Friday delivered a mixed bag of results for grain markets
Some technical maneuvering left grain prices narrowly mixed on Friday, with corn and spring wheat futures down moderately, while soybean and winter wheat futures picked up modest gains. Soybean futures also cashed in on some fresh optimism about U.S.-China trade negotiations today.
Weather will continue to be seasonally cool for much of the central U.S. into early next week, although some parts of the Plains can expect to see slightly above-average temperatures during this time. The latest seven-day cumulative precipitation map shows mostly dry conditions for the U.S. and Plains this coming week, with some additional rain and snow possible across parts of the upper Midwest and Northern Plains between today and November 23.
The Dow rebounded 127 points higher this afternoon to reach 25,416 but is on pace to finish the week down more than 2%. Embattled crude oil prices also trended moderately higher Friday but remain below $57 per barrel. Diesel and gasoline were also up moderately today. The U.S. Dollar softened moderately.
Corn prices trended lower Friday on some technical selling, with December futures dropping 2.75 cents to $3.6475 and March futures falling 2.25 cents to $3.7575. December futures finished the week down nearly 1.2%.
Corn basis bids were mixed but largely unchanged Friday, moving as much as 5 cents higher at an Indiana ethanol plant and down as much as 3 cents at an Illinois river terminal today.
Corn exports landed 35.1 million bushels in old crop sales, plus another 100,000 bushels of new crop sales, for a total of 35.2 million bushels. That was moderately ahead of the prior week’s tally and analyst expectations, both at 27.6 million bushels.
Corn export shipments totaled 43.8 million bushels last week, moving the rate needed to match USDA forecasts slightly higher, to 48.1 million bushels. Mexico was the No. 1 destination last week, with 13.3 million bushels.
South Korea purchased 2.4 million bushels of corn sourced from the U.S. in an international tender that closed Friday. The grain is for arrival in February.
Ukraine’s 2018 corn harvest is now 88% complete, with a current production of 1.209 billion bushels with average yields of 112.6 bushels per acre.
“When India talks in the fertilizer market, the world listens,” according to Farm Futures senior grain market analyst Bryce Knorr. Find out how the country is affecting price trends in Knorr’s latest Fertilizer Outlook.
Corn speculators added another 14,396 contracts to their net short position last week, which reached 31,313.
Soybean prices continued to move higher Friday on U.S.-China trade optimism, after President Donald Trump told reporters that “China would like to make a deal” when asked about upcoming trade negotiations. January and March futures each rose 3.5 cents to close at $8.9225 and $9.0575, respectively.
Soybean basis bids were narrowly mixed at interior river terminals Friday but remained steady across other Midwestern locations today.
Soybean export sales totaled 17.3 million bushels last week, up from the prior week’s anemic 14.4 million bushels but failing to match trade expectations of 20.2 million bushels.
Soybean export shipments fared much better, at a marketing-year high of 49.9 million bushels, lowering the weekly rate needed to match USDA forecasts to 34.5 million bushels. Argentina was the No. 1 destination, with 11.6 million bushels.
Private exporters reported to USDA the sale of 3.7 million bushels of soybeans for delivery to unknown destinations during the 2018/19 marketing year, which began September 1. Four large grain export sales have been reported this week.
Soybean speculators added another 9,139 contracts to their net short position last week, which reached 112,113.
Wheat prices were mixed Friday amid some technical maneuvering. Winter wheat contracts came out on top today, with December Chicago SRW futures picking up 1.25 cents to $5.0675, while December Kansas City HRW futures added 3.25 cents to $4.8325. Spring wheat prices bucked the trend, with December MGEX futures dropping 3.5 cents to $5.7075.
Wheat export sales totaled 16.1 million bushels last week, down moderately from the prior week’s tally of 24.3 million bushels and falling below trade estimates of 19.3 million bushels. Wheat export shipments of 9.7 million bushels represented a marketing-year low. The Philippines was last week’s top destination, with 3.5 million bushels.
Ukraine’s 2018 wheat harvest is now complete, with a total production of 922 million bushels and average yields of 56.5 bushels per acre. The country’s total grain harvest is expected to trend 11% higher year-over-year.
French consultancy FranceAgriMer reports that 82% of the country’s soft wheat crop is in good-to-excellent condition as of November 12, which is an improvement over the prior week’s tally of 80% but still well behind the prior year’s pace of 97%. Planting progress reached 92%, up from 85% a week ago, with the country’s winter barley crop now 95% planted.
China sold 517,000 bushels of its state reserves of 2013 imported wheat at auction Friday, which was 1.8% of the total available for sale. The country has made a flurry of similar sales in recent weeks.
CBOT wheat speculators cut their net short position by 14,864 contracts last week, bringing the total to 50,566.