Corn, soybeans and wheat closed Friday’s abbreviated session lower for the day and reflected weakness in a number of markets including equities, the dollar and crude oil.
Traders were anxious to start holiday vacations that will run through most of Monday as the markets will be closed until the start of that day’s evening session.
Soybeans and soybean oil are the lowest in a month, while corn and winter wheat are about three-week lows. There was an export sale of 4.36 million bushels of corn to unknown destinations, but otherwise crop-relevant news was thin.
Exports – USDA, Reuters:
- Unknown destinations bought 4.36 million bushels of 2016/2017 U.S. corn.
- USDA weekly export sales: corn 49.3 million bushels vs 60.2 million previous week, soybeans 66.8 million vs 88.4 million and wheat 10.9 million vs 20.7 million.
- A South Korean state group seeks to buy 90,000 metric tons of non-GMO soybeans from optional origins for 2018 arrival. The tender deadline is Dec. 26.
Corn was dropped 1-1/2 cents in nearby months to remain under key moving averages. The rain this week and next week in Argentina and Brazil may aid those crops, which will be harvested in February.
The market absorbed the corn sale as traders focused on the three-day weekend and ample global supplies.
Corn closed a little higher at China’s Dalian market to rebound a little from a six-week low. It settled at the equivalent of $5.63 a bushel. European corn for January weakened about a penny to $4.41. The prices reflect conversions from local currencies and metric tons.
March corn closed down 1-1/2 cents at $3.45-3/4 per bushel and May dropped 1-1/2 to $3.52-1/2.
What to Look For: Weekly export sales on Thursday were better than expected but expected ample global supplies, due in part to more acreage in Argentina, have kept a lid on prices.
Soybeans finished at one-month low with nearby months and new-crop November now under $10 a bushel. The big crops in Argentina and Brazil will soon pull export demand away from the United States.
Soyoil also set a new one-month low. That market has reflected losses this week in overseas vegetable oils.
Funds have been long soybeans but pared those positions as they were said to be net sellers every day this week. Funds also were net sellers of corn and wheat.
Wire reports this week said Argentina expects 50.1 million acres of soybeans this year, up from a previous forecast of 49.9 million.
In Asia, China’s soybeans for January were a down about nine cents at the equivalent of $17.16 and soyoil there dropped nearly 1.2% to 44.63 cents per lb. Malaysian palm oil for soon-to-expire January was firm at the equivalent of 31.71 cents a lb, while more actively traded February was off a few points at 31.18 cents per lb.
Canadian canola dropped about seven cents to $8.59 a bushel for January and European rapeseed for February was down about 6 cents at $9.69. The prices reflect conversions to bushels and dollars.
January soybeans closed down 5-1/2 at $9.89 per bushel and March down 6-1/2 at $9.97-1/2.
What to Look For: The markets are in the holiday period in which light trading volume can cause sharp price moves. There will be a four-day trading period next week.
Wheat markets closed lower the day and week in light trading, with March soft red winter remaining under key moving averages. Rain or snow expected in the southern Plains the next few days to ease dry conditions for some of the now-dormant winter wheat.
Reports from Argentina say higher-than-expected yields raised estimates for that wheat crop to 15.7 million metric tons from a previous forecast of 14.9 million.
Chicago’s March soft red winter wheat closed down 3-1/2 cents at $3.93-1/2 per bushel and May slipped 3-1/4 to $4.06-3/4. Kansas City’s March hard red winter dropped 1-3/4 to $4.06-1/4 and May was off 2 at $4.17-1/2. Spring wheat for March dropped 4 to $5.31 and May was down 4-1/4 at $5.28-1/4.
What to Look For – The dollar was lower today, but higher for the week and close to its recent 14-year high. The strong currency will make it hard for U.S. wheat to compete in export markets, where global buyers have plenty of suppliers to choose from.