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Soybean futures drop below $9

Corn futures dialed in small changes while winter wheat futures moved higher

Missed some market news this week? Here's what Ben Potter and Duane Lowry have written about this week.

Crop progress

Growers posting Feedback From The Field last week noted yields that are holding up to earlier estimates. Corn yields reported so far in November averaged 167.4 bushels per acre, just slightly higher than the 167 bpa estimated by USDA Nov. 8. Soybeans remained higher than the government’s number of 46.9 at 48.3 bpa. Yields continue to show a wide range after a long growing season. Corn yields reported last week varied from 100 to 220 bushels bpa, with soybeans going from 25 to 70 bpa.

Corn harvest is 76% complete as of Nov. 17, with soybean harvest 91% complete, according to USDA's crop progress report, out Monday afternoon. Three states – North Dakota, Michigan and Wisconsin – still haven't completed half of their corn harvest. One state, Louisiana, is 100% complete with soybean harvest.


The latest round of export sales data from USDA showed an uptick in volume for corn, soybeans and wheat for the week ending November 14.

Market recaps

U.S. cash grain markets remain only marginally supplied and buyers appear to have minimal ownership for this time of year. Elevators will exit the harvest season with an unusually small hedged ownership. This is due to a much slower US farmer sales pace and a some reluctance on the part of the elevator to establish a long basis ownership at such historically narrow harvest time basis levels. This means that the cash pipelines will have to rely much more on farmer sales during the next 60 days for supplies, rather than on hedged inventories.

Embattled soybean futures eroded steadily throughout Friday’s session on reports of favorable South American weather and lingering concerns over U.S.-China trade negotiations. January futures closed below $9 for the first time since late September. Corn futures dialed in small changes on some technical maneuvering, meantime, with winter wheat futures moving higher again on another round of short-covering.

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