Good Brazilian crop likely to reduce corn market tension

By Jane Byrne

- Last updated on GMT

© GettyImages
© GettyImages

Related tags Corn Ukraine Wheat soybeans

The agri-commodities market’s attention continues to be fully on Ukraine, where harvest prospects and the ability to export remain unknown, say analysts.

While there are more encouraging statements surrounding peace talks, there are added concerns for spring planting in Ukraine. Estimates for planting range between one third to one half of last season’s area, reported CRM Agri.

The closely followed US Department of Agriculture (​USDA) provisional plantings report will be released later this week. With the reduction of spring plantings in Ukraine, the progress and size of the US corn crop is under greater scrutiny than ever, noted the UK analysts.

“Overall, we assess the US corn area to remain broadly in line with last season’s planting, and we don’t expect a large change from the initial provisional USDA planting estimates.”

So the outlook for US corn will soon be clearer. While the Brazilian soybean crop was impacted by drought, prospects for the country's second corn crop look good, as rainfall levels in the main producing regions have improved, commented the CRM Agri specialists.

The intended planted area for the second corn in Brazil has been estimated at 16Mha, up from 14.99Mha in 2020/21, said the grain and oilseed market experts.

Overall, from a European perspective, corn markets will undoubtedly remain tight next season, but with far better conditions in Brazil, the global situation will be tight, but far less impacted.”


Global wheat markets remain highly elevated while the Black Sea conflict is ongoing, but with recent potentially more positive news surrounding talks between Ukraine and Russia, a degree of the risk premium in markets could quickly unwind, as other countries - Australia, EU and India - step up exports, remarked the CRM Agri team.

chicago CBOT wheat corn prices mar 2022
Chicago Board of Trade wheat and corn prices March 2022 © CRM Agri


According to Conab, the Brazilian soybean harvest, as of March 19, was 70.6% complete. "This is 10.5 percentage points (pp) ahead of this time last year, and up 7.5pp from the previous week,"​ according to a AHDB market report ​yesterday [March 28]. 

Despite new South American supplies being available, US export sales for soybeans remain strong due to their competitive pricing, found that review. "Last week, the USDA confirmed flash sales of US soybeans for 2021/22 delivery totalling 690.2Kt, to China and unknown destinations."

With key USDA data due this week, the trade is expecting US prospective planting to show a slight increase in area of soybeans, at the expense of maize. How big this increase is will be key for global supplies next season, said the AHDB team.

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