Markets

GRAIN MARKETS: Corn at six-week low; soybean flat

Spring wheat sets more contract highs; winter wheat slips.

Corn added to recent losses by closing lower on Friday as forecasts for mild, wet conditions next week provided some comfort that the crop’s pollination will not be hurt.

Soybeans closed about unchanged for day but lower for the week on position squaring ahead of the weekend. July remains near the 14-month low set on Thursday.

Forecasts have rain this week for much of the Midwest with storms spawned by Tropical Storm Cindy moving through the Midwest today but exiting the area by Saturday. The 6- to 10-day outlook (June 28-July 2) is cool and wet for the Midwest and the northern Plains

Equities were about unchanged, with the Dow industrials down 0.7 point when the crops closed. The dollar was lower, while crude oil and gold were higher.

Exports (U.S. Department of Agriculture and Reuters data):

-    Bangladesh is in the market for 50,000 metric tons of wheat. The tender closes July 11, with shipment 40 days after deals are signed.

Corn closed about 5 cents lower and was lower for the week, with July and December under key moving averages and RSI’s under 40 on technical charts.

The seven-day and 6- to 10-day outlooks favor widespread beneficial rain for the Midwest with total amounts of an inch or more in northern Illinois and more than 2 in. in parts of Iowa and Kansas.

Also, the cooler weather should aid early-planted corn that will be entering its pollination period.

The Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) estimated Friday’s volume at 571,873. Thursday’s actual volume was 441,504. Open interest in Thursday’s lower market increased by 11,468, with July’s down 14,075 and December’s up 14,271.

July corn closed down 5 cents at $3.57-3/4 and new-crop December down 5-1/2 cents at $3.75-1/4.

What to Look For: Attention will be on the Midwest storms for the next few days. Farm Futures expects next week’s planting report to keep corn acreage near USDA’s current 90 million estimate and June 1 stocks at 5.095 billion bu. versus USDA’s year-ago number of 4.72 billion bu.

Soybeans closed about unchanged to remain near their lowest since April 2016 as forecasts for the mild, wet weather next week tempered buying.

Traders added short positions in the last few days, evidenced by increased open interest following the lower markets. the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) last week said funds reduced their net short position in soybeans by more than 18,000 contracts as of last Tuesday, but funds appear to have changed that course this week.

CBOT estimated Friday’s volume at 303,638. Thursday’s actual volume was 329,103. Thursday’s open interest in the lower market increased by 12,170, with July’s down 11,726 and November up 8,219.

July soybeans closed up a half-cent at $9.04-1/2, and August was unchanged at $9.08-1/2. New-crop November slipped 2-1/4 cents to $9.11.

What to Look For: Rain amounts and breadth of coverage in the next few days will be at the forefront of traders’ minds. Farm Futures expects next week’s planting report to show a few more soybean acres than USDA’s current estimate of 89.48 million. It expects June 1 stocks to be 986 million bu. versus 870 million a year ago.

Winter wheat markets closed lower for the day and week, while spring wheat set contract highs and closed higher for the week.

Spring wheat found its legs late in the week after being down earlier in the period. The gains came amid worries about the crop’s condition in the northern Plains and export demand. Going forward, the seven-day forecast shows light showers of less than an inch total there.

Harvest is under way for winter wheat. Harvesters in Kansas report a wide range of yields, as well as fewer wheat acres there this year.

Wire reports say hot conditions in France, Spain and Eastern Europe have raised concerns for wheat and others crops there.

CBOT estimated Friday’s soft red winter (SRW) wheat volume at 136,669. Thursday’s actual volume was 162,141. Open interest in Thursday’s lower SRW wheat market decreased by 3,096, with July’s down 12,956 and September’s up 7,597.

Chicago, Ill., July SRW wheat closed down 1-1/2 cents at $4.59-3/4 and September down 1-3/4 cents at $4.73-1/24. Kansas City, Mo., July hard red winter wheat dropped 3-1/2 cents at $4.64-1/4 and September dropped 3-1/4 cents to $4.82-1/2. Spring wheat for July rose 5 cents to $6.61-1/4 and September rose 5 cents to $6.66-1/4.

What to Look For: The harvest has moved into Kansas, but rain and immature wheat have slowed progress. Farm Futures expects USDA’s stocks report next Friday to show about 1.164 billion bu. of wheat as of June 1 versus 981 million a year ago.

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