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Tumultuous week in prices ends with a dip

Corn prices surge after Tuesday's USDA report, fall on Thursday on profit taking.

You've made it to Friday! With hot weather gripping much of the nation, now might be a good time to find some shade – or air conditioning – and catch up on the market news of the week.

Remember Monday? The day before USDA released the Quarterly Stocks and Acreage Report? Corn markets had priced in high acreage and average trade estimates put USDA's projection at 95.2 million acres. Soybeans were expected to face lower prices if USDA's acreage estimates came in at or higher than 95 million acres.

USDA stunned trade watchers in its Quarterly Stocks and Acreage Report, putting corn acres at about 92 million acres and soybean acres at 83.8 million acres. The surprise report gave growers a gift as even a 2.5-billion-bushel carryout is on the large side. So unless the rain shuts off during the month of July and traders decide that yield will not come in near trendline, Ag Marketing IQ columnist Naomi Blohm advises growers to use this price rally to get current on cash sales.

Ben Potter and Jacquie Holland discuss the odds for higher prices in their Midweek Markets podcast.

How's your crop doing?

USDA's latest crop progress report, out Monday afternoon, put corn and soybean crop quality higher, while lowering spring wheat quality. The majority of the nation's corn and soybean crop - 95% - is rated fair, good or excellent. Spring wheat crop quality is rated at 94% fair, good or excellent.

Growers who shared their Feedback from the Field echoed USDA's sentiment, reporting improving growing conditions after rain showers. Readers in the South reported strong silking progress, but progress remains behind the curve north of the I-70 border. Be sure to share how your crops are doing here.

Where is your grain going?

Japan was the leading export destination for corn this week while Egypt and China were leading soybean buyers. China was the top sorghum buyer and Taiwan and the Philippines were leading wheat buyers.

In closing

USDA's surprising cut in corn acreage in Tuesday's report should make the market even more sensitive to weather gyrations.

After two sessions of big gains, corn prices finished more than 1.5% lower on Thursday. Soybean losses were tempered by another large sale of new crop beans to China.

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