On The Money Grain Commentary 8-31-23

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Corn Outlook:

Temperatures are forecast to heat up again next week, but the weather has mostly run its course in corn. Currently, fifty-six percent of the crop is in good-to-excellent condition, which is 2-points above a year ago. That said, USDA’s yield estimate in the September report may not vary much from their present forecast of 175.1 bpa. Meanwhile, once weather concerns pass, demand will be key, especially with hefty ending stocks of 2.2 BB. Last week, export inspections were slightly above the previous week at 23.5 MB. The marketing year is winding down for old crop with only one week left. Cumulative shipments are 1.447 BB compared to 2.149 BB a year ago and are well short of USDA’s target of 1.625 BB. The bottom line is that stocks-to-usage are on the upswing, and at their highest level since 2016 which will limit price gains.

Bean Outlook

Weather is still a factor in soybeans, but time is running out. Last week’s crop rating showed 58 percent of the crop in good-to-excellent condition which is one-point higher than a year ago. The USDA may trim their yield estimate next month from the current forecast of 50.9 bpa, but it might only be marginal. Meanwhile, looking ahead, once weather passes as a factor, what are China’s intentions? For the past three years, U.S. exports have been on the downswing because of China’s increased reliance upon Brazil. That is unlikely to change unless a production threat arises. Last week, inspections were only 11.8 MB. There is one week left in the marketing year for old crop with cumulative exports at 1.905 MB compared to 2.076 BB a year ago and USDA’s target of 1.980 BB. As I have mentioned previously, when the new marketing year begins in September, we must see exports averaging 30-35 MB no later than early October, as they generally peak by late November. If that does not happen, serious price weakness could be in store.

Wheat Outlook:

There is not a lot of fresh news in wheat. Russian wheat is trending lower which is pressuring U.S. values. The Ukraine-Russia conflict has been ongoing for nearly a year and a half, but the aggression is becoming the norm. While transportation is constrained in the Black Sea region, shipments of grain are occurring. In other developments, spring wheat harvest is progressing and is 54 percent done compared to 48 percent a year ago and 63 percent for the average.

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