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Soybeans Fall, Corn Slightly Higher Ahead of USDA

Markets brace for new USDA data.

UPDATE: For post-report pricing information and market updates, see this story.

DES MOINES, Iowa -- On Friday, the CME Group’s farm markets have started mixed, ahead of the 11:00 a.m. CT release of its March Prospective Planting and Grain Stocks Reports.

In early trading, the May corn futures are 1½¢ higher at $3.59; December futures are 1¾¢ higher at $3.82.

May soybean futures are 4¢ lower at $9.59. November soybean futures are 3¼¢ lower at $9.60.

May wheat futures are 1½¢ higher at $4.22.

May soy meal futures are $0.90 per short ton lower at $314.00. May soy oil futures are $0.20 lower at 31.81¢ per pound. 

In the outside markets, the Brent crude oil market is $0.15 per barrel lower, the U.S. dollar is lower, and the Dow Jones Industrials are 44 points lower.

Join us for live coverage of the USDA Reports, beginning at 10:45 a.m. CT at Marketing Talk (Report Day).

 

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Thursday’s Grain Market Review

On Thursday, the CME Group’s soybean market finished lower, along with corn and soybeans as traders prepare for tomorrow’s USDA Prospective Planting and Grain Stocks Reports.

At the close, the May corn futures finished 1¢ lower at $3.57; December futures ended 1¢ lower at $3.81.

May soybean futures closed 6¢ lower at $9.63. November soybean futures finished 4¾¢ lower at $9.63.

May wheat futures closed 4½¢ lower at $4.21.

May soy meal futures settled $0.90 per short ton lower at $314.90. May soy oil futures closed 0.20¢ lower at 32.01¢ per pound. 

In the outside markets, the Brent crude oil market is $0.84 per barrel higher, the U.S. dollar is higher, and the Dow Jones Industrials are 73 points higher.

Matthew M. Pierce, director of commodity consulting, Futures International, says that the markets are weak heading into month-end due to pressure on exits of weak long into the stocks and acreage numbers.

“No immediate threat pushes weak positions to the door. Market pressure started overnight in Dalian and Malaysian Palm markets. Lone market retaining a positive tone is Minneapolis wheat, due to expectations that the 11.25-million-acre expectation is well overstated,” Pierce says.

On Thursday, the USDA announced fresh soybean export sales.

Private exporters reported to the USDA export sales of 165,000 metric tons of soybeans for delivery to China during the 2017/2018 marketing year.

The marketing year for soybeans began September 1.

Separately, the USDA’s Weekly Export Sales Report released Thursday shows corn sales falling below expectations; soybeans hit the high end.

  • Wheat = 627,600 metric tons vs. the trade’s expectations of between 350,000 and 700,000 metric tons 
  • Corn = 841,900 metric tons vs. the trade’s expectations of between 900,000 and 1,500,000 metric tons 
  • Soybeans = 996,600 metric tons vs. the trade’s expectations of between 350,000 and 1,000,000 metric tons
  • Soybean meal = 163,600 metric tons vs. the trade’s expectations of between 100,000 and 300,000 metric tons 

 

 

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Wednesday’s Grain Market Review

On Wednesday, the CME Group’s corn prices closed higher, while the soybean prices ended weaker.

At the close, the May corn futures settled ¾¢ higher at $3.58½; December futures finished ½¢ higher at $3.82.

May soybean futures closed 3¢ lower at $9.69. November soybean futures closed 4¼¢ lower at $9.68.

May wheat futures ended 1¢ higher at $4.25½.

May soy meal futures ended 50¢ per short ton higher at $315.80. May soy oil futures closed 0.26¢ lower at 32.21¢ per pound. 

In the outside markets, the Brent crude oil market is $1.05 per barrel higher, the U.S. dollar is higher, and the Dow Jones Industrials are 27 points lower.

Jack Scoville, The PRICE Futures Group’s senior market analyst, says there is nothing really going on in the markets.

“Investors appear frozen in time, waiting for USDA to show us the truth and God’s way on Friday or something,” Scoville says. “There was some short covering in the overnight market, but no one interested in buying here in this part of the world. Too many supplies on hand and too many acres of more supplies are coming. All of my customers on two continents are quiet, and I doubt it picks up much before Friday. Not sure if we close lower or higher today, but I doubt we move much in either direction through the reports.”

 

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Tuesday’s Grain Market Review

On Tuesday, the CME Group’s farm futures closed slightly higher, as technical factors kicked in to provide support.

At midsession, the May corn futures are 1½¢ higher at $3.57, and December futures are 1¢ higher at $3.81.

May soybean futures are 1½¢ higher at $9.73. November soybean futures are 1¢ higher at $9.73.

May wheat futures are 2¾¢ higher at $4.23½.

May soy meal futures are 70¢ per short ton higher at $316.00. May soy oil futures are 0.20¢ higher at 32.49¢ per pound. 

In the outside markets, the Brent crude oil market is 89¢ per barrel higher, the U.S. dollar is higher, and the Dow Jones Industrials are 100 points higher.

Cory Bratland, Kluis Commodities grain strategist, says today’s market activity features more of a bounce from oversold conditions along with lack of any new bearish news.

“Quiet trade as traders position themselves ahead of the report out on Friday. Rallies, although very small, leading up to the report will be sold due to the large amount of bearish information out in the marketplace. Plus, funds seem to be on the sell side here the past couple of weeks, and that is adding a little more pressure. They have reduced their big long positions by a long ways and have gone short on corn and think that short position reported this week in the COT report could be 100,000-plus short corn contracts,” Bratland says.

Jason Roose, U.S. Commodities grain analyst, agrees that the technical side of the farm markets is leading the way.

“The market is getting a relief rally today with a combination of oversold technical, slow farmer selling, and positioning ahead of Friday’s crop report. Large acres on soybeans have been the popular topic due to lower imput costs. The weather in early April will play a key role in producers’ decisions,” Roose says.

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Monday’s Grain Market Review

On Monday, the CME Group’s farm futures prices closd lower, as traders position themselves ahead of Friday’s USDA Propective Planting Report.

At the close, the May corn futures settled ½¢ lower at $3.55¾, while December futures finished ½¢ higher at $3.80.

May soybean futures closed 4¼¢ lower at $9.71. November soybean futures finished 6¢ lower at $9.71.

May wheat futures closed 4¢ lower at $4.20¾.

May soy meal futures ended $2.90 per short ton lower at $315.30. May soy oil futures closed 0.06¢ higher at 32.29¢ per pound. 

In the outside markets, the Brent crude oil market is 27¢ per barrel lower, the U.S. dollar is lower, and the Dow Jones Industrials are 55 points lower.

Jack Scoville, The PRICE Futures Group’s senior market analyst, says most investors are looking ahead to Friday. 

“The ideas are that the USDA March Supply/Demand Report and the Prospective Plantings Report will have big ending stocks levels, with some discussion on area. But there will be a lot of soybeans either way,” Scoville says. 

“Most investors are just watching the market and their positions with little in the way of new interest around. Farmers in the U.S. are selling the board but are less interested in selling cash, due to weak basis levels. Rains are in the forecast for Argentina, delaying the harvest,” he adds.

“But mostly, people are waiting and watching for Friday’s reports,” Scoville says.

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