Yesterday's market action could best be described as listless as we really went nowhere, and no one really seemed to care. We're a touch higher this morning, with wheat appearing to lead the way as it has joined the testing support levels club and has seemed to have found some buyers.
We were expecting yesterday's export inspections to be low with the damage to the Gulf, but to see corn inspections come in the lowest on record for the week was a bit surprising. Soybean inspections came in the lowest since 2013/14, but wheat inspections were the highest in three weeks with Mexico taking the lion's share there.
At the end of the day, it was reported nine vessels were loading at the Gulf, so we are seeing a tick up in action there and a feeling we will return to normal, even if three of the largest exporting facilities are likely down for at least another month if not more.
Tropical Storm Nicholas is threatening to shut down activity once again though as it is expected to dump several inches of rain along the Gulf from Houston to New Orleans. This will likely be a blip in the whole restart, but we really don't have room for many more blips the further we move into harvest.
Condition reports at the end of the day really meant little. 58% of the corn crop is rated good to excellent, down a point from last week while 37% of the nation's corn crop is thought to be mature, ahead of the five-year average, but slightly behind last year.
In soybeans, 57% of the soybean crop is rated good to excellent, unchanged from a week ago, with 38% of the bean crop dropping leaves, ahead of the 5 year average of 29%.
Winter wheat is said to be 12% planted, ahead of last year and the five-year average.
Weather-wise, here in the Northern Hemisphere we are expecting a continuation of much above normal temperatures with above normal precipitation expected in the 6-10- and 8-14-day timeframe, though relatively limited rainfall is expected outside of the Gulf through the next seven days.
Down in South America, we are waiting for monsoonal moisture in Brazil to develop. The official start to Brazilian planting (when the state says it's ok for farmers to plant after having a no-soybean time period to help avoid soybean rust) kicks off tomorrow--though most farmers don't really get geared up to go down that way for another handful of weeks.
Right now, it appears as though Central Brazil will continue to wait on the monsoon to develop over the next two weeks with the areas to the north and south continuing to see relatively decent rains.
With a developing La Nina there are obvious concerns about a late start to monsoonal moisture like we saw a year ago, though well-followed meteorologist Eric Snodgrass does not believe that will necessarily be the case again this year, saying in his video this morning he sees no signs at this point we'll see a delay to the rains. You can watch his forecast here: https://youtu.be/inC-Ijg8Tlw
Looking ahead to today, we really aren't expecting much in the way of news. Last week's updated supply and demand numbers are behind us, and we are pretty much just waiting to see if China shows up as a major buyer as we hang out here at the lower end of the recent range.
So far, limited demand there due to a contraction in their hog herd and crush margins, combined with incredibly high ocean freight and limited elevation space available has China sitting on their hands, waiting to see what happens in the South American growing season before getting too aggressive.
Wheat continues to be the sweetheart for the bulls with continued uncertainty surrounding Russian supply availability and what exactly it is they are doing with exports as we move ahead.
Make sure to remain aware of opportunities when it comes to cash prices, especially if you know you have bushels to move at harvest that remain unpriced.