By Kirk Maltais
--Wheat for July delivery rose 1.2% to $5.20 3/4 a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade on Friday, as traders expect a smaller European Union wheat crop in 2020/21.
--Soybeans for July delivery fell 0.7% to $8.40 3/4 a bushel.
--Corn for July delivery fell 0.5% to $3.25 3/4 a bushel.
Europe Dry Spell: The EU wheat crop will likely decrease by 4 million to 6 million metric tons this year due to excessive dry weather in some areas, making the total EU crop roughly 140 million tons, AgResource said. The USDA estimates the U.S. wheat crop will produce less than half that amount, at 50.8 million tons.
Falling Hard: U.S. grain export sales for the week ended May 21 fell hard. For the 2019/20 marketing year, net sales of corn totaled 427,200 metric tons, down 52% from the previous week. Sales of soybeans for 2019/20 totaled 644,300 tons, down 47% from last week's report. Both of these totals fell on the low end of estimates provided to The Wall Street Journal by traders.
China Pressure: President Trump rolled back some of the special preferences granted Hong Kong and said the U.S. would suspend entry for Chinese foreign nationals viewed as a security risk. The escalating tension with China could end threaten the viability of the Phase One trade agreement signed in January. "Much of the strength in the soybean market is predicated on good Chinese demand from the Phase One trade deal, and there is some fear that if trade tensions escalate, it could potentially jeopardize the deal," said Tomm Pfitzenmaier of Summit Commodity Brokerage.
Ring of Fire: A dry weather pattern going into next month could provide some support for U.S. grain futures. "The seven-day forecast models show very little rain across all of the Midwest with the exception of Ohio and portions of southern Wisconsin and far northern Illinois," said RJO Futures. "This 'ring of fire' pattern coming this early in the year will help producers finish planting and will encourage strong emergence. But if the pattern lasts longer, it could become a bullish influence as crop conditions deteriorate."
--The USDA releases its weekly grain export inspections data at 11 a.m. ET Monday.
--The USDA releases its monthly grain crushings report at 3 p.m. ET Monday
--The USDA releases its weekly crop progress report for the 2020/21 crop at 4 p.m. ET Monday.
Write to Kirk Maltais at firstname.lastname@example.org