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Soybeans, corn up on early stress concerns

Soybeans were higher on short covering and technical buying. Soybeans also had some help from bean meal, watching planting and development weather. Conditions are mostly good for the tail end of planting, but there could be some early stress from hot, dry weather. CONAB now has Brazil’s soybean crop at 147.354 million tons, down .2% from May and 4.7% from 2023, with better yields in some growing areas canceling out crop loss in others. CONAB’s updated outlook for Brazil is set for July 11th. The NOPA’s May member soybean crush is out Friday, with an average guess of 178.352 million bushels and soybean oil stocks projected at 1.775 billion pounds. Soybean meal was up and bean oil was mostly higher ahead of those numbers. Unknown destinations bought 120,000 tons of 2023/24 U.S. soybeans, the third day in a row with an announced sale for a running total of 330,000 tons, all old crop. This recent spike in demand can be tied to higher prices in Brazil along with producer and exporter issues with a recent tax change. The USDA says old crop sales were up sharply from the prior week, primarily to China and the Netherlands, but new crop sales remain slow, with no sales reported yet from China.

Corn was higher on short covering and technical buying. Parts of the Corn Belt will see hotter, drier conditions, possibly into the end of the month. That should allow planting to wrap up quickly in some areas but might impact development. Other areas will continue to see volatile weather, including changes for severe storms. The big question for corn continues to be how many acres will be planted, with the USDA’s planted area totals out on the 28th, in addition to quarterly grain stocks. Last week’s old crop corn export sales were below the prior week, but above average, with Japan and Colombia topping the list, with modest new crop sales mainly to Mexico and unknown destinations. CONAB raised its second corn crop guess 2.3% on the month to 83.116 million tons, which would still be down 13.9% on the year. Total production is now pegged at 114.144 million tons.

The wheat complex was mixed. Winter wheat harvest conditions generally look favorable, with good early hard red winter yield results in some areas, thanks to the somewhat improved weather in parts of the central and southern Plains. The trade’s also monitoring the ongoing drought in parts of Russia and Ukraine. The USDA didn’t make any major adjustments to their Black Sea projections this month but might be more aggressive in the next round of supply and demand estimates on July 12th. Strategie Grains now has the 2024/25 European Union wheat crop at 121.8 million tons, compared to 123.5 million in May on cuts for France, Germany, and a handful of other nations, and estimates Russia’s crop at 78 million to 80 million tons, compared to the prior guess of 89.9 million tons. New crop U.S. wheat export sales were short of a quarter million tons, with Mexico and the Philippines topping the list. The 2023/24 sales total of 18,529,700 tons was up 4% from the 2022/23 total of 17,758,500 tons. CONAB has Brazil’s winter wheat crop at 9.065 million tons, 0.2% less than a month ago, but 12% more than a year ago. The Rosario Grain Exchange sees Argentina’s winter wheat crop at 21 million tons.

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