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-Russian wheat crop estimate backs near-record production ideas
-US biodiesel production continues to run above year ago levels
-Longer-term US weather ideas still improved
-Trade estimate summary for Friday’s USDA reports


USDA will release the monthly WASDE and Crop Production reports on Friday. This month’s reports will include their first official estimates of 2019/20 balance sheets, along with the first objective estimate of U.S. winter wheat crop. Our pre-report commentary/analysis can be found on Market Insights at A summary of the trade estimates is on the following page. NOTE: Due to travel schedules, we will not be able to post the EIA’s weekly ethanol data and petroleum data to Market Insights at the time of its release as usual. We will do so as soon as possible.
 U.S. biodiesel production in February was 131 million gallons, up 4% from last February’s 126 million, the smallest year-overyear increase in monthly biodiesel production since December 2017. Over the previous 6-month period, biodiesel production ran, on average, 13% above year ago levels. 560 million pounds of soybean oil was used for biodiesel production in February vs 496 million last year and accounted for 57% of all feedstocks used in the month, similar to January’s 56% but above last February’s 52%. 2018/19 marketing year to date (Oct-Feb) soybean oil used for biodiesel production of 3.353 billion pounds is up 23% from last year’s 2.720 billion, with SBO accounting for an average of 57% of feedstocks used so far during the marketing year vs 51% during the same period last year. The USDA’s 2018/19 soybean oil for biodiesel usage estimate is 8.350 billion pounds vs 7.134 billion last year, which will require March-Sept usage to total 4.997 billion pounds, up 13% from last year’s 4.414 billion.
 China imported 7.64 MMT of soybeans in April, according to preliminary Customs data, a bit higher than last year’s April imports of 6.92 MMT and up from 4.92 MMT in March. The increase in imports in April was influenced by a reduction in the VAT tax that went into effect April 1, prompting importers to delay some shipments originally set for March. 2018/19 marketing year to date (Oct-Apr) imports of 42.4 MMT are down 8.2 MMT from the 50.6 MMT imported by the same time last year.
 Sovecon reiterated its view of the Russian wheat crop this year at 83.4 MMT, which would be up sharply from last year’s 71.7 MMT and only modestly below the 2017/18 record crop of 85.2 MMT.
 South Korea bought 60k tonnes of soybean meal for Sept 30 arrival at $340/tonne c&f. They also bought 65k tonnes of optionalorigin feed wheat at $204.75/tonne c&f for late October arrival. Philippines also tendered for a minimum 55k tonnes of feed wheat, but around 160k tonnes may be purchased.
A strong low pressure system will bring soaking rains to all of the corn belt in the next 48 hours and then the outlook for the weekend and much of next week sees only light and spotty precip. The current low looks to bring totals of .50-1.5” to around 95% of the belt, with some 1.5”+ totals also possible, especially in NE IA, SE MN and central WI. Things then look to quiet down for Friday and most of the weekend, with a clipper type system to bring some rain chances to most of MN, IA, WI, MI and northern IL later Saturday and early Sunday. Totals with that activity currently look to be generally less than .30”. Some rains will also fall in the OH River Valley over the weekend, with totals of .40-1” to fall there. Things look to be mostly dry for most of next week, with just a couple of weak clipper type disturbances to bring combined totals of around .50” and coverage of 65-70% for the week as a whole. 

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