Row crop prices drift overnight.
Corn and soybeans moved lower overnight, as the best rains of the growing season fell across Minnesota and Iowa overnight with totals of .5-3.00″. The debate is how much yield benefit the moisture would produce? Seed size for soybeans can be boosted, but the yield to help corn will be minimal at this time. After yesterday's strong technical close, wheat futures attempted to move higher but paused their gains after row crops drifted. The Argentine BAGE held their winter wheat crop estimate at 19.0 MMTs. So far, the dry August weather has not been enough to cut their wheat crop production estimate. Some needed rain is slated to drop in early September.
Russia raised their wheat export tax to $39.4/MT based on a 60-day rolling average price of $256.40. This compares to the August 25-31 tax of $31.7/MT. It's forecast that Russian export tax rates will continue to rise amid rising world wheat/corn values. Based on Russian fob values above $300/MT, the export tax will likely reach $75/MT at some point later this year.
China is likely ramping up their soybean purchasing program for October and November, with crushers extremely short bought. It's anticipated that FAS/USDA will announce larger Chinese purchases from yesterday's price slide. Rumors are that demand is also occurring from the overnight weakness. Next Monday's crop ratings data that the prospects of either holding steady or declining 1%. The rains across the Western Midwest will stabilize crops, but falls and conditions are reported across the Eastern Midwest, particularly Indiana, after a hot week and minimal moisture for the last 3 weeks.
The primary US weather models agree on the 5-7 day forecast, but there are differences after that. A strong hurricane (Ida) is expected to strike Louisiana late Sunday or early Monday. The forecast models are in synch in bringing Ida onshore, with wind gusts exceeding 100 MPH and flooding rain being an immediate concern for unharvested Gulf State crops. The good news is that models quickly weaken Ida with diminished rain for the Tennessee Valley and the Carolina's. There is another tropical system brewing in the Atlantic Basin that NWS offers a 70% chance of developing. The tropical storm season is ramping up, with a peak due in early October.
A series of storm systems will ride a southward sliding jet stream across the Canadian Prairies, North Dakota, Minnesota, and Wisconsin early next week. Additional rainfall will range from 1-3.00″ and some of that moisture leaks into N Illinois and N Indiana on Monday. Otherwise, a drier flow will persist across the east.
Cattle futures continued their weakness from what appears to be a Tuesday top, as cattle trading was a bit disappointing than what was anticipated earlier in the week. Cash cattle trade for Thursday was $1-2 higher in Texas at $122-123. Live sales in Nebraska were quoted $4 higher at $128, and dressed trade was up $2 at $202. Similar trends look to hold for any weekly finishing trade today. Beef cow slaughter rates have remained elevated, averaging 116% of a year ago in the last 5-weeks. The cumulative beef cow kill is 110% of a year ago and has been the largest since 2011. The liquidation in the last two years has been significant and lays the groundwork for a longer-term bull market to unfold over the next several years in cattle/feeders. For now, we had anticipated hedging live cattle needs for the fall and winter at a push into new price high values experienced earlier in the week, as the market has strong premiums built in.