Weekly Cash Comments
Cash basis commentary for week of January 23
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 spot basis.
In the corn market, ethanol plants as a group were fairly quiet this week, although more strength was apparent in the Eastern Cornbelt of Indiana and Ohio where several plants boosted their spot basis by a nickel. At the Gulf, export premiums were mostly unchanged for the week and a modest drop in barge rates did little to change the overall trend of basis levels at river terminals.
For soybeans, gains were noted at river terminal on Wednesday with some key markets up 5 to 8 cents on the day, but by Thursday those premiums were gone and basis levels ended the week only up 2 cents on average. Gulf basis was up 4 cents on the week. At soybean plants, there has been little movement in recent weeks especially at Western Cornbelt plants were most basis levels have been flat for the past 6 weeks. In Ohio, a few key plants were up 5 to 10 cents a bushel this week.
Huge Corn Sales Surprise the Market
This week's corn sales were reported at marketing year highs doubling analyst expectations.
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 significant margin.
Wheat sales beat analyst expectations by a small margin, booking 458,400 metric tons which is up 61 percent from last week’s export sales total. Despite beating the analyst expectations which ranged from between 200,000-400,000 metric tons, traders will need to see a much larger pick-up in sales if prices are to be supported. Corn export sales were reported at a marketing year high booking 2,185,400 metric tons which was well above the 800,000-1,000,000 metric ton trader’s expected out of this week’s report. Old crop soybean sales were reported at 14,100 metric tons well below analyst expectations of 400,000-700,000. Soybean sales recorded a marketing year low this week.
Corn 800,000-1,000,000 2,185,400
Soybeans 400,000-700,000 14,100
Wheat 200,000-400,000 458,400
Yesterday, the EIA ethanol production report showed output increased by 1000 barrels per day to 979,000 barrels per day this week. This brings ethanol production to a year over year increase of 5.4% compared to the USDA’s forecast in the January WASDE report which expects corn used for ethanol to increase only .8% year over year. Ethanol stocks also inched higher by 158,000 barrels this week to a total of 20.39 million barrels in this week’s report. Compared to last month ethanol prices have fallen from $2.20 to $1.27 per gallon.
The Agricultural ministry in Argentina announced an increase in their wheat production estimates after harvest has wrapped up. Argentina is expected to have harvested 13.9 million metric tons of wheat in the 2014/15 season up from its previous estimate of 13.2 million metric tons. The ministry also lowered its planted acreage for corn and soybean’s by .1 million hectares and .2 million hectares respectively.
Yesterday the International Grains Council increased its 2014/15 global corn production to 992 million metric tons up from 982 million metric tons in their previous forecast. This revision takes into account the USDA revision lower in the U.S corn crop, but that production loss is was more than offsets with larger production from Ukraine, Argentina, Brazil and Europe.
Difficult for Corn and Soybeans to Find Traction
Cody and Kevin break down the ethanol numbers released today. Tune in to hear them discuss what was weighing down the corn market and what may have influenced lower bean prices after a positive overnight session.
Will Ethanol Production Stay Ahead of Pace
Ethanol production has been running well ahead of pace to meet USDA expectations all year, will we begin to see production soften this week?
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 which acted as support multiple times since late October will likely act as resistance since prices broke below $9.91 on January 20th.
Ethanol production and stocks will be released today due to the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday on Monday. Ethanol production increased sharply in last week’s report following two holiday shortened weeks of declining production. As of last week 14/15 ethanol production was running 5.3% ahead of last year. Ethanol production this year is significantly higher than the .8% increase the USDA has factored in. Seasonally, production begins to slow during this time of the year and with depressed crush margins throughout the Midwest there is a strong possibility this week’s ethanol production will be lower than last week. On a more positive note, Brazil’s agricultural minister stated this morning that the government will raise its ethanol blend requirement in gasoline in the first week of February.
Ukraine Farm Ministry announced that they have an agreement with traders to limit the amount of milling wheat exports to 1.2 million metric tons between January and June of this year and have a preliminary agreement that overall wheat exports will be limited to 12.8 million metric tons in the 2014/15 marketing year which is 1.8 million metric tons higher than the USDA currently forecasts. So far Ukraine has exported 8.5 million metric tons this marketing year.
The European central bank held its policy meeting on Thursday and announced it will buy up to 60 billion euros worth of sovereign bonds from March until September 2016. This is a more aggressive quantitative easing policy than the ECB has undertaken in the past. The move was widely expected by the market and has been a contributing factor to the price slide in the Euro recently.
River Basis Shows Strength
Kevin and Cody discuss what is supporting river basis and give a summary of where they think the wheat market is heading.
