First Thing Today Audio | July 20, 2021

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Corn futures rallied overnight and most contracts are currently up 12 to 13 cents. Soybeans are 19 to 21 cents higher amid ongoing weather concerns. Winter and spring wheat futures are 13 to 16 cents higher as USDA once again made a bigger-than-expected cut to its spring wheat condition rating. Crude oil futures are slightly higher after yesterday’s dive. The greenback is up slightly.

Following are highlights from USDA’s crop progress and condition update for the week ended July 18.

  • Corn: 56% silking, 8% in dough, 65% “good” to “excellent” (G/E)
  • Soybeans: 63% blooming, 23% setting pods, 60% G/E
  • Spring wheat: 92% headed, 11% G/E
  • Winter wheat: 73% harvested
  • Cotton: 69% squaring, 23% setting bolls, 60% G/E

Crop Consultant Dr. Michael Cordonnier still expects the U.S. corn crop to yield an average of 175.5 bu. per acre, and his bias is neutral going forward. He also stayed the course with his U.S. soybean yield projection of 50 bu. per acre and his bias is neutral going forward.

Through July 15, farmers in Brazil had harvested 30% of their safrinha corn crop, reports the agribusiness consultancy AgRural. That’s a 10-point gain for the week but still lags last year’s pace by 13 percentage points.

Argentine lawmakers late last week passed a law lowering the minimum amount of biodiesel in diesel sold to the public from 10% to 5%, with the possibility that percentage could slide to 3%. Several analysts Reuters spoke with indicated this will likely lead to a rise in Argentina’s soyoil exports.

President Joe Biden argued that upgraded infrastructure would boost the economy broadly and reduce inflation over time. Biden separately expressed support for Democrats who want to include a provision establishing a pathway to citizenship for some immigrants, including “Dreamers” brought to the U.S. as children.

Republicans have balked at scheduling of an initial procedural vote Wednesday, given that the particulars — namely, how to pay for $1.2 trillion (roughly $600 billion in new spending) on roads, bridges, rail lines, electric vehicle charging stations and more — are still being worked out.

The Biden administration and a group of allies on Monday attributed the Microsoft Exchange server attack that impacted tens of thousands of customers with “high confidence” to hackers affiliated with the Chinese government. The Biden administration did not announce retaliatory actions against China apart from the vocal criticism.

August live cattle futures on Monday settled around $2.50 under last week’s average cash cattle price. Boxed beef values continue to slide, although Monday’s movement was decent.

The pork product market got off to a solid start to the week, with the cutout value climbing $1.91 and all cuts except hams rising. Movement was lackluster, however, at nearly 250 loads. Cash hog bids dropped a national average of $1.08 on Monday.



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