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Afternoon Market Recap for Nov. 14, 2018

Corn, soybeans capture small gains.

Wheat prices continue to slump on slow export demand, improving U.S. crops

Corn and soybean prices rebounded slightly Wednesday on some technical maneuvering after USDA reported a slower-than-expected harvest pace for both crops late Tuesday afternoon. Wheat prices continue to struggle amid slow export demand and improved crop quality for the 2018/19 U.S. winter wheat crop, meantime. 

Winter Storm Avery is set to dump snow and ice across a large portion of the Midwest, South and Northeast between today and Friday. Temperatures will continue to clock in much cooler than normal for the next several days, particularly east of the Mississippi River, although some slightly above-normal temperatures are possible in the Plains during this time. 

Struggling bank and technology stocks kept Wall St. feeling bearish today, as the Dow dropped 240 points in afternoon trading to reach 25,046. Crude oil rebounded more than 1% after Tuesday’s big selloff but remains just above $56 per barrel. Gasoline and diesel also trended higher this afternoon. The U.S. Dollar softened slightly.

 

Corn prices made small inroads Wednesday on some light technical maneuvering as traders considered the latest USDA crop progress data, which showed a slower-than-expected harvest pace late Tuesday afternoon. December futures inched forward a half-cent to $3.67, with March futures up 0.25 cents to $3.78.

Corn basis bids were mixed Wednesday, moving as much as 5 cents higher at an Indiana elevator and as much as 5 cents lower at a Nebraska processor today. 

For the week ending November 11, corn harvest reached 84% completion, up from 76% the week prior but behind analyst expectations of 87%. This year’s progress remains slightly ahead of 2017’s pace of 81% but slightly behind the five-year average of 87%.

Private exporters reported to USDA the sale of 8.3 million bushels of corn for delivery to Mexico during the 2018/19 marketing year, which began September 1.

Estimates for France’s 2018/19 corn ending stocks remain unchanged month-over-month at 78.7 million bushels, according to consultancy FranceAgriMer. 

Taiwan purchased 2.4 million bushels of corn from the U.S. or Brazil (origin will be determined by the seller) in an international tender that closed Wednesday. 

Grain traveling the nation’s railways totaled 21,389 carloads last week, falling 6.4% year-over-year. Cumulative totals for 2018 continue to outpace last year by 3.1% with 1.029 million carloads, however. 

In the latest Corn Outlook from Farm Futures senior grain market analyst Bryce Knorr, learn how technical weaknesses and other factors may stall the timetable for the next corn rally. 

Preliminary volume estimates were for 204,645 contracts, retreating significantly from Tuesday’s final count of 338,348.

 

Soybean prices took a bumpy ride Thursday but finished the session with moderate gains, thanks in part to a slower-than-expected pace of the 2018 U.S. harvest. November futures picked up 3.25 cents to $8.7050, with January futures gaining 5.25 cents to $8.8350.

Soybean basis bids moved 1 to 3 cents higher at interior river terminals Wednesday and 5 cents higher at an Illinois processor, and remained steady across other Midwestern locations today as farmer sales remain sluggish. 

Soybean harvest progress reached 88% completion last week, up from 83% the prior week and behind analyst expectations of 91%. Progress also remains behind 2017’s pace and the five-year average, both at 93%.

Private exporters reported to USDA the sale of 5.4 million bushels of soybeans for delivery to unknown destinations during the 2018/19 marketing year, which began September 1.

In the latest Soybean Outlook from Farm Futures senior grain market analyst Bryce Knorr, learn more about the latest dilemma for soybean producers regarding the ongoing U.S.-China trade spat. 

Preliminary volume estimates were for 94,658 contracts, falling moderately below Tuesday’s final count of 126,317.

 

Wheat prices continued to crumble Wednesday on better-than-expected quality for the 2018/19 U.S. winter wheat crop and persistent worries over slow exports. December Chicago SRW futures fell 4.75 cents to $5.03, December Kansas City HRW futures dropped 5.5 cents to $4.81, and December MGEX spring wheat futures slipped 2.25 cents to $5.7650.

The 2018/19 U.S. winter wheat crop is now 89% planted and 77% emerged, according to USDA – up from 84% and 70% (respectively) the week prior, but still dragging behind 2017’s pace and the five-year average, both at 94%. Analysts had expected the agency to report planting progress of 90%. 

Analysts also anticipated USDA would not change its winter wheat quality ratings of 51% rated good-to-excellent from the week prior, but the agency bumped up the crop’s quality to 54% in good-to-excellent condition. Yield potential nationwide currently ranges from 47.4 bushels per acre to 50.6 bpa. 

French consultancy FranceAgriMer says the country’s soft wheat ending stocks are trending slightly higher month-over-month, reaching 91.9 million bushels. Export forecasts for 2018/19 eased slightly, to 608 million bushels.

Delegates from Iraq will travel to Russia in December to discuss the country’s wheat import needs. Iraq’s annual requirements total around 73 million bushels, and the country may be interested opening its international tenders to Russian suppliers.

China sold 13.9 million bushels of its state reserves of wheat at auction Wednesday, which was 17% of the total available for sale.

Preliminary volume estimates were for 174,673 CBOT contracts, falling from Tuesday’s big tally of 211,619.

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