By Kirk Maltais
--Wheat for December delivery fell 2% to $6.20 a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade Monday, amid reports of rainfall hitting the U.S. Plains and Russia over the weekend into this week.
--Corn for December delivery fell 0.4% to $4.17 3/4 a bushel.
--Soybeans for November delivery rose 0.4% to $10.87 3/4 a bushel.
Washed Away: Wheat futures trading on the CBOT led the way lower Monday, due to rainfall coming to parched growing areas worldwide. "[Wheat is] down overnight as Southern Plains are due to receive good moisture and the extended forecast has rains coming for Russia," said Marex Spectron. "We have been saying for some time that it doesn't take much rain in order to get a crop established pre winter, and if these rains eventuate much of the dryness story goes away with it."
Virus Weighs Heavy: Profit taking was a main driver for grains futures trading on the CBOT Monday, with corn and wheat down from recent multi-year highs as traders sought to ensure gains, said AgResource. For corn in particular, something new needs to develop in order to launch prices higher, said the firm. "U.S. corn futures need to confirm fresh China demand for the next rally leg," it said. "Any Covid-19 pandemic worsening would impact corn and U.S. ethanol on reduced U.S. driving." The seven-day average of new coronavirus cases hit an all-time high of 68,767 cases in the U.S. Monday, creating negativity across macro markets, including grains.
Nearing Finish Line: Grain traders expect this afternoon's crop progress report from the USDA to show the U.S. harvest is nearly complete--which could put pressure on grains futures this week. "Trade is expecting to see another jump in harvest data in tonight's release," said Karl Setzer of AgriVisor. "Soybean harvest is now expected to be nearly complete. Corn harvest should be near or above 75% as attention was more on that crop as soybean harvest winds down."
Speeding Up: Brazilian farmers had planted 23% of the area expected to be sown, with the crop as of Oct. 22 up from 8% a week earlier, though still behind the five-year average for the date, according to agricultural consultancy AgRural. Dry weather in many areas had been slowing work in the fields, but starting from mid-October improved rain has helped speed planting. Brazil is the world's biggest producer of soybeans and the country's crop agency recently forecast a record harvest of 133.7 million metric tons for the 2020-2021 growing season.
Strong Showing: Soybean futures trading on the CBOT stayed relatively firm Monday, due in part to signs that export sales to China are still strong. Grain export inspections for U.S. soybeans totaled 2.66 million metric tons, with 2.02 million tons being inspected for exporting to China. Mexico, by comparison, scored a distant second with 103,231 tons being inspected. On Friday, the USDA confirmed that to date, China has purchased over $23 billion in agricultural products, which is roughly 71% of its target under the Phase One Agreement.
--Old Dominion Freight Line Inc. will release its third-quarter earnings before the stock market opens on Tuesday.
--Kellogg Co. will release its third-quarter earnings before the stock market opens on Wednesday.
--The EIA releases its weekly update on ethanol production and inventories at 10:30 a.m. ET Wednesday.
--Jeffrey Lewis contributed to this article.
Write to Kirk Maltais at email@example.com
(END) Dow Jones Newswires