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Soybeans, corn down ahead of week’s USDA numbers

Soybeans were lower on fund and technical selling. The USDA was expected to report mixed harvest progress over the past week due to wet weather in parts of the eastern Midwest. The USDA says 87% of U.S. soybeans have been harvested, compared to 79% a week ago and the five-year average of 88%. South American conditions generally look favorable, but there are long-term demand uncertainties because of La Nina. Tuesday, the USDA will likely increase its U.S. production and ending stocks estimates, with minimal changes, if any, expected in the South American outlooks this month. Soybean meal and oil were lower, following beans. Export inspections were strong at more than 2.6 million tons, but the overall pace remains slower than expected. The top destinations were China and Egypt. A Chinese state buyer has reportedly contracted with two U.S. companies for 8.4 million tons of soybeans at higher than a year ago prices.

Corn was modestly lower on fund and technical selling. Corn was also watching U.S. harvest activity, including the probability of harvest delays in some areas later this week, along with planting and development conditions in Argentina and Brazil. Stateside, as of Sunday, 84% of U.S. corn is harvested, compared to 74% last week and 78% on average. Analysts expect the USDA to raise its domestic corn production guess, while lowering ending stocks. There’s some expectation the corn guess for Argentina could be lowered due to increased import costs, but that adjustment might wait until December. CONAB’s next round of numbers for Brazil is out Thursday. Ethanol futures were unchanged. Export inspections were down on the week and the year, with Mexico and Japan topping the list. 2021/22 is behind 2020/21. Colombia bought 150,000 tons of 2021/22 U.S. corn.

The wheat complex was mixed, with Chicago and Kansas City up and Minneapolis mostly firm. Most forecasts have more dry weather in the southern U.S. Plains, while the slow soybean harvest in the eastern Midwest might lower soft red winter planted area. According to the USDA, 91% of winter wheat is planted, matching the normal rate, and 74% has emerged, compared to 77% on average, with 45% of the crop called good to excellent, steady with both last week and last year. The trade is also monitoring planting weather in Europe, Russia, and Ukraine, in addition to development conditions in Argentina and Australia. That includes heavy rain in portions of Australia that could delay early harvest activity and cut yields. The USDA is expected to make minor adjustments to U.S. and world ending stocks projections. The report is out Tuesday at Noon Eastern/11 Central. Export inspections were up slightly from the previous week, but below a year ago, with Mexico and Thailand the leading destinations.

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