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Soybeans Close Out 2017 Trading 5¢ Higher

Corn ended lower.

DES MOINES, Iowa -- On Friday, the CME Group’s corn and soybean markets finished the last trading day of the year mixed.

At the close, the March corn futures settled 1¼¢ lower at $3.50. May futures are 1¼¢ lower at $3.59.

January soybean futures finished 5¢ higher at $9.61¾. March soybean futures finished 5¢ higher at $9.73.

March wheat futures closed ¾¢ lower at $4.27.

March soy meal futures settled $0.70 per short ton higher at $316.80. January soy oil futures closed 0.55¢ higher at 33.26¢ per pound. 

In the outside markets, the NYMEX crude oil market is $0.41 higher, the U.S. dollar is lower, and the Dow Jones Industrials are 37 points lower.

Jack Scoville, The PRICE Futures Group’s senior market analyst, says that the markets are quiet, due to the funds mostly quiet going into the new year. 

“They had been expected to buy corn and wheat and reduce some of the big short position they have, but so far that has not shown up. The way the market is acting, I doubt it shows up into the close,” Scoville says. 

He adds, “We will be all about SA weather when we come back, and it still looks mostly hot and dry in Argentina and southern Brazil. So, things might get a little more interesting next week.” 

There are lighter-than-expected deliveries in the soy complex, today, Scoville says.

Cory Bratland, Kluis Commodities broker, says the markets are responding to South American weather and outside money.

“The funds hold rather hefty short positions in all three grains. Any potential weather issues in South America after the new year could be greeted with some buying,” Bratland says.

USDA Weekly Export Sales Report Thursday shows that corn sales beat expectations, soybeans fell within, and wheat at the top end of expectations. Here is the list:

  • Corn = 1.34 million metric tons vs. the trade’s expectations of between 500,000 and 1,100,000 mt.
  •  
  • Soybeans = 1.05 million mt. vs. the trade’s expectations of between 800,000 and 1,900,000 metric tons.
  •  
  • Soybean meal = 305,900 mt. vs. the trade’s expectations of between 100,000 and 300,000 metric tons.  
  •  
  • Wheat = 540,500 mt. vs. the trade’s expectations of between 250,000 and 600,000.

 

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Thursday’s Grain Market Review

Soybeans closed down double digits on Thursday amid favorable South American weather that may boost yields, adding to the glut of global supplies. 

Scattered rains are expected to continue in central Brazil and expand into northern states in the next 10 days, Commodity Weather Group said. Weekend showers are also forecast in Argentina, though they may not be as heavy as previuosly expected, the forecaster said. The dry weather in Argentina bears watching, analysts said. 

“The weather in Brazil continues to be nearly ideal as they enter their key reproductive period for the crop,” Tomm Pfitzenmaier, the president of Summit Commodity Group in Des Moines, said on Thursday. “Meanwhile, the soil moisture conditions for Argentina remain a concern, which will make traders extra keen to see what their forecast is calling for when we come back from the long New Year holiday weekend Tuesday morning.”

Soybean futures for March delivery fell 11¢ to $9.56 1/2 a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade. Soy meal lost $2.60 to $315.90 a short ton, and soy oil declined 0.53¢ to 32.74¢ a pound. 

Corn dropped 2 1/4¢ to $3.51 1/2 a bushel in Chicago.

Wheat prices closed mixed despite extremely cold weather in the southern Plains. Analysts believe that yesterday’s runup in futures led to selling today as investors are looking to book profits any chance they get with markets being so volatile.

Still, the freezing weather in the southern Plains is keeping prices afloat.

Wheat for March delivery declined 1 1/4¢ to $4.26 3/4 a bushel in Chicago. Kansas City futures rose 3/4¢ to $4.26 1/4 a bushel. 

In the outside markets, West Texas Intermediate crude rose 0.4%, and Brent futures added 0.4%. The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 0.2%, while the S&P 500 was up 0.1%. The dollar value declined 0.4% against a basket of global currencies. 

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Wednesday’s Grain Market Review

Wheat futures closed higher on Wednesday as extremely cold weather moves into the Plains, threatening the hard red wheat crop. Corn was little changed and soybeans were lower. 

Plants that don’t have a protective layer of snow are at risk as temperatures are expected to drop as low as 10˚F. in southwestern Kansas with wind chills near -20˚F., according to the National Weather Service.

Growers and analysts have said they’re worried about winterkill in the crop in some Kansas and Oklahoma counties where temperatures are extremely low. 

Corn followed wheat higher, while soybeans, which gained overnight, closed lower amid light volume and conflicting fundamentals. On the bear side, demand for U.S. products is well behind last year’s average; on the bull side, dry weather in South America is threatening crops. 

Dan Hueber, the head of The Hueber Report in Sycamore, Illinois, said in a note on Wednesday that technicals favor wheat.

“Daily indicators (in wheat) are still pointed higher, and if we can rebound later today, there should yet be room for more year end short-covering,” he said. “Regardless, I am primarily interested now in how we trend into the 180-calendar day cycle count that lines up for the first of January. Sideways to lower action between now and then could present us with a purchase opportunity.”

Wheat for March delivery rose 5¢ to $4.27¼ a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade. Kansas City futures gained 5¢ to $4.25 a bushel. 

Corn was up ½¢ to $3.53¼ a bushel in Chicago.

Soybean futures for March delivery declined 4¼¢ to $9.66¼ a bushel. Soy meal lost $1.50 to $317.90 a short ton, and soy oil lost 0.15¢ to 33.27¢ a pound. 

In the outside markets, West Texas Intermediate crude fell 0.9%, and Brent futures declined 0.7%. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rebounded and closed slightly higher, while the S&P 500 was unchanged for the day.

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