By Kirk Maltais
--Corn for December delivery fell 2.7% to $4.29 3/4 a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade on Thursday, with some traders continuing to take advantage of recent higher prices to sell.
--Wheat for September delivery lost 2.4% to close at $4.93 1/2 a bushel.
--Soybeans for December delivery fell 0.2% to $8.99 a bushel.
Stormy: The weather forecast for the Corn Belt calls for scattered showers and thunderstorms over the next few days, easing recent speculation that unrelenting hot temperatures would further damage the crops. "It's raining in Chicago right now, that's usually a sign that guys are going to short [grains]," said John Payne of Daniels Trading.
Hope Floats: Soybeans were spared from the selling that hit corn and wheat, as U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin spoke to Chinese officials. Remaining ever-hopeful that a resolution in the trade standoff between the two nations is just around the corner, soybean trading among traders and managed money funds essentially paused. No updates on the talks came out during the trading session.
Prevented Planting: Grains traders are locked in a debate over how much acreage has been claimed under the prevented-planting option, with some speculating as much as 8 million acres of corn and 3 million acres of soybeans will be paid out under the program. A USDA spokesperson declined to confirm how many acres have been claimed but did say that the USDA's Risk Management Agency has paid roughly $300 million in prevented-planting claims for the 2019 crop year as of July 15, up more than $100 million from the previous week.
Spring Bites Into ADM: Unrelenting spring showers that kept Midwest farmers from sowing a timely crop are continuing to challenge agricultural conglomerate Archer Daniels Midland, say Credit Suisse analysts. In particularly hard-hit areas, like eastern Corn Belt states, the projected decline in this year's harvest is driving corn prices sharply higher, cutting into processing margins for ADM's ethanol plants and its grain-shipping operations, Credit Suisse figures. The analysts expect ADM to temper its profit outlook for the full year, which has been to meet or exceed 2018's $3.50 a share.
--The USDA will release its monthly cattle on feed report at 3:00 p.m. EDT Friday.
--The CFTC will releases its weekly commitment of traders data at 3:30 p.m. EDT Friday.
--Jacob Bunge contributed to this article.
Write to Kirk Maltais at email@example.com