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3 Big Things Today, May 30

Corn, Beans Lower Overnight; Traders Wait to See if Demand Shifts to South America.

1. Corn, Soybeans Lower Overnight as Dry Weather Allows Farmers in Fields

Corn and soybean prices were lower on speculation that a round of dry weather this week will allow farmers to continue planting.

Little rain is expected in much of the Midwest this week where only slight chances of precipitation are expected, according to the National Weather Service.

That should allow growers to get into fields and accelerate seeding. The Department of Agriculture will release its Crop Progress Report today, one day later than usual due to the Memorial Day holiday.

As of last week, however, about 84% of corn was planted, only slightly behind the five-year average pace, and 53% of soybeans was in the ground, just ahead of the average, according to the USDA.

Corn futures for July delivery fell 3½¢ to $3.70¾ a bushel overnight on the Chicago Board of Trade.

Soybeans declined 1¾¢ to $9.24¾ a bushel in Chicago. Soy meal gained 60¢ to $302.40 a short ton, and soy oil lost 0.12¢ to 31.48¢ a pound.

Wheat futures fell 3½¢ in Chicago, while Kansas City futures declined 3¾¢ to $4.33¾ a bushel.

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2. All Eyes on Importers to See if They Shift Purchases to South America

Traders are starting to watch importers to see if they’re shifting to South America and away from U.S. supplies as tends to happen around this time of year.

The bad news/good news for U.S. growers is that prices are low. That’s bad in that prices are low, so obviously they won’t get as much for their crops. It’s good in that it gives U.S. supplies a fighting chance against the Brazilians/Argentinians.

Growers in Argentina are about 40% finished with their corn harvest, according to Tomm Pfitzenmaier, the president of Summit Commodities, a brokerage in Des Moines, Iowa, and it’s not like in years past when they didn’t have the infrastructure to get their grain to ports. Because that’s less of an issue these days, the corn they’ve harvested is ready (at least some of it) for export to overseas buyers.

The other bit of good news for U.S. farmers is that most of the corn that’s harvested early in the country is used domestically, so there still may be some time for U.S. exporters to fill needs.

The calendar flips to June this week, and it’s more along the late-June/early-July time frame that South American exports really start to take market share from the U.S., Pfitzenmaier said, so it’ll be interesting to see when importers start to look south – if they do.

Rest assured, overseas buyers will look south at some point, but as we all know, it’s really going to come down to price.  

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3. Midwest Mostly Dry Today With Some Spotty Storms Possible From Kansas Through Illinois

Little rainfall is expected in much of the Midwest today says the National Weather Service, though there’s a small chance that storms could pop up in Missouri and Illinois.

“There is a chance of thunderstorms across much of (Illinois) this afternoon and early evening,” the NWS said in an early Tuesday report. “Isolated severe storms are possible across parts of central and southeast Missouri. The primary threats will be damaging wind gusts.”

In eastern Kansas through much of Missouri, strong storms have a chance of developing, the agency said.

Any storms will be “isolated” but severe, the NWS said.

“Activity will be spotty and brief, though strong winds and large hail are possible with any storms that may develop,” according to this morning’s weather report.

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