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U.S. soybeans keep flying off of the shelves, ag markets close mostly lower

The U.S. soybean stocks balance sheet is tightening.

On Friday, the CME Group’s wheat market ends higher.

At the close, the Sept. corn futures finished 1¾¢ lower at $3.26¼. Dec. corn futures finished ½¢ lower at $3.35.
 
Aug. soybean futures settled 1½¢ lower at $9.04¾. November soybean futures finished ¾¢ lower at $8.99.

Sep. wheat futures closed 10¢ higher at $5.39¼. 

Sep. soymeal futures closed $0.40 per short ton lower at $290.80. Aug. soy oil futures ended 0.01¢ higher at 29.80¢ per pound.

In the outside markets, the NYMEX crude oil market is $0.18 per barrel higher at $40.85. The U.S. dollar is lower, and the Dow Jones Industrials are 151 points lower.

On Thursday, private exporters reported to the USDA the following activity:

• Export sales of 252,000 metric tons of soybeans received in the reporting period for delivery to unknown destinations. Of the total, 6,000 metric tons is for delivery during the 2019/2020 marketing year, and 246,000 metric tons is for delivery during the 2020/2021 marketing year.

• Export sales of 133,000 metric tons of soybean cake and meal for delivery to the Philippines during the 2019/2020 marketing year.

The marketing year for soybeans began Sept. 1; soybean cake and meal began Oct. 1.

Al Kluis, Kluis Advisors, says that demand is helping underpin the market.  

“Weekly export sales data was very solid for new-crop corn and soybeans. If this trend continues, then the soybean bulls will retain an advantage. The U.S. balance sheet could be rather tight, especially if China holds true to the Phase One trade agreement,” Kluis told customers in a daily note. 

Kluis added, “The steady decline in the U.S. dollar during July should aid the grain bulls. New contract lows in the dollar should encourage strong exports.”

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Wednesday’s Grain Market Review

DES MOINES, Iowa -- At the close of CME Group trading Thursday, soybean gains strengthened and corn shifted into positive territory.

September corn futures finished ½¢ higher at $3.28. Dec. corn futures ended ¾¢ higher at $3.35½.
 
Aug. soybean futures finished 7¢ higher at $9.06¼. November soybean futures are 4½¢ higher at $9.00.

Sep. wheat futures settled 5¢ lower at $5.29½. 

Aug. soymeal futures ended $3.80 per short ton higher at $290.40. Aug. soy oil futures are 0.14¢ lower at 29.79¢ per pound.

In the outside markets, the NYMEX crude oil market is $0.62 per barrel lower at $41.28. The U.S. dollar is lower, and the Dow Jones Industrials are 380 points lower.

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DES MOINES, Iowa -- At mid-session Thursday, soybean futures remain slightly higher while corn losses are shrinking.

In early trading, the September corn futures are ½¢ lower at $3.27. Dec. corn futures are ½¢ lower at $3.34¼.
 
Aug. soybean futures are 3¼¢ higher at $9.02½. November soybean futures are 1¢ higher at $8.96½.

Sep. wheat futures are 3¢ lower at $5.31½. 

Aug. soymeal futures are $0.80 per short ton higher at $287.40. Aug. soy oil futures are 0.11¢ higher at 30.04¢ per pound.

In the outside markets, the NYMEX crude oil market is $0.11 per barrel lower at $41.79. The U.S. dollar is lower, and the Dow Jones Industrials are 74 points lower.

Weather and exports continue to move the futures market – but not by very much today.

“The market is generally quiet and not impressed by the big new-crop sales in corn and beans,” says Jack Scoville of PRICE Futures Group. “It’s another sign that traders expect a big harvest. It’s a cool day today but will be warming up this weekend. Overall, though, there are no real threats in the weather. That alone should make it difficult to rally these markets very much. I’m looking for a sideways to lower trade for the time being.”

Sal Gilbertie of Teucrium Trading says, “Steady Chinese buying is supporting soybean prices, while near perfect weather is pressuring corn prices. The markets still seem to be adding a slight weather premium in the bean markets, at least for now.”

Britt O’Connell of the Commodity Risk Management Group also expects little likelihood of big changes, noting that traders seem to have confidence in Chinese demand for U.S. soybeans.

