The U.S. soybean harvest was 43% complete by Sunday and the corn harvest 34% finished, data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) showed on Tuesday, both slightly ahead of their respective five-year averages, while soybean condition ratings declined.
Swift harvest progress amid mostly dry weather has been pressuring U.S. grain futures prices, although persistent dryness during the growing season is believed to have hurt yields in the world’s No. 2 exporter of corn and soy. Analysts surveyed by Reuters on average expect the USDA to trim its estimates of the U.S. corn and soybean crops in a monthly report due on Thursday.
In its weekly crop progress report on Tuesday, the USDA rated 51% of the soybean crop in good to excellent condition, down 1 percentage point from a week ago, and the lowest for this time of year since 2012. Ten analysts surveyed by Reuters on average had expected no change.
The USDA’s soy harvest figure of 43% complete was ahead of the average analyst estimate of 41% and the five-year average of 37%. Corn harvest progress, at 34% complete, matched trade expectations and topped the five-year average of 31%.
Corn ratings were unchanged with 53% of the crop rated as good to excellent, the government said, in line with trade expectations.
Farmers continue to seed the U.S. winter wheat crop that will be harvested in 2024. The USDA reported winter wheat plantings as 57% complete, ahead of the average analyst estimate of 56% and matching the five-year average.