Argentina Crop Update
Harvest remains slow at 14% complete, up from 12% last week and behind 25% average.
Heavy rainfall of 6-7” in some areas has delayed progress.
The precip has helped corn conditions which improved to 38% good to excellent from 30% last week and 35% last year.
The Buenos Aires Grain Exchange increased its production estimate to 46 million tonnes from 45 million previously, compared to 51.5 million last year.
Soy harvest is also slow at 7.2% complete compared to 38% last year and 29% average.
71% of the crop is mature versus 79% average.
Crop conditions improved slightly with good to excellent ratings steady at 9% and the average rating up to 61% from 59% last week.
BAGE left its soy crop forecast unchanged at 43 million tonnes compared to the USDA’s 47.5 million projection.
FBN’s Take On What It Means: The bean crop saw little benefit from late rains, and harvest remains roughly two and a half weeks behind normal. Weather is dry through the weekend which should allow harvest to resume. Generally the crops are made but while there is still a good bit of disagreement in the market about final crop size, it seems unlikely any big revisions to the upside will be forthcoming.
Soy Crush Up; Short of Record
The National Oilseed Processors Association (NOPA) crush was lower than expected as tighter supplies restricted crush rates.
NOPA members crushed 177.984 million bushels of soybeans in March, which was below the average estimate of 179.179 million.
Volume was up from 155.158 million bushels in February but below the record 181.374 million bushels crushed last year.
For the second month in a row, the monthly crush was below last year’s levels.
Total NOPA crush for the marketing year to date is up 36.4 million bushels from last year at 1,229 million bushels.
Bean oil stocks at the end of March increased slightly to 1.771 billion pounds from 1.757 billion last month versus 1.899 billion last year.
Soymeal exports last month totaled 937,023 tons, up from 837,815 tons in February but below 973,741 exported last year.
FBN’s Take On What It Means: March soybean crush and bean oil stocks were both slightly below average market expectations, and show less demand than last year. Processing margins were down, but apparently didn’t fall enough to significantly slow crush rates. If the market’s function is to ration demand, prices should see limited downside.
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