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Soybeans, corn, wheat fall after long weekend

Soybeans were sharply lower on fund and technical selling, along with a drop in crude oil. The trade was expecting the USDA to report solid planting progress in the weekly crop update. As of Sunday, 83% of U.S. soybeans are planted, compared to the five-year average of 65%, with 56% of the crop emerged, compared to 40% on average. Forecasts for the eastern and central Midwest this week are generally warm and dry, which could cause some early stress. Still, it is too early to get too concerned about damage, it’s more likely this will help set up a good growing year, if rain this summer is timely, which could be a big if for some areas. Soybean meal and oil fell sharply on the prospects of a record U.S. crop following a record Brazil crop. Bean oil had additional pressure from the drop in crude, which fell on concerns about the debt ceiling deal. Soybean export inspections were short of a quarter million tons, but the pace remains ahead of what’s needed to meet USDA projections. Last week’s top destinations were Indonesia and Mexico.

Corn was lower on fund and technical selling. The trade was anticipating a good number in the USDA’s first national corn condition rating of the season. The USDA says 92% of corn is planted and 72% has emerged, both faster than normal, with 69% of the crop in good to excellent shape, 4% below the first rating for the 2022 crop. Some of the drier parts of the Plains are expected to get rain this week. That’s in contrast to the drier weather on tap this week in most of the Midwest. It’s too early to add a weather premium, but that will pop up if timely rains fail to materialize this summer. Export inspections were below last week and last year, with the pace slower than what’s needed to meet USDA expectations. The main destinations were China and Japan. The new marketing year for corn, and for soybeans, starts September 1st. Export demand for corn has not seen the expected bump, with some buyers choosing to wait for Brazil’s second crop. AgRural says the harvest of that second crop is barely underway. The USDA’s next round of supply and demand estimates is out June 9th, with CONAB’s updated outlook for Brazil set for June 13th.

The wheat complex was sharply lower on fund and technical selling. The USDA’s winter wheat condition rating was expected to be up slightly with the trade also watching spring wheat planting progress. For winter wheat, 34% of U.S. winter wheat is in good to excellent condition, 3% higher, with 72% headed, compared to 73% on average. For spring wheat, 85% of the crop is planted and 57% has emerged. Both of those are behind normal, but up solidly on the week. Concerns about the war between Russia and Ukraine are on the back burner. The fighting flared again this past weekend, with attacks on both Kyiv and Moscow. Russian leaders are again rumbling about pulling out of the Black Sea Grain Initiative, which was extended earlier this month. Ukraine’s Ag Ministry has lowered its planted area estimate as fighting continues. Export inspections were down on the week, up on the year, primarily to Thailand and the Dominican Republic. The new marketing year for wheat starts Thursday, June 1st. There have been more reports of U.S. wheat mills importing from the European Union. Heavy rainfall is reportedly flooding wheat fields in China’s Henan province.

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