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254575

Corn Closes Lower, Soybeans Mixed Friday

Soybean complex is mixed.

DES MOINES, Iowa --  On Friday, the CME Group’s farm futures market finished weaker, with no real good reason to go anywhere, according to one analyst.

At the close, the March corn futures closed 1¼¢ lower at $3.62½, and new-crop December 2017 futures finished 1½¢ lower at $3.89¼ per bushel.

March soybean futures settled ¼¢ lower at $10.49¼; November 2017 soybean futures closed 2¢ higher at $10.25¼.

March wheat futures settled 6½¢ lower at $4.20½.

March soy meal futures closed $0.60 a short ton higher at $343.00. March soy oil futures closed 0.20¢ lower at 34.27¢ per pound. 

In the outside markets, the Brent crude oil market is $0.63 per barrel lower, the U.S. dollar is lower, and the Dow Jones Industrials are 11 points lower at 20,089.

Pete Meyer, PIRA Energy senior grain analyst, says that the grain markets have no story to trade.

“Yes, everybody wants to know if the Brazilian soybean crop will make up the slack for Argentina’s flood-damaged output,” Meyer says. “Until we see new highs in these markets, farmers are not going to be selling. So, we wait for the February markets and see how they react to South America’s crop production.”

Regarding the extra soybean acreage talk for this spring, Meyer isn’t convinced.

“A lot of farmers are talking about planting more soybeans, but I don’t believe it,” Meyer says. “If farmers start to hear that their neighbors are going to plant more soybeans, they’ll get in their mindset to do the opposite and plant more corn.”

Meyer added, “I'm still seeing about 92.0 million acres of U.S. corn and 88.0 million acres of soybeans, totaling about 180 million acres.”

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Thursday’s Grain Market Review

On Thursday, the CME Group’s wheat market used strong exports to close higher.

At the close, the March corn futures settled 2½¢ lower at $3.63¾, and new-crop December 2017 futures finished 3¢ lower at $3.90¾ per bushel.

March soybean futures finished 5¾¢ lower at $10.49½, while November 2017 soybean futures finished 2¼¢ lower at $10.23¼.

March wheat futures finished 2½¢ higher at $4.27.

March soy meal futures closed $0.90 a short ton lower at $342.40. March soy oil futures settled 0.40¢ lower at 34.47¢ per pound. 

In the outside markets, the Brent crude oil market is $1.11 per barrel higher, the U.S. dollar is higher, and the Dow Jones Industrials are 29 points higher at 20,098.

On Thursday, the USDA’s Weekly Export Sales Report showed that wheat beat the street’s expectations. Here are the totals:

  • Wheat =  957,300 metric tons vs. the trade’s expectations of between 200,000 and 525,000 mt.
  • Corn = 1.39 million mt. vs. the trade’s expectations of between 700,000 and 1,075,000 mt.
  • Soybeans = 666,400 mt. vs. the trade’s expectations of between 300,000 and 850,000 mt.
  • Soybean meal = 282,900 mt. vs. the trade’s expectations of between 125,000 and 250,000 mt.

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Wednesday’s Grain Market Review

On Wednesday, the CME Group’s corn, soybean, and wheat markets have started slightly lower.

At the close, the March corn futures settled 3¢ higher at $3.66¼, and new-crop December 2017 futures finished 2¾¢ higher at $3.93¾ per bushel.

March soybean futures finished 3¼¢ lower at $10.55¼, while November 2017 soybean futures closed ½¢ lower at $10.25½.

March wheat futures closed 2¼¢ lower at $4.24¼.

March soy meal futures closed 30¢ a short ton higher at $343.30. March soy oil futures closed 0.41¢ lower at 34.87¢ per pound. 

In the outside markets, the Brent crude oil market is 54¢ per barrel lower, the U.S. dollar is lower, and the Dow Jones Industrials are 161 points higher at 20,073.

Jason Roose, U.S. Commodities analyst, says that a number of slightly friendly fundamentals supported corn’s higher move.

“Slow farmer selling, the flash export sale of corn to Mexico, and a potential reduction in Argentina corn crop are giving the corn a short covering bounce today,” he says. 

DeAnne Hawthorne-Lahre, StatFutures cofounder and trader, says the market chatter is about continuing corn export business to unknown announced today.

“Who is the unknown? Something is up in China, and the market is trying to figure it out at the moment,” she says.

