WEEKLY GRAIN MOVEMENT: Corn sales increase as prices rise

Market rally prompts farmers to sell corn but not soybeans.

Last week's market rally in corn had farmers selling much of the corn they were bringing out of the fields while retaining ownership of much of their soybeans despite a similar rally in prices, grain dealers said on Monday.

Lower basis bids did inhibit some. Corn was bringing about $3.20/bu. in parts of Illinois, and soybeans were at or less than $9/bu. Some soybean sales did occur in areas where cash bids moved above $9.

With yields at 230-240 bu. per acre, "we are close to breakeven,” an Illinois dealer said of cash corn prices.

Rain, fog and high humidity slowed harvest over the weekend in parts of Iowa and Illinois, but this week's forecasted warm weather, with highs in the 80s°F, plus windy conditions, should dry crops and fields to get combines rolling again.

“We kept getting rain every four days or so, so we could not get a constant flow of soybeans,” a central Illinois dealer said.

Corn and soybeans were mainly going to local users such as ethanol plants, soybean processors and feed mills. While basis bids at those locations did come down, they remained more attractive than the export market. Basis bids for corn and soybeans at the Gulf of Mexico decreased a few cents in the past week, which typically occurs during harvest.

Corn at the Gulf was bid about 35 cents over December for October shipment, compared with 42 cents a week ago, and it was 46 cents over for November versus 51 cents over last week. Soybeans for October shipment were bid 44 cents over November versus 46 cents over last week, and November was bid 54 cents over versus about 58 cents a week ago.

Barge rates for shipment to the Gulf continued to decline. At mid-Mississippi points, barges for next week's shipment were offered at 375% of tariff versus 400% a week ago. The 25-point decrease equates to a decrease in shipping costs of about 4 cents/bu. of corn and soybeans.

“Typically, spot barge rates increase during the corn and soybean harvest. However, this year, barge operators indicate that there is a weak market for barge services as farmers are not willing to sell grain to river elevators while cash prices are low. In addition, the barge supply has been adequate, and rates have been very competitive in order to attract freight buyers,” according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture's "Grain Transportation Report."

USDA's latest weekly grain inspections for corn of 34.5 million bu. were down sharply from a week ago, missing trade forecasts but largely matching the pace needed to meet USDA's annual export forecast (Table). Soybean shipments of 92.2 million bu. were up sharply from a week ago, beat trade forecasts and easily topped USDA's projected weekly rate. Wheat shipments of 16.6 million bu. were up a little from a week ago, matched forecasts but slightly missed the weekly rate needed to meet USDA's forecast.

Shipments

USDA said barge grain shipments during the weekend Oct. 8 were 630,700 tons, down 9% from the prior week and down 10% from a year ago.

In the rail sector, grain car loadings totaled 27,626 for the week ended Oct. 1, up 10% from the prior week and up 10% from a year ago, USDA reported.

For truckers, the U.S. average diesel fuel price rose 6 cents in the latest week to $2.45/gal. That is down 11 cents from the same week last year.

Weekly export inspections for week of Oct. 13, 2016, million bu.

     

Avg.

This

Rate needed

-Year-to-date total-

 

This

Last

trade

week

to meet USDA

This

Last

 

week

week

guess

last year

forecast

year

year

Wheat

16.6

16.1

14-23

7.6

17.3

405.3

314.7

Corn

34.5

45.8

43-51

19.5

34.6

307.6

171.4

Soybeans

92.2

66.2

47-58

87.3

35.9

283.5

248.8

Sources: USDA and Reuters.

 

WEEKLY GRAIN MOVEMENT: Corn sales increase as prices rise

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