By Kirk Maltais 
 

--Wheat for September delivery fell 1.8% to $6.52 a bushel, on the Chicago Board of Trade Thursday, in response to rains in the U.S. being expected to hit more growing areas than previously forecast.

--Soybeans for November delivery fell 0.7% to $12.91 3/4 a bushel.

--Corn for December delivery rose 0.1% to 5.36 a bushel.

 

HIGHLIGHTS

 

Quenching Rains: Increased rainfall being forecast in U.S. growing areas looks to have a strong effect on easing soil moisture deficits seen in some areas--which pressured grains futures. "Overall, today's models shift the rain shield a bit further to the north and west, so most of Iowa should receive beneficial rains, which is good since...that is ground zero for soil moisture deficits," said Arlan Suderman of StoneX. "The overall trend...is to intensify wetness over the central and eastern Midwest, while also shifting it west." Improved soil moisture in the short term will support nascent crops through a key portion of their growth.

Better Prospects: While an outlook for increased rainfall in U.S. growing areas had grain down across the board Thursday, wheat in particular was pressured by improved prospects for the Black Sea crop--the leading wheat on the export market. "Much like in some parts of the EU, the delays to development experienced in the spring have been caught up at least to some extent thanks to the warm and wet weather of recent weeks," said Commerzbank. "The prospects for the crop are now good." Commerzbank points to new data from SovEcon as evidence of this, with the firm recently raising its forecast for the wheat crop by 2 million tons to 84.6 million tons.

 

INSIGHTS

 

Missing The Mark: Export sales of U.S. soybeans stayed low this week--missing trader forecasts of a possible bounceback. In the USDA's latest weekly export sales report released Thursday, soybean export sales totaled 189,000 metric tons for the 2020/21 and 2021/22 marketing years combined for the week ended June 17. This is well below the expectations of grain traders surveyed by The Wall Street Journal this week, who had forecast sales to be as high as 1.05 million tons. China posted a purchase of 66,000 tons in 2020/21, along with a reduction in sales for 2021/22 of the same amount. This week, the USDA has announced multiple flash sales of soybeans to China, including a sale of 330,000 tons Wednesday.

Quicker to Harvest: Farmers are getting heavily pitched on the environmental benefits of using cover crops--plants that keep growing on fields even during agricultural off seasons, improving soil and capturing more carbon from the atmosphere. ADM CEO Juan Luciano said at the WSJ Global Food Forum that there's a market benefit as well. Farmers working with ADM on cover crop programs have been able to harvest crops roughly two weeks earlier than their neighbors, an advantage at harvest time when crop prices typically slip as grain flows from farms to grain elevators and processing plants.

 

AHEAD:

 

--The USDA will release its monthly Cattle on Feed report at 3 p.m. ET Friday.

--The CFTC will release its weekly commitment of traders report at 3:30 p.m. ET Friday.

--Conagra Brands Inc. will release its fiscal fourth quarter earnings report before the stock market opens on Monday.

--The USDA will release its weekly export inspections report at 11 a.m. ET Monday.

--The USDA will release its weekly crop progress report at 4 p.m. ET Monday.

 

--Jacob Bunge contributed to this article.

 

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

 

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

June 24, 2021 15:40 ET (19:40 GMT)

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