Cash grain markets found strength as futures prices were down on the week. Both spot and corn bean basis levels posted impressive gains, advancing 5 and 3 cents a bushel, respectively, on the week.
Corn found strength from slow farmer sales as harvest wrapped up as well as underlying demand. Ethanol plants as a group were up 7 cents a bushel with 10 cent gains fairly typical as plants push well above harvest lows. Production at ethanol plants for the week were above last week’s marketing year high coming in at 970,000 barrels per day and sets the year-to-date total at 4% above last year. At river terminals, barge rates fell sharply on the week helping improve basis levels at river markets.
For soybeans, basis levels mostly improved and the falling barge rates helped push basis levels higher there. However, soybean sales were on the light side of expectations with only 483,000 MT of new business as compared to expectations of 700,000 to 1,000,000 MT. For bean plants, basis levels were mostly flat but overall slightly improved with a 2-cent gain. Monthly NOPA crush for October was the strongest on record for soybean crushing, 7 million bushels above estimates.
The grains did not continue their move yesterday's move higher in the overnight, but soybeans chopped around most of the night printing a 7 cent range.
In the overnight session corn traded down 1 ½ cents, soybeans traded up 5 ¾ cents and wheat in Chicago traded down 2 ½ cents. Keep in mind that today is the LAST TRADE FOR DECEMBER OPTIONS.
Precipitation is developing over the Delta region which will likely expand to bring moisture to the eastern two thirds of the grain belt throughout the weekend. The 6-10 day forecasts show drier than normal precipitation throughout the majority of the Midwest. North Dakota and Minnesota look to be wetter in the 6-10 day forecast.
Crop concerns are still minimal in South America other than planting delays in Argentina. Pockets of the country continue to receive precipitation keeping planting pace behind the average pace. About 20% of corn and soybean acres and about 30% of wheat cause some concern about timely planting.
Winter weather in Russia is bringing Rostov on Don water levels to 2.3-2.4 meters, which will stop shipment from that region. This is a shallow draft port with a grain export capacity estimated at 3 million metric tons a year, and typically loads 3,000-5,000 metric ton vessels destined for Mediterranean countries.
Soybean sales lagged expectations providing little support for a continued move higher.
In the overnight session corn increased 2 ¼ cents, soybeans increased 1 ¾ cents and wheat fell 3 cents as we go into the morning pause in trade. Export sales which were released at 7:30 CST caused soybeans to give back most of the gains it had achieved in an overnight bounce.
In this morning’s export sales report, wheat sales fell within market expectations booking 361,700 metric tons, down 13 percent from the previous week. Corn booked 908,700 metric tons, up 80% from last week and beating expectations by a large margin. Expectations for corn sales ranged from 500,000-700,000 metric tons. Soybean sales for 483,000 metric tons disappointed traders with expectations for sales between 700,000-1,000,000 metric tons. Export sales for soybeans fell from the previous week by 55 percent. Soybean Meal sales were strong however with 265,700 metric tons of new sales well over the analyst range of 100,000 metric tons of cancelations to 100,000 tons of new sales.
Ethanol production numbers showed another week of increased production with 970,000 barrels per day reported on Wednesday. Ethanol production improved 24,000 barrels per day compared to last week. Ethanol stocks declined week over week by 370,000 barrels to 17.34 million barrels.
December corn looks to have found some support at $3.62 which also is the 100 day moving average. Strong ethanol numbers yesterday and exceptionally strong export sales this week should help to support corn in today’s trade. Keep in mind that CIF basis at the Gulf has slipped to the lowest levels in three weeks as farmer sales and declining barge rates pressure basis.
Kevin and Cody discuss the cash basis movement on a national level this Friday.
Corn and bean futures prices found strength this week and the cash market added on to the gains with a 2 cent basis increase on average across the US this week.
In corn, ethanol plants were a dominant driver adding 4 cents a bushel as a group as ethanol production continues to accelerate. Weekly ethanol output was at 946,000 barrels per day, a marketing year high, and puts year-to-date output 6.1% ahead of last year's pace. USDA has only a 0.3% increase expected for annual corn use for ethanol. Export markets were also up with the Gulf port basis advancing 3 cents a bushel. Weekly export inspections were at 517,000 MT on par with expectations but a bit slim for this time of year.
By comparison, soybean export inspections continue to set a blistering pace with 2,481,000 MT for the week and cumulative exports at 13.5 MMT compared to 11.8 MMT for the same period last year. This is 14.4% higher than 2013 while USDA is only factoring in a 4.4% increase year on year. However, basis levels at the Gulf this week were flat with some river terminals in the Upper Midwest seeing lower basis as barge rates there moved higher. Soy plants were up as a group gaining 3.4 cents a bushel, but some areas of Minnesota and Iowa were weaker with 5 to 10 cent declines being fairly common by plants in this region.
Kevin and Cody discuss the positive day in the grains and talk about some of the drivers behind the scenes. Cody discusses some key price levels to keep an eye on if corn continues its move higher tomorrow.
Soybean futures continued to erode this week giving up 14 cents a bushel while corn found modest strength in a 3 cent advance. In the cash market, basis movements were fairly muted this week with US average corn basis gaining 1 cent a bushel while soybeans added 2 cents to the US average...
In the overnight, soybeans and wheat traded lower slipping 5 ¾ and 5 ¾ cents respectively, while corn stayed mostly unchanged increasing by ¼ cent. The export sales report was very supportive for corn, neutral for wheat and bearish for soybeans which missed analyst expectations by a...
In the overnight session the grains traded slightly higher with corn up 3/4 of a cent, soybeans up 3 1/4 cents and wheat up 3 ¾ cents. Soybeans are trading at $9.87 ½ just below $9.91 which is the low side of the sideways range it traded in since late October. The low side of the range...