Spring wheat also trends higher, with corn and winter wheat spilling into the red
Grain prices were mixed Wednesday. Soybeans and spring wheat saw the most upside, with both commodities rising more than 1% higher today. Spring wheat contracts are moving back towards $8 per bushel after forecasted dry weather in key production states, while soybeans were lifted by surging soyoil prices. Corn prices dropped 2%, in contrast, after USDA reported better-than-expected quality ratings. Winter wheat also faced moderate cuts.
Parts of the eastern Corn Belt may see another 0.75” or more additional rains between Thursday and Sunday, but areas farther west and north may see no measurable moisture during this time, per the latest 72-hour cumulative precipitation map from NOAA. The agency’s 8-to-14-day outlook predicts seasonally dry weather for the Central Plains and seasonally warm weather for most of the central U.S. between June 9 and June 15.
On Wall St., the Dow inched 14 points higher to 34,589, while the S&P moved fractionally higher to stay near all-time highs. Retail and energy stocks continue to perform well. Energy futures grabbed healthy gains today, with crude oil up another 1.5% this afternoon to move close to $69 per barrel. Diesel also rose about 1.5% higher, with gasoline up 1%. The U.S. Dollar firmed slightly.
On Tuesday, commodity funds were net buyers of all major grain contracts, including corn (+35,000), soybeans (+12,500), soymeal (+2,500), soyoil (+7,000) and CBOT wheat (+15,000).
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Corn prices sagged on Wednesday after USDA showed this year’s crop continues to be planted faster than average, with higher-than-expected crop quality. That triggered a round of technical selling that pushed prices down as much as 2% today. July futures faded 13.75 cents to $6.75, while September futures dropped 8.75 cents to $5.9325.
Corn basis bids were steady to soft Wednesday, dropping 2 to 6 cents lower across a handful of Midwestern locations today.
Corn plantings are now 95% complete through Sunday, up from 90% a week ago. That’s a bit faster than 2020’s pace of 92% and moderately ahead of the prior five-year average of 87%. And 81% of the crop is now emerged, up from 64% last week and well above the prior five-year average of 70%.
USDA’s initial corn quality ratings were higher than expected, with 76% of the crop rated in good-to-excellent condition. Another 20% of the crop is rated fair, with the remaining 4% rated poor or very poor. Nebraska leads the way among the top 18 production states, where an impressive 88% of the crop is rated good or excellent.
Per the latest data from the European Commission, EU corn imports for the 2020/21 marketing year reached 525.2 million bushels through May 30, which is a year-over-year decline of 28.5%.
Ukraine’s corn exports during the 2020/21 marketing year have reached 846.4 million bushels so far, per the latest data from the country’s agriculture ministry, out earlier today.
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Preliminary volume estimates were for 346,404 contracts, shifting slightly below Tuesday’s final count of 367,640.
Soybean prices enjoyed some spillover strength from red-hot soyoil prices, which rose more than 5% Wednesday on global supply concerns. Soybeans closed around 1% higher after an often choppy session today. July futures climbed 16.75 cents to $15.6525, with August futures rising 17.75 cents to $15.1850.
Soybean basis bids were largely steady Wednesday but did slide as much as 5 cents lower at an Iowa processor while firming as much as a penny higher at an Iowa river terminal today.
Soybean planting progress improved from 75% a week ago up to 84%. That was three points below the average trade guess but still far ahead of 2020’s pace of 74% and the prior five-year average of 67%. And 62% of the crop is now emerged, up from 41% a week ago and much faster than the prior five-year average of 42%.
European Union soybean imports during the 2020/21 marketing year have reached 508.5 million bushels through May 30, representing a fractional year-over-year decline so far. EU canola imports are slightly higher versus a year ago, meantime, with EU soymeal imports facing a moderate year-over-year decline.
As part of USDA’s Pandemic Assistance for Producers Program, the agency is introducing the Pandemic Cover Crop Program to allow producers who insured their spring crop and planted cover crops during the 2021 crop year to become eligible for a premium benefit. Farm Futures policy editor Jacqui Fatka has the details – click here to learn more.
Preliminary volume estimates were for 177,613 contracts, inching slightly below Tuesday’s final count of 178,117.
Wheat prices were mixed today. Winter wheat contracts fell after USDA reported improved crop conditions, while dry weather patterns helped spring wheat prices firm more than 1.5% higher after a round of technical buying today. September Chicago SRW futures fell 6.25 cents to $6.91, September Kansas City HRW futures dropped 4 cents to $6.41, and September MGEX spring wheat futures rose 13.25 cents to $7.8875.
Spring wheat plantings took another small step toward completion, moving from 94% a week ago up to 97% through Sunday. That’s a faster than 2020’s pace of 90% and the prior five-year average of 93%. USDA has marked four of the top six production states as 100% complete, and 80% of the crop is now emerged. Quality ratings eroded two points lower from a week ago, with 43% of the crop rated in good-to-excellent condition.
Winter wheat quality ratings improved a point, in contrast, moving to 48% rated in good-to-excellent condition and mirroring analyst expectations. Another 33% of the crop is rated fair (down two points from last week), with the remaining 19% rated poor or very poor (up a point from last week). Physiologically, 79% of the winter wheat crop is now headed, up from 67% last week and slightly above the prior five-year average of 78%.
European Union soft wheat exports for the 2020/21 marketing year have reached 898.8 million bushels through May 30, which is a year-over-year decline of 25%. EU barley exports are fractionally lower from a year ago, with 322 million bushels.
Ukraine’s wheat exports have reached 587.9 million bushels of wheat so far in the 2020/21 marketing year. Total grain exports are down around 22% year-over-year so far.
Preliminary volume estimates were for 118,949 CBOT contracts, falling slightly short of Tuesday’s final count of 131,835.
|Settlement Prices for Key Commodities|
|Live Cattle cents/lb|
|Feeder Cattle cents/lb|
|Lean Hogs cents/lb|
|Crude Oil $/barrel||*Energy prices may not represent final settlements|
|Unleaded Gasoline $/gallon|
|U.S. Dollar Index|
|Fertilizer Swaps||(as of 05/28)|
|UAN (32%) New Orleans||350.0||14.88|