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Corn, Soybeans Close Slightly Lower Friday

More air is being let out of the ag markets.

DES MOINES, Iowa -- On Friday, the CME Group’s farm markets finish lower.

At the close, the September corn futures are finished 3¾¢ lower at $3.38¾, while December futures finished 2¾¢ lower at $3.53½.

September soybean futures closed 2¼¢ lower at $9.39, November soybean futures closed 2¢ lower at $9.44½.

September wheat futures ended ¾¢ higher at $4.35.

December soy meal futures finished $0.90 per short ton lower at $300.00. December soy oil futures closed $0.18 lower at 34.95¢ per pound. 

In the outside markets, the Brent crude oil market is $0.44 per barrel higher, the U.S. dollar is lower, and the Dow Jones Industrials are 75 points higher.

Jack Scoville, The PRICE Futures Group’s Senior Market Analyst, says that the markets are waiting for more news to trade.

“I think we are all waiting for the tour production estimates this afternoon, but the general sense is that there is a pretty decent crop out there that needs to get moved,” Scoville says. 

He adds, “The investors’ ideas are that maybe USDA was not so out of line after all.”

The U.S. dollar is higher, putting pressure on the markets.

“With the global central banks meeting in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, this weekend, a lot of investors are on the sidelines waiting for another shoe to drop or something.”

“I’m looking for the market to stay quiet through the close and we come back next week and maybe get a little more excited,” Scoville says.

On Friday, private exporters reported to the U.S. Department of Agriculture the following activity:

  • Export sales of 132,000 metric tons of soybeans for delivery to China during the 2017-2018 marketing year.
  • Export sales of 105,500 metric tons of soybean cake and meal for delivery to Thailand during the 2017-2018 marketing year.
  • The marketing year for soybeans began on September 1; soybean cake and meal began October 1.

 

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Thursday’s Grain Market Review

On Thursday, the CME Group’s farm futures markets lean on soybeans for support.

Some crop scouts on this week’s Farm Journal crop tour found fewer soybean pods on plants in Illinois and Nebraska. As a result, that news and exports are helping underpin today’s market.

Pete Meyer, SPGlobal senior grain analyst and tour scout on the eastern leg of the Farm Journal tour, says fewer soybean pod counts seems to be the overarching theme in the Corn Belt.

“We’re traveling through north-central Iowa, near Webster City, and finding soybean pod counts of 602 in a 3×3-foot area. That’s real bad,” Meyer says. “The plant population isn’t bad, but there are not a lot of pods on the plants.”

In eastern Iowa, tour scouts are reporting soybean pod counts of 1,400 to 1,500, Meyer says.

“So, those crops are much much better,” Meyer says.

In the western districts of Iowa, pod counts are down 20% compared with a year ago.

Overall, the corn crop is average, Meyer says.

“We’re recording yield potential at 165 bushels per acre.”

He adds, “So far, this tour is finding fewer soybean pods in this year’s crop.”

At the close, the Sept. corn futures finished unchanged at $3.42, while December futures finished 1/2¢ higher at $3.56 1/4.

Sep. soybean futures closed 6 1/4¢ higher at $9.41, Nov. soybean futures closed 8 1/2¢ higher at $9.46 1/2.

September wheat futures finished 4 1/2¢ higher at $4.34 1/2.

Dec. soy meal futures closed $4.40 per short ton higher at $300.90. Dec. soy oil futures closed $0.07 higher at 35.13¢ per pound. 

In the outside markets, the Brent crude oil market is $0.95 per barrel lower, the U.S. dollar is higher, and the Dow Jones Industrials are 11 points lower.

Mike North, president of Commodity Risk Management Group, says that investors should wake up, regarding this year’s corn crop.

“The denial of a good corn crop is being met with numbers that prove its existence. As the air gets let out of the market, prices have tested old contract lows, hit stops, and invited fresh selling. Soybeans are trying to stay afloat. However, higher daily highs have been met with mostly unchanged settlements,” North says.

Cory Bratland, Kluis Commodities broker, says the grain prices are really searching for some fresh new news to trade on.

“However, the lack of new news has us drifting lower. Corn and soybean yields seem to be getting bigger, and the USDA yield numbers from August 12 seem to be coming true,” Bratland stated in a note to customers Thursday.

He adds, “Even if the corn yields do come in under the USDA estimate of 169.5 bushels per acre, rallies in the corn market will be very limited until the wheat market turns the corner and heads higher.”

On Thursday, the USDA Weekly Export Sales Report showed strong soybean demand.

  • Wheat = 386,400 metric tons vs. the trade’s expectation of between 350,000 and 700,000 metric tons.
  • Corn = 525,700 mt. vs. the trade’s expectation of between 450,000 and 1,000,000 mt.
  • Soybeans = 1.6 million mt. vs. the trade’s expectation of between 450,000 and 1,400,000 mt.

