Corn gains, soybeans up, watching harvest numbers

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Corn gains, soybeans up, watching harvest numbers

Soybeans were modestly higher on fund and technical buying. Anecdotal yield reports are lower than expected in some key growing areas. The USDA says 16% of U.S. soybeans are harvested, compared to the five-year average of 13%, and 75% are dropping leaves, compared to 66% on average, with 58% of the crop in good to excellent shape, steady with a week ago. Near-term harvest conditions generally look favorable for most of the region. China bought 334,000 tons of 2021/22 U.S. beans, their first announced purchase since September 17th. It’s still early in the current marketing year, but inspections trail the 2020/21 pace by a wide margins. Last week’s top destinations were China and Germany. The trade is also monitoring early planting activity in South America, with Brazil reportedly 1% complete. CONAB’s first set of new crop projections for Brazil are out October 7th. Soybean meal was higher on solid demand, but closed below the session’s highs, which also pulled beans from the highs of the day, while bean oil was up on the positive tone in the complex.

Corn was higher on fund and technical buying. Corn is also watching harvest activity and anecdotal yield results, with the USDA’s next set of production numbers out October 12th. As of Sunday, 18% of U.S. corn is harvested, compared to 15% on average, 97% has dented, compared to 94% normally in late September, and 74% is mature, compared to 64% on average. 59% of U.S. corn is in good to excellent condition, unchanged on the week. The USDA’s Quarterly Grain Stocks report is out on the 30th. Recent rain has helped the planting pace in Brazil, which is 26% complete according to AgRural, while the pace Argentina is a little behind average at 9%, compared to the usual rate of 11%. Ukraine’s corn harvest is about 4% complete, with yields coming in below expectations. Corn export inspections were up on the week, but down on the year, with 2021/22 behind 2020/21 less than a month into the marketing year. The main destinations were Mexico and Japan. Russia’s Ag Ministry says since the start of the marketing year July 1st, corn exports are 100,000 tons, down 62.2% on the year, with total grain exports at 9.9 million tons, 22.4% less than a year ago. A Taiwanese feed mill is reportedly tendering for 65,000 tons of corn. Ethanol futures were unchanged.

The wheat complex was mixed. Most forecasts have rain midweek for parts of the hard red winter growing region, while white winter growing areas are expected to generally remain dry. According to the USDA, 34% of U.S. winter wheat is planted, compared to 32% on average, and 9% has emerged, compared to the typical rate of 8%. The USDA’s small grains summary, including the spring wheat production total, is out Thursday. Russia’s wheat exports are down 19.2% on the year after Moscow implemented a grain export tax system to limit domestic price inflation and bolster supplies. The USDA projects Russia’s wheat exports this marketing year at 35 million tons. China has reportedly recently purchased wheat from Australia, even as a long-running trade dispute continues. Just over a quarter into the 2021/22 marketing year, U.S. wheat export inspections are behind 2020/21. The leading destinations last week were Nigeria and Thailand. Brazil’s Wheat Industry Association says domestic flour millers will no longer buy wheat from Argentina if the government approves GMO wheat imports from that nation. Brazil is a net importer of wheat, with most of that coming from Argentina.