Due to early morning travel, the daily comments will be slightly abbreviated this morning.
Although wheat was unable to hold the early strength, prices were able to fight back late to close a bit higher for the day. While that may sound like a pretty minor victory, it is something we have not been able to accomplish with much consistency recently.
Spring wheat harvest did move forward another 12% to 86% complete but is still 6% behind the 5-year average for this date. Winter wheat planted moved forward 13% to reach 25% complete moving a few point ahead of the average pace.
Export inspections slipped back below the 20 million bushels mark this week coming in right in the middle of expectations at 18.6 million. Year to date we have now loaded 303.97 million bushels meaning we need to average 17.3 million per week to reach the USDA target of 925 million.
We are trying to maintain a little strength now in the early evening trade but nothing that is sending fear into the hearts of the bears. If we can at least hold stable for the close, we should see prices track sideways to possibly even a bit higher through the end of the month.
The corn market was not able to quite make it back to positive territory for the close yesterday but we did fight back to at least close towards the high end of the range. As insignificant as that may sound, considering that the only positive news that can be found is continued discussion/debate concerning possible acreage adjustments on futures reports, which is anything but assured, and a slightly positive export inspection, it is a victory of sorts for any remaining bulls.
For the week ending September 18th we loaded 40.1 million bushels, which was a solid 5 million above the upper end of estimates. We are of course very early in this marketing year and have loaded 98.6 million bushels, which is just over double the quantity that loaded a year ago at this time.
Corn dented is up to 90% but corn mature still lags the normal for this date by 12% and stands at 42%. Harvest overall is slow in starting showing us 7% complete versus a normal 15%. Texas was only able to gain 7% last week taking it to 67% complete but North Carolina moved ahead 12% reaching 64% complete and Tennessee gained 17% and has reached 37%.
As I commented initially, the acreage discrepancy debate continues and I suspect will continue between now and the October crop production estimate. I would be surprised if the USDA actually made any adjustments on that report but the uncertainty could be enough to keep prices in a state of limbo between now and then.
The heaviest selling was reserved for the bean market on Monday as prices gapped lower and were never able to recover. With what appears to be a near perfect weather outlook to kick harvest into gear, buyers would appear to have little reason to become anxious.
Beans dropping leaves has reached 45%, still lagging the average for this date of 53% but with above average temperature in the forecast, we should see this number move up quickly. This is the first week that the USDA reports nationwide harvest and as of the 21st we have 3% complete, which is 5% behind the normal for this date.
One of the positive effects of harvest getting underway is that product is finally available once again and this was reflected in the export inspections. We loaded 17.2 million bushels, nearly double the previous week and over 3 times greater than the 10-week average.
Prices have been able to sustain a little rebound strength through the evening hours but this may be little more than a Tuesday undo bounce. There is less of a discrepancy in the bean acreage number than in corn but there is one nevertheless which could keep the bares at bay for now.