By Kirk Maltais
--Corn for December delivery rose 0.7% to $3.39 3/4 a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade on Friday, with grains traders remaining optimistic that China would buy more U.S. grain in the coming weeks.
--Soybeans for November delivery rose 0.5% to $8.95 a bushel.
--Wheat for September delivery fell 0.1% to $5.34 3/4 a bushel.
Hope Springs Eternal: The USDA confirmed a new large purchase of soybeans by China on Friday, stating that 126,000 metric tons of soybeans have been sold for delivery in the 2020/21 marketing year. While the confirmation didn't spark outright excitement in grains trading, it did provide support for CBOT futures as traders hope for more to come. "Corn and soybean prices are again supported by China import rumors today, although gains are limited by a lack of confidence that buying will be enough to offset large surpluses expected, with the weather forecast seen as generally favorable for crops," said Arlan Suderman of StoneX.
Russian Question Mark: A mixed yield picture for wheat in Eastern Europe and Russia weighed on wheat futures. "We are still in a situation where the pandemic has created ongoing uncertainty as to crop size in the Black Sea," said Charlie Sernatinger of ED&F Man Capital. "Without free travel around the Russian and Ukrainian grain areas, very few comprehensive crop tours were made this year, making harvest results the main information about supply."
White-Knuckle Time: Many U.S. farmers have received their coronavirus aid payments and are getting favorable rainfall for their crops, but they are still concerned about market volatility and commodity prices going forward. "We're having difficult conversations at the breakfast table," said Melanie Tietz, a corn and soybean farmer in Decorah, Iowa. According to Mrs. Tietz, current upheaval in the market makes it difficult to plan ahead. Mrs. Tietz says her 1,100-acre farm is growing 75% corn, in reaction to issues with weeds in soybean fields.
Turning Up the Heat: Although scattered rainfall is expected across the Midwest over the course of the next week, so are higher-than-average temperatures in the area. While some farmers are getting the rainfall they need to maintain high crop yields this year, other farmers need more in order to maintain a healthy crop. "It's turned terribly dry here," said George Naylor, a farmer of corn, soybeans, and oats in Churdan, Iowa. "It's amazing how they forecast rain and it doesn't show up."
--The USDA releases its weekly grain export inspections data at 11 a.m. ET Monday.
--The USDA releases its weekly crop progress report for the 2020/21 crop at 4 p.m. ET Monday.
--The EIA releases its weekly update on ethanol production and inventories at 10:30 a.m. ET Wednesday.
--The USDA releases its monthly cold storage report at 3 p.m. ET Wednesday.
Write to Kirk Maltais at firstname.lastname@example.org