May 18, 2021

Buying jumped out in front on the overnight after the USDA weekly crop progress report was under the expected percentages for planting completion in corn.  Corn was seen at 80% planted vs 84% estimated and soybeans were reported at 61% vs a 60% estimate.  Interest in going long faded early after the 8:30am market open, likely after trade realized we are well ahead of the 5 year averages of 68% planted in corn and 37% planted in beans.  Open interest in the front month has been in a steady decline since the WASDE report release last week and today's trade volume in corn is some of the lowest in the past 3 to 4 weeks.  It's possible the old crop soybean market may have seen its peak.  While futures have traded relatively steady, cash bid basis has been on declining over the past week, with end-users claiming they are close to achieving the coverage needed to get to the new crop delivery period.  There is still a tight inventory issue that will need to be addressed in the future (more acres).  The USDA also kept the streak of 8am export sales announcement intact with another new crop corn sale of 1.36 mln tonnes to China for the 2021/22 marketing year.  That brings the China new crop corn total to 321 million bushels very quickly (11 calendar days).  Chances for rain increase for early afternoon tomorrow.

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