Weekly Cash Comments
Weekly Market Wrap Up for week ending February 20
Grain futures posted positive gains this week with beans up 23 and corn up 6, but in the cash market overall trends in the basis were mostly flat. Corn managed a 1-cent improvement on the week, while soybeans were unchanged on average across the country.
For corn, export demand and ethanol use continue to be strong demand stimuli. Friday’s export sales report showed over 900,000 MT of old-crop sales, surpassing analyst expectations of 650-900,000 MT. Physical exports of only 696,000 MT meant that outstanding sales, or the amount of grain left to be shipped, continuing to grow to 17.4 MMT. River terminals appear to be bidding more aggressively for March delivery versus spot, with March premiums fetching 7 to 9 cents over most spot deliveries. This likely will help improve basis in the coming weeks. For ethanol, weekly production grew by 3,000 barrels per day and continues to eclipse last year’s pace. Year-to-date production is up 5.7 percent from the same period last year, while USDA is only looking for a 2.3 percent increase in corn use for ethanol.
In soybeans, monthly crush numbers for January came in at 162.675 million bushels, up from last year’s January figure of 156.943 million bushels and just over expectations of 162.673 million bushels. For the week, soybean plants were lower by a penny per bushel on basis with losses most apparent in SD, MN & IA. On the export front, river terminals were up half a penny per bushel on average although there was a mix of buyers that were up and others that were down on the week. Export business continues to be stronger than expected as weekly sales of 505,600 MT were at the high end of analyst expectations on the week.
Grains saw some trend reversal in the overnight
The USDA Ag Outlook Forum provided a boost for soybean prices on Thursday.
Grains saw some trend reversal overnight with corn and beans giving up some of their gains from the previous session while wheat recovered from its losses on Thursday. Corn was down 1 cent a bushel, soybeans off 2 cents a bushel and wheat was up 2 cents.
The USDA Ag Outlook Forum provided a boost for soybean prices on Thursday after they announced that soybean acres are projected to be 83.5 million acres in 2015, down from 83.7 million acres planted in 2014. This was a surprise to the market which expected acreage to increase year over year for soybeans. Currently Informa’s latest soybean acreage forecast for 2015 is 88.03 million acres. Although this is not a survey based outlook, the market still viewed this as positive news for soybean prices. The USDA forecasted corn at 89 million acres planted in 2015, down from 90.6 million acres planted last year and saw wheat seeding’s losing 1.3 million acres year over year.
On Thursday after the close, Egypt’s GASC bought 240,000 MT of wheat with 180,000 MT of that going to French suppliers and the remainder going to Romania. On Friday, Egypt's Supplies Minister Khaled Hanafi said Egypt’s strategic wheat reserves will last until the end of May.
At the USDA forum on Friday, analysts’ pegged new-crop 2015 supplies based on normal yields and reduced acres. For corn, USDA sees the 2015/16 crop at 13.6 BLN BU as compared to 14.2 BLN last year. The soybean crop is projected to be 3.80 BLN BU versus 3.96 in 2014/15. Finally for wheat, USDA looks for the 2015/16 crop to be 2.125 BLN BU as compared to 2.026 BLN in 2014/15.
WEEKLY EXPORT SALES
Corn 650-900,000 1,075,400
Soybeans 375-550,000 621,500
Wheat 300-500,000 305,400
Mixed Report on Ethanol Production and Stocks
Even with demand for corn on the rise, there was a decrease in ethanol stocks. The USDA outlook conference began today. Cody and Kevin will be look there for analyst estimates.
USDA Agricultural Outlook Forum shows lower soybean acreage
The USDA's Ag Outlook Forum lowered soybean acreage from 2014, will this lift soybeans?
In the overnight session corn traded down a penny, soybeans increased 5 cents and wheat fell 1 ¼ cents by the pause in trading. Corn is currently trading at $3.82 which is right on its 100 day moving average. Soybeans 100 day moving average hangs over prices at $10.07.
The USDA Ag Outlook Forum begins today and continues through Friday the 20th. Traders were watching the release of acreage estimates this morning which showed corn at 89 million acres planted from 90.6 million acres planted last year. The USDA projected soybean acres at 83.5 million acres from 83.7 million acres planted in 2015. Soybean acres were a bit of a surprise to traders who were expecting acreage to increase year over year. Informa’s latest soybean acreage forecast for 2015 was 88.03. Planted acreage for U.S. wheat estimated to decline 1.3 million acres.
Egypt canceled a tender for U.S. wheat on Wednesday citing that prices were exaggerated after Cargill, Bunge, Ameropa and Invivo made offers for 60,000 metric tons of soft red winter wheat. Egypt stated that it had hoped to buy American wheat but will now seek other origins with better prices. GASC then issued a tender for 55,000-60,000 metric tons and opened the tender global suppliers.