“Corn and soybeans have been stuck in a sideways, two-sided trade,” she says. “Weather forecasts are viewed as bearish with ample moisture and a break in extreme heat. Soybeans will hold some premium until we move into their key developmental period of August. While the political jousting back and forth between the U.S. and China continues, it has not inhibited China from being a buyer of U.S. commodities. This week’s export report showed that China was an active buyer. It is believed that its need for protein is greater than the desire to retaliate against the U.S. and the country will use other means to accomplish that. Not only is it believed that their supplies are tight, but they are experiencing significant flooding in key row-crop growing regions.”

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DES MOINES, Iowa -- On Thursday, soybean futures are higher while corn and wheat prices are lower.

In early trading, the September corn futures are 1¾¢ lower at $3.25¾. Dec. corn futures are 1½¢ lower at $3.33¼.
 
Aug. soybean futures are 2¾¢ higher at $9.02. November soybean futures are 2¢ higher at $8.97½.

Sep. wheat futures are 3¼¢ lower at $5.31¼. 

Aug. soymeal futures are $0.50 per short ton higher at $287.10; Aug. soy oil futures are 0.22¢ higher at 30.15¢ per pound.

In the outside markets, the NYMEX crude oil market is $0.38 per barrel lower at $41.52. The U.S. dollar is higher, and the Dow Jones Industrials are 79 points lower.

“A strong daily export sales report on Wednesday morning helped soybeans recover from an overnight push to below the prior day low,” says Bob Linneman of Kluis Commodity Advisors. “The soybean bulls will want to end out the week above the $8.96 mark (the November contract) to ensure the weekly chart posts a higher high with a higher low and a higher close.”

“The daily USDA export sales reports have been impressive for soybeans. However, the bulls may need a daily streak of reported sales to maintain a rally,” he adds.

Separately, the USDA’s weekly Export Sales Report Thursday shows strong increases from the previous week. New-crop soybean sales were above the upper end of trade expectations.

  • Corn: 220,600 metric tons (mt) for 2019/2020 and 2,327,200 mt for 2020/2021. Trade expectations for corn were 400,000 to 1,000,000 mt old crop and 1,500,000 to 3,000,000 mt new crop.
  • Soybeans: 365,200 mt for 2019/2020; 2,300,500 mt for 2020/2021. For soybeans, trade guesses ranged from 300,000 to 700,000 mt old crop, and 1,000,000 to 2,000,000 mt new crop. 
  •  Wheat: 616,700 mt
  • Soybean meal: 99,500 mt (old and new crop)

Also on Thursday, private exporters reported to the U.S. Department of Agriculture export sales of 132,000 metric tons of soybeans for delivery to China during the 2020/2021 marketing year. 

The marketing year for soybeans began Sept. 1.

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The CME Group’s farm markets trade higher Wednesday as investors eye crop-weather and the outside markets.

At the close, the Sept. corn futures finished 4¾¢ higher at $3.27¾. Dec. corn futures ended 4¢ higher at $3.34.
 
Aug. soybean futures closed 2¾¢ higher at $8.99. November soybean futures closed 2½¢ higher at $8.95½.

Sep. wheat futures closed 6¾¢ higher at $5.34¼. 

Aug. soymeal futures closed $1.00 per short ton higher at $286.60. Aug. soy oil futures finished 0.14¢ lower at 29.93¢ per pound.

In the outside markets, the NYMEX crude oil market is $0.02 per barrel higher at $41.94. The U.S. dollar is lower, and the Dow Jones Industrials are 133 points higher.

On Wednesday, private exporters reported to the USDA the following activity:

  • Export sales of 453,000 metric tons of soybeans for delivery to China. Of the total, 66,000 metric tons is for delivery during the 2019/2020 marketing year and 387,000 metric tons is for delivery during the 2020/2021 marketing year.
  • Export sales of 262,000 metric tons of soybeans received in the reporting period for delivery to China during the 2020/2021 marketing year.
  • Export sales of 211,300 metric tons of soybeans for delivery to unknown destinations during the 2020/2021 marketing year.

The marketing year for soybeans began Sept. 1.

