By Kirk Maltais
--Wheat contracts for May delivery rose 1.2% to $4.52 3/4 a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade on Thursday, as traders watched the tussle over Brexit to determine if U.S. wheat would have a difficult time competing pricewise with other European wheat.
--Corn contracts for May delivery rose 1% to $3.70 1/4 a bushel.
--May soybean contracts fell 0.3% to $8.98 1/2 a bushel.
Brexit: Wheat rallied on expectations of what effect a delayed Brexit would have on prices, according to Mike Zuzolo of Global Commodity Analytics & Consulting. The U.S. grains market expects more difficulty competing with European wheat overseas if Brexit had softened the British currency and pushed down the euro as well, Mr. Zuzolo said. "With this no hard Brexit vote yesterday, we're finding support off of that," he said. Corn's uptick was the result of following wheat's lead, Mr. Zuzolo said.
Export Targets Missed: Export sales of both corn and wheat missed forecasts made by analysts, with net wheat sales for the week ended March 7 coming in at 263,000 metric tons and corn sales ending at 372,000 tons. According to the USDA, Nigeria purchased 106,300 tons of wheat, leading buyers this week. For corn, South Korea was the top buyer with 120,200 tons. Soybean sales totaled over 1.9 million tons, with 1.7 million tons of those sales heading to China. The soybean total was at the high end of analysts' estimates.
Weather: A "bomb cyclone," characterized by powerful winds, rain and blizzards, is currently working its way through the Midwest, less than a week away from the official start of spring. The National Weather Service noted blizzard conditions over northeast Colorado and eastern Wyoming, across most of Nebraska, South Dakota and eastern North Dakota into northwest Minnesota. The NWS also issued flood warnings for parts of Nebraska and Iowa.
No Corn to China: The USDA's export sales report didn't validate the market rumor that China had purchased a large amount of U.S. corn. Speculation had circulated Wednesday that Chinea had bought more than 3 million metric tons of corn--a rare occurrence for the U.S. agriculture market.
--NOPA Crush statistics are scheduled to be released at noon EDT Friday. Movement of the statistics is an indicator of the status of demand for beans or grains.
--The CFTC will release its latest commitment of traders report at 4:30 p.m. EDT on Friday. The agriculture market is watching corn contract to see if an unusual level of shorting continues.
--The USDA will release its export inspections for the past week at 11 a.m. EDT on Monday. --
Write to Kirk Maltais at email@example.com