Rocky Day for the Grains
Egypt rejects all tenders for U.S. wheat only. There was strong feed usage this past week, Kevin discusses if this will last.
Can Soybeans Continue Higher?
The grains are trading slightly lower this morning after a positive day yesterday. Cold weather throughout the Midwest and an Egyptian tender has provided a bid under wheat.
In the overnight session corn traded down 2 ¼ cents, soybeans slipped 2 cents and wheat increased 1 ¾ of a cent. Be careful of soybeans hitting resistance during today’s trading session. We are currently trading near resistance from the lows of the soybeans channel that lasted from October through January. Though we could get continuation buying early on in the session, be careful of some selling pressure at these levels.
NOPA crush numbers were within analyst expectations for the month of January. In the report released at 11 AM CST, the National Oilseed Processors Association announced that 162.675 million bushels of soybeans were crushed in January compared to expectations of 162.673 million bushels. This month’s soybean crush was the largest ever in January topping last year’s January total of 156.943. Soyoil stocks were larger than expected at 1.228 billion pounds compared to expectations of 1.170 billion pounds.
Egypt has set a tender on Tuesday to buy an unspecified amount of U.S. origin wheat for April delivery. A tender from GASC has been expected to purchase U.S. wheat over recent weeks to take advantage of a 100 million dollar credit line provided by the United States.
Government farm office, FranceAgrimer, lifted its French wheat export estimates by 1 MMT for 14/15 for outside the EU to 9.8 and cut ending stock to 3.63 MMT from 4.34 MMT last month. EU wheat exports have picked up significant pace in response to the Russian export curbs. In the latest USDA supply and demand report EU exports were also revised 1 MMT higher from the previous month.
Cold weather is expected to enter the Midwest and continue into Friday. Although there is snow cover throughout much of the Midwest, around 10-15 percent of dormant wheat remains at risk of winterkill. The most vulnerable areas are through Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio. Some snow is expected this weekend to help avert future cold snaps.
Strong Day for Beans
Cody and Kevin look at Export Inspections and NOPA crush numbers for answers to today's move higher.
Grains Sharply Higher Following a Long Weekend.
The grain markets rallied in the overnight session ahead of the NOPA crush report which is scheduled to be released later today.
The grains are trading higher this morning with corn up 2 ¼ cents, soybeans up 8 cents and wheat trading up a sharp 9 cents higher.
NOPA Soybean crush data is scheduled at 11 AM CST today. Analysts are expecting 162.673 million bushels which would be a decline from last month’s figures of 165.3 million bushels, but up from last year’s January crush figures of 156.943 million bushels.
Another cold front is expected later this week with lows near -5 degrees Fahrenheit. Although most of the winter wheat belt has sufficient snow cover to help protect the dormant crop, a soft winter wheat region from Central Illinois, Indiana, Ohio and down into Northern Missouri lacks snow cover to protect a crop from the freezing temperatures.
South America’s weather forecast shows that more rain is on the way this week which will slow the pace of harvest and fieldwork. Brazil saw rain in all but the north eastern growing region over the weekend and expects more showers to interrupt fieldwork in the 11-15 day forecast. Argentina’s weather outlook has turned wetter in the 6-10 day forecast.
Japan is seeking to buy 101,128 tonnes of food quality wheat from the United States and Australia. The tender will close late on Thursday.
NOPA Expectations and Basis Report
Kevin and Cody go over Tuesday's NOPA crush report expectations as well as the change in US basis over the last week
Strong Dollar Pressuring Wheat?
Export sales see weekly improvement
In the overnight session the grains are mixed with corn up ¼ of a cent, soybeans are up 3 ½ cents and wheat is trading down ¾ of a cent. This morning it was announced that 108,000 metric tons of sorghum was sold to unknown destinations for 15/16 marketing year. The US dollar index is...[Read More]
Soybeans Lose Traction
Grains Pressured by Higher Dollar
In the overnight session the grains moved lower with corn down 1 ½ cents, soybeans down 8 ¼ cents and wheat down 5 ½ cents. Minneapolis wheat is down 4 ½ this morning after a 15 cent gain in yesterday’s session. The cash market is firming for spring wheat in Portland which saw basis rise 20...[Read More]
Minneapolis Wheat Move Sharply Higher
Cody and Kevin discuss Minneapolis wheat and Informa numbers out of South America.[Read More]
Grains Mixed After Monday Selling
The grains are mixed this morning with corn up 1 ¼ cents, soybeans down 3 ¾ cents and wheat in Chicago down 2 ½ cents. Traders should keep an eye on the Informa Economics latest crop estimates scheduled for release at 10:30 AM this morning. Also on the horizon is the USDA Supply and Demand...[Read More]