Weekly Grain Movement: Farmers halt sales with corn under $4

Weekly Grain Movement: Farmers halt sales with corn under $4

Low water on Mississippi River limits barge drafts; beans under $10

As corn moved under $4 and soybeans under $10 farmers held so tight to their remaining corn and soybeans this past week that a few had to be nudged by grain merchandisers to turn loose of supplies to honor pre-arranged delivery commitments.

This reluctance to sell in a falling market produced some higher basis bids for the two crops as shippers and processers needed supplies to meet commitments, Midwest grain dealers said.

Low water on Mississippi River limits barge drafts; beans under $10 (Photo by Ian Waldie/Getty Images)

On Monday, Chicago's December corn futures were about $3.78, versus a peak near $4.54 two weeks ago. November soybeans are near $9.37 after a peak of $10.45 two weeks ago. Merchandisers in the past week switched spot basis bids to December for corn and November for soybeans, largely factoring in December's premium to September for corn and November's discount for soybeans.

"They (farmers) are kicking themselves for not taking the $4," said an Iowa dealer. "A few farmers have given up and pulled the trigger on sales."

Demand by processers and by river shippers has been steady for corn and soybeans. Rail shipments of corn to the southeast have slowed probably because harvest will be under way soon there to give those poultry producers and ethanol plants a local supply.

A week ago, Alabama reported 1% of its corn was mature, behind the 12% average. Georgia did not provide a corn progress report but rated 70% of its crop good to excellent.

River markets are slow with some corn and soybean barges headed to the Gulf from Iowa. Minor draft restrictions were in place on the Mississippi River because of lower water, while Ohio River shippers said lower water there has not yet prompted draft limits.

Corn was doing well in most areas of the Midwest with dealers largely expecting unchanged to slightly better crop ratings from USDA later on Monday. Soybean ratings may be about unchanged as they continue to recover from the wet conditions earlier this summer.

Deliveries of newly harvested soft red winter wheat have slowed. Vomitoxin-tainted wheat was a problem in Illinois in July as was sprout-damaged wheat in Indiana.

Export inspections on Monday were within trade forecasts for corn and soybeans, while wheat barely missed forecasts. Corn's 36.25 million bushels was down from a week ago, soybeans at 5.46 million were up and wheat at 10.95 million was down.

Weekly Grain Movement: Farmers halt sales with corn under $4

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