Wheat Jumps in Early Morning
Grains are mixed this morning with wheat showing strength after a sharp sell off over the last 20 days.
Grains are mixed in the overnight session with corn down ¾ of a cent, soybeans up 1 ½ cents and wheat up 7 cents after a sharp selloff over the last 20 days helped U.S. wheat gain some competitiveness on the global market. Also helping wheat is the accusations out of Kiev that Ukrainian soldiers have come under attack from Russian forces in north eastern Ukraine. Russia continues to deny that it has sent soldiers to eastern Ukraine. This morning a reportable sale of 176,000 metric tons of soybeans was sold to China.
Brazil’s crop analyst Celeres increased production estimates for Brazil’s soybean crop to 94.2 million metric tons up 2.8 million metric tons from its August forecast. Growing conditions have been positive in Brazil except for the north-eastern growing region which has experienced a moisture deficit for most of the growing season. Despite the dryness in parts of the country the main growing regions have experienced adequate to surplus moisture which has more than offset the negative impacts on yield caused by dryness in parts of the country. More rains over the next two weeks should continue to aid crop development. The current USDA production estimate for Brazil is 95.5 million metric tons which increased 1.5 million metric tons from the December Supply and Demand report.
Yesterday, corn and soybean export inspections were both reported on the high side of analyst expectations with corn reporting 747,634 metric tons inspected and soybeans reporting 1,517,985 metric tons. Wheat export inspections fell within analyst expectations with 310,307 metric tons inspected for export.
Support for Wheat?
Cody and Kevin discuss where wheat might be heading this week. They also look to ethanol numbers to see how they might effect corn.
Another Chinese Soybean Cancellation
The second soybean cancellation in five days is announced this morning which will weigh on soybean prices which are set to open below key support.
In the overnight session the grains traded lower with soybeans leading to the downside by 8 ¼ cents by the morning pause. Corn slipped 3 ½ cents and wheat slid 1 ½ cents on Tuesday morning. Soybeans are now trading below key support at $9.91 as higher than expected ending stocks coupled with lower than expected December soybean crush weigh on prices. This morning another cancellation from China including 174,000 metric tons of old crop soybeans will weigh on market prices in the early morning. This is the second cancellation in five days following last week’s cancellation of 285,000 metric tons. The USDA will release export inspections today at 10 AM CST due to the Martin Luther King holiday.
This morning China announced that its economy had grown at 7.4 percent in 2014 down from 7.7 percent growth in 2013. This year’s economic growth in China has been the slowest in nearly 27 years and increases the chances the government takes steps to stimulate growth to avoid a more serious decline.
In Brazil harvest has advanced to about 4.1% of the estimated 21.9 million acres only 1% behind the pace of last year’s harvest. Despite the dry spell that occurred in October these early planted crops are showing promising yields. The north eastern part of Brazil, which has been the driest this season looks to remain dry in the 6-10 day forecast. Despite the dry weather in the north, the southern growing regions have received above average precipitation this growing season which has helped offset the dry conditions in the north.
Mixed Trade to Close the Week
Export sales seem to give way for a mixed market to close the week. Cody will also discuss changes in basis around the country.
New Point-of-Use Dust Collectors Available!
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Grains Pressured on Monday Morning
In the overnight session the grains traded lower with corn down 2 1/4 cents, soybeans up 1/2 a cent and wheat down 2 cents going into the morning pause in trade. Crude oil is down 28 cents and the U.S. dollar is trading a fraction of a percent higher. Exporters reported 158,000 metric tons...[Read More]
Weekly Wrap Up
Weekly Cash Comments
Grain basis levels were modestly higher this week with both corn and soybeans posting an anemic 1-cent a bushel gain on average across the US this week.
In corn, it was a quiet week for export basis with the Gulf basis unchanged. River terminals found only modest strength with barge...[Read More]
Corn Weak on Prospects of Record Argentina Crop
In the overnight session the grains traded lower with corn down 2 cents, wheat down 1 3/4 cents and soybeans down 3 3/4 cents. The U.S dollar index is down 1/4 of a percent and crude oil is off 11 cents this morning. This morning a reportable export sale was announced for 121,400 metric...[Read More]
Brazilian Truckers Back on Strike
Strong Export Sales Lift Grains
In the overnight session corn, soybeans and wheat are trading higher with corn up 1 cent, soybeans up 4 3/4 cents and wheat up 3 1/2 cents. The dollar is trading down nearly 1/4 of a percent and crude oil is up 56 cents a barrel.
Export sales were very positive today for the grains...[Read More]