Afternoon Market Recap for April 19, 2021

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Cold snap lifts corn, soybeans.

Wheat contracts finish Monday’s session with lightly mixed results

Grain prices heated up Monday as widespread cool weather is moving its way through the central U.S. later this week – including snow showers possible as far south as Missouri and Kansas. Parts of Indiana, Illinois and Ohio could also see some snow Tuesday night evening into Wednesday morning. That kind of weather, of course, won’t be good for planting progress, which helped trigger a round of technical buying for corn and soybeans today, leaving each crop with gains of around 1%. Wheat contracts were lightly mixed amid some uneven technical maneuvering, meantime.

Much colder weather is on the way to the central U.S. later this week, bring with it some rain and even snow in some cases – although most areas won’t see much more than 0.25” additional moisture between Tuesday and Friday, per the latest 72-hour cumulative precipitation map from NOAA. Seasonally dry weather is likely to return to the Plains next week, per NOAA’s 8-to-14-day outlook, with the eastern half of the country likely to see another round of seasonally cool weather between April 26 and May 2.

On Wall St., the Dow retreated from record highs, losing 166 points in afternoon trading to 34,033. Weakening tech stocks were one of several culprits for today’s movements. Energy futures were lightly mixed. Crude oil inched 0.25% higher to stay just above $63 per barrel. Gasoline saw fractional gains this afternoon, with diesel dropping around 0.25%. The U.S. Dollar softened moderately.

Last Friday, commodity funds were net sellers of corn (-3,250) soymeal (-250) and CBOT wheat (-1,500) contracts but were net buyers of soybeans (+5,500) and soyoil (+6,000).

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 grabbed gains of more than 1% Monday on a round of technical buying spurred by cold weather that is expected to hamper planting progress in the short term. May futures rose 7 cents to $5.9250, with July futures up 6.75 cents to $5.8050.

Corn basis bids were steady to soft Monday, tracking 3 cents lower at two interior river terminals and dropping 2 cents at an Ohio elevator today.

Corn export inspections fell moderately lower for the week ending April 15, landing at 60.0 million bushels. That was also near the bottom of trade guesses, which ranged between 55.1 million and 82.7 million bushels. China was the No. 1 destination, with 22.1 million bushels. Thanks to a red-hot start earlier in the season, cumulative totals for the 2020/22 marketing year remain far ahead of last year’s pace with 1.545 billion bushels since the start of September.

Ahead of the next weekly crop progress report from UDSA, out later this afternoon, analysts expect the agency to show corn plantings at 9% through April 18, up from 4% a week earlier.

The latest data from the European Commission shows EU 2020/21 corn imports at 475.2 million bushels through April 18, which is a drop of 28% compared to last year’s pace.

With higher grain prices comes some tough marketing decisions. You could run the danger of getting oversold, but waiting too long to pull the trigger is also less than ideal. Where’s the happy middle ground? Matt Bennett, commodity analyst with, offers some advice in this recent Ag Marketing IQ blog – click here to learn more.

Preliminary volume estimates were for 235,024 contracts, falling moderately below Friday’s final count of 351,782.


Soybean prices rose in tandem with corn Monday on the same weather fundamentals. Expect some short-term planting delays this week due to much colder-than-normal temperatures moving across the Plains and Midwest. May futures jumped 15.75 cents to $14.49, with July futures rising 12.5 cents to $14.35 today.

Soybean basis bids were steady to firm to start the week, with three river terminals rising 5 to 6 higher, while an Indiana processor jumped 10 cents higher Monday. Most other Midwestern locations remained unchanged today.

Soybean export inspections spilled 45% week-over-week, falling to 6.8 million bushels. That was closer to the low end of trade estimates, which ranged between 3.7 million and 14.7 million bushels. Mexico was the No. 1 destination, with 2.7 million bushels. Cumulative totals for the 2020/21 marketing year still have a commanding lead over last year’s pace, with 2.021 billion bushels.

