Grain basis got a big boost this week as harvest nears completion and barge rates continue to sink lower. On the week, US average corn basis was up 3 cents a bushel while soybeans advanced 4 cents a bushel.
River terminals were big gainers this week as barge freight costs continued to come down. On the week, barge rates along the IL River slipped 8 cents a bushel and are off nearly 40 cents a bushel from their seasonal high set back at the end of September. As a result, corn basis along the river terminals climbed 8 cents a bushel, while soybeans was up nearly 7 cents a bushel.
Harvest for corn and beans is reaching the final stages, with corn in the Upper Midwest still left to cut. Areas of MN & WI saw little strength this week as harvest pressure still exerts some localized pressure in these areas. Likewise, bean cutting is causing some pressure in the Upper Midwest and the Mid-Atlantic as double crop beans get cut there.
For end users, corn plants were up a robust 4 cents a bushel on average as a group. In Ohio, 4 of the 7 corn plants there had better than 10 cent basis advances on the week. For soy plants, basis levels were solidly higher as end users bid up from the harvest lows. Gains on average were 6 cents a bushel for soy crush plants on the week.
Look for basis levels to continue to improve rapidly over the next 6 weeks as harvest wains and flat to lower futures prices keep farmers on the cash market sideline.
The risk of trading futures, hedging and speculating can be substantial. Grain Hedge is a dba of Foremost Trading LLC (NFA ID: 0307930)