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Afternoon Market Recap for June 24, 2019

Soggy weather strengthens grain prices

Wet weather continues to negatively impact both corn/soybean planting and wheat harvest

Turns out too much of a good thing really isn’t so good after all. Pervasive wet weather across the central U.S. for the past several weeks has slowed planting progress for corn and soybeans, and now it’s taking a toll on winter wheat harvest in some areas as well. That spurred some technical buying Monday, with corn climbing another 1% higher and some winter wheat contracts grabbing gains of more than 2% today. Soybeans saw more moderate gains in a choppy session.

Moderate rainfall is in store for parts of the upper Midwest this week, but most of the central U.S. should gather less than 1” of rainfall through June 29, according to the latest five-day cumulative precipitation map from NOAA. Daytime highs across the Midwest and Plains should come in cooler than average to start the week but finish closer to normal for this time of year by the weekend.

On Wall St., investors are highly interested in the G-20 Summit later this week, which could reveal the next steps in ongoing U.S.-China trade negotiations. The Dow firmed by another 18 points in afternoon trading to 26,737. Energy futures were narrowly mixed to start the week, with crude oil and gasoline moving fractionally higher, while diesel took small losses this afternoon. The U.S. Dollar softened slightly, while safe-haven gold surged 1.3% higher.

Corn prices continue to move higher on weather woes, with July futures picking up 4.5 cents to $4.4675, while September futures gained 4.25 cents to $4.5175.

Corn basis bids were mixed but mostly steady Monday, rising as much as 3 cents higher at a Nebraska processor and falling as much as 4 cents lower at an Ohio elevator today.

The Upper Mississippi River is finally open for business. But don’t expect business as usual as shippers try to clear a logjam of barges amid high uncertainty over supplies in the coming year. Learn more in the latest Basis Outlook from Farm Futures senior grain market analyst Bryce Knorr.

Corn saw 24.3 million bushels of export inspections last week, down slightly from the prior week’s tally of 26.7 million and on the low end of trade estimates, which ranged between 23 million and 31 million bushels. Japan was the No. 1 destination, with 9.6 million bushels.

Ahead of this afternoon’s weekly crop progress report from USDA, analysts expect the agency to rate 59% of the 2019 U.S. corn crop in good-to-excellent condition as of June 23, unchanged from the prior week.

How late is planting this year? Late enough for USDA to take the unusual step of extending its Crop Progress survey for corn seeding by an extra week. The government releases results this afternoon, but don’t look for the number to increase much from last week’s record low of 93%. Meantime, take a look at the latest updates from Feedback From The Field to read the latest farmer anecdotes and access our interactive map.

European Union corn imports are up 34% from a year ago after reaching 915 million bushels as of June 23.

Better weather has analysts betting South Africa’s government will slightly raise its 2019 corn production estimates to 431 million bushels, up fractionally from May.

Preliminary volume estimates were for 297,268, falling sharply below Friday’s final count of 594,683.

Soybean prices made moderate inroads to start the week as traders worry over planting progress and yield potential from late-planted crops. July and August futures each climbed 6.25 cents higher to reach $9.09 and $9.1475, respectively.

Soybean basis bids were largely unchanged across the central U.S. Monday but did trend 5 cents higher at an Iowa processor and a penny lower at an Ohio elevator today.

Soybean export inspections totaled 25.1 million bushels last week, up fractionally from the prior week’s 25.0 million bushels and on the high end of trade estimates that ranged between 18 million and 28 million bushels. China was the No. 1 destination, with 19.5 million bushels.

Ahead of this afternoon’s weekly crop progress report from USDA, analysts expect the agency to show 59% of the 2019 U.S. soybean crop in good-to-excellent condition in its first quality assessment of the season.

European Union soybean imports for 2018/19 reached 540 million bushels as of June 23, trending 9% lower year-over-year. EU soymeal imports are also down 7% from a year ago.

China sold 6.7 million bushels of its state reserves of soybeans at auction today, which was 65.7% of the total available for sale.

Preliminary volume estimates were for 181,234 contracts, retreating 26% below Friday’s final count of 245,392.

Wheat prices tracked 2% or more higher today as harvest pace for the 2018/19 winter wheat crop has started off sluggishly, and as Europe’s crop faces hot, dry weather moving forward. July Chicago SRW futures gained 12 cents to $5.38, July Kansas City HRW futures added 13 cents to $4.6550, and July MGEX spring wheat futures picked up 7.25 cents to $5.4325.

Wheat export inspections climbed slightly week-over-week to reach 14.9 million bushels, landing in the middle of average trade estimates that ranged between 11 million and 18 million bushels. Algeria topped all destinations, with 4.1 million bushels.

Ahead of this afternoon’s weekly crop progress report from USDA, analysts expect the agency to show winter wheat crop progress reaching 19% as of June 23, up from 8% the week prior. Analysts also expect USDA to slightly downgrade the crop’s quality from 64% in good-to-excellent condition a week ago down to 63%.

European Union soft wheat exports for 2018/19 are down 4% year-over-year after reaching 734.9 million bushels as of June 23.

Taiwan purchased 3.1 million bushels of wheat from the U.S. in an international tender that closed last Friday. The grain is for shipment in August and/or September.

Indonesia purchased 1.8 million bushels of wheat from the Black Sea region, for shipment in August.

Preliminary volume estimates were for 91,493 contracts, falling 24.5% below Friday’s final count of 121,220.


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