Will this week’s soybean sales lift the market?
Soybean sales beat expectations in a big way this morning with a reportable new crop sale on top of the strong weekly sales report. Can it lift the market in the day session?
In the overnight session corn fell 3/4 of a cent, soybeans dropped 2 3/4 cents and wheat increased 1 1/2 cents. The dollar pulled back one third of a percent and crude oil is trading up a dollar this morning. This morning there was a reportable sale of 280,000 metric tons of soybeans to unknown destinations for the 15/16 marketing year.
Weekly export sales were strong for soybeans which booked 505,808 metric tons, up 48 percent week over week. This beat analyst expectations which ranged from 100,000-300,000 metric tons. The market has been looking for soybean export sales to taper as Brazil harvest is over halfway complete. Major buyers this week included Indonesia, China, Germany and the Netherlands. Corn sales were on the low side of expectations this week booking 435,000 metric tons compared to expectations of 400,000-600,000 metric tons. This week’s sales were down 13 percent from the previous week and did little to help along the overall pace of exports this year. China was one of the corn buyers this week purchasing 60,800 metric tons, the most in quite some time. Wheat sales were reported at 102,000 metric tons this week down 74 percent from last week and a marketing year low for the grain. Expectations were for sales between 200,000-400,000 metric tons.
Yesterday, the EIA’s weekly ethanol production report showed an increase in output by 6,000 barrels per day bringing weekly production to 953,000 barrels per day. This is the 3rd straight week of ethanol production increases despite the lagging energy sector. Seasonally, it is normal to see an increase in ethanol production from March through June. Ethanol ending stocks were also increased this week by 497,000 barrels per day to 21.32 million barrels.
Brazil’s Agroconsult increased their soybean crop estimate to 95.8 million metric tons from 94.7 million in their previous forecast. Brazil soybean harvest is 61 percent complete which is about 4 percent behind last year. Dry conditions recently has helped move along harvest, but light precipitation over the next few days may slow the pace temporarily. Precipitation should clear by early next week to provide more opportunity for harvest.
During a quite trade day, Cody looks to acreage projections, ethanol production, and the daily charts as an indication of where grain prices might be headed.
How many acres will be planted to Soybeans?
The grain markets are awaiting the quarterly grain stocks and the prospective plantings report due out on Tuesday next week. Here's what the market is expecting.
The overnight was a quiet trade with corn unchanged, soybeans up 1/4 cent and wheat down 3 1/4 cents. The dollar is trading lower by nearly 3/4 of a percent and crude oil is up 34 cents. This morning there were a couple reportable sales that were announced by FAS for 108,863 metric tons of soymeal to Canada for 2015/16 delivery and 114,000 metric tons of old crop corn to Mexico. The markets will be focusing on the 2015 prospective plantings report and the quarterly grain stocks report which will both be released at 11 AM CST.
The expectations for the quarterly grain stocks as of March 1st are as follows. For corn the average analyst guess pegs quarterly grain stocks at 7.609 billion bushels with the highest estimate at 7.8 billion and the lowest estimate at 7.459 billion bushels. Wheat stocks are expected to be around 1.140 billion bushels with a range of analyst guesses from 1.2 billion bushels to 1.083 billion bushels. Soybean stocks are expected to be around 1.346 billion bushels with a range of guesses from 1.404 - 1.273 billion bushels.
Lanworth released their latest planted acreage forecasts this morning raising its U.S. soybean seedings estimates to 85.5 million acres and its U.S. corn planting estimate to 88.2 million acres. This compares to Informa Economics estimates of 88.5 million acres of corn planted and 87.5 million acres of soybeans planted in the 2015 growing season.
Wheat Rally Breaks
Cody and Kevin talk about wheat's move lower and what they expect soybeans to do during the second half of the week.
Grains find resistance after two day rally
The grains ran into some selling pressure in the overnight as each commodity tests resistance levels on the daily chart.
