Soybeans, corn up ahead of week’s major USDA reports
Soybeans were modestly higher on short covering and technical buying. The trade is watching the weather, including rain in the forecast for some of the drier areas of the region. That should include a shift to cooler temperatures as well this week, easing some of the stress from August. Northern parts of the region could see a frost or freeze later this week. The USDA says 65% of U.S. soybeans are rated good to excellent, down 1% on the week, with 20% of the crop dropping leaves, compared to the five-year average of 16%. China bought a total of 664,000 tons of 2020/21 U.S. soybeans Tuesday morning, bringing the running total over the last three business days to 1,432,000 tons. Weekly export inspections were good, mainly headed to China and the Netherlands. The USDA’s attaché for China pegs 2020/21 soybean production at 18 million tons, unchanged from the last guess and up on the year. 2019/20 soybean imports by China are estimated at 95 million tons, up 5 million from the previous projection, with 2020/21 imports also at 95 million tons. China’s General Administration of Customs says August soybean imports were 9.6 million tons, 4.8% lower than in July because of tighter supplies in Brazil. Soybean meal was lower and bean oil was higher on the adjustment of product spreads.
Corn was modestly higher on short covering and technical buying. Corn was also watching the weather coming back from the long holiday weekend, but the forecasted rain will likely have very little impact at this stage of development for most areas. The USDA is expected to lower the yield projection later this week following August weather in many key U.S. growing areas. As of Sunday, 61% of U.S. corn is called good to excellent, 1% lower than a week ago, with 97% of the crop at the dough making stage, compared to 94% on average, with 79% dented, compared to 71% normally in early September, and 25% mature, compared to 19% on average. Unknown destinations picked up 101,600 tons of 2020/21 U.S. corn. Given the expectations for demand from China, that could turn out to be Beijing when it’s time for delivery as Chinese demand for corn rises because of recent weather problems in their key growing areas and increasing demand for livestock feed use. China was one of the larger destinations for U.S. corn last week, along with Mexico and Japan. Ethanol futures were steady to weak.
The wheat complex was lower on fund and technical selling, along with higher trade in the U.S. dollar index. Friday’s USDA supply, demand, and production numbers are expected to have record projections for global production and supply. Anticipated or actual production losses in some nations will be canceled out by better crops for others. That set of reports is out on the 11th at Noon Eastern/11 Central. The trade is monitoring weather ahead of widespread winter wheat planting and for the spring wheat harvest. For winter wheat, 5% of the crop is planted, compared to 3% on average. For spring wheat, 82% is harvested, compared to the usual pace of 87%. U.S. wheat export inspections were up on the week and the year, with Yemen and Vietnam leading the way. DTN says Turkey is tendering for 500,000 tons of milling wheat, Pakistan is in the market for 175,000 tons of wheat, and Ethiopia is tendering for 80,000 tons of milling wheat. Australia’s Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences projects that nation’s wheat crop at 28.9 million tons, up 91% on the year and 22% higher than the ten-year average because of improved weather. SovEcon has Russia’s crop at 82.6 million tons, up 1.4 million from the last guess. Argentina’s wheat crop is expected to benefit from recent rainfall.