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Wheat rises as soybeans fall

Soybeans were sharply lower on fund and technical selling. There was more rain over the weekend in some key growing areas, potentially boosting prospects during the key month for beans. However, some damage has definitely been done, with condition ratings near historic lows for most of the growing season. The USDA says 54% of U.S. soybeans are in good to excellent condition, up 2%, with 90% blooming and 66% at the pod setting stage, both ahead of their respective five-year averages. China bought 132,000 tons of new crop U.S. beans, continuing to reflect the weakening advantage of Brazil, as the U.S. harvest starts to draw closer. Nearing the end of the current marketing year, U.S. soybean export inspections are running ahead of the pace needed to meet USDA projections. Last week’s top destinations were Indonesia and Germany. Soybean meal and oil followed beans lower.

Corn was mixed, adjusting spreads. The central and eastern Corn Belt are expected to see a cooler, wetter weather pattern most of this week, stabilizing conditions, at least in parts of the region. It’s too late to make much of a difference for yield, but this kind of weather prior to harvest will put a much better face on the crop in some key growing areas. As of Sunday, 57% of U.S. corn is rated good to excellent, 2% higher, with 93% silking, 47% at the dough making stage, and 8% dented, all close to normal. Mexico purchased 251,460 tons of new crop U.S. corn Monday morning. The pace of inspections is inline with what’s needed to meet projections for the 2022/23 marketing year, which runs through the end of August. The main destinations last week for U.S. corn were Mexico and Japan. Corn is also watching second crop harvest in Brazil, with CONAB’s updated outlook to be released Thursday.

The wheat complex was higher on short covering and technical buying. The war between Russia and Ukraine is back in focus, with another round of strikes on infrastructure this past weekend. It remains to be seen how much of an impact this will have on business, but the ongoing war between two top exporters remains a concern for the market. Forecasts have much needed rain this week in some spring wheat growing areas in the northern U.S. Plains and Canada. For spring wheat, 41% of the crop is called good to excellent, 1% lower, with 11% harvested, compared to 14% on average. For winter wheat, 87% of the crop is harvested, compared to 88% on average. Export inspections were down on the week and year, primarily to Mexico and Colombia. Rain has delayed harvest activity in parts of France, but near-term forecasts look more conducive. India’s government is reportedly considering cutting or temporarily suspending wheat imports tariffs due to concerns about domestic production. The USDA’s next set of supply and demand estimates is out Friday. Wheat is also monitoring dry weather in Argentina and parts of Australia.

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