NOTE: Grain markets will be closed on Monday, January 16, in observance of the Martin Luther King Day federal holiday. Be sure to come back to Farm Futures first thing next Tuesday for our next round of agricultural news and analysis!
Grain prices surged higher following yesterday’s World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) report from USDA after the agency showed lower-than-expected production totals for both corn and soybeans (click here for a more detailed recap). And after incurring modest overnight losses, both grains finished Friday’s session with another round of gains. Corn prices improved around 0.75%, with soybeans up 0.5%. Winter wheat gains were variable, with some contracts trading more than 1% higher today, while spring wheat faded 0.5% lower.
Much of the Corn Belt should receive at least some measurable moisture between Saturday and Tuesday, with the Plains likely to remain relatively dry in contrast, per the latest 72-hour cumulative precipitation map from NOAA. The agency’s new 8-to-14-day outlook predicts seasonally wet weather for the entire central U.S. between January 20 and 26, with warmer-than-normal conditions still forecast for the easter Corn Belt.
On Wall St., the Dow tested gains of 50 points in afternoon trading, moving to 34,240, although multiple banks are now warning that they’re anticipating at least a “mild recession” this year. Energy futures continued to push higher, with crude oil up another 1.75% to $79 per barrel this afternoon. Gasoline rose 2.25%, with diesel up around 1.25%. The U.S. Dollar softened slightly.
On Thursday, commodity funds were net buyers of all major grain contracts, including corn (+10,500), soybeans (+10,500), soymeal (+2,500), soyoil (+3,000) and CBOT wheat (+2,000).
Corn prices emerged Friday’s session with gains of around 0.75% following another round of technical buying as traders continued to assess the bullish data USDA offered in yesterday’s WASDE report. March futures added 4.75 cents to $6.7575, with May futures up 5 cents to $6.7450.
Corn basis bids faded 2 to 10 cents lower at three Midwestern locations while holding steady elsewhere across the central U.S. on Friday.
Whether or not you attended the Farm Progress Show and/or Husker Harvest Days last summer, you should still make plans to attend the 2023 Farm Futures Business Summit, coming up next week! It’s packed with expert presentations, farmer panels, opportunities for one-of-a-kind peer networking and more. Click here to catch a glimpse of what’s in store and learn how to register.
Argentina’s Buenos Aires grains exchange trimmed its corn planting estimates for the 2022/23 season by 2.7% to 17.544 million acres but is holding its production estimates steady for now, at 1.968 billion bushels. That’s modestly below USDA’s latest production estimate of 2.047 billion bushels.
Ukrainian farmers have harvested 85% of the expected area through January 12, according to the country’s agriculture ministry. That brings production up to 925.2 million bushels so far. Total grain production is expected to decline by more than 40% this season.
South Korea purchased 2.7 million bushels of animal feed corn, likely sourced from either the United States or South America, in a private deal that closed on Thursday. The grain is for arrival in late April.
Preliminary volume estimates were for 281,806 contracts, which was well below Thursday’s final count of 444,658.
Soybean prices followed corn prices higher on Friday, erasing modest overnight losses and finishing Friday’s session with gains of around 0.5% after a round of technical buying today. January futures added 8.75 cents to $15.3825, with March futures up 10 cents to $15.2850.
Soybean basis bids were steady to soft after dropping 2 to 7 cents lower across three Midwestern locations on Friday.
Ahead of the next monthly report from the National Oilseed Processors Association (NOPA), out next Tuesday, analysts expect the group to show a December crush totaling 182.907 million bushels. That would be 2.1% above November’s total but the smallest December crush in three years, if realized. Soyoil stocks are estimated at 1.725 billion pounds through December 31, which would be a decline of 15.1% from year-ago volumes.
China’s soybean imports in December climbed 19% higher year-over-year to 388.0 million bushels. That was also the highest monthly tally since June 2021. The bulk of that volume is crushed for animal feed and cooking oil. China is by far the world’s No. 1 soybean importer.
Argentina’s Buenos Aires grains exchange slashed its estimates for the country’s 2022/23 soybean crop to 1.506 billion bushels, citing widespread drought. The new estimate is nearly 15% below its prior projection of 1.764 billion bushels.
Preliminary volume estimates were for 183,059 contracts, tilting moderately below Thursday’s final count of 247,821.
Wheat prices were mixed but mostly higher following an uneven round of technical maneuvering on Friday. Kansas City HRW contracts saw the most upside, with March futures rising 8.5 cents to $8.4350. March Chicago SRW contracts were also firm, picking up a penny to reach $7.4375. In contrast, March MGEX spring wheat futures faded 4.75 cents lower to $9.0750.
Ukraine’s agriculture ministry reported that the country’s 2022 wheat and barley harvests have now concluded, with respective production totals of 742.2 million and 266.4 million bushels. Ukraine is a significant exporter of both commodities.
Officials confirmed Egypt has purchased 4.4 million bushels of wheat from Russia. The grain is divided into two equally sized consignments that will be shipped between February 10 and February 25.
If it’s been a while since you’ve ventured onto FarmFutures.com, our Friday feature “7 ag stories you might have missed” is one way to easily catch up on the industry’s top headlines. The latest version includes a “memorandum of understanding” regarding right to repair, a USDA announcement regarding new programs intended to keep farmers profitable and more. Click here to get started.
And on today’s Farm Progress America, broadcaster Max Armstrong takes a closer look at the past, present and possible future of how shipping containers are used int eh ag industry – click here to listen.
Preliminary volume estimates were for 71,951 CBOT contracts, sliding moderately below Thursday’s final count of 110,037.
|Settlement Prices for Key Commodities|
|Live Cattle cents/lb|
|Feeder Cattle cents/lb|
|Lean Hogs cents/lb|
|Crude Oil $/barrel||*Energy prices may not represent final settlements|
|Unleaded Gasoline $/gallon|
|U.S. Dollar Index|
|Fertilizer Swaps||(as of 1/13)|
|UAN (32%) New Orleans||512.6||-77.16|
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