Al Kluis, Kluis Advisors, says that investors will be watching both the weather and outside markets for price direction. 

“The weather threat is fading, so corn and soybeans remained under pressure. Soybeans are likely to see volatility return when traders start watching August forecasts. The U.S. dollar is once again on the radar, and the greenback has fallen to the lowest level since the March 9 low,” Kluis told customers in a daily note. 

Kluis added, “December corn futures broke below the July 15 low by ½¢ on Tuesday. If there is no follow-through selling today, then it is likely the bulls will try to push toward the 40-day average near $3.41.”

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Tuesday’s Market Review

Soybean futures fell Tuesday as investors focused on improving crop conditions and rainfall in the Midwest and largely ignored signs of demand for U.S. supplies.

Soybean ratings show 69% of the crop was good or excellent at the start of this week, up from 68% a week earlier, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said in a report yesterday. Analysts had expected a decline to 67% instead of an improvement. 

Rain fell overnight in parts of central Kansas and more precipitation is on the way for northern Missouri, according to the National Weather Service. Rainfall also is expected in much of northern Illinois and Indiana today, which should give maturing crops a boost. 

About 25% of the U.S. soybean crop was setting pods as of Sunday, up from 11% a week earlier, the USDA said. Some 64% of the crop was blooming, up from 48% a week earlier.

The favorable weather overshadowed a USDA report Tuesday that said China bought 126,000 metric tons of soybeans for delivery in the marketing year that starts on Sept. 1 and an unnamed country bought another 180,000 tons, also for delivery in the 2020-2021 marketing year.

Corn also was lower as ratings were unchanged vs. expectations for a decline. 

The U.S. corn crop was 69% good or excellent as of Sunday, while analysts had expected a 1- to 2-point decline week-to-week, researcher Allendale said.

Exporters reported sales of 207,880 metric tons of corn for delivery to an unknown destination. Of the total, 25,400 tons will be delivered in the current marketing year and 182,480 tons will be delivered after Sept. 1, the USDA said. 

“A rather benign weather forecast and steady to improved crop ratings have sent any bullish defenders of corn and beans scampering back to the sidelines yet again,” said Dan Hueber, the author of The Hueber Report. “With both crops rated 69% good to excellent, there is just not much of a story to provide any encouragement. Wheat is the exception to the rule this morning, but after solid pressure yesterday, this is probably best chalked up to Turnaround Tuesday type of action.”

Soybean futures for December delivery fell 6½¢ to $8.93½ a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade. Soymeal plunged $3.30 to $293.60 a short ton, while soy oil gained 0.13¢ to 30.66¢ a pound.

Corn futures for December delivery were down 4¾¢ to $3.31 a bushel.

Wheat futures for September delivery rose 5¼¢ to $5.27¼ a bushel while Kansas City futures added 7¼¢ to $4.42¼ a bushel.

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Monday’s Market Recap:

Wheat futures closed down double digits Monday as harvest of the U.S. winter crop heads toward the finish line and on favorable weather in the northern Plains.

About 68% of the hard-red winter wheat crop was in the bin as of last week, and that number should jump when the Department of Agriculture releases its weekly crop progress report later this afternoon.

In Kansas, the biggest U.S. producer of the grain, 95% was collected as of last week, which means growers are likely done harvesting in the state.

In the northern Plains, spring wheat may get a boost from scattered thunderstorms that are in the forecast for today. Some severe weather is expected, though, with some isolated hail and strong winds being the main concerns, according to the National Weather Service.

Corn futures also dropped on expectations for rainfall in parts of Nebraska and South Dakota that may give maturing plants a drink.

Soybeans closed higher, however, on expectations of a 1% decline in crop ratings. About 68% of the crop was in good or excellent condition last week, but the overall rating is expected to fall due to extremely hot weather in parts of the Corn Belt recently.

Wheat futures for September delivery fell 13¢ to $5.1 ¾  a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade while Kansas City futures plunged 13¼¢ to $4.35½ a bushel.

Corn futures for December delivery lost 4¼¢ to $3.35½ a bushel.

Soybeans were up 5¢ to $9 a bushel, soymeal rose $3.10 to $297.20 a short ton, and soy oil fell 0.12¢ to 30.42¢ a pound.

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