Soybeans up on export sales, but down on week
Soybeans were higher on fund and technical buying but finished the week with significant losses following recent U.S. rainfall. China bought 130,000 tons of U.S. beans Friday morning, for a two-day total of 256,000 tons, continuing the August bump in demand. Most forecasts had drier conditions in many areas for the first full week of September, which should aid early harvest activity. Recent rainfall has likely helped production prospects at least somewhat. StoneX estimates production at 4.409 billion bushels with an average yield of 50.8 bushels per acre, both a little bit larger than their August projections. Soybeans will need a trend line yield or better to meet demand expectations and limit further price inflation for end users. The USDA’s weekly crop progress and condition numbers will be out Tuesday, delayed a day by Labor Day. A big question mark is South America. Brazil is expected to increase planted area, while Argentina is likely going to plant fewer soybeans, and an anticipated La Nina event could trim yields. Soybean meal was up and bean oil was mostly higher, following beans.
Corn was mixed, adjusting spreads ahead of the long holiday weekend, while closing lower for the week. Corn was watching late development conditions and early harvest activity in parts of the region. StoneX sees corn at 14.998 billion bushels with an average yield of 177.5 bushels per acre, slightly above their prior guesses. The USDA’s next round of production numbers will be based on objective yield data and include updated acreage totals. Exports out of the Gulf could see delays into early October following damage from Ida. Power is starting to come back on in parts of New Orleans, but at least a couple of major grain terminals will need repairs. Some, but not all, of that could be switched to other ports for shipment. Corn is also continuing to monitor the tail end of Brazil’s old second crop harvest and the start of new first crop planting, in addition to planting conditions in Argentina. Argentina is expected to boost corn acreage at the expense of beans and while Argentine corn continues to be the best priced on the export market, their supplies are starting to tighten. Ethanol futures were unchanged.
The wheat complex was higher on fund and technical buying, but with the most active months ending the week modestly lower. Most forecasts have rain in some key U.S. winter wheat growing areas ahead of widespread planting. Domestic and global production have been trimmed by weather issues, with the USDA’s next set of supply, demand, and production estimates out on the 10th. Reduced expectations have been noted for the U.S., Canada, and Russia, with higher projections for Ukraine. Production in Argentina and Australia will also continue to be watched closely. DTN says Taiwan bought 48,875 tons of U.S. milling wheat and Turkey picked up 300,000 tons of optional origin milling wheat, while Jordan is tendering for 120,000 tons of optional origin milling wheat.