Corn neutral, friendly soybeans, bearish wheat

USDA lowered last year’s soybean production more than expected. Last year’s soybean production was revised to 4.296 billion bushels. Earlier USDA had it at 4.305 billion bushels. Corn and soybean stocks were lower than expected. Wheat stocks were higher than expected.

Winter wheat production for 2017-18 was estimated at 1.269 billion bushels, slightly lower than expected.

USDA has been in the mode of providing surprises with their recent reports. They have given producers bearish news when the August and September yield estimates were higher than producers had expected.

The quarterly grains stocks as of Sept. 1 as well as all wheat and winter wheat production will be detailed today. Keep in mind that USDA could be changing corn or soybean production from 2016 with this report. They have a strong history of changing the previous years’ soybean production with this report. Many expected the price action for soybeans today to be quite volatile.

Corn stocks were 2.295 billion bushels, soybean stocks 301 million bushels, with wheat stocks at 2.253 billion bushels. Before the report, corn was down 2 cents, soybeans down 3 cents, and wheat was down 1 cent. The daily range before the report was 4 cents for corn, 5 cents for soybeans, and 7 cents for wheat. Following the report corn was up 2 cents, soybeans were up 7 cents, while wheat was down 5 cents.

The average trade estimate for corn stocks as of Sept. 1 for corn was 2.353 billion bushels. Last year it was 1.737 billion bushels. The average trade estimate for soybeans on Sept. 1 was 338 million bushels. Last year it was 197 million bushels. Wheat for the September 1st stocks had an average trade estimate of 2.2 billion bushels. Last year it was 2.545 billion bushels.

It has been a busy week for producers. Harvest is in full swing in much of Ohio as producers have enjoyed excellent drying conditions taking place in corn and soybean fields. Those five days of 90 degree days were enormous in pushing crops to final maturity. Producers seem very willing to attack soybean harvest with lots of gusto as they wait for corn to dry down even more in the fields. They have been flabbergasted at seeing lots of soybean fields with moisture below 13%. Many are seeing 9% to 10% moisture levels. With this excellent weather for soybean harvest there should be minimal concerns of getting those wheat fields planted that follow soybeans.

Traders and producers were anxiously awaiting the USDA reports for today. They have seen quiet and low volume trade this week. Corn had traded in a 16-cent range for September ahead of today’s report. Export sales for corn continue to be disappointing with the sales report on Thursday showing just 12 million bushels of U.S. corn export sales were done this past week. Contrast that paltry number for corn with the shocking sales number for soybeans at 109 million bushels, which was the second largest weekly in history sales number for soybeans. Soybeans on Thursday were down 6 cents. For the new crop marketing year, corn, soybeans, and wheat exports continue to be below those of last year. Sales are also lagging behind last year.

Producers in the Midwest have been actively selling soybean off the combine so far this fall. Yields are better than many had expected. Others are beginning to believe the U.S. soybean average that USDA is using of 49.9 bushels per acre could be pretty close to the final yield. Weather in South America has also been a factor the past two weeks. It has been wet in Argentina but dry in Brazil. Rains are expected in Brazil next week, which has been contributing to the weakness in soybeans this week.

Look for the market to quickly return to trading harvest activity and weather the next two weeks.

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