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Soybeans up, corn, wheat down ahead of WASDE report

Soybeans were modestly higher on short covering and technical buying. Near-term forecasts have minor harvest delays in some areas ahead of a generally drier pattern. The USDA says 44% of U.S. soybeans are harvested, compared to the five-year average of 38%, and 91% are dropping leaves, compared to 88% on average, with 57% of the crop in good to excellent condition, up 2%. Supplies are right and crush margins remain bullish, even as export demand remains a little sluggish due to South America, demand concerns in China, and the relative strength of the U.S. dollar. Export inspections last week were up from the previous week, but down from a year ago, primarily to China and Mexico. Ahead of Wednesday’s supply, demand, and production report, analysts, on average, see near steady production and yield numbers, along with higher new crop U.S. ending stocks. The trade will also be watching for any major adjustments to the numbers for Argentina and Brazil, with early planting ongoing in both nations. The Buenos Aires Grain Exchange expects an increase in planted area for Argentina due to gains in acreage at the expense of other crops, with production seen at 48 million tons. Agrural says 9.6% of Brazil’s corn crop is planted, compared to 10.1% a year ago, with that year-to-year slowdown tied to a wide variance in weather. Soybean meal was mostly higher on bear spreading with traders moving out of the October contract. Bean oil was down on the lower move in crude oil.

Corn was modestly lower on fund and technical selling. Corn is watching harvest activity, with most projections ahead of the weekly update expecting that activity to be around 35% complete. As of Sunday, 31% of the 2022 crop is harvested, compared to 30% normally this time of year, with 87% mature, compared to 85% on average, and 54% in good to excellent shape, 2% higher. The trade is also monitoring interior movement delays in some areas due to low river levels, in addition to the renewed possibility of a U.S. rail strike. The USDA could lower the yield estimate in Wednesday’s supply, demand, and production report, with most of those estimates down slightly on the month. That would also bring production lower and tighten new crop ending stocks. With so much time remaining in the marketing year, the 1-billion-bushel mark for 2022/23 U.S. ending stocks will be watched closely. Safras e Mercado says first crop corn planting in Brazil is 47.9% complete. Corn export inspections were lower than the prior week, but higher than last year, mainly to Mexico and Japan. France’s AgriMer has 2022 domestic corn production at 11.15 million tons, slightly less than last month and down sharply from last year due to drought.

The wheat complex was lower on profit taking and technical selling. The trade continues to monitor developments in the Black Sea region. Russia sent another round of missiles at key targets in Ukraine over the past weekend, while fighting is ongoing in eastern portions of Ukraine recently illegally annexed by Moscow. Russia is reportedly considering scrapping its grain export quota because of its larger than expected crop and subsequent exportable supply. Recent rain in the southern Plains will help ahead of the hard red winter crop going into dormancy but isn’t a drought buster. The USDA reports 55% of U.S. winter wheat is planted, compared to the five-year average of 58%, with 26% emerged, compared to 32% on average. Wheat export inspections were down on the week, up on the year, with China and South Korea topping the list. Export demand has been slow, but the pace of U.S. wheat inspections is ahead of what’s needed to meet projections for the 2022/23 marketing year. Ahead of Wednesday’s supply and demand report, U.S. wheat ending stocks are expected to be down modestly from September, with steady old crop ending stocks and a tighter global new crop carryout. The numbers are out at Noon Eastern/11 Central.

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