Corn futures closed 4 cents lower but did trade as much as 8 cents lower during the session. Chicago wheat closed 10 cents weaker as grain markets struggled today. The lack of global wheat demand news has weighed on futures in recent days. Corn futures were weaker as crop condition ratings for corn improved by 1% last night to 59% good to excellent. Illinois crop ratings improved by 12% to 74% good to excellent. This continues a season long trend of Illinois corn ratings having wide changes. Corn harvest overall was estimated at 10% done. Corn harvest has stalled over the last few hours as rain moved through the Midwest. Yields have been variable in central Illinois, which is one area that has made decent progress in the Midwest. Disease pressure and too much water are being blamed for the cause of corn yields being less than expected. Other areas of Illinois, however, are seeing very good corn yields. Heavy rain potential will impact corn harvest in the eastern corn belt this week. The extended forecast elsewhere looks clear through the end of the month, which should push along an active harvest pace. Brazil has been receiving some rains and is still expected to see better rain potential than a year ago. Brazil is 22% done on summer corn planting. The outside markets were calmer today after the sharply lower trend yesterday. Energy markets were back higher with equities sightly higher. Concern remains over the economic health of the large real estate firm in China, with that group having more debt payments due later this week. China ag markets have been closed and will re-open tonight. That market reaction is likely to have some impact on Chicago markets tonight.
Soybean futures bounced today but did trade lower at one point during the session. The outside markets stabilized today, helping oilseeds recover. Rumors persisted during the session that China was booking U.S. beans for the late fall timeframe. China is estimated to be about 70% covered for October and 50% covered for November. Logistics in the Gulf are slowly improving as most facilities are slated to be back on-line over the next few days. The crop progress report showed bean ratings improving by 1% to 58% good to excellent. Illinois was up a whopping 14%. Bean harvest overall was estimated at 6% done, versus the average of 6%. The extended forecast looks dry, which should enable a big push on bean harvest. Energy figures will be out tomorrow, including ethanol. The overnight markets tonight will be partly influenced by how the China ag markets trade tonight. They have been closed so far this week due to holiday.
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