By Kirk Maltais
--Wheat for July delivery fell 1.4% to $5.08 3/4 a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade Friday, as traders closed long positions amid indications of improving weather in wheat-growing areas.
--Soybeans for July delivery fell 0.2% to $8.33 1/4 a bushel.
-- Corn for July delivery rose 0.1% to $3.18 a bushel.
Dampened Mood: A rally in wheat futures overnight lost momentum as visions of tighter supply conditions around the world crumbled. "Rising temperatures and rains in the Corn Belt limit the bullish potential for wheat and corn," said AgriTel. An uptick in French wheat in good and excellent condition is also playing into trader sentiment, as is a virtual crop tour held in Kansas this week examining winter wheat crops - which showed some freeze damage but generally healthier crops than expected.
Frayed Nerves: Heightened tensions between the US and China pressured grains futures. "General commodity weakness has been seen in China after the country lowered their growth targets and said they would impose national security laws in Hong Kong," said Doug Bergman of RCM Alternatives. With Memorial Day around the corner, many grains traders reacted by simply staying off of the market Friday.
Soybean Stomach Ache: U.S. grain traders are nervous about U.S.-China trade tensions heating up over the weekend and throwing the Phase One trade deal into jeopardy. Also weighing on nerves are indications that while China hasn't made any big purchases of US soybeans in the past week, it has been buying them from Brazil. "No one seems to know if the slow purchase pace is related to U.S./China political wrangling or that China is being overwhelmed by the massive arrivals of Brazilian soybeans, " said AgResource. "A record tonnage of Brazilian soybeans are afloat to China that is likely causing 'indigestion'."
Weekend Washout?: Rain is expected to hit crop-growing areas in the Midwest this weekend, possibly making planting a little harder while supporting emerging crops in other areas. "The rains will be welcome in previously dry areas like Eastern Nebraska, which missed out on the last round of rains," said Arlan Suderman of INTL FCStone. "They will be less welcome in Illinois, which saw 3" to 4" totals in some locations with the last system."
--The Chicago Board of Trade will be closed on Monday in observance of Memorial Day, reopening Tuesday morning.
--The USDA releases its weekly grain export inspections data at 11 a.m. ET Tuesday.
--The USDA releases its weekly crop progress report for the 2020/21 crop at 4 p.m. ET Tuesday.
Write to Kirk Maltais at email@example.com