Afternoon Market Recap for April 16, 2021

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Corn loses Friday but wins the week.

Soybeans grab double-digit gains while wheat comes in lightly mixed

Corn prices faded for a second consecutive session Friday after another round of technical selling today. But nearby contracts still finished the week strong, moving more than 1.5% higher after capturing big gains earlier in the week. Soybean prices carved out moderate gains of around 1%, meantime, as traders shifted their focus back to historically tight supplies. Wheat prices were narrowly mixed, meantime, with CBOT futures dropping slightly while Kanas City HRW and MGEX spring wheat futures found small gains today.

NOAA’s latest 72-hour cumulative precipitation map indicates that very few areas in the Midwest or Plains will see more than 0.1” of additional rains between Saturday and Tuesday. The agency’s 8-to-14-day outlook predicts some seasonally cool weather between April 23 and April 29 centered around the Great Lakes region, with wetter-than-normal conditions likely east of the Mississippi River.

On Wall St., the Dow trended another 150 points higher in afternoon trading to a new record of 34,186. For the week, the Dow added around 1% on investor optimism over economic recovery. Energy futures spilled slightly into the red, with crude oil, diesel and gasoline each down around 0.25% this afternoon. Crude oil remains just above $63 per barrel. The U.S. Dollar softened slightly.

On Thursday, commodity funds were net sellers of corn (-1,500) contracts but were net buyers of soybeans (+4,750), soymeal (+2,000), soyoil (+3,500) and CBOT wheat (+3,500).

Get ready for an upcoming opportunity to sharpen your grain marketing skills and meet with peers as we return live for the 2021 Farm Futures Business Summit, set for June 16-17 at the Coralville Marriott Hotel and Conference Center just outside Iowa City. Click here to learn more about the event and find out how to register!


Corn prices finished the week with gains of around 1.6% and have moved higher for four of the past five weeks. But today, traders engaged in some technical selling that trimmed prices by around 0.5%. May futures fell 3.25 cents to $5.8675, with July futures down 2 cents to $5.7475.

Corn basis bids were steady to mixed Friday after falling 1 to 4 cents at three interior river terminals while rising 2 to 3 cents higher at two other Midwestern locations today.

Nearby corn contracts briefly flirted with $6 per bushel yesterday before USDA released a tepid round of export sales data that morning. But are the stars aligning for prices to climb above that benchmark and stay there for a bit? We took a look at supply, demand and weather fundamentals that would be needed for this scenario to play out in this week’s Midweek Markets podcast – click here to learn more.

South Korea passed on all offers for its international tender to purchase 2.2 million bushels of corn that closed earlier today. The grain would have been for shipment in July.

If it’s been a few days since you’ve visited, our Friday feature “7 ag stories you may have missed” is a great way to quickly catch up. The latest batch of stories include an update on the recent Suez Canal blockage, an end to USDA’s Farmers to Families Food Box program and more – click here for details.

And Max Armstrong reports on new farm data from CoBank that addresses various aspects of the ag economy, including a proposed infrastructure plan that has substantial implications for rural water, power, and broadband producers. Listen to the latest Farm Progress America podcast to learn more.

Preliminary volume estimates were for 354,406 contracts, dropping slightly below Thursday’s final tally of 380,923.


Soybean prices bounced 1% higher Friday on a round of technical buying on some emerging concerns that 2021 acreage won’t be high enough to fully replenish tight supplies. May futures jumped 15 cents to $14.3325, while July futures added 11 cents to $14.22.

Soybean basis bids jumped 10 cents higher at two Midwestern processors and rose 4 cents higher at an Illinois river terminal while holding steady elsewhere across the central U.S. today.

China’s pork production for the first quarter of 2021 jumped 32% to reach two-year highs of 13.7 million tons – a bullish fundamental, given the hungry herd’s feed needs. China is by far the world’s No. 1 grain importer. However, recent shifts to wheat to hogs and poultry may be curbing soymeal demand in the short term

Farm Futures needs your help with the 2021 Feedback From the Field series! Each week throughout the season, FFTF offers readers on-the-ground insights to market-moving weather events as they happen. Click here to learn more about how to participate.

Preliminary volume estimates were for 218,428 contracts, moving slightly ahead of Thursday’s final count of 185,468.


Wheat prices were lightly mixed in an uneven round of technical maneuvering Friday, with overall supply and demand fundamentals supporting healthy prices for now. May Chicago SRW futures slipped 0.75 cents lower to $6.53, while May Kanas City HRW futures firmed 1.25 cents to $6.09 and May MGEX spring wheat futures picked up 1.25 cents to $6.6450.

Germany’s 2021 all-wheat production is expected to increase 2.2% from a year ago to 831.5 million bushels, according to the country’s association of farm cooperatives.

French consultancy FranceAgriMer reported that the cold snap slightly lowered quality ratings, with 86% of the crop still rated in good-to-excellent condition through April 12. Spring barley conditions fell four points, with 88% rated in good-to-excellent condition.

Indonesian flour mills purchased 4.4 million bushels of wheat sourced from the Black Sea region in a tender that closed earlier this week.

Buyers in the Philippines passed on all offers for its tender to purchase 14.0 million bushels of milling and animal feed wheat that closed earlier today. Prices were thought to be higher than expected.

Preliminary volume estimates were for 94,830 CBOT contracts, shifting moderately below Thursday’s final count of 165,799.

Closing Prices for Key Commodities 
  High Low Last Change
Corn                     $/bushel  cents/bu    
21-May 594.75 583.25 585.5 -3.25
21-Jul 581.75 571.5 573.75 -2
21-May 1437.75 1418 1433.25 15
21-Jul 1430 1410.5 1422.5 11
Soymeal                $/ton        
21-Jul 412.6 403.8 406.4 -0.7
Soyoil                    cents/lb        
21-Jul 54.38 52.78 54.24 1.3
Wheat                    $/bushel        
21-May 659.75 648.25 652.5 -0.75
21-Jul 660.75 649.5 655 -0.25
KC Wheat        
21-May 616 601 609.25 1.25
21-Jul 623.25 608.5 616.25 0.75
MPLS Wheat        
21-May 667.5 659.5 664.25 1.25
21-Jul 674.25 666.75 671.25 0.5
Live Cattle             cents/lb        
21-Apr 122 120.7 120.825 -0.775
Feeder Cattle         cents/lb        
21-May 144.675 143.025 143.4 -1.025
Lean Hogs             cents/lb        
21-May 105.85 100.925 101.575 -3.125
Crude Oil  $/barrel *Energy prices may not represent final settlements      
21-May 63.88 62.83 63.12 -0.34
21-Apr 1.9093 1.8868 1.8951 -0.0038
Unleaded Gasoline   $/gallon        
21-Apr 2.0622 2.0373 2.041 -0.0108
Natural Gas        
21-Jun 2.765 2.729 2.758 0.028
Ethanol Futures        
21-Jun     2.01  
U.S. Dollar Index        
21-Jun 91.81 91.47 91.54 -0.078
Gold                      $/ounce        
21-May 1783.5 1759.7 1779.2 13.8
21-Apr 4.2395 4.175 4.18 -0.0505
Fertilizer Swaps     (as of 04/16)  
DAP Tampa-index              595.0 10
DAP-New Orleans              596.9 -7
Urea-New Orleans              407.3 -20
Urea-Middle East              342.5 -28
Urea-Black Sea              330.0 -3
UAN (32%) New Orleans              322.4 -1.1
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