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Bargain buyers fail to lift all grain prices

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Afternoon report: Wheat and corn stay in the green, while soybeans slide slightly lower

After taking a beating yesterday, grain prices tested mild to moderate overnight gains after attracting some bargain buyers. But Tuesday’s session closed with variable results. Wheat fared the best, with most contracts up around 1.5%. Corn gains were more modest, at around 0.3% to 0.4%. Soybeans tipped back into the red by the close, but losses were minor.

As Hurricane Ian moves closer to making landfall, Floridians are bracing for damaging winds and flooding. Meanwhile, the Midwest and Plains will see little to no additional moisture between today and Friday, per the latest 72-hour cumulative precipitation map from NOAA. The agency’s 8-to-14-day outlook predicts mostly warmer and drier-than-normal conditions for the central U.S. between October 4 and October 10.

On Wall St., the Dow was once again in the red, falling 214 points in afternoon trading to 29,046, putting it more than 21% below its all-time high. Energy futures improved after big losses yesterday, with crude oil up 2.5% this afternoon to $78 per barrel. Diesel climbed 3.75% higher, with gasoline jumping more than 4.5%. The U.S. Dollar firmed moderately.

On Monday, commodity funds were net sellers of all major grain contracts, including corn (-8,000), soybeans (-6,000), soymeal (-3,500), soyoil (-3,500) and CBOT wheat (-9,000).


Corn prices tested moderate gains early in Tuesday’s session, which mostly evaporated by the close. Still, prices stayed in the green today thanks to a round of net technical buying. December futures added 2.25 cents to $6.6850, with March futures up 2.75 cents to $6.7350.

Corn basis bids saw some wild swings on Tuesday, jumping as much as 89 cents higher at an Illinois river terminal while tumbling as much as 50 cents lower at an Iowa processor today.

Corn quality ratings were mostly stable from a week ago, with 52% of the crop rated in good-to-excellent condition through September 25 – matching analyst expectations. Another 27% is rated fair, with the remaining 19% rated poor or very poor – all unchanged from a week ago.

Physiologically, 92% of the crop is dented, versus the prior five-year average of 94%, and 58% is fully mature, versus the prior five-year average of 61%. Harvest pace moved from 7% a week ago up to 12% through Sunday, putting it behind both 2021’s pace of 17% and the prior five-year average of 14%. You can read a full recap of the latest report here.

The latest data from the European Commission shows that EU corn imports during the 2022/23 marketing year have jumped 81% above year-ago totals to 261.8 million bushels. Spain, Poland and Portugal are the top three corn importers.

Brazil’s Anec now expects the country’s corn exports to reach 280.8 million bushels in September, which is 6.4% below the group’s prior estimate made a week ago.

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South Korea purchased 5.4 million bushels of animal feed corn, likely sourced from South America or South Africa, in an international tender that closed earlier today. The grain is for arrival starting in late December. Another South Korean buyer purchased another 2.7 million bushels of animal feed corn in a private deal that also closed today. That grain is for shipment between October 25 and November 25.

Preliminary volume estimates were 225,840 contracts, firming slightly above Monday’s final count of 209,075.


Soybean prices failed to hold onto moderate overnight gains after eroding throughout Tuesday’s session and closing with small losses amid some net technical selling today. November futures eased 2.75 cents lower to $14.0850, with January futures down 2.25 cents to $14.14.

Soybean basis bids were mixed after dropping 22 to 50 cents lower at two Midwestern processors while firming 3 to 10 cents higher at three other locations on Tuesday.

Soybean quality ratings were also steady for the week ending September 25. Fifty-five percent of the crop is rated in good-to-excellent condition, with 30% rated fair and the remaining 15% rated poor or very poor. All categories are unchanged from a week ago.

Physiologically, 63% of the crop is dropping leaves, up from 42% a week ago and slightly behind the prior five-year average of 65%. Harvest progress moved from 3% to 8%, mirroring analyst expectations. That’s still a step behind 2021’s pace of 15% and the prior five-year average of 13%, meantime.

Brazil’s Anec expects to see the country’s soybean exports reach 140.3 million bushels in September in the latest projection it issued today. That’s moderately below last week’s estimate of 152.6 million bushels. Anec also expects to see Brazilian soymeal exports reach 2.013 million metric tons this month.

How are your crops looking right now? Is harvest progressing as planned?  Click this link to take the survey and share updates about your farm’s crop development. Farm Futures grain market analyst Jacqueline Holland regularly reviews and uploads results to the FFTF Google MyMap, so farmers can peer anecdotes from around the country.

