Corn futures ended the day higher on bargain buying, although gains were limited as the potential for a large U.S. corn crop continues to loom over the market. The forecast remains mostly non-threatening for the majority of the Midwest. Both NOAA’s 6 to 10 and 8 to 14 day outlook maps suggest normal to below normal temps, with above normal precipitation expected for the southern 3rd of the Corn Belt with normal precipitation expected for the balance of the Belt. Locally there is the chance for some strong storms this afternoon across central Illinois. Recent reports indicate wind damage is likely in parts of eastern IA and northern IL this afternoon, as several reports of winds gusts in excess of 70 mph have been reported from central IA. Traders will be closely monitoring this afternoon’s crop progress/condition ratings. Last week, NASS estimated the U.S. corn rating at 72% good to excellent. Market participants are expecting conditions to hold steady or decline slightly this afternoon. This morning’s weekly corn export inspections were a solid 45.3 mln. bu. This was a sharp increase from the previous week and the 2nd highest total in the last 6 weeks.
Soybeans ended the day higher. Bean futures found support from new flash sales announcements this morning. USDA reported nearly 600,000 tons of soybeans were sold to China for delivery in the 20/21 marketing year, with another 111,000 tons being sold to unknown destinations for the same time period. Weekly U.S. soybean export inspections were just over 23 mln. bu. this morning, marking their highest total since late February. Despite the uptick, bean exports continue to run below the weekly total “needed” to meet USDA’s annual export projection. Of the aforementioned total, only 2 cargoes were destined for China, leaving just under 3 MMT of beans left to ship to this marketing year to clean up their current old crop purchases. Traders continue to monitor relations between the U.S. & China. Trade talks are set to take place this coming Saturday with the main topic being the Phase 1 agreement and what progress has been made, as volumes continue to fall short of expectations. Market participants will also be closely monitoring this afternoon’s crop progress & condition ratings. Last week, NASS estimated the U.S. soybean rating at 73% good to excellent. The trade is expecting to see conditions hold steady or decline slightly this afternoon.
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