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Image of grain bins with words Grain market week in review with Bryce Knorr and Ben Potter in white. Entire image has red tint.

Grain market week in review - July 26, 2019

Spring wheat and soybeans were the lone bright spots in Friday’s session

Missed some market news this week? Here’s what Bryce Knorr and Ben Potter have been writing about.

Morning audio

Grain futures broke lower overnight as the heat wave blasting the U.S. faded with weekend rains. While forecasts over the next two weeks are conflicting, none of the models show another round of 100-degree temperatures threatening crops.

Headlines last week were all about the heat wave baking the U.S. But ratings out Monday from USDA showed crops mostly fared well, with fairly moderate conditions ahead for the next couple of weeks. Lack of damage to yield potential puts the focus back on acreage, but news on that front is still three weeks away.

News about U.S. negotiators heading to China next week to restart trade talks didn’t stir much interest Tuesday in a market wary of buying headlines. But soybeans are leading grain futures higher overnight, helped by the ability of major contracts to hold technical support levels on price charts.

Grain futures are mixed after a quiet overnight session that’s typical for a time of year when farmers are mostly waiting. While it’s early to make guesses about yields, some estimates are trickling in ahead of USDA’s Aug. 12 reports. And while trade talks start up with China again next week, jump-starting exports may be difficult. Today’s export sales report could provide clues about demand.

Trade news and weather remain the market’s main concern and neither gave corn and soybeans much help this week. The corn crop pollinated this week under mostly favorable conditions while export sales for both crops last week were weak. Wheat exports were good and the tour in North Dakota confirmed a smaller crop, but futures mostly lost ground anyway.

Crop progress

The 2019 growing season has seen just about every type of weather imaginable. And last week conditions were almost as varied depending on where you farm, according to growers reporting Feedback From The Field.

For the week ending July 21, analysts expected USDA to hold its corn and soybean crop quality ratings steady in its latest crop progress report, out Monday afternoon. That anticipated outcome only held true for soybeans, however.

Market recaps

Grain futures are mixed this morning as markets mostly limp into the weekend waiting for news about trade talks and weather. Neither is providing much momentum today.

Grain markets offered up a mixed performance Friday, with spring wheat and soybeans as the lone bright spots in today’s session after fighting for small gains. Winter wheat eased on some profit-taking, as did corn, with plenty of relatively cool, dry weather expected next week that could aid in crop quality for corn and harvest pace for winter wheat.


Reports over the weekend by Bloomberg suggested Chinese buyers were interested in making deals for U.S. farm goods, and today’s export inspections reinforced the notion that the talks are inching forward, according to Farm Futures senior grain market analyst Bryce Knorr.

As trade talks resume in China next week, there’s renewed hope for an uptick of soybean exports, but nothing of note has showed up in the latest USDA export report, out Thursday morning.


Basis outlook - Most years corn basis weakens into the end of the marketing year Aug. 31 as those storing grain clear it to make room for new crop. But this fall those bushels could be needed to fill a hole in production from a later harvest caused by late planting, which should stretch the marketing window for 2018 inventory. And if the 2019 crop is as small as expected, elevators may be willing to buy some of that old crop to ensure keeping facilities full.

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