The Midwest corn and soybean harvests have started in most areas, but the paces should quicken with dry weather and 80-degree temperatures forecast for much of the region this week, grain dealers said.
New-crop corn and soybeans have been trickling into elevators under storage agreements as farmers are largely reluctant to sell much just yet. The drop in corn and soybean futures last week curbed selling interest.
Up to 4 inches of rain fell in central Illinois on Friday, which slowed harvesting, but combines should be back in the fields there early in the week.
"This week will be the first big run on soybeans," said a central Illinois dealer.
In central Iowa, some soybeans were being cut and delivered to elevators, but the pace has been slow. Early yields have been good, but at least one dealer was reluctant to offer yield reports because the volume has been so small. There are still soybean fields that are a few weeks away from harvest, he said.
Late on Monday, USDA reported the nation's corn harvest at 10%, with the Iowa crop at 2%, Illinois at 13% and Indiana's at 8%. USDA's first soybean harvest of the season put the crop at 7% cut, with Iowa at 1%, Illinois at 3% and Indiana at 5%.
Corn continues to be shipped by rail to southeast ethanol and poultry markets, but very little was going by barge to Gulf export points.
Soybean demand in river markets has dropped since last week, with the Gulf basis losing about 5 cents last week. Vessels that loading soybeans last week apparently got what they needed, said one river shipper. Also, the impending harvest has pushed up barge rates, which lowered cash bids to farmers.
A Chinese buying delegation will be here this week and on Thursday is scheduled to sign a deal in Des Moines to buy a large amount of U.S. soybeans.
USDA's weekly export inspections came out on Monday with corn, soybean and wheat shipments for the week ended Sept. 10 at 29 million, 18.5 million and 22.2 million bushels. The corn and wheat numbers beat trade forecasts by a small margin, while corn matched them.
For corn and soybeans, the new crop year started Sept. 1 and year-to-date export shipments for corn are down about 24% from a year ago while soybean shipments are up nearly 12%. The wheat year is about 3-1/2 months old and shipments are down 17.5% from last's year pace.