Soybeans were sharply higher on speculative and commercial buying. Some parts of the Midwest did see rain over the weekend, but it missed a lot of key growing areas and the ten day forecast looks dry across a lot of the region. July closed at a record high of $16.65, hitting an open outcry high of $16.75, and topping out at a new all-time high of $16.79 and ½ in electronic trade. USDA reports 44% of soybeans are blooming, compared to 17% last year and 25% for the five year average, and 40% is in good to excellent condition, down 5% on the week. Soybean meal and oil were sharply higher, following the lead of beans, with meal garnering addition support from the strength in corn. The International Grains Council projects 2012/13 world soybean production at 266 million tons, up 12% from the 2011/12 estimate, and including a record Chinese crop. The IGC expects Japanese soybean import to recover following disruptions due to the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami.
Corn was sharply higher on speculative and fund buying. Corn’s also looking at that scattered weekend rainfall and the generally dry forecasts over the next ten days or so. The fundamentals remain solid but with the recent price surge, commercial demand has actually declined. According to the USDA, 50% of corn is silking, compared 11% a year ago and 19% on average, with 40% rated good to excellent, down 8% from last week. Ethanol futures were higher.
The wheat complex is sharply higher on technical and commercial buying, in addition to spillover from corn and soybeans. Southern Russian crop areas were hit hard by weekend rain and weather is stressing the U.S. spring wheat crop. For the winter wheat, 75% is harvested, compared to 58% last year and 56% on average, and for spring wheat, 88% has headed, compared to 24% last year and 55% on average with 66% of the crop rated good to excellent, down 5% from a week ago. European wheat was sharply higher on the U.S. and Russian crop problems. Russia’s Ag Ministry reports 7.1% of this year’s crop is harvested with the average yield well below year ago levels.