Corn traded higher most of today but faded at the close and finished fractionally higher. CU settled ¾ cent higher and CZ was ¼ cent better. Fund selling earlier this week had pressured the market, but the selling subsided today. Early strength was tied to news that the USDA Risk Management Agency’s insurance policy and indemnity numbers indicate that corn prevent plant acreage will be at least 7 – 8 million acres. The hot and dry weather expected across the Midwest the next 3 to 5 days was also supportive. However, the rally faded towards the close as extended forecasts continue to show a cooler and somewhat wetter period across the Midwest beginning early next week and extending into early August. Talk of additional export competition from southern hemisphere shippers also weighed on the market. South American basis levels have declined this week as the harvesting of record large crops is wrapping up and supplies arrive at ports. Although the USDA reduced 2018/19 corn exports 100 million bu. in last week’s report, it appears that shipments will still fall short of the new projection of 2.1 billion bu. The weekly ethanol production and inventory report was a mixed bag for the market. Last week’s production was up 1.8%, but ethanol stocks rose to their highest level ever for the month of July. The weekly export sales report due out tomorrow morning is expected to include corn sales (old and new crop combined) near 23 million bu.
Soybeans traded both sides of yesterday’s closes before settling modestly lower. SQ was 5 ¼ cents lower; SX fell 5 ½ cents. Like corn, soybeans traded higher this morning on talk of large numbers of prevent plant acres. Stories circulated that there will be at least 2 to 3 million acres of prevent plant soybeans this year. The early rally faded by late morning as a storm system moved east across Iowa, dropping beneficial rainfall amounts. The threat of additional tariffs being placed on Chinese goods was a negative factor today as were forecasts showing a rather benign weather pattern shaping up for the Midwest next week. Tomorrow’s export sales report is expected to include new and old crop soybean sales totaling about 15 million bu.
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