Following a US corn planting season that progressed faster-than-normal, the development of the crop has lost some ground recently. Only around 26% of the crop is silking, which is below the five-year average of 30%. The corn condition shows 65% good-to-excellent compared to 69% a year ago. The next worry for the market is drought in the northwestern part of the corn belt, and its effect on the upcoming pollination.

While the shortfall in crop condition may not seem especially significant, it may be enough to keep prices rangebound just below their recent highs. Strong prices may help to encourage an increase in the pace of southern hemisphere exports. Corn exports from Argentina reached 120,438 Mt/d in June, and are down slightly so far this month to 94,009 Mt/d. The country typically exports the most in July or August. Exports from Brazil usually begin ramping up sharply in July and peak sometime in August. So far this month, however, Brazilian exports are 17,875 Mt/d and are far short of 120,382 Mt/d seen in the same month a year ago. Drought has hampered this year’s production.

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