By Kirk Maltais
--Corn for December delivery fell 2.9% to $6.10 1/4 a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade Tuesday, with fund traders continuing to pull back this week in response to milder weather and macroeconomic conditions.
--Soybeans for November delivery fell 2.2% to $13.81 a bushel.
--Wheat for September delivery fell 1.8% to $7.86 a bushel.
Hands-Off Approach: A slight drop seen in U.S. crop conditions reported by the USDA yesterday - in which the percentage of corn and soybeans in good-to-excellent condition fell by one point - wasn't enough to boost grain futures overnight into today. Instead, fund traders backed off from grain futures due to China's surprise rate cut yesterday, as well as improved weather in many U.S. growing areas.
On the Water: The Black Sea grain export corridor appears to be working, with Ukrainian ports launching more ships in recent days - even while fighting continues in other areas of Ukraine, including a set of explosions at a Russian ammunition depot in Crimea yesterday. "The corridor is working in that safe passage has been granted to in/outbound ships while war rages on," said AgResource in a note. "It's critical that the volume of grain flows increases during the autumn months."
Next Up: Pro Farmer's Midwest Crop Tour, which is taking place next week, is expected to provide grain futures with its next source of market-moving news. "All eyes will be on next week's Pro Farmer Midwest Crop Tour as traders monitor corn ear health reports, as well as soybean pod counts, providing our next significant injection of fundamental news, " said Arlan Suderman of StoneX in a note. The tour of Midwestern crop land begins next week in two places, with one leg starting in Columbus, Ohio and another in Sioux Falls, S.D. before converging in Rochester, Minn. by the end of the week.
Retracing Steps: Prices for fertilizer ingredients in the U.S. are stepping back after finding record highs earlier this year, with some ingredients making sizable progress in backtracking from those highs. According to the most recent assessment from DTN, prices for urea are now down over 20% from a high of $1,017 per ton reached in April, and are down 6% from the firm's previous assessment last month. Other kinds of fertilizers recorded smaller drops off of record highs. Even so, fertilizers remain significantly higher in price than at this time last year. In a survey published earlier this month, Purdue University and the CME Group said that input prices and availability remains among the chief concerns for U.S. farmers this year.
Inventory Drawdown: U.S. ethanol inventories are expected to draw down in this week's report from the EIA - with analysts surveyed by Dow Jones expecting stocks to fall as low as 23 million barrels. In last week's report, the EIA pegged stocks at 23.26 million barrels, slightly down from 23.39 million barrels reported last week. Meanwhile, daily production is also expected to decline, falling as low as 1.012 million barrels per day, which is down from 1.022 million barrels per day reported last week by the EIA.
--The EIA will release its weekly ethanol production and stocks report at 10:30 a.m. ET Wednesday.
--The USDA will release its weekly export sales report at 8:30 a.m. ET Thursday.
-The USDA will release its monthly Cattle on Feed report at 3 p.m. ET Friday.
--The CFTC will release its weekly commitment of traders report at 3:30 p.m. ET Friday.
-Deere & Co. will release its third-quarter earnings report on Friday.
Write to Kirk Maltais at email@example.com
(END) Dow Jones Newswires