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-Corn/soybean condition update a bit disappointing, but weather forecasts non-threatening
-Market continues to eye signs of Chinese purchases of U.S. soybeans/resumption of trade talks
-Egypt tenders for wheat - US not offered
-Wheat Quality Council spring wheat tour kicks off today
 
While the slight decline in corn conditions and unchanged soybean conditions in yesterday afternoon’s Crop Progress update led to modestly supportive overnight trade, the overall weather outlook over the coming 7-10 day period remains non-threatening. Forecasted rains may not be on the greater side, but with the cooler temperature regime and decent rains in many locations over the last week, along with the modest rains that are expected, there do not appear to be any imminent threats to the delayed pollination of the corn crop, while soybean conditions should at least remain steady, if not improve over the next two weeks if the forecasts are accurate. Weakening late overnight price action saw soybeans head into the break slightly lower and corn holding minimal gains, with wheat slightly higher.
 
 U.S. corn crop conditions declined 1% in good/excellent last week to 57% and compare to 72% g/e at this time last year. Moderate eastern belt declines (IN/MI down 4%, OH down 3%) were partially offset by 1% improvements in IL, IA, NE, KS and MO. Nationwide, 35% of the crop is silking vs 66% average, with IL 36% vs 84% avg, IA 41% vs 71% avg, IN 23% vs 67% avg and MN 10% vs 37% avg. A notable increase in pollination is expected over the coming 2-week period and with moderate temps expected and the recent rains in many locations of late, there shouldn’t be any widespread issues in this regard.
 U.S. soybean conditions last week were unchanged at 54% g/e and compare to 70% g/e last year at this time. It was a mixed bag last week with declines reported for OH 3% g/e, IN 2%, WI 2%, SD 5% and ND 4%, while improvements of 4% g/e IL, KS 3%, NE 2%, IA 1% and MI 2%. Overall conditions are now nearly identical to those of 2017 in mid-July. The overall crop was reported 40% blooming vs 66% avg, with IL 30% vs 72% avg, IA 47% vs 72% avg, MN 47% vs 70% avg, IN 21% vs 67% avg and OH 27% vs 60% avg.
 U.S. spring wheat conditions improved nicely last week as, despite the combined good/excellent rating being unchanged at 76%, there was a 3% shifting from good to excellent, putting the overall crop rating the best since early June and being very similar to last year’s conditions at this time. The Wheat Quality Council’s spring wheat/durum crop tour gets underway today.  Winter wheat harvest is now 69% complete vs 79% last year and 79% average. KS is 96% complete, while OK and TX are 100%. SRW harvest is nearing completion with IL 94%, IN 92% and OH 83%.
 Buzz continues over the potential resumption of face-to-face meetings between U.S. and Chinese trade officials next week and the possibility the new talks prompt another round of Chinese purchases of U.S. soybeans. According to the South China Morning Post, the U.S. offered tariff exemptions on 110 Chinese products as a goodwill gesture to get talks underway again, while several Chinese companies (state/private) have applied for exemptions on U.S. ag products, which would make U.S. soybeans competitive with South American supplies for new crop slots. There have been ideas China may be in for/already have bought 2.5-3.5 MMT of U.S. soybeans for September-forward shipment.
 China imported 720k tonnes of corn in June vs 750k tonnes in May and 520k tonnes last year June, bringing 2018/19 marketing year to date (Oct-June) imports to 3.74 MMT vs 2.77 MMT last year.
 The notable price weakness of late has prompted Asian buyers to accelerate spring wheat purchases over the last week or so with traders citing 300- 400k tonnes in combined U.S./Canadian sales to Indonesia, Japan, Thailand and the Philippines, mostly for September shipment.
 Taiwan bought 91k tonnes of combined U.S. HRS/HRW for Sept 3-Oct 2 shipment.
 A survey of Indonesian palm oil associations/analysts showed ideas palm oil stocks in the country at the end of June rose to 2.949 MMT from 2.810 MMT in May and compare to 4.335 MMT last year, while June palm oil production was little-changed at 4.539 MMT vs 4.600 MMT in May and solidly above last year’s 3.452 MMT. Exports in June were estimated unchanged from May at 2.800 MMT and compare to 2.477 MMT last year. Indonesia does not publish official monthly palm oil data.
 After the close yesterday, Egypt tendered for an unspecified amount of wheat for Aug 25-Sep 5 shipment. U.S. wheat was not offered again. The lowest offer was Ukrainian at $217.10/tonne c&f ($198.80 fob), followed by Romanian at $220.18/tonne c&f ($203.88 fob) and Russian at $220.22 c&f ($202.72 fob).
Weather
A NW flow aloft will dominate the pattern across the Midwest for much of the next 4-7 days, bringing limited rains and average to below average temps. The mild temps will be very favorable for the corn pollination period just getting underway in many fields. The lack of rain will draw down soil moisture supplies. All of the region looks to be mainly dry for the week and next weekend. The exceptions will be some spotty showers and thunderstorms possible in MN and far northern IA by Friday. By Monday of next week, a front is indicated to push through the region and produce rains that will continue into Tuesday and Wednesday. Totals look to be around .30-.80”, with some isolated heavier amounts and coverage of around 85%. That is an increase in coverage from previous ideas, but amounts did not change. Temps will be running average to below average across the region in the next 5-8 days, with highs in the 70s and 80s. Temps then look to warm to a bit above average, with highs in the 80s and some low 90s. The 11-16 day outlook changed back to the idea of a weak NW flow aloft to bring the Midwest below average rains and average temps.

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