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Corn captures moderate gains

phongphan5922/Thinkstock markets charts - green with red line
Afternoon report: Soybeans also on the rise, with wheat prices mostly lower to start the week

Grain prices were mixed but mostly higher on Monday. Soybeans led the charge with gains of around 0.75% as questions about the exact size of this year’s harvest spurred a round of technical buying. Corn prices were also firm, capturing gains of around 0.5% today. Wheat prices were mixed but mostly lower, meantime, as some profit-taking pushed some contracts as much as 1% lower by the close.

Between Tuesday and Friday, the Northern Plains and upper Midwest could see light to moderate rainfall, according to the latest 72-hour cumulative precipitation map from NOAA. Much of the eastern Corn Belt won’t see additional measurable moisture during this time, however. NOAA’s new 8-to-14-day outlook predicts seasonally warm, dry conditions for most areas west of the Mississippi River between October 10 and October 16.

On Wall St., the Dow tested a rally for the first trading day of Q4 2022, jumping 798 points higher in afternoon trading to 29,523. Declining Treasury yields fueled much of the gains captured today. Energy futures also made significant inroads after OPEC announced output cuts. Crude oil moved more than 5% higher to $83 per barrel. Diesel rose nearly 4.5% higher, with gasoline trending around 5.25% higher. The U.S. Dollar softened moderately.

On Friday, commodity funds were net buyers of corn (+4,500) and CBOT wheat (+10,500) contracts but were net sellers of soybeans (-15,000), soymeal (-2,500) and soyoil (-5,500).

Corn

Corn prices made modest inroads on a round of technical buying as traders continued to focus on Friday’s surprising stocks data. Lingering concerns about this season’s true production potential created additional tailwinds today. December futures added 3.25 cents to $6.8075, with March futures up 3.5 cents to $6.8750.

Corn basis bids were mostly steady to soft after dropping 5 to 25 cents lower across seven Midwestern locations on Monday. A Nebraska elevator bucked the overall trend after firming 5 cents higher today.

Corn export inspections improved to 26.0 million bushels last week. That was on the very high end of trade estimates that ranged between 15.7 million and 27.6 million bushels. China was the top destination, with 16.7 million bushels. Cumulative totals for the 2022/23 marketing year are slightly ahead of last year’s pace after reaching 86.7 million bushels.

Prior to the next crop progress report from USDA, out later this afternoon, analysts expect to see corn ratings hold steady from a week ago, with 52% of the crop in good-to-excellent through October 2. Analysts also expect to see harvest progress move from 12% complete through September 25 to 22% complete through Sunday.

Brazilian corn exports in September climbed to 266.9 million bushels, according to governmental data. That was more than double the exports tallied in September 2021.

Did you miss the commotion following Friday’s quarterly grain stocks report from USDA? It proved to move the needle in some significant ways, including sharply lower corn stocks that bucked trade expectations – click here to catch up with our exclusive analysis and coverage of that report.

Are there any silver linings to harvesting a smaller-sized crop this season? “Tighter supplies should bring stronger than normal corn and soybean basis at harvest,” according to grain market analyst Bryce Knorr. “That’s a good problem to have, but also complicates storage decisions for growers planning to hold crops into winter, and perhaps beyond.” Knorr examines several storage strategies and prospects in today’s Ag Marketing IQ blog – click here to learn more.

Preliminary volume estimates were for 201,839 contracts, which was nearly half of Friday’s final count of 394,642.

Soybeans

Soybean prices emerged from Monday’s session with double-digit gains on a round of technical buying that was partly triggered by more dry forecasts that could further limit this season’s production potential. November futures gained 10.5 cents to $13.7525, with January futures up 10.25 cents to $13.8575.

Soybean basis bids fell 5 to 55 cents lower across half a dozen Midwestern locations while holding steady elsewhere across the central U.S. on Monday.

Private exporters announced to USDA the sale of 4.0 million bushels of soybeans for delivery to unknown destinations during the 2022/23 marketing year, which began September 1.

