Soybeans and wheat spill into the red on Tuesday
Grains were mixed but mostly lower on Tuesday. Corn was the lone bright spot, with prices trending moderately higher on some technical buying as traders eyed rain delays earlier this week (with more wet weather on the way). Soybeans tried to follow suit but ultimately failed, closing steady to down slightly today. And wheat prices were negatively affected by a round of technical selling and profit-taking, leaving most contracts with moderate losses.
More rains are on their way to the Midwest and Plains this week, with some areas gathering another 2” or more between Wednesday and Saturday, per the latest 72-hour cumulative precipitation map from NOAA. The agency’s latest 8-to-14-day outlook, covering November 2 through November 8, predicts a shift to seasonally cool weather for the central U.S., with a return to drier-than-normal conditions for the Midwest and Plains.
On Wall St., the Dow added another 60 points in afternoon trading to 35,800 as General Electric and others contributed more better-than-expected earnings reports. Tech stocks also made inroads today. Energy futures made moderate moves higher, with crude oil up nearly 1% to move above $84 per barrel. Diesel trended around 0.3% higher, while gasoline hovered near even. The U.S. Dollar firmed slightly.
On Monday, commodity funds were net buyers of soybeans (+9,500), soyoil (+4,500) and CBOT wheat (+2,000) contracts and were roughly even trading corn and soymeal contracts.
Corn prices trended moderately higher on some technical buying as traders mulled recent rainy weather in the Midwest that has slowed harvest in a number of places, although two-thirds of the crop is now out of the fields. December futures added 4.5 cents to $5.4250, while March futures picked up 4 cents to $5.3075.
Corn basis bids moved 5 to 28 cents higher at three interior river terminals on Tuesday but tilted 10 cents lower at an Iowa processor. Most other Midwestern locations held steady today.
In USDA’s latest crop progress report, out late Monday afternoon, the agency marked the 2021 corn harvest moving from 52% a week ago up to 66% through October 24. Analysts had expected USDA to report progress of 65%. Harvest pace remains very swift compared to recent years – the prior five-year average is 53%.
Per the latest data from the European Commission, EU corn imports during the 2021/22 marketing year have reached 161.4 million bushels through October 24. That’s a year-over-year decline of 24% so far.
Brazil’s Anec predicts the country’s corn exports will reach 84.4 million bushels in October, which is moderately lower than its prior estimate from a week ago.
Fertilizer prices have reached the highest levels since 2008, notes grain market analyst Bryce Knorr. “The market collapsed quickly back then in the wake of the financial crisis,” he writes in the latest Ag Marketing IQ blog. “But barring another super-bearish black swan event, the market could stay higher, longer this time around.” Knorr dissects some of the key factors at play – click here to learn more.
Preliminary volume estimates were for 234,353 contracts, jumping moderately higher than Monday’s final count of 159,732.
Soybean prices were little-changed Tuesday as traders attempted to balance export optimism against harvest pressure. November futures ended the session unchanged, at $12.3725, while January futures dipped half a penny lower to $12.4650.
Soybean basis bids showed wide variability on Tuesday, jumping as much as 42 cents higher at an Iowa river terminal while dropping as much as 10 cents at two Midwestern processors today.
Private exporters reported two large soybean sales to USDA on Tuesday morning. The first was for 7.3 million bushels to China, and the second was for 4.6 million bushels to Mexico. Both sales are for delivery during the 2021/22 marketing year, which began September 1.
The 2021 soybean harvest is maintaining solid forward momentum, moving from 60% last week up to 73% through Sunday. That’s well behind 2020’s pace of 82% but still moderately ahead of the prior five-year average of 70%.
European union soybean imports during the 2021/22 marketing year have reached 142.6 million bushels through October 24, a year-over-year decline of 15% so far. EU soymeal imports are also trending below last year’s pace, with 4.50 million metric tons.
Brazil’s Anec now estimates the country’s soybean exports for October will reach 126.1 million bushels, which is slightly above its prior projection from a week ago.
Preliminary volume estimates were for 198,149 contracts, spilling moderately below Monday’s final count of 240,954.
Wheat prices saw mild to moderate losses Tuesday after a round of technical selling and profit-taking, but consider it a minor setback – prices are still in very good shape and remain near multiyear highs. December Chicago SRW futures fell 9.5 cents to $7.50, December Kansas City HRW futures dropped 3 cents to $7.7475, and December MGEX spring wheat futures also dropped 3 cents to $10.24.
Winter wheat plantings reached 80% through Sunday. That’s up from 70% a week ago and identical to the prior five-year average. And 55% of the crop is now emerged, up from 44% a week ago but behind the prior five-year average of 59%.
Analysts significantly missed the mark on crop quality, with USDA reporting 46% rated in good-to-excellent condition in its first assessment of the season. The average trade guess was much higher, at 54%. Another 34% of the crop is rated fair, with the remaining 20% rated poor or very poor.
European Union soft wheat exports during the 2021/22 marketing year have reached 330.3 million bushels through October 24, which is a year-over-year increase of more than 24%. EU barley exports are also trending above last year’s pace, with 131.4 million bushels.
Egypt, one of the world’s top wheat buyers, indicated it has sufficient reserves to last for the next six months, according to a governmental statement issued earlier today.
Preliminary volume estimates were for 92,945 CBOT contracts, tracking moderately above Monday’s final count of 76,172.
|Settlement Prices for Key Commodities|
|Live Cattle cents/lb|
|Feeder Cattle cents/lb|
|Lean Hogs cents/lb|
|Crude Oil $/barrel||*Energy prices may not represent final settlements|
|Unleaded Gasoline $/gallon|
|U.S. Dollar Index|
|Fertilizer Swaps||(as of 10/22)|
|UAN (32%) New Orleans||592.5||49.6|
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