Ahead of this afternoon’s weekly crop progress report from USDA, analysts expect the agency to show soybean plantings at 3% through Sunday. Individual trade guesses held a pretty tight spread that ranged between 2% and 4%.

European Union soybean imports for the 2020/21 marketing year reached 433.2 million bushels through April 18, staying slightly ahead of last year’s pace so far. In contrast, EU soymeal imports are down moderately year-over-year this season, as are 2020/21 EU palm oil imports.

Preliminary volume estimates were for 200,348 contracts, fading slightly below Friday’s final count of 215,487.


Wheat prices were lightly mixed Monday as traders largely shrugged off a bullish set of export inspection data from USDA this morning. A weakening U.S. Dollar lent some overall support, as did below-normal temperatures set to sweep across the Plains this week. Today, May Chicago SRW futures eased a penny lower to $6.5150, May Kansas City HRW futures added 2.25 cents to $6.1150, and May MGEX spring wheat futures slipped half a penny to $6.6375.

Wheat export inspections saw week-over-week increases of 33% after reaching 22.5 million bushels. That was above the entire range of trade guesses, which came in between 9.2 million and 20.2 million bushels. The Philippines topped all destinations, with 4.8 million bushels. Cumulative totals for the 2020/21 marketing year currently have a slim lead over last year’s pace, with 809.2 million bushels.

Ahead of USDA’s next crop progress report, out later this afternoon, analysts expect to see slightly downgraded winter wheat conditions, sliding a point lower to 52% rated in good-to-excellent condition. Analysts think USDA will show spring wheat plantings moving from 11% a week ago up to 17% through Sunday.

European Union soft wheat exports for the 2020/21 marketing year reached 784.1 million bushels through April 18, which is significantly below last year’s pace of 1.042 billion bushels. EU barley exports are slightly ahead of last year’s pace, meantime, with 294.9 million bushels.

China sold another 15.1 million bushels of its state wheat reserves on auction last week, which was 10.2% of the total available for sale. China has offered six other wheat auctions since the beginning of March to help local feed users combat high grain prices.

Preliminary volume estimates were for 91,852 CBOT contracts, shifting below Friday’s final count of 107,994.

Closing Prices for Key Commodities 
  High Low Last Change
Corn                     $/bushel  cents/bu    
21-May 596.75 588.25 592 7
21-Jul 584.5 576.5 580.5 6.75
21-May 1454.5 1434.75 1449.75 15.75
21-Jul 1441.75 1423.5 1436.5 12.5
Soymeal                $/ton        
21-Jul 412.6 405.6 411.3 4.8
Soyoil                    cents/lb        
21-Jul 54.55 53.68 53.87 -0.51
Wheat                    $/bushel        
21-May 660.75 651 652.25 -1
21-Jul 663 652.5 653.75 -2
KC Wheat        
21-May 618.5 609.5 612 2.25
21-Jul 625.75 616.5 618.75 1.5
MPLS Wheat        
21-May 670.5 663.25 664.5 -0.5
21-Jul 677.75 670.25 671.5 0.25
Live Cattle             cents/lb        
21-Apr 121.225 119.5 120.3 -0.55
Feeder Cattle         cents/lb        
21-May 143.85 140.275 142.5 -1.225
Lean Hogs             cents/lb        
21-Jun 105.375 101.1 104.15 2.45
Crude Oil  $/barrel *Energy prices may not represent final settlements      
21-May 63.63 62.63 63.36 0.23
21-May 1.9028 1.8816 1.8932 -0.0025
Unleaded Gasoline   $/gallon        
21-May 2.0547 2.0292 2.0445 0.0046
Natural Gas        
21-Jun 2.821 2.765 2.815 0.061
Ethanol Futures        
21-May 2.14 2.095 2.14 0.13
U.S. Dollar Index        
21-Jun 91.75 91.025 91.08 -0.464
Gold                      $/ounce        
21-May 1789.4 1766.2 1772.7 -6.3
21-Apr 4.27 4.18 4.25 0.07
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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