TFM Daily Market Summary 2-29-2024


  • Choppy two-sided trade dominated the corn market that saw both sides of unchanged but closed with only modest gains, but well off the lows, as bull spreading gave strength to the front months over the deferreds.
  • This morning, the USDA reported export sales for the week ending February 22. Last week, corn export sales totaled 42.6 mb for 23/24 and 6.5 mb for 24/25, which were at the upper end of expectations, and puts total commitments 30% ahead of last year. Shipments last week totaled 47.9 mb and were above the 45.5 mb pace needed per week to reach the USDA’s export goal of 2.1 bb.
  • Today was First Notice Day for deliveries on the March contracts, and there were no deliveries issued. This lent support to the March contract as short contract holders continue to roll positions to the May.
  • Futures open interest has steadily fallen since last week with the number of open contracts down over 100,000 contracts from last Thursday. This, with the recent rally, implies that traders are liquidating some of their short positions. There is currently very little, if any, weather premium in the market, and as planting season nears, weather will become a more influential factor for both here and in Brazil.
  • Current Brazilian weather is still considered non-threatening for crops, helping the key second crop Brazilian corn crop get off to a strong start. Moisture levels overall are still limited, so rainfall will need to stay timely as the crop develops.


  • Soybeans ended the day lower after another day of volatile trade. Prices were sharply lower earlier this morning following a large number of deliveries against the March contract. Export sales were at the low end of expectations and there were some cancellations. Interestingly, the front months in both soybean meal and oil closed higher.
  • With First Notice Day today came a surprisingly large number of deliveries totaling 702 contracts against the March futures, which initially drove prices down before they rebounded slightly. There will likely be more deliveries tomorrow which could pressure the March contract even more against the May.
  • Today’s Export Sales report showed an increase of just 5.9 mb of soybean export sales for 23/24. This was up from last week but down 30% from the prior 4-week average. Last week’s export shipments of 40.5 mb were well above the 18.2 mb needed to meet the USDA’s estimates. Primary destinations were to China, the Netherlands, and Mexico. There were cancellations of 392 mt of soybeans from unknown destinations.
  • Next week the USDA will release its WASDE report and trade will look to see if adjustments are made to South America’s expected production. Argentina is expected to produce double what was produced in the drought last year, and Brazil was estimated to produce 156 mmt of soybeans in the USDA’s February update despite most other analysts estimating the number closer to 149 mmt.


  • After a two-sided trade wheat closed mostly higher; September Chicago wheat onward posted small losses. On the bearish side, there were 484 deliveries of Chicago wheat, which was more than anticipated. However, momentum on some technical indicators still point to the upside for wheat as it moves out of oversold territory.
  • The USDA reported an increase of 12.0 mb of wheat export sales for 23/24 and a decrease of 0.2 mb for 24/25. Shipments last week at 19.8 mb were above the 17.9 mb pace needed per week to reach the USDA’s export goal of 725 mb.
  • Argentina is set to receive abundant rain over the next several days that will fall over most of their agriculture producing areas. The southwestern areas will receive less precipitation, but it is still expected to benefit the corn and soybean crops. As it pertains to wheat, this should help recharge soil moisture before the upcoming planting.
  • According to Russian Ag Minister, Dmitry Patrushev, Russia has no interest in renewing the Black Sea Grain Initiative. This deal between Russia and Ukraine ended last July, but Ukraine has been successful in exporting grain via their own corridor. It is estimated that combined Russian and Ukrainian grain exports for February were a record 6.5 mmt. Russian wheat FOB values also continue to fall, weighing on the export market.
  • India is said to be preparing to purchase between 30 and 32 mmt of 23/24 wheat, according to their food ministry. For reference, the Indian government purchased 26 mmt of wheat from the 22/23 crop for its welfare programs versus a target of 34.2 mmt. Note – India is the world’s second largest wheat producer and is also the second largest consumer.
  • The wildfires in Texas are said to have expanded to the second largest in state history. Residents living in the panhandle area were ordered to evacuate as schools and highways were shut down. This is the worst wildfire in nearly two decades. Texas is experiencing drought which only worsens the issue. It is unknown what impact this will have on the wheat crop at this time, but it is expected that there will be some damage.


  • Class III futures faced double digit-losses once again with the second month April contract dropping 32 cents to $17.17.
  • Thursday’s spot trade saw spot cheese fall 1.50 cents, entering Friday up 4.50 cents on the week, while spot whey fell another 1.25 cents for a weekly total loss of 9.50 cents.
  • Class IV futures were lower as well with some contracts closing with double digit losses. April futures fell 19 cents to $19.89.
  • Spot powder being unchanged on the day, butter fell 3.50 cents on 6 loads traded to $2.7650/lb. It enters Friday down 8.50 cents on the week.

Total Farm Marketing and TFM refer to Stewart-Peterson Group Inc., Stewart-Peterson Inc., and SP Risk Services LLC. Stewart-Peterson Group Inc. is registered with the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) as an introducing broker and is a member of the National Futures Association. Stewart-Peterson Inc. is a publishing company. SP Risk Services LLC is an insurance agency. A customer may have relationships with all three companies. TFM Market Updates is a service of Stewart-Peterson Inc. Futures and options trading involve significant risk of loss and may not be suitable for everyone. Therefore, carefully consider whether such trading is suitable for you in light of your financial condition.


Amanda Brill

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