Futures fall another 0.5% Friday, as wheat firms and corn holds mostly steady
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.
A temporary break in the latest round of above-normal temperatures should return to the central U.S. by early next week. But the latest 8-to-14-day outlook from NOAA predicts colder-than-normal weather for much of the country by early December. Wetter weather is also likely for most of the U.S. from November 29 to December 5.
On Wall St., the Dow is on pace for its first losing week in more than a month, fueled by concerns over the past several days that U.S.-China trade negotiations are not progressing as previously promised. The Dow was up 88 points this afternoon, however, reaching 27,854. Energy futures also trended lower on trade worries, with crude oil, gasoline and diesel all down more than 1% this afternoon. The U.S. Dollar firmed moderately.
On the heels of speculation that a partial trade agreement between the U.S. and China may not be penned until next year, president Donald Trump told “Fox and Friends” this morning that a deal is “potentially very close” but still holds the opinion that current tariffs levied on China have been beneficial for the U.S. Chinese President Xi Jinping said today that he wants a deal on the basis of mutual respect and equality, to which Trump responded: “I didn’t like his word ‘equality’ … this can’t be like an even deal.”
Meantime, a former Monsanto researcher was arrested earlier this week after being accused of stealing software and delivering it to China. Click here to read the latest updates in the case.
Miss a story from Farm Futures earlier this week? Catch up with this roundup of our best coverage, including stories about an ag labor package, the fate of a WTO dispute panel, developments in producing a vaccine for African swine fever and more.
And keep us up-to-date on your harvest. We're collecting farmers' yield estimates on Feedback From The Feed. Click this link to tell us what’s happening in your area.
Corn prices were narrowly mixed Friday, but December futures finished the week down another 0.7%, marking a third consecutive week of declines. This is the final day to trade December options, with first notice day for deliveries coming up on November 29. December futures inched 0.25 cents higher today, reaching $3.6875, with March futures slipping 0.5 cents to $3.7850.
Corn basis bids held mostly steady Friday, although they did rise 2 cents at two interior river terminals and tilt 2 cents lower at an Iowa processor today.
Ukraine’s 2019 corn harvest is progressing ahead of schedule, now 95% complete, according to UkrAgroConsult. That’s tracking nearly 12% faster than last year’s pace. Current yield estimates are forecast at 1.314 billion bushels.
Despite some weather-related harvest challenges this fall, farmers reporting to Feedback From The Field have seen corn yields holding up for the most part. Respondents saw average yields this month coming in at 167.4 bushels per acre, just above USDA’s latest estimates of 167 bpa. Click here to read the latest round of farmer anecdotes and view our interactive map, and click this link to tell us what’s happening in your area.
Preliminary volume estimates were for 435,854 contracts, jumping 31% ahead of Thursday’s final count of 332,721.
Soybean prices degraded another 0.5% Friday as traders continue to worry about favorable South American forecasts as well as a lack of meaningful progress in ongoing U.S.-China trade negotiations. January and March futures each dropped 4 cents to close at $8.97 and $9.1125, respectively.
Soybean basis bids moved 2 to 3 cents higher at multiple interior river terminals while holding steady elsewhere across the Midwest today.
Brazil’s 2019/20 soybean planting progress is now at about 77%, according to consultancy ARC Mercosul. That’s a bit behind the five-year average of 80.5% and moderately behind last year’s pace of 89.6%.
Preliminary volume estimates were for 157,547 contracts, moving just under Thursday’s final count of 166,831.
Wheat prices were mixed, with winter wheat futures up another 1% Friday while spring wheat futures retreated another 0.5% lower. After a multi-week slump, winter wheat futures firmed by more than 2% this week. December Chicago SRW futures gained 6.25 cents to $5.1525, December Kansas City HRW futures added 3.75 cents to $4.2475, and December MGEX spring wheat futures dropped 2.5 cents to $4.9325.
“As the House continues to drag its feet on passage of USMCA and China’s phase 1 deal also looks to be unsettled, the win agriculture so desperately needed this fall came in the form of a quick deal with Japan on specific measures to help bring the U.S. in line with what had already been agreed to under the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP),” according to Farm Futures policy editor Jacqui Fatka. But was it a good deal? Click here to learn why Fatka says the short-term gain could create longer term problems.
Ukrainian grain exports have boomed 36% higher from a year ago, anchored by a strong showing of wheat exports, which have reached 474 million bushels since July. The country has also exported nearly 256 million bushels of corn during that time.
French consultancy FranceAgriMer says the country’s 2019/20 soft wheat crop planting pace is still trending eight days behind the prior five-year average. Crop quality is also relatively down, with 78% rated good-to-excellent – dropping 6 points from a week ago and down from 82% the same time last year.
Jordan issued another international tender to purchase 4.4 million bushels of milling wheat from optional origins. The country has struggled to close similar deals in recent months, although it did buy 2.2 million bushels of wheat earlier this week.
Preliminary volume estimates were for 115,641 CBOT contracts, moving slightly ahead of Thursday’s final count of 109,089.