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Soybeans, corn down despite more harvest delays

Soybeans were lower on fund and technical selling, ending the day near the session’s lows. Beans followed through on Friday’s post-USDA report losses, even with near-term harvest delays in some areas. The USDA numbers were a bearish surprise, with no substantial adjustments to the 2019 production numbers and higher U.S. ending stocks. Conditions in South America generally look good for planting and development, with sufficient rain in most of Brazil and improving precipitation chances for much of Argentina. No new news about the U.S./China trade dispute Monday following President Trump’s comment Friday that he had not agreed to rollback tariffs. No date has been announced for the signing of phase one of the U.S./China trade deal. New U.S. tariffs on Chinese imports are scheduled to go into effect December 15th. Soybean meal and oil were lower, following beans.

Corn was modestly lower on fund and technical selling. Corn was also watching the weather, expecting better harvest conditions after some near-term delays. It’s been a trying year for many producers, with an historically slow start to planting, varied weather during the growing season and an early start to winter in parts of the region slowing harvest activity. Propane availability is an increasing issue in some areas. Last week’s USDA numbers were nominally bullish and further downward adjustments for the 2019 U.S. crop are probable, with the USDA not lowering the harvested area estimate in November despite delays, blunting some of the supportive nature of the numbers. New supply, demand, and production estimates are out December 10th. Ethanol futures were higher. Weekly crop progress and export inspections numbers are delayed until Tuesday, while the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s weekly ethanol production and stocks numbers will be out Thursday and export sales are to be released Friday. Conditions in South America look good for corn planting and development.

The wheat complex was mixed, with Chicago and Minneapolis down and Kansas City mostly weak, except for the December contract. Winter wheat planting will also see some delays, but the precipitation should generally be good for long-term development as most of the crop heads towards dormancy. There’s a lot of uncertainty about just how many acres will actually get planted to winter wheat this year, but most of the expectations point to the lowest planted area in about a century because of prices and slow demand. Export demand has been good this marketing year, but while there has been crop loss for some major exporters, there were bigger crops in other competing nations. The slow pace of the U.S. corn and soybean harvests is also a factor, limiting double crop acreage in some areas. Wet weather is delaying winter wheat planting in parts of the European Union, particularly Germany and France, along with the United Kingdom, which remains in the E.U. for now. DTN says Ethiopia is tendering for 80,000 tons of milling wheat and South Korea is in the market for 60,000 tons of feed wheat. South American rainfall might delay wheat harvest activity in parts of Argentina and Brazil.

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