April 25, 2017 | Grain Hedge Insights | Kevin McNew | Views: 63

Planting Pace Jumps Higher Than Expected

Grains Gave Up Yesterday's Gains in the Overnight Session

Grains gave up yesterday's gains in the overnight session as planting pace jumped higher than expected.


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USDA’s crop progress report showed corn planting at 17% completed, up from 6% planted last week and higher than expectations of 15% going into the report. This slightly below the 18% pace on the 5-year average but well off last year’s plantings of 28%. Soybeans came in at 6% planted, up from 3% last year and the 5-year average. Winter wheat condition was unchanged from last week at 54% good-to-excellent.


China's 2017 planned acreage dedicated to soybeans will go up 8.1% while the planned acreage dedicated to corn will drop 4%, according to survey results from the National Bureau of Statistics published on Monday. The nation's planned acreage dedicated to wheat in 2017 will go down 0.8%. For March, China soy imports were 6.3 MMT, that’s slightly above the 6.1 MMT imports in March 2016. Q1 imports tallied a record high of 19.5 MMT.


In the export arena, the recent slide in the US Dollar is starting to slant the trade more to the US in relative commodity pricing. This is especially true for wheat vs Europe where the Euro has shown sharp gains in recent days following the election primary in France. Corn prices in Brazil continue to trade at a hefty discount to the US. This morning Iraq was tendering for 50,000 MT of wheat to be sourced from Canada, the US or Australia.







  Last Week

Last Year






































Export spreads represent a foreign country price minus US price at export destinations, in USD per metric ton.  A higher spread indicates

the foreign price has risen relative to US prices, making the foreign country less competitive and the US more competitive.

The risk of trading futures, hedging, and speculating can be substantial. Grain Hedge is a Branch of Foremost Trading LLC (NFA ID: 0307930)

April 24, 2017 | Kevin McNew | Views: 72
April 18, 2017 | Grain Hedge Insights | Kevin McNew | Views: 329

US Dollar Index Continues Its Retreat

March NOPA Crush Figures Failed to Meet Expectations

Corn and wheat tried to reverse course overnight following Monday’s slide while soybeans moved lower. In outside markets, the US Dollar Index continued to retreat, falling below the psychological 100-mark .


On Monday, NOPA crush figure for March failed to meet expectations for the 2nd month in a row with 153 MB of soybeans processed for the month vs expectations that averaged 156. Year-to-date crushings for the seven months of the marketing year are up 1.8% from the same period last year, while USDA expects a 2.8% bump in annual crush in the balance sheet.


After the close on Monday, USDA’s crop progress report showed only 6% of the corn crop had been planted. Although up from last week’s reading of 3%, it was still below the 8% mark expected by analysts and 12% for the same week last year. For winter wheat, US crop conditions inched higher to 54% good-to-excellent, up from 53% last week but below 57% last year.  Of the winter wheat states, OK was notable in its decline in ratings to 43% from 45% last week.

In international news, Asia saw Palm Oil prices slide as did soy futures in China. Weakening hog margins in China combined with an increase in Chinese soy plantings for 2017 are likely weighing on prices. South Korea feed group MFG bought 137,000 MT of corn.


US weather forecasts point to rains over the next week but looking ahead into the 2nd week shows a dry pattern for much of the US Grain Belt. Two week precip totals favor the Southern Cornbelt, the Plains and parts of IA/MN. Precip is expected to be limited in IN/OH.

The risk of trading futures, hedging, and speculating can be substantial. Grain Hedge is a Branch of Foremost Trading LLC (NFA ID: 0307930)

April 17, 2017 | Kevin McNew | Views: 316
April 12, 2017 | Grain Hedge Insights | Kevin McNew | Views: 282

Soybeans Hold on to Strong Gains

Yesterday's Crop Report confirmed the big crops in South America

Soybeans held strong gains, countering yesterday’s bearish crop report while corn and wheat were holding steady in limited trade. In outside markets, crude oil continued to add to its gains over the last two weeks pushing into the mid-$53 area while equities and the US dollar were weaker to start the day.


Yesterday’s crop report confirmed the big crops in South America. Brazil’s soy crop was pegged at 111 MMT, up from USDA’s March forecast of 108 and above industry acreage expectations of 109.9. Likewise, Brazil’s corn crop came in at 93.5, above expectations of 92.4 and 91.5, previously. In Argentina, USDA also was slightly above expectations with corn at 38.5 vs a trade estimate of 37.8 and soybeans at 56 vs expectations of 55.9.


