What Traders are Talking About:
Overnight highlights: As of 6:15 a.m. CT, corn futures are 6 to 9 cents higher, soybeans are 9 to 14 cents higher and wheat futures are 2 to 6 cents higher with SRW contracts leading gains. Bulls should maintain a solid upper hand into the open of the daytime session today. Cattle and hog futures are expected to open under pressure this morning.
* Second batch of FSA acreage data released. USDA's Farm Service Agency (FSA) released its second round of certified acreage data this morning. Prevented-plant corn acreage now stands at 3.573 million acres, up from 3.411 million acres in August, and prevented-plant soybean acreage is now 1.687 million versus 1.619 million last month. FSA now reports planted + failed corn acres at 91.428 million versus 88.771 million in August and planted + failed soybean acres at 74.659 million versus 72.061 million last month.
The long and short of it: The key, in my opinion, is that planted + failed corn acres are up nearly 3 million from August, while planted + failed soybean acres are up roughly 2.6 million acres from last month. Prevented-planted acreage is only up modestly. NASS will start incorporating FSA certified acreage data into its Crop Production Report in October.
* Rains falling on western Corn Belt. Rains developed in areas of the western Corn Belt overnight and are continuing this morning. Forecasts call for rain chances the next three days as a cool front pushes across the region and brings moisture with it. While rains are too late to help the vast majority of the corn crop and much of the soybean crop, there are still some soybeans out there that will be benefited. The extreme heat in late August and September burned off flowers and the smaller soybean pods, but these late-season rains should plump up bean size.
The long and short of it: Soybean futures are higher this morning on short-covering after Monday's sharp losses, but the wetter near-term forecast will make it hard to attract sustained buying interest.
* Bean CCI drops, corn stabilizes. USDA's weekly crop condition ratings showed 53% of the corn crop is now rated "good" to "excellent," while 50% of the bean crop is rated in the top two categories. That's a one-percentage-point decline for corn and a two-point drop for beans, which was right in line with expectations for corn and slightly more than anticipated for beans. When USDA's weekly crop condition ratings are plugged into the weighted Pro Farmer Crop Condition Index (0 to 500 point scale), the soybean crop dropped another 2 points to 334, while the corn crop held steady at 342. For beans, mild declines in Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio and South Dakota more than offset modest improvements in Iowa, Illinois and Indiana.
The long and short of it: Traders expect that crop condition ratings have about bottomed. Monday's price action suggests traders feel late-season rains would still be beneficial for the soybean crop.
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