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Grains take a hit with South American forecast

AgweekTV's Michelle Rook and Randy Martinson of Martinson Ag Risk Management discuss the South American forecast, January WASDE numbers, demand and more on the Agweek Market Wrap, sponsored by Gateway Building Systems.

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South American weather giveth and South American weather taketh away. Forecasts for rain in South America meant a down week for all grains, AgweekTV's Michelle Rook said on the Agweek Market Wrap, sponsored by Gateway Building Systems.

Rain in areas that have been suffering from dry conditions in Brazil and Argentina improved the outlook for corn and soybeans there. Soybeans, Rook said, saw the biggest pullback.

Randy Martinson of Martinson Ag Risk Management said reports are that rain is desperately need in some places.

"Right now, it's do or die in many areas," he said, noting recent temperatures at 106-107 F in some growing areas. "If they don't get rain out of this system, then it looks a little tougher."

The market is waiting to see what happens. But Martinson said corn ratings in Argentina already "dropped like a rock."

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Corn didn't take as big of a hit as soybeans but also was beset by slower ethanol demand. However, export sales of corn did help, Rook said.

The January World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates report didn't give the corn and soybean markets much to go on, Martinson said.

"If you wanted to feed off that, you're going to get pretty hungry," he said.

However, wheat took a definite direction.

"That one was just ugly all the way around," Martinson said.

The main points in the WASDE hitting wheat were higher ending stocks domestically and globally and an increase in winter wheat acres. While questions remain about whether those acres will hold, it's still a hit for all classes of wheat.

And there doesn't seem to be a lot of need for wheat at the moment, Martinson said.

In cattle, prices were up even as concerns grew about slaughter pace because of COVID-19 and labor shortages. Martinson said USDA is expected to release reports showing continued herd reduction, which will be more friendly news, and higher boxed beef prices indicate continued strong demand.

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The hog market, however, took the slow slaughter pace harder.

"We needed help in that market, too," Martinson said.

However, he thinks demand could help push the market as supplies tighten.

To watch previous episodes of the Agweek Market Wrap, click here.

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