By Kirk Maltais

 

-- Wheat for May delivery fell 1.7% to $6.28 a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade Monday, with grain traders liquidating positions amid rainfall in the Midwest.

-- Soybeans for May delivery fell 1.5% to $13.82 a bushel.

-- Corn for May delivery fell 1.4% to $5.69 a bushel.

 

HIGHLIGHTS

 

Raindrops Keep Fallin': Grain traders saw rainfall in the Midwest as supportive for planting by farmers.

"Decent rains fell over southeastern portions of the Northern Plains spring wheat belt in recent days, providing valuable relief," said Arlan Suderman of StoneX.

Wheat-growing areas such as the Dakotas are still dry overall, while corn/soybeans-growing areas like Illinois and Iowa are getting sufficient rain. Scattered rainfall is expected to continue this week in crop-growing areas, according to DTN.

 

Rather Safe Than Sorry: Some grain traders spent Monday's session ducking out of sizable long positions.

"Grain and soy futures are lower at midday on liquidation and technical selling following the lingering disappointment from Friday's April USDA report," said AgResource. The firm adds that a lack of recent confirmation of new large purchases by China -- outside of a soybean purchase reported by the USDA Monday morning -- has traders "cautious" this week. According to the firm, funds have sold 5,800 contracts of corn, 7,200 contracts of soybeans and 3,500 contracts of Chicago wheat, with those futures contracts all down in trading Monday.

 

WASDE Hangover: The results of Friday's WASDE report generally met trader expectations, which didn't inject much excitement into Monday's market.

"WASDE has come and gone, wasn't any great surprises in the figures with the USDA balancing out the soy balance sheet and making adjustments to corn that were fairly well expected," said Marex Spectron.

U.S. corn inventories were forecast lower by the USDA at 1.35 billion bushels, down from a projection of 1.5 billion bushels last month, while not changing its outlook for U.S. soybean ending inventories at 120 million bushels.

 

INSIGHTS

 

Honing in on Planting: Grain traders are likely to begin paying more attention to the USDA's weekly crop progress reports to get a sense of how supportive the weather is for the nascent growing season.

"We continue to hear reports of active planting on corn as farmers push ahead with fieldwork in an effort to capture the old-crop/new-crop futures inverse," said Karl Setzer of AgriVisor. "We are also starting to see more interest on weather which is not uncommon once planting gets underway."

 

Nothing's Shocking: Soybeans trended down Monday despite confirmation of new export sales to China and Bangladesh, with 132,000 metric tons of soybeans sold to China for the 2021-22 marketing year, and 55,000 tons sold to Bangladesh for 2020-21 and another 55,000 tons for 2021-22.

The fact that most of the tonnage is for the next marketing year isn't motivating traders to get active in soybeans, said Dan Hueber of the Hueber Report.

"That really leaves us with last week's supply/demand reports -- old news -- and weather -- no major issues yet and a moist weekend for the Midwest -- to focus on, which has obviously left the trade somewhat uninspired," said Mr. Hueber.

 

Slow Movers: U.S. inspections of grains dropped for the week ended April 8, although corn inspections are higher than this time last year. In its weekly export inspection report, the USDA reported inspections of U.S. corn totaled 1.6 million metric tons for the week. That's down from 2.2 million tons for the previous week, but still higher than 1.2 million tons inspected at this time last year.

Meanwhile, both soybean and wheat inspections are lower than they were at this point last year, at nearly 328,000 tons for soybeans and just over 458,430 tons for wheat.

 

AHEAD:

 

-- The EIA is scheduled to release its weekly ethanol production and stocks report at 10:30 a.m. EDT Wednesday.

-- The USDA is due to release its weekly export sales report at 8:30 a.m. EDT Thursday.

-- The CFTC is scheduled to release its weekly commitments of traders report at 3:30 p.m. EDT Friday.

 

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

 

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

April 12, 2021 15:58 ET (19:58 GMT)

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