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Image of grain bins with words Grain market week in review with Bryce Knorr and Ben Potter in white. Entire image has red tint.

China's soybean purchase keeps rally alive

Corn ends the week with small gains, while wheat falters

Missed some market news this week? Here’s what Bryce Knorr and Ben Potter have been writing about.


Grain futures traded mixed after release of USDA’s latest World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates report, which showed higher than expected corn production offset by lower soybean output and carryout. USDA left corn planted and harvested acres unchanged from its August assessment. USDA held steady its soybean planted and harvested acres.

Crop progress

The growing season for corn and soybeans is normally winding down after the first week of September. But late-planted crops and delayed development mean lots of questions about the impact of weather that remains as variable as the rest of 2019. Overall conditions improved for the second straight week according to posts on Feedback From The Field, though most producers remain unsure what they’ll find when combines start rolling later this fall. A shift to dry weather after a wet spring adds to uncertainty.


For the week ending September 5, USDA didn’t have a lot of positive news to share in its latest export inspection report, out Monday morning. While the agency may wait until official Census data comes in, total corn shipments for the 2018 marketing year look to be around 45 million below the government’s current projection. Inspections were far below that estimate, but consistently lagged behind Census totals this year. Last week’s soybean export inspection tally was just for 33.3 million bushels. Wheat export inspections also eased week-over-week, from 20.5 million bushels the prior week down to 14. 8 million bushels.

USDA dished out mostly positive news in its latest weekly export report, out Thursday morning. For the week ending September 5, soybeans saw the biggest upside after climbing above 40 million bushels, but corn and wheat sales also rebounded from lackluster totals a week ago.

It’s been an active week for exports, with China making its first purchase of U.S. soybeans since June 28. The country purchased 7.5 million bushels of soybeans on Sept. 13. Mexico was also active in the market, purchasing corn, soybeans and soybean cake and meal.


Can grain prices keep some much-needed positive momentum Friday after surging higher Thursday? Or is a technical reversal in store? Overnight trends hint that grains could move a bit higher today as long as any emerging factors don’t put the squeeze on technical buying today. U.S.-China trade negotiations, in particular, appear to be moving in the right direction but remain fragile for now.

Another large Chinese purchase of U.S. soybeans kept the rally for that commodity alive, although gains began to fade later in the session as traders eyed agreeable short-term weather forecasts in the Midwest and the possibility of record production from Brazil this coming season. Corn also tacked on small gains Friday, with most wheat contracts spilling into the red after securing modest gains in overnight trading Thursday.

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