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Soybeans, corn higher ahead of Memorial Day

Soybeans were higher on speculative and technical buying, closing solidly higher on the week. Beans were monitoring planting delays in the Midwest and Plains, with help from a higher move in soybean meal. That higher move for meal was largely due to product spread trade, which sent soybean oil lower. For U.S. planting, there’s at least some chatter the corn planting delays could lead to increased soybean acreage, but anything firm about that is, at best, weeks away. There’s more rain in the forecast for southern Brazil, which has already been hit hard by heavy flooding. Argentina is generally expected to be drier, which should boost harvest activity. The USDA’s next round of supply and demand estimates is out June 12th, with CONAB’s updated outlook for Brazil set for June 13th.

Corn was higher on speculative and technical buying, adding to the weekly gains. Corn is keeping an eye on those U.S. planting delays, with more rain expected in parts of the Corn Belt through Memorial Day weekend. As it gets closer to June, there’s talk about corn either losing acres to soybeans or being entered in prevent plant, and that doesn’t even factor in some farmers needing to replant following heavy rain, flooding, and severe storms. The USDA’s weekly crop progress and condition report will be delayed until Tuesday, May 28th. There’s a limited chance for rain in dry second crop areas of central Brazil, which won’t fully reverse crop damage, but could stabilize conditions. The corn harvest in Argentina remains slower than average.

The wheat complex was mixed, mostly higher, ending the week with strong gains for the most active months at the three U.S. pits. Near-term forecasts for the Black Sea region remain dry as do outlooks for the southwestern U.S. Plains. That dry weather in Russia and Ukraine is in addition to the recent freeze damage. Parts of the U.S. soft red winter region and western Europe are having issues with excessive soil moisture. Some planting delays are possible in spring wheat growing areas of the northern U.S. Plains and Canada, but the precipitation is generally welcome. France’s AgriMer says 63% of the soft wheat crop is in good to excellent condition, down 1% on the week. India’s government says domestic wheat procurement is 26.25 million tons, above a year ago as Delhi tries to refill state reserves. U.S. commodity markets are closed Monday for Memorial Day.

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