Good morning,

Markets are stronger to open the day with corn up 4 nearby and 1 for new crop while soybeans are up 7 across the board.

Ukrainian government forces and pro-Russian rebels reported increased shelling in eastern Ukraine for a second straight day on Friday, an escalation that Washington and other Western allies say could form part of a Russian pretext to invade.  A diplomatic source with years of direct experience of the conflict described the shelling over the past two days as the most intense along the frontline in eastern Ukraine since major combat there ended with a 2015 ceasefire.
Moscow has said this week it is drawing down forces massed near Ukraine. Western countries say they believe the opposite: more equipment and personnel are arriving and making the sort of preparations normally seen in the final days before an attack. The marked escalation of shelling in eastern Ukraine, where government troops have faced Moscow-backed rebels since 2014, has stoked global alarm since Thursday. Both sides have said shelling stepped up dramatically, although so far, no deaths have been reported.
The weather forecast for Southern Brazil and Argentina is back to cooler this morning on the heat maps.  Rain moved through Mato Grosso last night and totals were as high as 1.5 inches.  Harvest is slow and planting for second season corn is behind.  Argentina has good chances of the rains next week and the heat up North is backing off.  Most of Argentina will see an inch of rain and some areas as much as 2-3″.  Southern Brazil will be mostly dry where they are on the East side of the dome and most of the moisture stays locked out.  This forecast is a little bearish with some rain and temperature breaks coming for Argentina.

Markets will be closed on Monday for Presidents Day. I expect choppy trade today with a slightly higher close as we head into a 3-day weekend for traders.


Have a Safe Weekend!


Garry Gard