Chicago Close: Crop Futures Struggling, Still Sensitive to Weather & Geopolitical Events

On Wednesday, soybean and winter wheat futures were down for the third consecutive day. Corn and spring wheat futures managed to stabilize following heavy losses to start the week.

The dominant factor that has put the markets on the defensive this week is improved crop weather in the Midwest. The radar shows more pop-up rain showers today in Illinois, parts of Iowa, Minnesota, northern Michigan and Nebraska. Although some areas are missing out, developing crops are getting timely moisture in many key growing regions. Temperatures are seasonal - but not extreme - in most big producing states.

Meanwhile, agricultural markets continue to keep an eye on heightened tensions between China and Taiwan, which the US considers a critical regional ally. China is currently conducting military drills in response to yesterday’s visit to Taiwan by a top US government official. Taiwan’s Defense Ministry has characterized the “drills” by China as a de facto maritime and aerial blockade.

Elsewhere, the first shipment of grain from Ukraine since Russia’s invasion in the spring has arrived in Turkey and will soon head onwards to Lebanon. Ukrainian officials expect more grain to flow in the weeks ahead, with more than a dozen other vessels reported loaded and waiting for the go-ahead to sail.

September Chicago wheat lost 11 cents Wednesday at $7.63 3/4 and September Kansas City was down 6 3/4 cents at $8.35 1/2. September Minneapolis was lower for most of the day but fought back to end up 2 cents at $8.75 1/4.

September corn closed up 1/4 cent at $5.91 1/2 and December bounced 2 to $5.96 1/4.

The August soybean future fell 11 1/4 cents to $15.58 and November was 16 3/4 cents lower at $13.69 3/4.

Source: DePutter Publishing Ltd.

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