 

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Wednesday’s Grain Market Review

Wednesday, the CME Group’s farm markets end mixed with corn lower and soybeans slightly supported.

At the close, the September corn futures finished 4¢ lower at $3.42, and December futures finished 4¼¢ lower at $3.55¾.

November soybean futures settled ½¢ higher at $9.38. January soybean futures closed 1¢ higher at $9.46¾.

September wheat futures ended 1½¢ higher at $4.30.

December soy meal futures closed $2.20 per short ton lower at $296.50. December soy oil futures closed 0.64¢ higher at 35.06¢ per pound. 

In the outside markets, the Brent crude oil market is $0.57 per barrel higher, the U.S. dollar is lower, and the Dow Jones Industrials are 68 points lower.

Pete Meyer, SPGlobal senior grain analyst, says that this week’s crop tour is not moving the market because scouts are not finding any real clear story.

“There’s no story here,” Meyer says. The USDA has built in 169.5 bushels per acre for the national U.S. corn yield and 49.5 bushels per acre for soybeans, and this tour isn’t finding anything definitive against those estimates.”

Meyer, a tour scout on the eastern leg of the Farm Journal tour, says that the variability in crops from one field to the next is quite evident.

“Yes, corn ear counts are down in Ohio and Indiana, but not as much as first thought. Plus, one crappy field is followed by a good one.”

So, the market is not finding anything substantial to trade from the tour results, as of yet.

“There’s a lot of talk about scouts finding Nebraska soybean pod counts down by 100 compared with a year ago. And we’re seeing poor soybean pod counts in Illinois. Yet, the low pod count story has not resonated with the trade,” Meyer says.

Alan Brugler, president, Brugler Marketing & Management LLC, says that the markets are not stuck. 

“Instead, it’s a matter of corn and wheat just plain going down, trying to find demand and discourage South American production ahead of planting (Brazil starts next month),” Brugler says.

Brugler adds, “Beans have been getting a little rally, as the FJ tour is showing lower pod counts than usual.”

On Wednesday, the USDA announced a large cancellation of soybean sales to China.

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

  • Cancellations of export sales of 640,970 metric tons of soybeans for delivery to China during the 2016/2017 marketing year.
  • Export sales of 295,220 metric tons of soybeans for delivery to unknown destinations. Of the total, 11,220 metric tons is for delivery during the 2016/2017 marketing year, and 284,000 metric tons is for delivery during the 2017/2018 marketing year.

The marketing year for soybeans began September 1.

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Tuesday’s Grain Market Review

The CME Group’s soybean markets finish slightly higher in Tuesday’s trading session.

After yesterday’s USDA Crop Progress Report that showed little change in development, the markets are directionless.

At the close, the September corn futures finished 3¢ lower at $3.46. December futures finished 3¢ lower at $3.60.

November soybean futures finished 1¼¢ higher at $9.37, and January soybean futures closed 1¼¢ higher at $9.45¾.

September wheat futures finished 8¢ lower at $4.29.

December soy meal futures closed 0.30¢ per short ton lower at $298.70. December soy oil futures closed 0.25¢ higher at 34.42¢ per pound. 

In the outside markets, the Brent crude oil market is $0.37 per barrel higher, the U.S. dollar is higher, and the Dow Jones Industrials are 182 points higher.

Jason Roose, U.S. Commodities grain analyst, says that the grains are searching for value.

“Technically, all grains are oversold due for a value-added rally, but bullish news is limited this time of year with harvest fast approaching . . . with yields good in Delta states,” Roose says.

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Monday’s Grain Market Review

On Monday, the CME Group’s farm markets trimmed losses but still finished lower as rain events helped crop development.

At the close, the September corn futures finished 3¢ lower at $3.49, while December futures closed 2¾¢ lower at $3.63.

November soybean futures ended 1½¢ lower at $9.36; January soybean futures settled 1¼¢ lower at $9.44.

September wheat futures closed 5½¢ lower at $4.37.

December soy meal futures ended $1.50 per short ton lower at $299.00. December soy oil futures closed 0.20¢ higher at 34.17¢ per pound. 

In the outside markets, the Brent crude oil market is 91¢ per barrel lower, the U.S. dollar is lower, and the Dow Jones Industrials are 1 point higher.

Cory Bratland, Kluis Commodities broker, says good weather and good precipitation across mainly Iowa is pressuring prices.

“The market’s feeling is that the corn yields are stabilizing and soybean yields are getting larger with the August rains,” Bratland says. New-crop export sales for corn are off to a rough start, and that is adding pressure to the market.

Bratland adds, “Also, there is still a mountain of old-crop corn still hitting the market that is keeping a lid on the markets. Other than that, there is just an overall lack of any new market info, and that alone will drop the market.”

 

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