TFM Daily Market Summary 07-17-2023


  • Export inspections for the week ending July 13 came in at the lower end of expectations at 14.3 mb. Though the number was an increase from the prior week, they are still light, and year-to-date totals are 33% behind last year, though in line with the updated USDA forecast.
  • Russia terminated the Black Sea Grain Initiative that allowed Ukraine to ship ag goods out through the Black Sea. Russia claims the deal was terminated because their terms in the agreement were not fulfilled.
  • Part of the sell off in the corn market may be, “buy the rumor, sell the fact,” in that the termination of the deal may have already been priced into the market. The USDA, in its latest report, may have already accounted for the closure by forecasting Ukraine’s 23/24 corn exports at only 19.5 mmt, down 30% from 22/23.
  • Since the recent break in prices, China has been an active buyer of South American and Ukrainian corn which is supportive of US prices, in that overall prices may have fallen enough to stimulate demand. Relative to the world market, US prices have become much more competitive since Brazil’s export prices have risen about $1.25 on slow farmer selling. It’s also been reported that China bought 6 or 7 cargoes for July – Sept delivery.
  • The USDA will release its updated estimate for US crop conditions this afternoon with some calling for a 1 – 2% increase in the Good/Excellent ratings from last week’s 55% rating.


  • Soybeans ended the day higher, but backed off their early morning highs that were led by Russia’s exit of the Ukrainian grain deal. The news initially caused soybean oil to rally because Ukraine exports a large amount of sunflower oil, but by the end of the day, excitement wore off and soybean oil closed lower, while soybean meal maintained a higher close.
  • Soybean export inspections were soft today which did not help support futures. Inspections totaled 5.7 mb for the week ending Thursday, July 13. Total inspections for 22/23 are now at 1.833 bb, down 5% from the previous year.
  • NOPA crush numbers for the month of June were released this morning and only 165 mb of soybeans were crushed with 1.690 bil pounds in soybean oil stocks. The number of soybeans crushed was well below expectations of 170 – 173 mb as were oil stocks, which were expected to be closer to 1.8 bil. pounds.
  • The 8 to 14-day forecast is showing drier and warmer conditions, but the rain over the past two weeks should be enough to improve the good to excellent ratings for this week’s Crop Progress report. The extended forecasts for August may give some insight into conditions for pod fill season.
  • China’s economy has been a bearish factor as trade has been concerned over the lack of growth. Today those fears were confirmed after second quarter GDP readings showed a slowing economy, which grew at a lower-than-expected rate of 6.3%. China has been purchasing Brazilian beans, but purchases from the US have been very slow.


  • Overnight, wheat traded higher based on news that Russia decided to end the Black Sea Grain Initiative. However, by the end of today’s session, all three US wheat futures classes posted losses. This could perhaps be due to the results of the deal already being “baked in” to prices, with many traders anticipating the corridor being closed.
  • The USDA pegged weekly wheat inspections at 9.3 mb, bringing total 23/24 inspections to 65 mb, down 16% from last year. With the USDA estimating wheat exports at 725 mb, the current pace of exports is below what is needed to meet that number.
  • The US Dollar remains below the 100 mark but may be finding some support after the recent sharp decline. In the long run, a lower US Dollar should help the export market, but if it begins to trend higher again, that will add to pressure on commodities, especially wheat.
  • There is some concern, globally, about spring wheat supply. But here in the US, export demand is low due to other world origins being cheaper and may keep pressure on MPLS futures.
  • According to the National Bureau of Statistics, China’s summer wheat harvest of 146.13 mmt, was 0.9% below last year’s. This is being attributed to the rain damage they received during the growing season.


  • Spot butter, cheese, whey, and powder all were bid higher on Monday.
  • The spot cheese block/barrel average has come up in 6 out of the past 8 sessions. The price of $1.45125/lb is now 11.125c off of the June low.
  • Butter hit a new high for the year on Monday, closing at its best price since 12/20/2022.
  • Class III and IV milk futures responded positively to the spot market bidding. August Class III gained 22c while August Class IV added 28c.
  • This week, the market will watch for the results of tomorrow’s GDT auction as well as a milk production report due out Thursday.

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Amanda Brill

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