly priced at $270/ tonne C&F, along with 60k tonnes of Bulgarian wheat at a similar price; they are holding more private talks with suppliers early this week.

SovEcon reported August Russian grain exports at 6.1 MMT, up from 5.6 MMT in July, with wheat exports at 5.3 MMT vs 4.4 MMT last month.

ABARES cut their official Australian wheat production estimate by 800k tonnes this month to 25.4 MMT, now down 36% from last season’s crop.

Private consultancy AgRural pegged Brazilian second-crop corn harvest at 88% complete as of the end of August, up five points on the week but still behind 98% at this point last season.  First crop corn planting for 2023/24 was seen at 13% done, up from 8% last week and 9% a year ago.  The country’s Ag Ministry is also reportedly approving requests from large Mato Grosso soybean producers to plant soybeans before the September 15 start date.

StoneX Brazil on Friday increased their 2023/24 soybean production estimate from 163.4 to 163.6 MMT, with first crop corn output down from 28.6 to 28.2 MMT this month.  Second crop corn production for the current 2022/23 crop was increased from 108.3 to 109.1 million tonnes.

Ukraine grain traders union UGA yesterday raised their 2023 grain and oilseed production estimate from 76.8 to 80.5 million tonnes.


Mpls wheat +2

KC wheat -1

Chic wheat +4

Matif wheat -1

Canola -5

Rapeseed -3

Soybeans -5

Soybean oil -50

Crude +163

Corn -1

CAD -8

CBOT Wheat Futures Shrugged Off Lower Canadian Production…

CBOT wheat futures shrugged off lower Canadian production and closed lower for the 4th consecutive session as weak which saw the December contract make a new low at 600.50c/bu.

Weak export demand and subsequent growing new crop stocks at port around the Black Sea / EU saw Chicago Dec down -16.50c, Kansas -20.50c, Minneapolis -5.75c and Matif -€4.00.

Erdogan is expected to fly to Sochi next week to discuss reviving the Black Sea Grain Initiative with Putin.  A spokesman for Turkey’s ruling party said “We evaluate that there will be new developments on this issue and a new phase can be reached.”

The price action just continues to reinforce the idea that no one cares right now that basis and spreads are weakening pushing futures lower making end users sit on their hands.  The wheat complex has broken down technically with new lows being set in all classes


Midwest forecasts remain unrelenting through mid week with no real chance to escape hot and dry conditions now up into the middle of September

Wheat has received some fleeting support at lows with North American supply concerns in focus, though the Black Sea region still largely sets the pace on the global export market.

Egypt’s GASC is seeking wheat this morning for Oct-Nov shipment; the lowest FOB offer stands at just over $259/tonne C&F from France.

Algeria issued an international tender for a nominal 50k tonnes of durum wheat, for shipment from October through December.

South Korea’s MFG bought 55k tonnes of Black Sea feed wheat yesterday morning at $274/tonne cost plus freight, for Oct-Nov shipment.

Tunisia has tendered for 75k tonnes of durum and 50k tonnes of feed barley.

A Farm Futures magazine survey of nearly 1,000 producers from July 15 through August 1 estimated 2024 corn plantings at 93.1 million acres, down from 94.1 mln in 2023, with soybeans at 85.4 mln ac, up from 83.5 mln this season.  All wheat seedings came in at 52.7 mln, up almost 6% vs 2023.

Statistics Canada yesterday estimated 2023 wheat production at 29.5 million tonnes, down 14% from last year’s 34.3 MMT, with canola down 6% year over year.  2023 corn output was pegged at 14.7 MMT, up from 14.5 MMT in 2022, with soybeans at 6.7 MMT, up from 6.5 MMT last season.

Brazilian grain exporting agency Anec yesterday pegged August soybean exports at 7.37 MMT, up from 5.05 MMT in the same month last year; corn exports of 9.19 MMT would be up from 6.89 MMT in Aug ‘22, with meal exports of 1.93 MMT up from 1.69 MMT in August of last season.

European Commission data showed cumulative soft wheat exports since July 1 at 4.49 MMT, down 29% from last year’s 6.31 MMT pace; Romania was the largest exporting country at 1.26 MMT, with Morocco the largest importer from the E.U. at 915k tonnes.  Corn imports stand at 2.37 MMT through 8/27, down from 3.90 MMT last year; Spain is the largest importer at 809k tonnes, with Ukraine by far the largest supplier of imports at 1.52 million tonnes.

Ukraine’s Ag Ministry reported cumulative grain exports since July 1 at 4.34 MMT, up from 3.96 MMT through the end of August last season, including August grain exports at 2.07 MMT so far.


Mpls wheat -2

KC wheat +2

Chic wheat +7

Matif wheat +2

Canola +4

Rapeseed -1

Soybeans +6

Soybean oil +50

Crude +33

Corn +3

CAD +14