Soybeans sold off initially after the report but spiked on it’s low of $9.41 basis for July. This should act as support in the near-term. Indicators are turning more positive after being oversold for some time, giving the market a short-covering temperament.  To the upside, it will take a move into the $9.70 to $9.80 to likely push more shorts out. A resumption of the downtrend will take breaking through the $9.40 mark and eventually making a slide to $9. The fundamentals no-doubt support it.

In Europe, France and Germany are seeing above normal temps to help early season wheat development but conditions have turned dry of late which could spell problems if rain does not return. Weather patterns are expected to bring some light rains to Germany over the next two weeks, but hardly any precip is expected in France.


The risk of trading futures, hedging, and speculating can be substantial. Grain Hedge is a Branch of Foremost Trading LLC (NFA ID: 0307930)

April 11, 2017 | Grain Hedge Insights | Kevin McNew | Views: 322

Grains Mixed Heading into the USDA Report

US Dollar and Equities in Negative Territory

Grains Mixed Heading into the USDA Report

Grains were mixed heading into the USDA report with soybeans holding on to a modest gain while corn and wheat sunk lower. In outside markets, crude oil dipped lower after hitting the $53 a barrel mark for the first time in a month. The US Dollar and equities were also in negative territory to start the main session.


This morning Brazil’s govt agency, CONAB, released their crop projections giving us a sneak-peek of what may lay ahead from USDA. They projected Brazil’s soy crop at 110.2 MMT, up from their previous forecast of 107.6 MMT in March. Analysts expect a USDA soy crop estimate of 109.9 MMT for Brazil, up from USDA’s March forecast of 108. For corn, CONAB came in at 91.5 MMT vs their 88.9 MMT forecast in March. Meanwhile the USDA report is expected by analysts to show a 92.4 MMT up from the March forecast of 91.5 MMT by USDA.


On Monday after the close USDA’s crop progress report showed the winter wheat crop improved to 53% good-to-excellent, up from 51% the previous week.  Last year’s reading at this time was 56%. For corn, only 3% of the US crop had been planted versus 4% this time last year.

In overnight deals, a South Korea feed group purchased 60,000 MT of soymeal from South America and another feed group in South Korea purchased 63,000 MT of feed wheat of optional origin.


USDA’s monthly supply and demand report is expected to show modest gains in all three crop carry-outs not only at the US level but at the world level as well. The report will be released at 11 am CDT.


The risk of trading futures, hedging, and speculating can be substantial. Grain Hedge is a Branch of Foremost Trading LLC (NFA ID: 0307930)

April 10, 2017 | Grain Hedge Insights | Kevin McNew | Views: 277

USDA Crop Report to be Released Tomorrow

Grains in Positive Territory to Start the Week

Grains were in positive territory to start the week led by soybeans. In outside markets, crude oil was also showing impressive gains, hitting its highest mark in a month.


Rains over the weekend in Argentina came in heavier than expected with widespread coverage of 1 to 2 inches on waterlogged soils. Some areas saw as high as 7 inches in Buenos Aires. This will continue to hamper the soy harvest there as well as lead to quality concerns.


In the US, weather continues to lean to the wet side. Rain is expected regularly this week over the Midwest with totals of 0.5-1.5 inches expected in the ECB and 0.75-2.5 in the WCB. The frequency of the rains will be more of a problem than the amounts as rain is expected every 2 to 3 days. Heading into the 2nd week of the forecast; rains are expected to intensify in the Upper Midwest with totals of 1-3 inches which could stall in planting progress by April 23.  


In international news, Malaysian palm oil hit a 6-month low. Data from the Malaysian Palm Oil Board showed ending stocks for March rose 6.5% on the month to 1.55 MMT, outpacing market expectations.

Tomorrow, the USDA will release their monthly crop report. Modest gains in US carry-outs are expected after higher than expected quarterly stocks figures released March 31. Traders will eagerly watch South America production with expectations for a big bump in Brazil corn/soy estimates and only a modest uptick expected in the Argentine production numbers.


