By Kirk Maltais
--Wheat for July delivery rose 2.8% to $11.06 1/2 a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade Thursday, with traders continuing to consider how India's potential absence from the wheat export market may impact availability of supply and prices.
--Corn for July delivery rose 0.4% to $7.97 1/2 a bushel.
--Soybeans for July delivery rose 0.4% to $16.47 a bushel.
Bad Timing: Wheat futures on the CBOT rose again today, with traders continuing to eye a potential wheat export ban by India and its effect on global markets. "The loss of Indian wheat to the world market would be significant amid the Russian war against Ukraine, and Argentine farmers planning to plant less wheat due to soaring fertilizer costs," said AgResource in a note. The firm adds that India was expected to be a source of up to 12 million metric tons of wheat exports this year, and its absence is expected to push prices past record highs.
Chain Reaction: Soybean futures finished higher today, but saw some pressure stemming from weakness in soyoil futures - which in turn were hit by a drop in palm oil prices overseas. Asian traders anticipate weaker edible oil demand following the Eid al-Fitr holiday this week, which has soyoil futures retreating from all-time highs set in late-April of nearly 88 cents per pound. Edible oil weakness is putting a lid on soybeans, although other factors like a smaller South American crop kept soybean futures above water. CBOT soyoil futures closed down 0.7% today.
Mixed Picture: The outlook for weather in the U.S. Corn Belt is mixed over the next few weeks - with temperatures expected to rise and provide some drying for the excess rainfall seen in the eastern portion of the region. "The 6-10 [day outlook] sees welcome heat, but is still expected to run above normal on rain," said Doug Bergman of RCM Alternatives in a note. "Overall, planting progress continues to be frustratingly slow with no wide open window to allow the corn crop to go in, but there will be periods of dryness where some progress will be made."
Fuel Flare: Highs seen in diesel fuel prices are making an impact on rail shipments of grains, the USDA said today. This week, the U.S.-average price for diesel fuel hit roughly $5.51 per gallon, an all-time record. "In the Midwest-locus of the key grain-producing states-the diesel price rose to $5.329 per gallon, 34.2 cents per gallon and 224.4 cents above the same time last year," the USDA said in its weekly Grain Transportation Report. "A surge in diesel prices directly impacts transportation costs." The USDA says that the latest data for grain shipments via rail are down 9% from the same time last year.
Leading the Way: Export sales of U.S. corn and soybeans continue to be driven largely by new sales to China, the USDA reported today. In its weekly export sales report covering sales for the week ended April 28, the USDA said that corn sales across the 2021/22 and 2022/23 marketing year totaled 1.52 million metric tons - while soybean sales totaled 1.14 million tons for both marketing years. China was the leading buyer for both corn and soybeans this week. China purchased 1.08 million tons of corn across both marketing years, and bought 468,800 tons of soybeans.
--The CFTC will release its weekly commitment of traders report at 3:30 p.m. ET Friday.
--The USDA will release its weekly grains export inspections report at 11 a.m. ET Monday.
--The USDA will release its weekly crop progress report at 4 p.m. ET Monday.
Write to Kirk Maltais at firstname.lastname@example.org
(END) Dow Jones Newswires