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Soybeans gain with corn, wheat moving lower

Soybeans were higher on speculative and technical buying. Forecasts for most of the Midwest are hot this week and dry into September, potentially stressing the crop. The weather earlier in August helped, but this shift back to hot and mostly dry conditions will probably have an impact on yields. The USDA says 59% of U.S. beans are in good to excellent shape, unchanged, but with 1% falling from excellent to good, while 96% of the crop is blooming, matching the five-year average, and 86% of the crop is at the pod stage, compared to 84% on average. Unknown destinations bought nearly 159,350 tons of new crop U.S. beans Monday morning. That continues the recent spurt of new crop sales to unknown and China as those buyers acquire the needed supplies. Soybean inspections were in line with what’s needed to meet projections for the current marketing year, but under both a week ago and a year ago. Last week’s top destinations were Italy and Mexico. Soybean meal was higher and bean oil was lower on the adjustment of product spreads.

Corn was lower on profit taking and technical selling. Corn is watching the weather and while stress is more of an issue for beans than corn at this stage, it could have an impact on test weights, in addition to speeding up maturity. As of Sunday, 58% of U.S. corn is in good to excellent condition, 1% lower, with 78% at the dough making stage and 35% dented, both a little bit ahead of normal, and 4% mature, matching the usual pace. Mexico purchased 111,700 tons of new crop U.S. corn ahead of the open. The weekly inspections numbers were mixed – slightly higher than a week ago, lower than a year ago, mainly to Mexico and China. With just a couple of reporting weeks remaining in the current marketing year, U.S. inspections are behind last marketing year. The USDA’s next round of supply and demand estimates is out September 12th. The trade is also watching second crop harvest activity in Brazil. Brazil and Ukraine have both been key export competitors for the U.S., especially for business with China.

The wheat complex was lower on fund and technical selling. The big issue for wheat continues to be slow export demand, with Russia controlling the market and Ukraine still moving grain despite the war. Ukraine is exploring non-Black Sea routes for movement but has reportedly had some success shipping along the western shore of the Black Sea. Dry weather is a concern in Canada, Argentina, and Australia. Statewide, for spring wheat, 38% of the crop is rated good to excellent, 4% under last week, and 39% is harvested, compared to 46% on average. For winter wheat, 96% of the crop is harvested, in line with the typical rate. U.S. export inspections were above last week, but below last year, primarily to Mexico and Taiwan. Late in the first quarter of the 2023/24 marketing year, the pace of inspections is a little bit behind 2022/23.

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