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Soybeans, corn mixed ahead of Memorial Day weekend

Soybeans were mixed on spread adjustments, with the most active months ending the week modestly lower. There are continued tensions between the U.S. and China, not only over COVID-19 but also Hong Kong, even as both say Phase One trade requirements will be met. The trade sentiment however is far less rosy, even if some of what both sides are doing could be viewed as a negotiating tactic, not necessarily hard line policy. Stateside, beans are watching U.S. planting weather, expecting more near-term delays in parts of the U.S. Midwest and Plains. The trade is also monitoring interior movement issues in Argentina and Paraguay caused by low water levels on the Parana River. The Buenos Aires Grain Exchange says 93% of Argentina’s soybean crop is harvested, with 31% of the crop reportedly in poor condition. Soybean meal was higher and bean oil was lower on the adjustment of product spreads.

Corn was mostly modestly lower ahead of the long holiday weekend, also ending the week mixed. Near-term planting conditions look mixed ahead of what’s expected to be a warmer, drier pattern in many areas. Planting will probably fall short of the USDA’s projection of 97 million acres, with planted area totals and quarterly stocks due at the end of June. Next week, the USDA’s weekly crop progress and condition numbers are out Tuesday, delayed a day by Memorial Day. Weekly export inspections will also be out Tuesday. The USDA’s Cattle on Feed numbers look bearish for feed demand, with sharply lower placements reported in April. Corn is keeping an eye on the dry weather in some critical second crop growing areas in Brazil and for any signs of a spike in COVID-19 infections that could hamper shipping of that crop, potentially driving some business back to the U.S. The Buenos Aires Grain Exchange says 43% of Argentina’s corn crop is harvested, with 10% of the crop rated poor. Ethanol futures were mostly firm.

The wheat complex was lower on fund and technical selling. Beneficial rainfall has been recently reported in parts of the southern U.S. Plains, helping at least part of the hard red winter crop, pressuring Kansas City and sending that pit to a week to week loss. Chicago was down Friday but up for the week, monitoring weather in Europe, along with wet weather in some U.S. soft red winter growing areas. Minneapolis was also lower Friday but higher for the week on the slow spring wheat planting pace. Dry parts of Russia, Ukraine, and Australia are expected to see timely rainfall. IKAR has lowered its’ projection for Russia’s wheat crop by 1 million tons to 76.2 million, citing weather. The USDA’s next set of supply, demand, and production estimates is out June 11th. DTN says Japan bought 110,753 tons of food wheat from the U.S., Australia, and Canada, and South Korea bought 35,000 tons of U.S. wheat. South Korean feed buyers also passed on a 54,000-ton tender for U.S. wheat, citing high prices. Jordan is tendering for 120,000 tons of milling wheat.

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