Corn Morning Update & Commentary: Overnight, soybeans were clearly the 'soup du jour', but corn dutifully followed at a distance, finishing 3-4 cents higher by the morning pause. Difficult to pinpoint an exact reason for the early enthusiasm; perhaps bean buyers....

Corn Morning Update & Commentary:  Overnight, soybeans were clearly the 'soup du jour', but corn dutifully followed at a distance, finishing 3-4 cents higher by the morning pause.  Difficult to pinpoint an exact reason for the early enthusiasm; perhaps bean buyers were getting antsy over Brazil harvest delays?  Perhaps funds like positive momentum on biofuels and/or continued weather uncertainty?  Either way, new crop Dec forged a new high, though both old crop corn and beans remain within their existing ranges.  Overall, there is not much change in the South American weather picture - Brazil a little too wet in some spots, Argentina a little too dry (albeit with some hope for improvement ten days out).  End-user markets were relatively quiet yesterday.  Cattle shook off early losses likely tied to the larger animal numbers in Friday's 'On Feed' report.  Ethanol did not react much to media reports that the EPA would agree with a tenth circuit court decision that would quash the expanded application of Small Refiner Exemption (SRE) waivers.  It will be interesting to see the various analyst estimates in front of tomorrow's EIA report; all of the various ethanol statistics could be quite volatile thanks to the extreme winter weather.  The futures crush started the week at levels that were roughly 'breakeven at best', assuming normal natural gas pricing; the best since Nov.

Another solid start to the week for corn, parlaying a strong Sunday night open into 8-9 cent higher settlements. Dec '21 corn was the leader of the pack again, likely benefitting from some bull spread liquidation in front of the March futures delivery cycle. Managed Money traders were net buyers of about 10,000 corn Monday and are estimated net long 380,000 contracts. Cash markets were mostly steady; CIF bids were firmer at the front end of the curve, but weaker for summer slots. The mid-day USDA grain inspections data was better-than-expected, which was surprising given the negative impact of extreme winter weather on logistics. For the week ended 2/18, U.S. exporters shipped 1.232 million metric tons (mmt) of corn, which was down very slightly from the prior week's 1.315 mmt, but still much better than the prior year week's 0.924 mmt. YTD corn shipments move up to 24.0 mmt versus 13.3 mmt on the books this time last year. To no surprise, U.S. milo shipments are running nearly triple the prior year's pace (3.46 mmt vs. 1.33 mmt). The week's corn shipments were unremarkably mixed to a hodge-podge of destinations. The Gulf shipped a little over two cargos to China. Fresh sales remain limited despite rumors to the contrary. Still no 8 AM sales today.

QT News - Top News
-- On Tuesday, grain traders say 60,000 mt of feed Barley was purchased by Jordan's state grain buyer. They reportedly paid $264.50/mt cf. The grain is for first half September shipment.
-- Ukraine stats bureau data released Tuesday estimated the country's grain stockpiles as of February 1st at 18.2 mln mt, that is -3.5 mln mt less than the year ago date. The total includes 5.1 mln mt of wheat. The stockpiles figure does not incorporate the volumes on hundreds of small farms, only medium and large size agro-businesses.
-- On Tuesday, China's commodity reserve manager said they will sell 20,000 mt of frozen Pork from state held stockpiles on Feb 26th. With this latest announcement total pork sales have totaled 190,000 mt since January 2021.
-- Chinese customs on Tuesday said it has halted imports of Algerian poultry due to the presence of H5N8 bird flu, they join poultry ban imports by China from France and Ireland.
-- Some analysts say there are signs of slight strain in Europe's poultry industry. They noted Poland's egg supply is slipping due to lack of laying hens from avian flu outbreaks. Around 5 mln birds have been culled in Poland this year due to the disease, for perspective, back in 2019 there were 6.4 billion birds harvested across the EU for meat production.
-- US EPA on Monday said they agree with 10th Circuit Court decision on small refinery exemptions for biofuel blending law
-- North Dakota cattle and calf conditions rated 1% very poor, 6% poor, 31% fair, 49% good, and 13% excellent. Cattle and calf death loss rated 2% heavy, 42% average, and 56% light. Calving progress was 10% complete.
-- Colorado livestock conditions 3% very poor, 8% poor, 41% fair, 42% good, 6% excellent

-- Pending Tender: Grain traders Monday said Algeria has set Wednesday, Feb 17th as offer deadline in a tender seeking 50,000 mt of feed grade Barley. However, offers should remain valid until Thursday, Feb 18th. The grain is for shipment in LH March.

-- Euronext Paris June corn futures on Tuesday are trading +0.25 euro higher at 220.00 euros/mt
-- On Tuesday, Dalian May corn futures traded -31 yuan lower ending at 2,781 yuan/mt
-- Outside markets. Crude Oil +44c ; Gold +$3.50 ; Silver +2.9c ; US $ index +11 pts

QT News Cash Markets
Bean Barge Corn Barge SRW Barge HRW Track Ill Riv Frt
12 pros 11 pros
Feb +75/80 H +80/83 H +105/120 H +148/158 H +127/137 H 415/425
March +75/78 H +73/77 H +105/120 H +152/162 H +128/138 H 380/390
April +73/77 K +72/77 K +100/115 K +151/161 K +127/137 K 370/380

Hi-pro meal Soy oil
Chicago +5 H -10 H +20 H
Toledo -10 H -7 H +0 H
Dec ILL +15 H +15 H -4 K +225 H