It’s only a four-day week for grain markets, but prices already showed a bit of optimism on Tuesday after some technical buying lifted corn, soybean and wheat contracts. Corn prices saw the most upside after another flash sale was announced this morning, moving more than 1% higher by the close. Wheat gains were variable, tracking as much as 0.9% higher. Soybeans saw modest improvements of around 0.2%.
Variable amounts of rain and/or snow are possible for parts of the Midwest and Plains between Wednesday and Saturday, per the latest 72-hour cumulative precipitation map from NOAA. Parts of the Mid-South are likely to see 2” or more during this time. Later on, NOAA’s 8-to-14-day outlook predicts seasonally wet weather for most of the central U.S. between January 3 and January 9, with warmer-than-normal conditions likely for eastern half of the country during that time.
On Wall St., the Dow was near even in afternoon trading, inching 8 points higher to 33,214. Investors are optimistic that China is easing its covid restrictions but remain wary of rising bond yields, which tends to apply negative pressure on growth stocks. Energy futures were mixed. Crude oil eased slightly lower to stay just below $80 per barrel. Gasoline dropped nearly 1%, while diesel climbed more than 2.5% higher. The U.S. Dollar softened slightly.
Last Friday, commodity funds were net buyers of all major grain contracts, including corn (+3,000), soybeans (+5,500), soymeal (+1,500), soyoil (+1,000) and CBOT wheat (+7,000). Additionally, speculators cut their net long position of corn by 10,589 contracts to 52,544 in the week through December 20. Funds also cut their net long soybean position by 8,232 contracts to 86,286 while trimming their net short position of CBOT wheat by 4,090 contracts to 67,107.
NOTE: Because Christmas and New Year’s Day both fall on a Sunday this holiday season, they will be observed as federal holidays the following Mondays. Because of that, the next two export sales reports will come out on Dec. 30 and Jan. 6.
Corn prices made moderate inroads after a round of technical buying on Tuesday that was mostly spurred by export optimism after a large sale to Japan was announced this morning. March and May futures each firmed 7.75 cents to close at $6.74 and $6.7275, respectively.
Corn basis bids were mixed at two Midwestern processors (up 5 cents at an Iowa location, down 25 cents at a Nebraska location), while holding steady elsewhere across the central U.S. on Tuesday.
Private exporters announced to USDA the sale of 7.0 million bushels of corn to Japan. Of the total, only 4% is for delivery during the current marketing year, which began September 1. The remaining 96% is for delivery in 2023/24.
Corn export inspections reached 33.7 million bushels for the week ending December 22. That was on the higher end of trade estimates, which ranged between 19.7 million and 35.4 million bushels. Mexico was the No. 1 destination, with 15.1 million bushels. Cumulative totals for the 2022/23 marketing year are still well below last year’s pace so far, with 348.1 million bushels.
Brazil’s Anec is now expecting the country’s corn exports to reach 243.7 million bushels in December, which is 5.9% below its prior projection from a week earlier.
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Preliminary volume estimates were for 159,240 contracts, sliding slightly below Friday’s final count of 167,248.
Soybean prices attempted to move significantly higher on Tuesday morning but ultimately settled into modest gains by the close. January futures picked up 2 cents to $14.81, while March futures added 3.5 cents to $14.88.
Soybean basis bids eased a penny lower at an Ohio elevator while holding steady elsewhere across the central U.S. on Tuesday.
Soybean export inspections made it to 64.4 million bushels last week. That was toward the higher end of trade estimates, which ranged between 44.1 million and 68.3 million bushels. China topped all destinations, with 39.5 million bushels. Cumulative totals for the 2022/23 marketing year are still modestly behind last year’s pace so far, with 997.0 million bushels.
Brazil’s Anec slightly reduced its estimates for the country’s December soybean exports, sliding that number down to 63.0 million bushels from its last projection from a week earlier. Anec also expects to see Brazilian soymeal exports reach 1504 million metric tons this month.
South Korea issued an international tender to purchase around 900,000 bushels of GMO-free food-quality soybeans from optional origins that closes on January 4. The grain is comprised of a series of assignments that would be for delivery between December 2023 and June 2024.
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Preliminary volume estimates were for 238,510 contracts, shifting moderately above Friday’s final count of 149,196.
Wheat prices captured variable gains amid recent winterkill damage in the U.S. Plains along with continued logistical challenges in Ukraine. March Chicago SRW futures picked up a penny, March Kansas City HRW futures gained 7.75 cents to $8.8250, and March MGEX spring wheat futures added 6 cents to $9.3775.
Wheat export inspections moved to 10.3 million bushels last week. That was near the middle of analyst expectations after trade guesses came in between 6.4 million and 16.5 million bushels. Mexico was the No. 1 destination, with 3.8 million bushels. Cumulative totals for the 2022/23 marketing year are slightly behind last year’s pace so far, with 430.7 million bushels.
Thailand purchased 2.3 million bushels of animal feed wheat, likely sourced from Australia, in a dealt hat closed on Friday. The grain is for shipment in June.
Russian consultancy Sovecon estimates that the country’s wheat exports in December will reach 150.6 million bushels. That would be slightly below November’s tally of 158.0 million bushels but 34% higher year-over-year, if realized. Russia is the world’s No. 1 wheat exporter.
Egypt’s strategic reserves of wheat and vegetable oils are sufficient for between four and five months, according to a cabinet statement on Monday. Egypt is among the world’s top buyer of both commodities.
Preliminary volume estimates were for 33,262 CBOT contracts, spilling moderately below Friday’s final count of 38,092.
|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 12/23)|
|UAN (32%) New Orleans||512.6||-77.16|
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