In the overnight session the grains found some selling pressure near resistance levels. Corn is down 1/2 cents, soybeans are down 3 cents and wheat is down 8 1/4 cents on the day. The Dollar index is trading slightly higher this morning and crude oil is lower by a percent.
Corn is currently trading at its 50 day moving average and is now at a price level scared by consolidation throughout most of February and March. Be aware that selling pressure at these levels is likely following the strong two day rally that lifted us off the short term lows of $3.67. Soybeans are also near a resistance level where the 20 day simple moving average and 50 day simple moving average converge.
State level crop conditions reported yesterday that Kansas winter wheat good to excellent ratings were unchanged from the previous week at 41 percent, Oklahoma increased 4 percent to 44 percent good to excellent and Texas improved 4 percent to 55 percent good to excellent. Despite this week’s improvement in crop conditions, traders see a drier pattern developing over the next 10 days with only a chance of patchy showers in the 11-15 day forecast. Russia’s weather stressed crop looks to receive more moisture over the next week as rains expand across Europe, Ukraine and into Russia.
Export inspections were mostly positive this week with corn beating analyst expectations with 994,666 metric tons of corn booked this week compared to 750,000-950,000 metric tons expected. Soybeans and wheat both met analyst expectations with 519,464 metric tons and 511,069 metric tons respectively.
Grains Higher on Falling Dollar
The grains are trading higher today as the dollar continues its slide following the FOMC meeting that removed the chance that the first rate hike would occur in June.
In the overnight session the grains moved higher with corn up 4 1/2 cents, soybeans up 6 3/4 cents and wheat up 6 1/2 cents going into this morning’s pause in trade. The U.S. dollar is pulling back this morning continuing the sell-off on Friday. Corn is currently trading at $3.89 near its 50 day moving average. Crop conditions reports will be released for some the plains states later today.
Over the weekend some precipitation helped out central to eastern Texas, but that was not enough to provide meaningful relief for the drought that is focused on the panhandle of Texas and Western Oklahoma. Dryness looks to continue over the next two weeks with only expectations for light scattered showers. The Delta was able to dry a bit over the weekend providing some opportunity for seeding after excess moisture has slowed fieldwork recently. The weather should remain favorable in the far south for the remainder of the month with showers expected to return in April.
China has turned to Ukraine and away from the U.S. to source corn. In January only 13,663 metric tons of U.S. corn was imported into China which was down 93 percent from last year. However, Ukrainian corn imports have surged in February to 574,000 metric tons, up nearly 200 percent from last year.
U.S. Dollar Decrease Proves Helpful to Grain Prices
Cody and Kevin break down the move higher and discuss weekly basis changes and Informa numbers.
Weekly Cash Comments
Cash Commentary for week ending March 20
Grain futures came under pressure this week as US dollar strength and slow export business took its toll on the market. In the cash market, there was little movement in basis by grain buyers as a whole with U.S. average soybean basis unchanged for the week while corn basis gained only 1-cent on average across the country.
Barge rates were on the rise this week especially along the IL & MS River where gains of 10 cents or more per bushel were fairly common for barge costs. As a result, basis levels in these areas were off fairly sharply. For corn, Gulf export bids were up 4 cents a bushel which helped to blunt some of the basis declines upstream along the river system. For ethanol plants, basis gains were better than the overall U.S. average gaining 2.25 cents a bushel this week. Especially strong were some plants in the Western Cornbelt were gains of 5 to 10 cents were fairly typical at some key plants.
For soybeans, it was another week of lackluster movement in basis with U.S. average basis sitting at -43K, virtually unchanged since the start of the month. At the Gulf, export basis was up 8 cents a bushel, but higher barge costs offset this gain putting river terminal bids under pressure by 2 cents a bushel. For soybean plants, basis levels were mostly unchanged but some modest strength was apparent in the Western Cornbelt plants.
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