Soybeans were higher on technical buying and the higher Dow and crude oil. The trade’s looking at forecasts for improved weather at least for the Western Cornbelt during the next week to ten days but there’s enough uncertainty to prompt traders to keep risk premium in. Weekly export sales were within estimates and shipments were short of what’s needed weekly to meet USDA projections. Soybean meal was up and oil was down on product spread adjustments. According to customs data from China, soybean imports for June were down 31% on the year at 4,301,964 tons with year to date purchases now 8% slower than January to June 2010 at 23,709,351 tons. U.S. soybeans account for 15.206 million tons of the total, 10% above the same period a year ago.
Corn was mostly lower on spillover from the outside markets against speculative selling. Corn traders are also watching those less worrisome weather outlooks for the Western Belt. Weekly exports were inside expectations and shipments were less than what’s needed to meet USDA estimates. Ethanol futures were mostly lower. The Buenos Aires Grain Exchange reports 91% of Argentina’s corn crop has been harvested with the crop expected to total 20 million tons. Chinese customs agency numbers show corn imports for June at 11,233 tons, mostly U.S., versus exports of 9,544 tons. For January to June, imports are 35,674 tons, down almost 60% from the first six months of 2010, against exports of 57,108 tons, a decrease of nearly 30%.
The wheat complex was sharply lower on fund and technical selling, along with profit taking. The big factor for wheat continues to be the increased export competition from Russia and Ukraine. Weekly export sales were near the low end of estimates and shipments have slowed down, reflecting that slowdown in demand. Ethanol futures were lower on the increased export competition from Black Sea origin wheat. Japan bought 58,700 tons of U.S. wheat, along with 35,800 tons from Canada and 35,200 tons from Australia. Taiwan’s tendering for 65,900 tons of U.S. wheat while Iraq and Jordan are both looking for 100,000 tons of optional origin. France Export Cereales projects 2011/12 soft wheat production at 32 million to 33 million tons, down from April’s 37 million due to drier than normal weather in key growing areas. Ukraine’s Ag Ministry reports the year to date wheat harvest is 13.5 million tons on 63% of the expected harvested area with yield up sharply from last year. Russia’s Ag Ministry raised its 2011/12 export estimate to 18 million tons but noted that’s contingent on the crop hitting 85 million to 90 million tons of clean weight. India will allow the export of 650,000 tons of wheat products through March 31, 2012. According to the Buenos Aires Grain Exchange, 87% of Argentina’s wheat crop is planted.