Corn, soybeans, wheat see solid pre-holiday support
Soybeans were higher on commercial and technical buying. Buyers followed the seasonal trend and added to their long positions. The trade was expecting the USDA to report harvest as nearly complete. The USDA says 95% of U.S. soybeans are harvested, compared to 92% a week ago and the five-year average of 96%. The last official national update of the season is out on Monday the 29th. Near-term conditions in South America are generally favorable, but there are concerns about long-term conditions due to La Nina. AgRural says 86% of Brazil’s soybean crop is planted as of last Thursday. The USDA’s next set of supply, demand, and production estimates is out December 9th. Export inspections were down on the week and the year, mainly to China and Mexico. Soybean meal was mixed, adjusting spreads and monitoring cash basis levels, while bean oil was up on strong product demand.
Corn was higher on commercial and technical buying. Corn was also seeing broad support while watching the U.S. harvest and South American weather. Stateside, 95% of U.S. corn is harvested, compared to 91% last week and 92% on average. The big supportive factor continues to be ethanol margins. Argentina and Brazil are expected to see more near-term rain ahead of a drier pattern. AgRural says 91% of the first corn crop is planted, matching the year ago pace, with some production potential lost in southern areas due to dry weather. 30% of Argentina’s crop is reportedly planted. Export inspections were below last week and last year, with Mexico and China topping the list. Ethanol futures were unchanged.
The wheat complex was sharply higher on commercial and technical buying. Paris milling wheat was higher ahead of the U.S. session and Russia’s export tax is now over $78 per ton. Still, demand remains slow for U.S. wheat, despite tighter global supplies, especially supplies of export quality wheat. Dry conditions are a long-term issue in most of the southern U.S. Plains, while portions of the eastern Midwest remain excessively wet. As of Sunday, 96% of U.S. winter wheat is planted, compared to 97% on average, with 86% emerged, compared to the normal rate of 87%, and 44% of the crop rated good to excellent, down 2% on the week. The trade is also watching conditions ahead of dormancy in Europe, Russia, and Ukraine, along with weather ahead of widespread harvest activity in Argentina and Australia. Parts of Eastern Australia continue to see heavier than normal rainfall, creating quality concerns. Export inspections continue to trail the year ago pace nearly halfway through the 2021/22 marketing year, with South Korea and Mexico leading the way for the week.