Afternoon Market Recap for December 3, 2021

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Corn climbs, wheat wanes.

Soybeans rake in double-digit gains on Friday

Grains were mixed on Friday, closing out a somewhat volatile week with one final set of substantial moves. On the more positive end of the ledger were corn prices, which firmed 1.5% after another round of technical buying today. Soybean prices fared even better, capturing double-digit gains and trending 2% higher by the close. Wheat slumped, meantime, on concerns that global demand could be curbed by potential coronavirus-related lockdowns. Most contracts lost 1% to 2% today.

Plenty of wet weather is returning to parts of the central U.S., particularly in a band that stretches from Arkansas to Ohio. Some fields could gather another 1” or more between Saturday and Tuesday, per the latest 72-hour cumulative precipitation map from NOAA. The agency’s 8-to-14-day outlook predicts a continuation for seasonally warm weather in the Midwest and Plains between December 10 and December 16, with some wetter-than-normal conditions in store for parts of the eastern Corn Belt and Great Lakes region.

On Wall St., the Dow dropped 267 points in afternoon trading to 34,372 as fears about global economic implications of the recently discovered omicron variant kept investors skittish. Energy prices also spilled into the red. Crude oil dropped 0.8% this afternoon to move back below $66 per barrel. Diesel dropped more than 0.5%, with gasoline down more than 1.25%. The U.S. Dollar softened slightly.

On Thursday, commodity funds were net buyers of corn (+7,500), soybeans (+8,500), soyoil (+5,500) and CBOT wheat (+13,000) contracts and were roughly even trading soymeal contracts.

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Corn prices tilted 1.5% higher following a round of technical buying Friday. Despite solid gains over the past couple of days, nearby contracts finish the week down around 0.5% due to losses earlier in the week. Today, December futures rose 9.5 cents to $5.8650, with March futures up 8.25 cents to $5.85.

Corn basis bids held steady across nearly all central U.S. locations on Friday but did tilt 4 cents lower at an Illinois ethanol plant today.

Ahead of the next World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) report from USDA, out December 9, analysts expect the agency to show 2021/22 corn ending stocks easing slightly, from November’s estimate of 1.493 billion bushels to 1.487 billion bushels.

In France, 99% of the 2021 crop has been harvested through November 29, up from 97% a week ago, per the latest reporting from the FranceAgriMer farm office.

“Farmers shouldn’t have to pay for disputes between American fertilizer companies and foreign producers,” says National Corn Growers Association President Chris Edgington. But that’s what he says will continue if companies don’t drop their petitions following actions by the Department of Commerce and International Trade Commission upholding tariffs on imports of phosphate and urea ammonium nitrate solutions, per recent reporting from Farm Futures policy editor Jacqui Fatka. Click here to learn more.

Meantime, the U.S. EPA held a public hearing earlier today on the agency’s proposal about extending deadlines for complying with renewable fuel obligations since 2019. Biofuel groups have been vocal that the EPA stop these delays and follow obligations made under the Renewable Fuels Standard. Click here for a deeper look at this ongoing issue.

If it’s been a few days since you’ve visited, our Friday feature “7 ag stories you might have missed” is a quick, easy way to catch up on the ag industry’s top headlines. The latest batch of content includes stories on farm income trends, a new acquisition from CNH Industrial, a new crop insurance provision and more. Click here for details.

Preliminary volume estimates were for 202,225 contracts, tracking 28% below Thursday’s final count of 281,990.

Soybean prices turned in a strong session, moving 2% higher on some technical buying partly spurred by export optimism. January futures climbed 25.25 cents to $12.6950, while March futures rose 22.75 cents to $12.7275.

Soybean basis bids were mostly steady but did show some mixed results after dipping 2 cents lower at an Ohio elevator and firming 1 to 5 cents higher at two other Midwestern locations on Friday.

Ahead of USDA’s next WASDE report, out next Thursday, analysts expect the agency to show 20221/22 soybean ending stocks trending 12 million bushels higher than its November estimates, moving to 352 million bushels.

Canada’s 2021 canola production is estimated at 555.6 million bushels, according to recent reporting by Statistics Canada. That’s the smallest crop in more than a decade, and prices have climbed to all-time highs earlier this year based on the short crop and competitive buyers in Asia.

Are you comfortable with your understanding of the two primary methods of market analysis – fundamental and technical? Consultant Roger Wright walks through some key points of each type of analysis in a recent Ag Marketing IQ blog – click here to learn more.

Preliminary volume estimates were for 145,073 contracts, spilling moderately below Thursday’s final count of 176,586.

Wheat prices landed back in the red on Friday after a round of technical selling, with most contracts losing between 1% and 2%. March Chicago SRW futures fell 10 cents to $8.05, March Kansas City HRW futures dropped 16.5 cents to $8.2575, and March MGEX spring wheat futures tumbled 20.75 cents to $10.2150.

Ahead of next Thursday’s WASDE report from USDA, analysts think the agency will show 2021/22 wheat stocks trending slightly higher than November estimates of 583 million bushels, offering up an average trade guess of 589 million bushels for December.

Statistics Canada reported a 38.5% drop in wheat production this year, falling to 797.3 million bushels – the lowest total in more than a decade, due to widespread drought this past season. Analysts were expecting an even worse performance, with an average trade guess of 779.0 million bushels.

France’s 2021/22 wheat crop quality is in outstanding condition, with 99% rated good-to-excellent in FranceAgriMer’s latest report. Quality ratings were unchanged from a week ago and slightly favorable to last year’s mark of 96%.

Saudi Arabia issued a tender to purchase 19.7 million bushels of wheat that expires today (results are expected on Monday). The sale is divided into nine separate consignments that will be for arrival between next May and July.

Preliminary volume estimates were for 81,373 CBOT contracts, fading 24% below Thursday’s final count of 107,700.

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