Corn futures ended the session slightly lower today. Better global weather conditions coupled with a firmer dollar and weaker DOW weighed on corn prices. Weekly U.S. corn export inspections were also slightly disappointing at just 25.05 mln. bu. This was just over a 10 mln. bu. decrease from a week ago and below the approximate 47.4 mln. bu. weekly average “needed” to meet USDA’s annual export projection. There were also no flash sales announcements for corn this morning. Corn harvest continues across the U.S. NASS will release updated harvest progress this afternoon. Even though we will continue to see these reports for a few more weeks, traders may not show much interest as harvest is winding down. Regardless, traders are expecting to see U.S. corn harvest at 70 to 73% complete in this afternoon’s report. Harvest activity may slow to a degree this week, with cold conditions coupled with periods of rain/snow expected for the first half of the week for much of the region. Improved weather prospects in the Black Sea region weighed on wheat futures today. Weather maps indicate Russia’s wheat areas have a promising round of rain forecast for the next week. If realized, it would potentially be the most rain they have seen in the last 2 months. Precipitation forecast for the southern U.S. Plains was also considered bearish wheat.
Soybean futures traded both sides of unchanged and ultimately ended the session mixed. A favorable forecast for S. America hung over the market, while continued strong demand for U.S. beans and bean products offered support. Central Brazil’s crop areas received favorable rainfall last week and more is expected this week. This should allow for planting progress to increase rapidly in Brazil. Mato Grosso’s bean planting as of Oct 23rd was estimated just under 25% complete vs. 64.5% last year and a 48.7% average. Brazil, as a whole, is projected to have 23% of their estimated bean area seeded. U.S. soybean harvest continues to wrap up in many areas. NASS will be out with updated harvest progress numbers this afternoon. Soybean harvest expected at 85 to 87% complete. Weekly U.S soybean inspections were sharply higher than expectations this morning at 97.90 mln. bu. YTD bean inspections are running approximately 78% higher than a year ago. In addition, FAS announced sales this morning of 120,700 metric tons of soybeans for delivery to unknown destinations and 135,000 metric tons of soybean meal for delivery to the Philippines, both for the 20/21 marketing year.
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