By Kirk Maltais


--Wheat for December delivery fell 1.5% to $6.90 1/4 a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade Tuesday as futures slid amid a lack for enthusiasm for wheat by traders.

--Corn for December delivery fell 0.9% to $5.17 a bushel.

--Soybeans for November delivery rose 0.1% to $7.00 3/4 a bushel.




Get Back: A pullback by large fund traders pressured wheat futures today. "Wheat futures are weaker on liquidation and Friday's weekly drop in the Russian export tax rate," said AgResource. According to the firm, fund traders have sold 5,100 contracts of wheat through midday today. In Friday's report from the CFTC, managed money firms had closed roughly 20,000 contracts of wheat long positions through September 14 - with price movement since indicating a continuation of this trend.

Getting Better: An improvement in crop quality for corn and soybeans also pressured grains today - even as some areas show signs of yield-hurting disease. "You have to wonder what is going on with the reporting in Illinois because there have been wild gyrations in the reporting out of Illinois all summer," said Tomm Pfitzenmaier of Summit Commodity Brokerage. "All of this just adds to the yield uncertainty and keeps the buyers on the sidelines until more is known about the size of the crop." Both corn and soybeans saw a 1-point improvement to conditions this week, with corn at 59% good or excellent and soybeans at 58% good or excellent.




On Track: Harvesting of corn and soybean crops in the U.S. appears to be in line with the normal pace of recent years, according to the USDA's latest crop progress report. U.S. corn harvest is at 10% complete this week, up from a 4-year average of 9%. Meanwhile, the soybean harvest is 6% complete, the same as the 4-year average. As the harvest progresses, the question of yields and crop health will be thrust into the forefront. "Even with harvest progressing across the United States we are hearing more discrepancies when it comes to yields and potential crop sizes," said Karl Setzer of AgriVisor. "Several reports are coming in that the crops are not as good as thought, especially on corn."

Husks Are Hurting: A spread of a fungal disease in field corn called "tar spot disease" is affecting corn being harvested in the U.S. Midwest, particularly states like Indiana, according to Purdue University. Purdue says rainfall and long periods of leaf wetness early in July and throughout the growing season produced favorable conditions for the disease to develop and spread - with it leaving small raised black spots on corn husks. The university adds that the disease may lead to "significant yield loss" for corn affected by it.

Extended Decline: Inventories of ethanol in the U.S. look to continue their decline this week, according to analysts surveyed by Dow Jones. They forecast that inventories for the week ended September 17 will total anywhere from 19.51 million barrels to 20.01 million barrels, versus 20.01 million barrels reported last week by the EIA. If barrels do drop again this week, it'll be the eighth consecutive week that inventories have fallen. Meanwhile, daily ethanol production is expected to rise in this week's report, to anywhere from 923,000 barrels per day to 952,000 barrels per day versus 937,000 barrels per day last week.




--General Mills Inc. will release its fiscal first-quarter earnings before the stock market opens on Wednesday.

--The EIA will release its weekly ethanol production and stocks report at 10:30 a.m. ET Wednesday.

--The USDA will release its monthly cold storage report at 3 p.m. ET Wednesday.


Write to Kirk Maltais at


(END) Dow Jones Newswires

September 21, 2021 15:35 ET (19:35 GMT)

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