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Corn Drops on Weak Export Sales -- Daily Grain Highlights

09/16/2021 | 03:20pm

By Kirk Maltais

--Corn for December delivery fell 0.8% to $5.29 1/2 a bushel, on the Chicago Board of Trade Thursday, in reaction to weak volumes of U.S. corn sold on the export market this week.

--Wheat for December delivery rose 0.1% to $7.13 a bushel.

--Soybeans for November delivery rose 0.1% to $12.96 a bushel.


Missing the Mark: Exports sales of U.S. corn fell below the forecasts of grain traders surveyed by The Wall Street Journal this week, according to USDA data. The government says export sales of U.S. corn for the week ended September 9 totaled 246,600 metric tons. This is below the range of 350,000 tons to 1.2 million tons forecast by traders this week.

Holding Off: In general, CBOT grain futures were mixed Thursday as some traders waited to get more data before making any noticeable moves. "Fresh input is lacking and the trade now waits on additional yield results from the principal Midwest and waits for Gulf loading capacity to expand in the weeks ahead," said AgResource.

Report Support: Data from the National Oilseed Processors Association released yesterday provided support for soybean futures in pre-market trading. NOPA reported the August crush at 158.8 million bushels, which exceeded expectations by 4.7 million bushels from August, according to Terry Reilly with Futures International. "Soybean oil stocks were reported 113 million pounds above trade expectations," said Mr. Reilly. "This implies soybean oil demand was ok last month."


Weather Watch: Grain traders are watching the weather in Russia, and how that may affect the planting of winter wheat by farmers there. "Water deficit conditions in southern Russia are currently affecting autumn winter wheat planting, leading to fears of a slight decline in area in this key region," said AgriTel. "As of September 15, 8.5 million hectares were planted with winter cereals, compared to 8.6 million last year." AgriTel adds that wheat prices in the region are on the rise, even with export taxes in place.

Global Tensions: On the geopolitical stage, a defensive pact between the U.S., Australia, and the U.K. has grain traders watching for how China reacts - and what that means for global agricultural trade. "The move is expected to create further political roadblocks to Australian agricultural exports to China," said Arlan Suderman of StoneX. "Record US exports flow to China, because it needs the soybeans and corn, along with wheat. However, China's strategy has been to punish countries that align with the United States; attempting to isolate the United States as it stands up to China." Mr. Suderman adds that currently, China cannot afford to cut off its trade with the U.S. entirely, as it doesn't have the trading partners necessary to meet the needs the U.S. covers.

Big Bite: Shipments of U.S. grains over water took a big dive in recent weeks, according to the USDA's latest grains transportation report. The government said for the week ended September 11, barge grain movements totaled 176,618 tons - 43% lower than last week and 78% lower than the same time last year. Additionally, only six oceangoing vessels were loaded in the Gulf for the week, down 86% from the same time last year. However, the USDA cautioned, the reported data is incomplete due to Hurricane Ida. Damage from the storm to Gulf ports has put a crimp on U.S. grains export business.


--The CFTC will release its weekly commitment of traders report at 3:30 p.m. ET Friday.

--The USDA will release its weekly export inspections report at 11 a.m. ET Monday.

--The USDA will release its weekly crop progress report at 4 p.m. ET Monday.

Write to Kirk Maltais at kirk.maltais@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

09-16-21 1519ET

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