Corn closed 1-3 cents higher today, though for a time it appeared a repeat of yesterday was in order – higher overnight, lower close. Funds were light buyers during the session to add to an estimated long position of 8,000 contracts. A market running out of willing sellers and a crop tour not finding higher yields than NASS given credit for today’s green numbers (wheat not faltering didn’t hurt either.) Pro Farmer estimated NE corn yield at 172.6 (NASS 186) and IN at 161.5 (NASS 166) with their final yield estimate expected tomorrow evening or Friday morning. (Apparently threats were made towards USDA field staff helping and they were pulled from the survey – tough environment out there.) Weekly ethanol report showed corn usage at 102 mln. bu. – the lowest weekly usage since mid-April. Ethanol stocks declined 516,00 barrels but still sit at 981 mln. gallons – just below the 1 bln. gallon threshold. Unsurprisingly, ethanol crush margins are in the red. Weekly export sales tomorrow morning expected in the 50 - 400 tmt range. Brazil/Argentina/Ukraine remain tough competitors. Mexico did buy 328 tmt of U.S. corn for 19/20. The DOW is 240 points higher on some good earnings reports in the retail sector and crude is currently off 50 cents at $55.60. Not much “new” news in the grains, so outside markets get a bit more attention.
Soybeans closed 5 cents higher today. Funds were moderate buyers during the session and hold an estimated short position of 75,000 contracts. Field checks showing lower pod counts than last year (with the understanding some plants are still blooming) and concern over maturity dates/frost helping lend some support to soybean futures. Weekly export sales tomorrow expected to be close to zero – will depend on cancellations. China is thought to have picked up 10 – 12 cargoes of Brazil soybeans for October and are thought to be 50% covered for October needs. Brazil soybean FOB offers for October (+138) are running much higher than U.S. NOLA (+42) and PNW (+78) offers, effectively making China their main destination, but when China is basically buying all your beans, does it matter? U.S./China trade negotiations continue to drag on. Both sides continue to posture with not much apparent progress, so we hope there is more going on in the background than seems apparent.
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