Wheat and corn prices turn in mixed but mostly higher results Monday
Grain prices started the week with mostly minor changes as traders are still looking ahead to the next round of supply and demand data from USDA, which the agency will release Thursday morning. Corn prices ended Monday’s session narrowly mixed, and soybean prices eased 0.4% lower. Wheat prices were mixed but mostly higher. MGEX spring wheat contracts saw the most upside, closing 1% higher after rising steadily higher throughout the day.
Very light rain and snow is probable across most of the Midwest and Plains between Tuesday and Friday, but the likelihood of seeing any more than 0.1” later this week is quite low, per the latest 72-hour cumulative precipitation map from NOAA. Drier-than-normal weather is likely for the central U.S. between December 13 and December 19, according to NOAA’s latest 8-to-14-day outlook. Warmer-than-normal conditions are predicted for most of the country during this time.
On Wall St., the Dow bounced 731 points higher in afternoon trading to 35,311 as investors move their focus beyond the omicron variant of the coronavirus. Gains from the industrial and airline sectors led the way. Energy futures also captured big gains this afternoon, with crude oil up more than 4% to reach $69 per barrel. Gasoline was also up around 4%, with diesel rising 3%. The U.S. Dollar firmed moderately.
On Friday, commodity funds were net buyers of corn (+4,000), soybeans (+11,000), soymeal (+6,500) and soyoil (+5,000) contracts but were net sellers of CBOT wheat (-6,500). In the week through November 30, speculators were holding a net long position of 221,644 corn contracts, a net long position of 6,555 soybean contracts, and a net short position of 22,095 CBOT wheat contracts.
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Corn prices fought through a choppy session but ultimately didn’t dial in any major changes on Monday, finishing with narrowly mixed results after some uneven technical maneuvering. December futures faded 2.5 cents to $5.8350, while March futures inched 0.25 cents higher to $5.8425.
Corn basis bids were steady to mixed on Monday, moving as much as 8 cents higher at an Illinois processor and sliding as much as 3 cents lower at an Illinois river terminal today.
Corn export inspections faded 6% lower week-over-week to 29.8 million bushels. That was slightly on the lower end of trade estimates, which ranged between 23.6 million and 39.4 million bushels. Mexico accounted for just over half of the total, with 15.0 million bushels. Cumulative totals for the 2021/22 marketing year continue to slide further below last year’s pace after reaching 369.2 million bushels.
China’s governmental statistics bureau reported that the country’s corn production rose 4.6% in 2011 to 10.732 billion bushels, attributed to an acreage increase following a jump in commodity prices. Corn acres were up around 5%, this year, with average yields slipping 0.4% lower due to flooding in some key production regions.
Ahead of Thursday morning’s World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) report from USDA, analysts expect the agency to show Brazil’s 2021/22 corn production potential at 4.656 billion bushels, with Argentinian corn production at an estimated 2.124 billion bushels this season.
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Preliminary volume estimates were for 133,753 contracts, spilling 42% below Friday’s final count of 231,864.
Soybean prices stumbled after a choppy session on Monday as traders resumed a pattern of technical selling that led to losses of around 0.4% today. January futures dropped 5.25 cents to $12.62, with March futures down 4.25 cents to $12.67.
Soybean basis bids were steady to mixed, eroding 10 cents lower at an Indiana elevator and an Iowa processor while firming as much as 5 cents higher at an Indiana processor on Monday.
Private exporters announced to USDA the sale of 4.8 million bushels of soybeans for delivery to China during the 2021/22 marketing year, which began September 1.
Soybean export inspections inched fractionally below the prior week’s tally, to 82.6 million bushels. That nearly bested the entire range of trade guesses, which came in between 68.0 million and 85.4 million bushels. China was by far the No. 1 destination, with 53.8 million bushels. Cumulative totals for the 2021/22 marketing year are nonetheless failing to keep pace with year-ago totals, with 866.0 million bushels.
Brazilian soybean plantings for the 2021/22 season are 94% complete through last Thursday, per the country’s AgRural consultancy. That’s favorable to the prior season’s pace of 90%. Rainfall in key southern production states such as Rio Grande Do Sul was below average in November, per AgRural, but still expects a record-breaking production of 5.302 billion bushels.
Meantime, Julio Bravo shares his thoughts about ongoing infrastructure challenges in Brazil, including “traffic jams, potholes, and underwater roads” in the latest South American Crop Watch blog – click here to learn more.
Ahead of USDA’s WASDE report, out Thursday morning, analysts expect the agency to show 2021/22 Brazilian soybean production at 5.283 billion bushels, with Argentina’s production potential at 1.815 billion bushels. Both countries are among the world’s top soybean exporters.
Preliminary volume estimates were for 123,814 contracts, coming in moderately below Friday’s final count of 168,752.
Wheat prices found mixed results after a round of uneven technical maneuvering. March Chicago SRW futures picked up 3.75 cents to $8.0750, March Kansas City HRW futures held steady at $8.2425, and March MGEX spring wheat futures rose 7.25 cents to $10.28.
Wheat export inspections spilled 37% lower week-over-week, to 9.0 million bushels. That was a bit toward the lower end of trade estimates, which ranged between 5.5 million and 14.7 million bushels. South Korea was the No. 1 destination, with 2.7 million bushels. Cumulative totals for the 2021/22 marketing year are still tracking moderately behind last year’s pace, with 409.6 million bushels.
Russian consultancy Sovecon estimates that the country’s wheat exports in November totaled around 110.2 million bushels, a month-over-month decline of 6.3%, if realized. Russia is the world’s No. 1 wheat exporter.
China’s governmental statistics bureau reported that the country’s 2021 wheat crop saw an increase in both acreage an average yields, bringing in a total production of 5.030 billion bushels.
Preliminary volume estimates were for 61,952 CBOT contracts, sliding 34% below Friday’s final count of 93,449.
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