 “Early talk on U.S. 2017 corn acreage is at 91 to 92 million, while the pit is thinking 90.0 million for corn and 90.0 million for soybean acres, with the winter wheat acreage picture clearing up,” she says.

“Volatility indicates the market is sleeping through winter, and waiting for news and direction. “The market action will probably be rangebound until USDA’s March 31 Acreage Report,” Hawthorne-Lahre says.

Private exporters reported to the U.S. Department of Agriculture Wednesday export sales of 141,224 metric tons of corn for delivery to unknown destinations during the 2016/2017 marketing year.

The marketing year for corn began September 1.

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Tuesday’s Grain Market Review

On Tuesday, the CME Group’s farm markets trade lower. A heavy dose of fresh exports did help the soybean market finish higher for a fifth straight time.

At the close, the March corn futures settled 6¼¢ lower at $3.63¼, and new-crop December 2017 futures finished 5¢ lower at $3.91 per bushel.

March soybean futures finished ¾¢ higher at $10.58½. November 2017 soybean futures closed ¾¢ higher at $10.26.

March wheat futures finished 6½¢ lower at $4.26¾.

March soy meal futures settled 50¢ a short ton lower at $343.00. March soy oil futures closed 0.15¢ higher at 35.28¢ per pound. 

In the outside markets, the Brent crude oil market is 31¢ per barrel higher, the U.S. dollar is higher, and the Dow Jones Industrials are 124 points higher at 19,924.

Jack Scoville, The PRICE Futures Group’s senior market analyst, says it it was a turnaround Tuesday, but that seems to be fading a little bit. 

“I got one of my Brazil contacts doing a crop tour in Argentina, and the crops look in tough shape. But the market has been fading anyway, and I think maybe we just got high enough and are still liquidating,” Scoville says. 

There is good support near $10.50 for March soybeans that is still holding and seems to have found some spec buying interest, Scoville says. 

“Corn a little disappointing. I think we found some producer selling above $3.70 and have been pushed back. Trends are mostly up, though, and I am buying the break. I know other brokers are telling their customers to do that, too. Not hearing much about wheat today at all, but I think it will go higher sooner or later,” Scoville says.

On Tuesday, the USDA announced fresh export sales of U.S. corn and soybeans. 

Private exporters reported to the U.S. Department of Agriculture the following activity:

  • Export sales of 163,000 metric tons of soybeans for delivery to unknown destinations. Of the total, 103,000 MT is for delivery during the 2016/2017 marketing year, and 60,000 MT is for delivery during the 2017/2018 marketing year.
  •  Export sales of 112,000 metric tons of soybeans for delivery to Mexico. Of the total, 42,000 MT is for delivery during the 2016/2017 marketing year, and 70,000 MT is for delivery during the 2017/2018 marketing year.
  • Export sales of 125,000 metric tons of corn for delivery to unknown destinations during the 2016/2017 marketing year.

The marketing year for corn and soybeans began September 1.

Meanwhile, crop and acreage losses in Argentina’s flood-ravaged provinces continue to be assessed.

The British group AHDB says that Paraguay and Uruguay represent 4% of global soybean supply and have been out of the scope for a lot of analysts. On the other hand, it is still too early to tell if Argentina’s losses would be totally compensated by these two countries. Estimates of Argentina’s losses range from 2 to 8 million metric tons. Argentinian farmers have yet 10 days to finish planting or rework.

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Monday’s Grain Market Review

Soybean futures closed lower on Monday after weather forecasters said the rains in Argentina that have kept growers from finishing their planting will subside.

Drier weather in central parts of Argentina are expected this week, which will “allow wetness there to ease further,” said Donald Keeney, a senior ag meteorologist at MDA Information Services. Eastern parts of the South American country will get rain, which will improve soil moisture in the area, Keeney said.

The price declines in beans and corn come as speculative investors become more bullish.

Money managers pushed bullish bets on hard-red winter wheat to the highest level since June 2014 last week, while lowering bearish bets on corn to the lowest since November. Investors also were the most bullish on soybeans in a month, according to the Commodity Futures Trading Commission. 

Soybean futures for March delivery fell 7½¢ to $10.60 a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade. Soy meal futures lost $4.60 to $344.10 a short ton, and soy oil added 0.02¢ to 35.17¢ a pound.

Corn futures were unchanged at $3.69¾ a bushel in Chicago.

Chicago wheat futures added 5¢ to $4.33¼ a bushel, while Kansas City futures rose 1¼¢ to $4.44¼ a bushel. 

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