Preliminary volume estimates were for 221,196 contracts, trending 13% above Monday’s final count of 196,140.


Wheat prices benefited from a round of short-covering and technical buying that led to gains of around 1.5% on Tuesday. Black Sea exports continue to be monitored carefully. A strong U.S. Dollar has generated headwinds in recent sessions, meantime, and could do so again. December Chicago SRW futures added 13 cents to $8.71, December Kansas City HRW futures gained 13.75 cents to $9.4325, and December MGEX spring wheat futures rose 14 cents to $9.4525.

Spring wheat harvest moved one step closer to the finish line, with 96% completion through Sunday. That’s very close to the prior five-year average of 97%, while 2021’s harvest had already concluded by this time of the year.

Winter wheat plantings moved from 21% a week ago to 31% through Sunday. That’s very close to both 2021’s pace of 32% and the prior five-year average of 30%. Emergence is now at 9%, putting this season’s crop ahead of 2021’s pace of 8% and the prior five-year average of 6%.

European Union soft wheat exports during the 2022/23 marketing year have reached 323.3 million bushels through September 25, keeping it slightly ahead of last year’s pace so far. EU barley exports are trending moderately lower year-over-year, in contrast, with 93.7 million bushels.

Brazil is anticipating a record-breaking wheat production of 401.8 million bushels this season. Consultancy Safras & Mercado increased its estimates after seeing better-than-expected yields in production areas that include Parana, Goias and Bahia. Brazilian farmers increasingly have options to plant newer varieties that are better adapted to tropical conditions. Brazil is still a net importer of wheat, but that could change if current production and yield trends continue to play out.

China plans to auction off 1.5 million bushels of its state wheat reserves on October 12, including reserves from the 2014-17 crops. This is China’s first wheat auction of the season, and only flour mills are allowed to offer bids.

Japan issued a regular tender to purchase 2.3 million bushels of food-quality wheat from the United States and Canada that closes on Thursday. Of the total, 46% is expected to be sourced from the U.S. The grain is for shipment between October 21 and November 20.

Jordan issued an international tender to purchase 4.4 million bushels of wheat from optional origins that closes on October 4. The country made no purchases on a similar tender that closed earlier today.

Preliminary volume estimates were for 71,883 CBOT contracts, moving slightly ahead of Monday’s final count of 66,006.

Settlement Prices for Key Commodities 
  High Low Last Change
Corn                     $/bushel      
22-Dec 678 666.25 667.5 2.25
23-Mar 682.5 670.75 672.75 2.75
22-Nov 1437.25 1407 1408 -2.75
23-Jan 1440.75 1413 1414 -2.25
Soymeal                $/ton        
22-Dec 421.5 412.9 413.6 -3.4
Soyoil                    cents/lb        
22-Dec 63.54 62.31 62.39 -0.05
Wheat                    $/bushel        
22-Dec 894.5 857 871.5 13
23-Mar 907 870.5 884.25 12.5
KC Wheat        
22-Dec 964.25 928.25 943.25 13.75
23-Mar 960.25 928.25 940.5 13.5
MPLS Wheat        
22-Dec 960.5 931.25 943.25 14
23-Mar 965 938 948 10.5
Live Cattle             cents/lb        
22-Oct 144.325 143.15 143.6 0.125
Feeder Cattle         cents/lb        
22-Oct 177.625 175.3 176.3 -0.775
Lean Hogs             cents/lb        
22-Dec 80.575 76.125 76.175 -3.225
Crude Oil  $/barrel *Energy prices may not represent final settlements
22-Nov 79.51 76.42 78.78 2.07
22-Oct 3.2855 3.124 3.26 0.1309
Unleaded Gasoline   $/gallon        
22-Oct 2.504 2.3847 2.498 0.1138
Natural Gas        
22-Nov 7.24 6.74 6.779 -0.235
U.S. Dollar Index        
22-Dec 114.425 113.26 114.13 0.11
Gold                      $/ounce        
22-Oct 1640.2 1620.9 1634.3 11
22-Sep 3.373 3.313 3.313 -0.0005
Fertilizer Swaps     (as of 09/16)  
DAP Tampa-index              765.0 -52.5
DAP-New Orleans              837.8 -5.51
Urea-New Orleans              734.1 25.9
Urea-Middle East              865.0 -20
Urea-Black Sea              585.0 35
UAN (32%) New Orleans              556.7 16.53

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