The risk of trading futures, hedging, and speculating can be substantial. Grain Hedge is a Branch of Foremost Trading LLC (NFA ID: 0307930)

April 07, 2017 | Grain Hedge Insights | Kevin McNew | Views: 253

Weekly Cash Comments

Weekly Cash Commentary for week ending 04/07/2017

Grain basis moved higher this week with soybeans advancing 1.5 cents a bushel on average across the US while corn basis was up a modest 0.8 cents a bushel.


The steep slide in soybean prices at the end of last week helped fuel some minor basis improvements with soy crush facilities seeing gains of 2.8 cents a bushel on average.  River terminals, however, saw some minor weakness on the week as average soy basis dipped 0.5 cents a bushel. Of note this past week there was a fairly noticeable response to USDA’s big soy acreage jump as 20% of the grain buyers in GeoGrain’s system of over 4,300 buyers lowered their new-crop soybean bids over the past week.


For corn, spot basis did improve on average by 1.3 cents at ethanol plants but continues to run well below average for this time of year. Like soybeans, river terminals were mostly flat over the last week.


With First Notice Day on May futures 3 weeks away, it seems that soybean basis along key delivery points has a long way to go to push convergence to futures. Average basis along delivery points is about -25K suggesting quite a move will be needed to get the spot basis to par in the next few weeks. For corn, the delivery locations are running at about -8K with upside to par expected in the next 3 weeks.


The risk of trading futures, hedging, and speculating can be substantial. Grain Hedge is a Branch of Foremost Trading LLC (NFA ID: 0307930)

April 07, 2017 | Grain Hedge Insights | Kevin McNew | Views: 314

Grains Were Mixed and Range Bound in Overnight Trading

Crude Oil inching higher

Grains were mixed and range bound in overnight trade action. In outside markets, equity markets were fractionally lower while the US Dollar index tried to eclipse the 101 mark for the first time in two weeks. Crude oil was also inching higher.


Overnight, Algeria was said to have bought 570,000 MT of wheat, likely to be sourced from the EU. Russia and Turkey plan to hold talks on import restrictions imposed by Ankara on Russian wheat in two weeks time, deputy prime minister Arkady Dvorkovich told reporters on Friday. The restrictions were not logical, he said. Turkey has put on hold purchases of wheat, maize (corn) and sunflower from Russia by imposing high import tariffs from mid-March.


In China, soy crush margins continue to be pressured hitting their lowest mark in 9 months. This could hamper their import appetite for soybeans just as South America ramps up exportable supplies.


The Midwest and Delta is expected to see limited rains between Monday and Thursday but rains are expected to intensify by next weekend. Overall, weather should be good for corn seeding pace given warmth & limited showers through mid-month. In the Plains, rains return to winter wheat in the 6-10 & mid/late 11-15 day to support crop growth with no seeming threats of cold.

The US jobs report this morning was below expectations with only 98,000 new jobs added as compared to 180,000 expected. The unemployment rate did dip to 4.5% from 4.7% previously, the lowest in a decade.


The risk of trading futures, hedging, and speculating can be substantial. Grain Hedge is a Branch of Foremost Trading LLC (NFA ID: 0307930)

April 06, 2017 | Grain Hedge Insights | Kevin McNew | Views: 261

Grains Stagnated in the Overnight Session

Outside Markets Saw Crude Oil trying to Recover

Grains stagnated overnight following yesterday’s soybean advance, which was sadly the biggest daily gain in 25 trade sessions on a 6-cent gain. Outside markets saw crude oil try to recover from steep losses yesterday.


Weather in the US for early planting and winter wheat development is near ideal. Heavy rains in the Delta should ease as showers over the next 10 days are expected to be light with heavier rains not slated to return until the 11-15 day ahead period. The Plains also are seeing better moisture with the 6-10 day forecast leaning towards rains in Texas/Oklahoma, with fairly extensive 11-15 day rains providing follow-up moisture for most Plains wheat.

Weekly export sales were reasonably strong this week with all three commodities mostly at the high end of combined OC-NC expectations.


Export Sales-




Wheat - OC



Wheat - NC



Corn - OC



Corn - NC













In crude oil, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) reported an increase of 1.57 million barrels in crude inventories late on Wednesday, bringing total U.S. stocks to a record high of 535.5 million barrels.


The risk of trading futures, hedging, and speculating can be substantial. Grain Hedge is a Branch of Foremost Trading LLC (NFA ID: 0307930)

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