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Afternoon Market Recap for May 17, 2019

Weather woes lift corn again.

Soybeans take a major hit, meantime, with wheat narrowly mixed Friday

With a late-planted U.S. corn crop and more soggy weather on the horizon, corn found footing to climb another 1% higher Friday, reaching the highest levels since January. That optimism didn’t stretch to soybeans, which tumbled more than 2% lower today after traders expect a big acreage shift as spring planting progresses. Wheat finished the session narrowly mixed on some technical maneuvering.

Much of the central U.S. is bracing for a very wet week ahead, with the latest seven-day precipitation map from NOAA calling for 3” or more additional rainfall for large portions of Kansas, Missouri, South Dakota, Iowa, Minnesota and Wisconsin through May 24. Daytime highs are expected to be mostly cooler-than-normal through at least the middle of next week.

On Wall St., the Dow erased morning losses of around 200 points after the U.S. indicated it will lift tariffs on steel and aluminum imports. Stocks were up around 25 points this afternoon to 25,889. Energy futures drifted lower today, with crude oil hovering below $63 per barrel. The U.S. Dollar firmed slightly.

Busy in the field? Click here to catch up on seven agricultural stories you might have missed this week.

Corn prices tracked about 1% higher for a fifth consecutive session of gains today, as wet weather this coming week could create additional planting delays for a crop that is already going in the ground much slower than average. July futures added 4.25 cents to $3.8325 and September futures picked up another 3.5 cents to $3.9050.

How are field conditions in your area? Click here to read the latest farmer anecdotes and access our interactive map in Feedback From The Field.

Corn basis bids were mixed but mostly lower Friday, falling 1 to 4 cents across multiple Midwestern locations today.

French consultancy FranceAgriMer has significantly increased its quality ratings for the country’s 2019 corn crop from 77% in good-to-excellent condition the prior week to 88% as of May 13.

China’s Sinograin reported that it will auction nearly 3.0 million bushels of its corn reserves to Mongolia next week.

South Korea purchased 2.7 million bushels of corn from the U.S. or South America in a private deal, for delivery in early December.

Preliminary volume estimates were for 594,400 contracts, up 20% from Thursday’s final count of 496,822.

Soybean prices fell more than 2% Friday as traders begin to factor in more U.S. acres this year from farmers swapping out corn acres. U.S.-China trade woes continue to produce additional headwinds. July futures tumbled 18 cents to $8.2175, with August futures down 18.25 cents to $8.2825.

Soybean basis bids were largely unchanged Friday but mixed at interior river terminals today after rising 5 cents at an Ohio location but easing a penny lower at an Illinois location.

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue said earlier this week that USDA could offset losses incurred by farmers in the ongoing U.S.-China trade war to the tune of $15 to $20 billion. “We’re expediting at the President’s direction so farmers, as well as China, can know they cannot use the political impact of damaging our farmers to our great exporters in this trade disruption,” he said.

Meantime, the U.S. Soybean Export Council expressed concerns today that share of exports to China could see a permanent decline the longer trade talks drag on.

Farmers will still likely plant more soybeans than USDA forecasts, according to Farm Futures senior grain market analyst Bryce Knorr. Ending stocks in August 2020 will still probably top 1 billion bushels – trade war or no trade war. Find out what else Knorr is saying in his latest Soybean Outlook column.

Brazil has seen a flurry of soybean sales to China topping 202 million bushels over the past few days. The grain is for shipment between July and August. The country is harvesting its second-largest soybean crop on record.

Preliminary volume estimates were for 133,946 contracts, trending moderately below Thursday’s final count of 179,033.

Wheat prices were mixed on some light technical maneuvering Friday. July Chicago SRW futures dipped 2 cents to $4.65, July Kansas City HRW futures firmed by a penny to $4.1775, and July MGEX spring wheat futures also picked up a penny to reach $5.2675.

President Donald Trump is said to be growing impatient to ink a trade deal with Japan, according to Wendy Cutler, a former U.S. trade negotiator who is now the managing director of the Asia Society Policy Institute in Washington. “He wants agriculture market access from Japan now, responding to the urgent requests of U.S. farmers,” she said. Japan is a major importer of several key U.S. agricultural commodities such as wheat and beef.

Russian consultancy IKAR has raised its forecasts for the country’s wheat production by 0.5% to 2.976 billion bushels. Russian wheat exports for its 2019/20 marketing year (which begins July 1) are expected to reach 1.389 billion bushels.

India’s government has purchased 1.075 billion bushels of wheat so far from the country’s farmers this marketing year as the country braces for a potentially record-breaking production of 3.674 billion bushels this year.

French consultancy FranceAgriMer reports no changes to the country’s 2019 soft wheat crop quality from a week ago, remaining steady at 79% in good-to-excellent condition by May 13.

Preliminary volume estimates were for 88,651 CBOT contracts, falling 19% below Thursday’s final count of 109,320.


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