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3 Big Things Today, July 22

Crop Prices Fall on Wet Weather Forecasts; Sales For Corn Disappoint While Soybeans Strong.

1. Corn, Beans Decline Overnight as Wet Weather is Forecast

Corn futures declined and soybeans tumbled overnight as longer-term forecasts are calling for more rain into the first week of August.

The six- to 10-day forecast is now looking wetter for central and eastern parts of the Midwest, said Donald Keeney, a senior agricultural meteorologist at MDA Information Services. Temperatures are cooler in western parts of the Corn Belt, but southern areas will dry out in the next 11 to 15 days, the forecaster said.

Prices also declined after Argentina’s Ministry of Agriculture reportedly raised its output forecast for its corn and bean crops. The ministry increased its corn-production forecast to 39.8 million metric tons this year, up from a projection of 37.9 million last month, and raised its outlook for soybeans to 58.8 million tons vs. 58 million.

Corn futures for December delivery fell 2¢ to $3.38¾ a bushel overnight on the Chicago Board of Trade.

Soybean futures for November delivery dropped 18¼¢ to $9.94¼ a bushel. Soy meal futures for December delivery lost $5.70 to $341.80 a short ton, and soy oil declined 0.37¢ to 31.23¢ a pound.

Wheat futures for September delivery fell 2½¢ to $4.15¼ a bushel in Chicago, while Kansas City wheat was unchanged at $4.07½ a bushel.

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2. Corn Sales Disappoint, Soybeans Overachieve in Weekly USDA Report

It seems like each week export sales of either corn or beans disappoint, while the other comes in at or above expectations – and this week was no different.

Export sales were disappointing for old-crop corn, while new-crop corn was on the very low end of forecasts. Soybean sales for delivery in the current marketing year were within the range while new-crop sales jumped.

U.S. exporters sold 345,100 metric tons of corn for delivery in the 2015-2016 marketing year that ends of August 31, the Department of Agriculture said in a report on Thursday, missing forecasts for 400,000 to 600,000 tons.

Top buyers were Taiwan, who bought 146,700 tons, and Mexico, who purchased 132,800 tons, the USDA said.

Shippers also sold 506,300 tons of the grain for delivery in the 2016-2017 marketing year that starts on September 1, the USDA said. That’s on the low end, but it’s still within the expected range of 500,000 to 700,000 tons. Unknown buyers were the biggest customers, purchasing 287,000 tons, while Japan bought 85,500 tons.

Old-crop soybean sales came in at 325,000 tons, within the 300,000- to 500,000-range predicted by analysts prior to the report. New-crop soybeans sales soared to 1 million metric tons, easily beating forecasts for 500,000 to 700,000 tons.  

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3. Extreme Heat Persists in Midwest Even as Rain is Possible in Many Areas

The middle of the U.S. continues to sizzle through the weekend, though overnight rain and thunderstorms are a possibility in much of the Corn Belt.

A so-called heat dome has parked over the U.S., creating hotter-than-normal weather in much of the country. The most-affected regions include the Midwest, Southern Plains, and Delta regions, where temperatures will reach into the triple digits and heat indexes will top 110˚F., according to the National Weather Service.

While much of this heat was predicted in long-term forecasts weeks and even months ago, what wasn’t expected was much of the rain that’s falling in the Midwest and Plains. Parts of North Dakota, Iowa, and northern Illinois have received ample precipitation in the past two weeks, keeping plants from burning up in the extreme heat.

There are still some dry spots – including all of Nebraska, South Dakota, and Ohio – where little or no rain has fallen in the past 14 days, according to the NWS.

The saving grace for crops thus far has been rainfall that’s accompanied the heat wave. More showers are expected in parts of Iowa and Illinois today through Saturday, according to the NWS.

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