3 Big Things Today, August 15
1. Corn Declines as Ratings Improve, Rain Falls in Northern Plains
Corn was lower in overnight trading as investors react to the unexpected increase in crop ratings.
The percentage of corn rated good or excellent rose by 2 points in the USDA’s weekly Crop Progress Report, beating expectations for ratings to remain unchanged.
As much as six times the normal amount of rain has fallen in parts of North and South Dakota down into Nebraska in the past week, according to the National Weather Service. That area has been extremely dry so far this year.
Still, soybean ratings dropped weekly and little or no rain has fallen in parts of Iowa, southern Wisconsin, and Illinois, though some of those areas could use a bit of a reprieve from the rain.
Corn futures for December delivery fell 4¾¢ to $3.71½ a bushel overnight on the Chicago Board of Trade.
Soybean futures for November delivery declined 5¾¢ to $9.32½ a bushel. Soy meal lost $1.60 to $301.10 a short ton, and soy oil futures declined 0.25¢ to 33.52¢ a pound.
Wheat fell 5¢ to $4.36 a bushel in Chicago, and Kansas City futures lost 3¾¢ to $4.60½ a bushel overnight.
2. Corn Conditions Unexpectedly Improve Week to Week While Beans Lower
Corn conditions unexpectedly improved week over week, while soybean ratings surprisingly declined, according to the USDA.
The corn crop was 62% good or excellent as of Sunday, up 2 points from the prior week and better than the 60% expected from analysts. Rainfall last week in areas that have been dry for months helped boost conditions.
The rain looks to have come at the right time.
About 16% of the crop is now dented, up from 7% the prior week. That’s still behind the prior five-year average of 20% for this time of year, according to the USDA. Some 61% is in the dough stage, about on par with the average.
Pretty much all U.S. corn is through the silking phase, the government said.
Soybeans were rated 59% good or excellent, down 1 percentage point from the prior week, according to the USDA. Analysts expected ratings to be unchanged.
About 79% of the crop had set pods, up from 65% a week earlier and ahead of the average of 75% for this time of year; 94% were blooming, only slightly ahead of average.
Spring wheat was 33% good or excellent, up a point from last week but right at consensus. Last year at this time, 66% of the crop earned top ratings. Some 40% was harvested as of Sunday, ahead of the five-year average of 35% for this time of year.
In other news, NOPA crush will be reported today with analysts expecting the report to say about 143 million bushels were processed in July.
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3. Minor Flooding Forecast in Northern Midwest, Rain May Fall in East
Storms that brought much-needed rain to parts of the northern Midwest from North Dakota to Nebraska are causing some minor flooding in the region.
A few counties in South Dakota and Nebraska are seeing rivers and streams breach their banks this morning, though the floods aren’t widespread or severe, according to the National Weather Service.
Farther east in Iowa, thunderstorms are forecast starting tomorrow and lasting through at least Thursday, the NWS said in an early weather report on Tuesday. There’s a possibility that some of the storms could turn severe tomorrow evening.
There’s also a slight chance for precipitation in parts of southern Michigan, northern Indiana, and Ohio starting today, though storms will be scattered and severe weather isn’t anticipated, the NWS said.
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