December corn was down 3 1/2 cents late in the overnight trade. Outside markets look mostly negative with a weak stock market and a strong US dollar, and this is partially offset by higher gold. While macroeconomic news provided increased uncertainty to financial markets, corn attracted increased fund for the first day of the month and closed strong despite sloppy and choppy trade in the other grain markets. The weekly Crop Progress Report, released after the close yesterday, showed that 62% of the corn crop was rated good/excellent as of Sunday, unchanged from the previous week and down from 71% last year. Crops deteriorated in Nebraska (-3%), Iowa (-5%), Illinois (-6%) and Indiana (-5%), but this was offset by improvements in the north. It is interesting to note that after the late plantings, the heat was able to push the silking pace to 83% last week from the 5-year average of 84%. Ideas that the southern and western parts of the Corn Belt might see more stressful weather for a few more days, until rain and lower temperatures begin to move southward, were seen as a primary reason for the solid gains the market made yesterday. However, November soybeans closed nearly 12 cents off of the highs. Corn seemed to have good commercial support on setbacks. but this was not the case for soybeans. Perhaps fears that pollination damage has already hit the corn crop was the key reason for the solid gains. Even a collapse in the stock market and weakness in other commodity markets failed to slow the buying trend, and funds were noted buying late. Some ideas that rain amounts will be lower and temperatures higher than expected for the southern Midwest in the next week may have provided some additional support. Traders see good rain amounts for much of the Midwest and cooler weather in the next two weeks as the heat retreats to the southern plains. Weekly export inspections, released during the session yesterday, came in at 32.02 million bushels, which was near expectations and compares with 49.7 million necessary each week to reach the USDA projection. Talk of pollination and tip loss issues due to too much heat in July has helped provide underlying support. Traders noted that Iowa saw the hottest July since 1955. China sold 18,099 tonnes of corn from state reserves of the 34,665 tonnes offered. The small offering has traders believing that China reserves are running low. Weekly offerings earlier this year were near 1.8 million tonnes. So far this year, China has sold 3.6 million tonnes from state reserves.
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