3 Big Things Today, September 6
1. Grains, Soybeans Lower Overnight After Three-Day Rally
Corn and soybeans were lower in overnight trading as investors close positions and sell contracts after a furious rally in the past few days.
Corn futures gained almost 20¢ and soybeans rose more than 40¢ in the past three sessions, giving some speculators and hedgers alike reason to sell this morning. The good news is that the declines weren’t sharp, meaning the sell-off was light in overnight trading.
Traders may not want to get too short on either crop considering the lack of rain in the past week in much of the central Corn Belt. Little or no rain has fallen in much of the region in the past seven days – other than in areas affected by Hurricane Harvey – leaving some to wonder if crops will finish out.
Another concern is Hurricane Irma that’s expected to hit Florida. The storm likely will move north and west after making landfall, slowing the harvest in the Delta and potentially flooding fields, analysts said.
Corn futures for December delivery fell 2¼¢ to $3.56 a bushel overnight on the Chicago Board of Trade.
Soybean futures for November delivery declined 1¾¢ to $9.66¾ a bushel. Soy meal lost 80¢ to $307.20 a short ton, and soy oil futures rose 0.04¢ to 35.48¢ a pound.
Wheat for December delivery fell 3¢ to $4.40 a bushel in Chicago, while Kansas City futures dropped 3¢ to $4.42 a bushel.
2. Crop Report Shows Corn Maturity Behind; Half of Iowa, Illinois Short Subsoil Moisture
The weekly Crop Pogress Report that was delayed due to Labor Day showed crops were in fine shape but maturity behind, causing concern for some growers.
The U.S. corn crop was rated 61% good or excellent as of Sunday, down 1 percentage point from the prior week, which isn’t terribly unusual for this time of year.
Still, only 12% of the crop was mature, well below the prior five-year average of 18%, according to the USDA. Only 60% was dented, behind the normal pace of 68% for this time of year.
About 92% was in the dough stage, just behind the average of 94%, the USDA said. Some 11% were dropping leaves, only a point off the average.
For soybeans, 61% of the crop earned top ratings, on part with the previous week, according to the government.
While corn maturity is behind average, the spring wheat harvest is well ahead. About 89% of the crop was collected as of Sunday, topping the five-year average of 78% for the week.
Subsoil moisture in both Iowa and Illinois, the biggest producers of corn and soybeans in the U.S., was reported at 48% short or very short and 52% adequate. In Nebraska, 40% of subsoil was short or very short on moisture, according to the USDA.
3. All Eyes Now On Hurricane Irma That’s Bearing Down on Florida Keys
All eyes are now on Hurricane Irma that’s now a Category 5 storm with sustained winds of up to 185 mph.
The storm is now bearing down on the island of St. Martin. Irma is expected to hit Florida sometime on Sunday. Warnings are already in effect for Puerto Rico, the U.S. and British Virgin Islands, and several other islands, according to the National Hurricane Center.
The eye of the storm is forecast to hit the Florida Keys around 2 a.m. Sunday morning, the NHC said.
Elsewhere, the weather maps are mostly quiet for the Midwest. No severe weather is expected today, though there’s a slight chance for some frost in a few counties in north-central Nebraska, according to the National Weather Service.