By Kirk Maltais

-Wheat for May delivery fell 1.4% to $5.57 3/4 a bushel, on the Chicago Board of Trade on Tuesday, amid indications of improved production across the globe.

-Corn for May delivery fell 1% to $4.31 1/4 a bushel.

-Soybeans for May delivery fell 0.5% to $11.75 1/4 a bushel.


Improved Signals: Wheat traders balanced threats today from geopolitical uncertainty with signs of improved production around the world in the upcoming crop year. "We are cautiously optimistic, and expect 2% production growth in most major producers, including Russia and the U.S., in the 2024/25 wheat season," said Megan Fisher of Capital Economics in a note. Fisher adds that a climate switchover from El Niño to La Niña is also expected to support larger wheat crops.

Hit the Ground Running: Crop Progress ratings released late yesterday gave no indication of any weather-related surprises around the corner, which put pressure on the grains complex as traders wait for any weather problems to pop up later in planting season. "The grains remain range-bound on the charts, weighed by a bearish overall fundamental picture that is set to become even more so by a strong start to U.S. corn planting," said Matt Zeller of StoneX in a note.

Outside Influence: With the agricultural news light ahead of Thursday's WASDE and Conab reports, many traders took their cues from outside markets like gold. Gold futures were down for much of the day before finishing up 0.5% to $2,343.50 per troy ounce. Some traders are expecting a broader pullback to come in gold, and by extension commodities as a whole. "Gold rallied to a new high this morning and this attracted most of the buying interest in the market, but now that gold has slipped back, light buying is taking place in commodities," Karl Setzer of Consus Ag Consulting said.


Anticipating a Decline: There are a few key adjustments analysts are watching for in Thursday's WASDE report. The first is a reduction in the amount of corn inventories held in the U.S., with that number expected to slide nearly 70 million bushels to 2.11 billion bushels, according to analysts surveyed by The Wall Street Journal. Soybean and wheat stocks are actually expected to rise in this month's report, with soybeans seen climbing by 4 million bushels to 319 million bushels and wheat rising 12 million bushels to 685 million bushels. World stocks across the board are forecast to decline by analysts.

Nearing Records: Analysts surveyed by Dow Jones this week forecast that ethanol inventories reported by the EIA tomorrow may move closer to record highs set during the Covid-19 pandemic. Analysts forecast stocks to land anywhere from 26.2 million barrels to 26.82 million barrels. If the total arrives closer to the upper end of estimates, then it'll be the highest stocks have been since April 2020. At that time, the sudden onset of the Covid-19 pandemic caused a pileup in inventories of ethanol barrels--setting a record of 27.69 million barrels on April 17, 2020.


--The EIA will release its weekly ethanol production and stocks report at 10:30 a.m. ET Wednesday.

--The USDA will release its weekly export sales report at 8:30 a.m. ET Thursday.

-The USDA will release its monthly World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates report at noon ET Thursday.

Write to Kirk Maltais at

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

04-09-24 1514ET