Snow blanketed much of the Midwest from western Iowa to Chicago over the weekend, but with harvest nearly done, grain dealers said once the snow melts later this week the moisture will increase soil moisture for planting next spring.
"We got 3 to 4 inches here. It was a real wet snow," said a central Illinois dealer. "The snow is supposed to melt this week. We should be in good shape going into winter as far as moisture."
The snow was preceded by a few rain showers, which had already put moisture in the ground. About 5 inches of snow fell in central Iowa, which likely slowed corn harvest that was under way west of there, an Iowa dealer.
USDA has suspended for the season its corn and soybean harvest readings, with both harvests well past 90% a week ago.
Farmer selling of corn and soybeans remained slow, with current prices not high enough to encourage sales before the new tax year.
End users of corn and soybeans have also been quiet this past week, with grain dealers reporting a lack of new sales. The dealers have loaded trains and barges to fulfill previous commitments, but new sales have been scarce.
Trains of corn moved from Iowa and Illinois to southeast ethanol and poultry markets and barges of corn and soybeans are headed to gulf export points. River dealers said the corn and soybean basis levels improved a little this past week largely because of the slow farmer sales, but also ocean-going boats continue to be loaded at the gulf.
USDA's weekly export inspections on Monday showed soybean shipments at 68.1 million bushels, which missed trade forecasts by a small margin but were still more than the weekly pace needed to meet USDA's annualized forecast. China was again the largest recipient. Year-to-date shipments for the crop year were 664.4 million bushels, down 7.2% from a year ago.
Corn export shipments of 19.5 million bushels were up nearly 30% from a week ago and matched trade forecasts. However, that pace fell short of the weekly rate needed to meet USDA's annual projection. Year-to-date shipments for the crop year of 252.6 million bushels are down 23% from a year ago.
Weekly wheat shipments of 10 million bushels were down 17.5% from a week ago. The sales also were below the 15.5 million weekly pace needed to match USDA's current annual forecast. Year-to-date shipments for the crop year that began June 1 are about 365.3 million bushels, down 16% from a year ago.