Corn ended the session slightly higher today. Although, futures appeared to lack direction as the trade awaits Friday’s USDA reports and the weather forecast remains benign. Average to above average precipitation is expected for the cornbelt the next week to 10 days, while temperatures are expected to run below average for the first half of the week before warming back up. The extended 11 to 16 day outlook calls for below average precipitation for most of the Midwest with average to above average temperatures. Early estimates are out for Friday's reports. The average June 1st stocks estimate for corn is 5.123 bln. bu. The trade will also be looking to the corn planting number for direction. The trade expects to see a number around 89.9 mln. acres of corn. This afternoon will bring updated U.S. crop condition ratings. Traders expect the corn rating to increase 1-2 points. Last week, the U.S. corn crop was rated 67% good to excellent. This morning’s weekly export inspections report showed U.S. corn inspections totaled 38.01 mln. bu. Year-to-date corn inspections now stand at 1.873 bln. bu., an increase of 40.5% from a year ago. There is still no word from the EPA on their proposal for new biofuel standards. An announcement is expected to come sometime this week. In South America, AgRural reported that the safrina corn harvest was 9.3% complete as of last Friday. This compares to an 8.8% 4 year average.
Bean futures were higher today. A technical bounce due to oversold conditions pushed prices higher. Weekly U.S. soybean export inspections came in this morning at 11.58 mln. bu. for the week ending June 22nd. Year to date inspections currently stand at 1.918 bln. bu., an increase of 17.5% from a year ago. In addition, the USDA announced the sale of 110,000 tons of soybeans to Bangladesh for 16/17 delivery. Early trade estimates are out for Friday's reports. The average June 1st stocks estimate for soybeans is 983 mln. In addition, the trade will be looking to the bean planting number. Traders expect to see a number near 89.75 mln. acres. This afternoon will bring updated U.S. crop condition ratings. The expectation is for the U.S. soybean rating to increase 1-2 points. Last week, the U.S. bean crop was rated 67% good to excellent. A year ago, U.S. beans were estimated to be 72% good to excellent compared to the 4 year average of 68.5%. In South America, Argentine producers are thought to have priced 21% of their current bean crop. For reference, over the past 5 years, they have averaged having 18% priced by now. This fits with the general thought that producers will hold their beans, expecting another export tax reduction later in the year.
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