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Wheat rises as corn, soybeans finish mixed

Soybeans were mixed, mostly higher, on bear spreading. 50% of U.S. beans are rated good to excellent, down 1%, the lowest rating for this time of year since 2012. Weather forecasts for this week look mixed, better in some areas than others. August is the critical month for beans, but with lower-than-expected acreage, beans will need a solid foundation and general improvements in weather to reach the crop’s potential. At least some early stress has been incurred in some key U.S. growing areas. The USDA’s next production estimate is out July 12th, along with updated U.S. and global supply and demand tables. That’s expected to include a cut in the new crop ending stocks projection following that recent planted area data. Quarterly stocks implied a smaller old crop carryout. Brazil’s trade ministry says May soybean exports were up 38.9% on the year at nearly 14 million tons. Soybean meal was lower and bean oil was higher on product spread adjustments.

Corn was mixed, mostly firm, on bear spreading. The USDA’s rating on corn was up 1% at 51% good to excellent, but that’s still the lowest rating for corn in early July in more than a decade. Parts of the region will see rain this week, while others remain drier than normal. Even for those areas that get rain, coverage could be sparse and totals might be light. The U.S. Energy Information’s weekly ethanol numbers are out Thursday and export sales are out Friday, both pushed back by Tuesday’s holiday. The Ukraine Grain Association projects that nation’s corn crop at 24.2 million tons, with 2023/24 exports of 20 million tons, compared to 29.5 million in 2022/23. Corn is monitoring the second crop harvest in Brazil, with a pair of major private firms raising their estimates this week, even with harvest delays in some key growing areas. CONAB’s updated outlook for Brazil is out on the 13th. Brazil’s trade ministry says May corn exports topped a million tons, 4.5% higher than May 2022.

The wheat complex was sharply higher on speculative and technical buying. Wheat is oversold and rain in parts of the central and southern Plains will delay winter wheat harvest activity even as portions of the northern Plains and Canada look dry, potentially stressing spring wheat. Export demand continues to be slow, while domestic supplies remain tight. Globally, the ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine is keeping an undercurrent of uncertainty in the market, as any significant expansion would likely disrupt trade, at least to some extent. Moscow continues to complain about the Black Sea Grain Initiative, even as negotiations continue ahead of the pact’s expiration mid-month. The European Union says 2022/23 soft wheat exports from the bloc were 31.1 million tons, up 12% from 2021/22. The Ukraine Grain Association sees that nation’s 2023 wheat crop at 17.9 million tons, with exports of 15 million tons this marketing year, which started July 1st, compared to 16.8 million last marketing year.

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