Dry weather in Argentina was enough to send soybean prices significantly higher on Friday, while a flash sale announced this morning lent additional support. Corn prices followed suit – barely – inching 0.1% higher today. Wheat prices struggled to find positive momentum, meantime, incurring losses mostly ranging between 0.5% and 1%.
Little to no rain or snow is expected in the Northern and Central Plains between Saturday and Tuesday, but parts of the eastern Corn Belt could gather some additional moisture during this time, per the latest 72-hour cumulative precipitation map from NOAA. The agency’s new 8-to-14-day outlook predicts seasonally wet weather to emerge across the Midwest and Plains between January 13 and January 19, with warmer-than-normal conditions likely for most of the U.S.
On Wall St., the Dow jumped 681 points higher in afternoon trading to 33,611 on fresh signs that inflation may be slowing. Energy futures were mixed. Crude oil inched slightly higher to stay just below $74 per barrel. Diesel firmed 1.25%, with gasoline down around 1%. The U.S. Dollar softened considerably.
On Thursday, commodity funds were net buyers of soymeal (+1,000) and CBOT wheat (+500) contracts but were net sellers of corn (-2,000), soybeans (-6,500) and soyoil (-2,000).
Corn prices scraped up modest gains after a flash sale to Mexico announced this morning led to some technical buying. March futures picked up half a penny to $6.5325, while May futures trended 0.75 cents higher to $6.5325.
Corn basis bids held steady across the central U.S. on Friday.
Private exporters announced to USDA the sale of 4.4 million bushels of corn to Mexico. Of the total, 80% is for delivery during the current marketing year, with the remaining 20% for delivery in 2023/24.
Corn export sales were disappointing after only reaching 12.6 million bushels for the week ending December 29. That was below the entire range of trade guesses, which came in between 15.7 million and 47.2 million bushels. Cumulative totals for the 2022/23 marketing year are still moderately behind last year’s pace so far, with 393.6 million bushels.
Corn export shipments fared much better last week, with 30.0 million bushels. China, Mexico, Japan, Honduras and Panama were the top five destinations.
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Preliminary volume estimates were for 186,256 contracts, spilling moderately below Thursday’s final count of 234,804.
Soybean prices found significant positive momentum on Friday amid renewed export optimism plus dry forecasts in Argentina, which triggered a round of technical buying today. January futures rose 34.75 cents to $15.0150, with March futures up 21.25 cents to $14.92.
Soybean basis bids trended 2 cents lower at an Indiana processor and 7 cents lower at an Illinois river terminal while holding steady elsewhere across the central U.S. on Friday.
Private exporters announced to USDA the sale of 4.9 million bushels of soybeans for delivery to unknown destinations during the 2022/23 marketing year, which began September 1.
Soybean exports saw 26.5 million bushels of old crop sales last week, plus another 5.5 million bushels of new crop sales, for a total tally of 32.0 million bushels. That was near the middle of trade estimates, which ranged between 14.7 million and 48.7 million bushels. Cumulative totals for the 2022/23 marketing year are running slightly behind last year’s pace, with 1.036 billion bushels.
Soybean export shipments were robust, with 54.3 million bushels. China, Mexico, Turkey, the United Kingdom and Taiwan were the top five destinations.
Brazil’s Safras & Mercado slightly reduced its estimates for the country’s 2022/23 soybean production, which is now at 5.635 billion bushels. That would still be a record-breaking effort, if realized.
Last year, China’s soybean production increased nearly 24% to 745.9 million bushels, thanks in large part to an acreage uptick of more than 21%. The country’s agriculture minister has indicated the country will target a planting increase of another 1.648 million acres for the 2023 season as the world’s top soybean buyer looks to be less reliant on foreign purchases of the oilseed.
By 2025, a total of 13 new soybean crushing plants and 10 plant expansions should be completed. What effects might this newfound domestic demand have on prices? Naomi Blohm, senior market adviser with Stewart Peterson, did some investigating in yesterday’s Ag Marketing IQ blog – click here to learn more.
If it’s been a few days since you’ve been to FarmFutures.com, our Friday feature “7 ag stories you might have missed” is one way to quickly catch up on the industry’s top headlines. The latest batch of content includes stories about John Deere’s new ExactShot technology, how land values are holding up in a higher interest rate environment and more. Click here to get started.
Preliminary volume estimates were for 168,467 contracts, trending slightly higher than Thursday’s final count of 157,537.
Wheat prices took a moderate step lower following a round of technical selling on Friday. Most contracts finished the session with losses ranging between 0.5% and 1%. March Chicago SRW futures eased 3.75 cents to $7.43, March Kansas City HRW futures fell 8.25 cents to $8.3150, and March MGEX spring wheat futures dropped 6.75 cents to $9.0225.
Wheat exports totaled 1.7 million bushels of old crop sales plus another 3.6 million bushels in new crop sales for a total of 5.3 million bushels. That was below all trade estimates, which ranged between 7.3 million and 24.8 million bushels. Cumulative totals for the 2022/23 marketing year are trending slightly below last year’s pace so far, with 391.8 million bushels.
Wheat export shipments were also pedestrian last week, with 3.0 million bushels. The bulk of that grain is bound for Mexico, with Canada and the United Arab Emirates accounting for the modest remainder.
Analysts are expecting Australian wheat production to reach record levels of around 1.543 billion bushels as harvest begins to wrap up. Recent rains increased yield potential but lowered quality in some fields, which now may be used as animal feed, according to one Sydney-based trader.
China plans to sell 5.1 million bushels of its imported wheat reserves on an auction to be held on January 11, according to a notice posted by the country’s National Grain Trade Center. China has offered a series of wheat sales in recent months to boost local supplies and tamp down high prices.
Egypt issued a tender to purchase as much as 2.2 million bushels of wheat from optional origins that closes on January 10. The grain is for shipment in February.
Taiwan issued an international tender to purchase 1.7 million bushels of grade 1 milling wheat from the United States that closes on January 13. The grain is for shipment in March.
The Philippines likely passed on its international tender to purchase 4.0 million bushels of animal feed wheat from optional origins, which closes on Thursday. Prices were regarded as too high. The grain would have been for shipment in February and March.
Preliminary volume estimates were for 42,077 CBOT contracts, which was moderately below Thursday’s final count of 55,774.
|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 1/6)|
|UAN (32%) New Orleans||512.6||-77.16|
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