A snow storm bearing down on Iowa was the topic of discussion in the grain markets early this week as there was not enough farmer selling of crops to carry a conversation for very long.
The snowstorm will move across Nebraska and through the western half of Iowa the next few days, with western Iowa expecting more than 20 inches when it is over.
There was some farmer selling of corn and soybeans, but the pace was much less than a week ago. The selling in January likely raised enough cash for farmers to pay bills and to make down payments on seed and fertilizer for spring planting, Midwest dealers said. Also, the lethargic nature of the crop markets in the past week lessened selling interest.
“On March 1 there is cash rent due. They are going to need some cash flow soon,” an Illinois dealer said of expected farmer selling later this month.
Cash basis bids for corn and soybeans were largely unchanged from a week ago, with dealers letting the futures markets determine pricing. A Mississippi River elevator in Iowa said its spot basis for soybeans remained about 10 cents better than the local processor. The Mississippi River is closed for the season there, but there is enough carry to hold them until the river opens in March.
Crop futures moved higher in January, contrary to the declines in equities and crude oil. The last week of January, price action was erratic, but the corn, soybeans and wheat futures did close slightly higher for the week. The lower markets to start this week kept farmers at home, dealers said.
Midwest elevators continue to ship corn by train to the southeast, with one central Illinois dealer schedule to send five corn trains to the southeast in February.
USDA’s weekly export inspections on Monday had soybean shipments at about 42.4 million bushels, down 3.6% from a week ago and down 32% from a year ago. China was the leading destination, with Spain taking a large amount. Year-to-date shipments for the crop year are down about 12.5% from a year ago.
Corn export shipments of 26.8 million bushels, were up 13.5% from a week ago and up 3% from a year ago. Mexico, Colombia and Japan were the leading destinations. Year-to-date shipments are down 20% from a year ago.
Weekly wheat shipments of 10.4 million bushels were up about 50% from a week ago but down 38% from a year ago. Ethiopia took the largest share this week, followed by South Korea. Year-to-date shipments for the crop year that began June 1, 2015, are down 12% from a year ago.
USDA’s grain transportation report released last week said grain rail car loadings for the week ended Jan. 16 were down about 7% from a year ago.
In the report’s fuel segment, USDA said the average retail U.S. diesel fuel price on highways for the week ended Jan 25 was $2.071 per gallon, down 4.1 cents from the previous week and down nearly 80 cents from a year ago.
Weekly Grain Movement - 1/26 - Farmers sell corn, soybeans
Weekly Grain Movement - 1/19 - Higher prices spark farmer sales