Soybean export sales were solid last week after reaching 21.1 million bushels. That was on the upper end of trade estimates, which ranged between 9.2 million and 25.7 million bushels. Germany was the No. 1 destination, with 4.4 million bushels. Cumulative totals for the 2022/23 marketing year are slightly below last year’s pace so far, with 65.5 million bushels.

Ahead of Monday afternoon’s crop progress report from USDA, analyst expect to see stable soybean quality ratings, with 55% of the crop in good-to-excellent condition through Sunday. Harvest progress is expected to move from 8% a week ago up to 20%, although individual trade guesses varied widely, ranging between 14% and 28%.

How are your crops looking this week? 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 keep current with peer anecdotes from around the country.

Brazilian soybean exports for September came in around 157.6 million bushels, according to newly available governmental data. That was a year-over-year decrease of around 11%.

Preliminary volume estimates were for 196,808 contracts, moving well below Friday’s final count of 317,960.

Wheat

Wheat prices suffered a modest technical setback after reaching three-month highs late last week. A round of profit-taking on Monday left prices 0.25% to 1% lower. December Chicago SRW futures fell 9.25 cents to $9.1225, December Kansas City HRW futures dropped 3.5 cents to $9.88, and December MGEX spring wheat futures eased 2 cents to $9.80.

Wheat export inspections were robust, coming in at 24.5 million bushels. That was better than the entire set of trade estimates, which ranged between 9.2 million and 23.9 million bushels. The Philippines topped all destinations, with 4.5 million bushels. Cumulative totals for the 2022/23 marketing year are tracking slightly below last year’s pace, with 312.9 million bushels.

Prior to this afternoon’s USDA crop progress report, analysts expect to see 2022/23 winter wheat plantings move from 31% a week ago up to 44% through October 2. Individual trade guesses ranged between 41% and 48%.

Russian consultancy Sovecon estimates that the country’s wheat exports reached 150.6 million bushels in September. That’s a monthly increase of 17% but a year-over-year decrease of 12%. Russia is the world’s No. 1 wheat exporter.

Preliminary volume estimates were for 71,497 CBOT contracts, tracking moderately below Friday’s final count of 119,979.

Settlement Prices for Key Commodities 
  High Low Last Change
Corn                     $/bushel      
22-Dec 687.5 672.5 680.75 3.25
23-Mar 694 679.5 687.5 3.5
Soybeans        
22-Nov 1376.5 1361.25 1374 10.5
23-Jan 1386.5 1372.25 1384 10.25
Soymeal                $/ton        
22-Dec 406.8 399.3 405.3 2
Soyoil                    cents/lb        
22-Dec 63.57 61.39 63.34 1.95
Wheat                    $/bushel        
22-Dec 938.75 908.5 912 -9.25
23-Mar 948.5 920 925 -7
KC Wheat        
22-Dec 1009.75 981.25 988.75 -3.5
23-Mar 1002.5 976.25 985.5 0.5
MPLS Wheat        
22-Dec 996 977 980 -2
23-Mar 998 982 985.75 0.5
Live Cattle             cents/lb        
22-Oct 144.9 143.725 144.4 1.125
Feeder Cattle         cents/lb        
22-Oct 177.1 174.525 176.025 1.4
Lean Hogs             cents/lb        
22-Dec 78.325 75.75 77.7 1.475
Crude Oil  $/barrel *Energy prices may not represent final settlements
22-Nov 84.56 80.87 83.46 3.97
Diesel        
22-Oct 3.3795 3.2649 3.3621 0.1405
Unleaded Gasoline   $/gallon        
22-Oct 2.5255 2.3887 2.5157 0.1459
Natural Gas        
22-Nov 7.111 6.626 6.836 -0.229
U.S. Dollar Index        
22-Dec 112.53 111.405 111.68 -0.404
Gold                      $/ounce        
22-Nov 1703.4 1664.4 1696.2 33.8
Copper        
22-Oct 3.4585 3.394 3.4585 0.0165
Fertilizer Swaps     (as of 09/30)  
DAP Tampa-index              725.0 -25
DAP-New Orleans              832.3 -8.27
Urea-New Orleans              680.7 -22.05
Urea-Middle East              767.5 -82.5
Urea-Black Sea              585.0 35
UAN (32%) New Orleans              578.7 0

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