Farmers took time out from spring planting to sell more old- and new-crop corn and soybeans last week when crop markets sped higher, however that selling quickly stopped when prices fell on Friday and the selling remained slow during Monday’s higher prices.
“On Friday, the phone died,” a central Illinois dealer said of the market’s impact on farmer selling. The phones stayed dead on Monday, he said.
New-crop soybean sales were particularly active last week as the higher cash prices provided small profits to farmers, Midwest grain dealers said.
“The flat price for soybeans got up to $9.72. That is a pretty good win for the farmer,” said a central Illinois merchandiser.
New-crop corn sales developed once the December futures topped crop insurance levels.
Corn and soybean processors lowered basis bids in response to the higher futures and merchandisers in Iowa and Illinois also lowered basis bids to farmers, with corn basis down 2 to 3 cents and soybeans down 3 to 7 cents depending on location. However, an Iowa dealer on the western side of the state said corn basis bids there were mostly unchanged.
Corn planting was active throughout Iowa and central Illinois, while it was limited north of I-80 in Illinois because of wet fields. In central Illinois, some dealers estimated 70% to 75% of the local corn was planted and 5% of the soybeans.
USDA late on Monday said 30% of the corn was planted and 3% of the soybeans. Those percentages were up from last year and the five-year averages for both crops.
Corn and soybean movement to end users was moderate. In central Illinois, two 50-car corn trains were loaded and shipped to a nearby processor. In the Quad Cities, the river market offered the best prices for farmers after processors lowered their basis bids. Corn barges were being loaded on Monday to ship out last week’s purchases.
USDA’s latest Grain Transportation Report said the number of grain barges going downstream in the week ended April 16 were down 2% from the prior week. Corn filled most of the loaded barges, followed by soybeans and then wheat. The weekly totals for corn and wheat were down from a year ago, while soybeans were up.
Barge rates were mixed from a week ago, with rates on the upper-Mississippi unchanged, lower at Mid-Mississippi, and higher near St. Louis. Rates were up 10 points on the lower Illinois River and while unchanged on the Ohio River. All of the rates were down from a year ago.
U.S. average diesel fuel prices increased a few cents to $2.165 a gallon in the week ended April 18, but that is down nearly 62 cents from the same week last year.
USDA’s weekly export inspections on Monday had corn shipments at 44.8 million bushels, up from 43.3 million a week ago and topped the 39.1 million pace needed to meet USDA’s annual forecast. Colombia, Mexico and Japan were the leading destinations.
Soybean shipments of 10.3 million bushels were up from a week ago and higher than the pace needed to meet USDA’s annual forecast. Mexico, Japan and Indonesia were the leading destinations.
Wheat shipments of 14.9 million bushels were down from a week ago and less than the 18.8 million needed to meet USDA’s annual forecast. Japan, Vietnam and Brazil were the leading destinations.
Weekly Grain Movement - April 18, 2016 - Farmers sell on higher crop market, planting underway
Weekly Grain Movement - April 12, 2016 - Farmers poised to plant; soybean sales still active