Afternoon Market Recap for October 26, 2021

phongphan5922/Thinkstock markets charts - green with red line
Corn holds on for modest gains.

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 
  High Low Last Change
Corn                     $/bushel  cents/bu    
21-Dec 547.25 533 543.5 4.5
22-Mar 555.5 542 552.25 4
21-Nov 1246.25 1230 1238 0
22-Jan 1255.75 1239.5 1247.5 -0.5
Soymeal                $/ton        
22-Jan 328.2 322 325.6 -0.6
Soyoil                    cents/lb        
22-Jan 62.96 61.78 61.99 -0.75
Wheat                    $/bushel        
21-Dec 765 747.5 752.25 -9.5
22-Mar 777.25 759.75 765.25 -9
KC Wheat        
21-Dec 790 766.5 777.25 -3
22-Mar 792.5 769.5 780.25 -3.25
MPLS Wheat        
21-Dec 1047 1016.25 1021.5 -3
22-Mar 1026.25 997 1002.25 3
Live Cattle             cents/lb        
21-Oct 127.3 124.95 126.625 1.6
Feeder Cattle         cents/lb        
21-Nov 159.975 157.925 159.975 1.5
Lean Hogs             cents/lb        
22-Feb 76.425 75.05 75.2 -1.575
Crude Oil  $/barrel *Energy prices may not represent final settlements      
21-Nov 84.88 82.97 84.57 0.81
21-Nov 2.5797 2.5472 2.572 0.0073
Unleaded Gasoline   $/gallon        
21-Nov 2.543 2.5095 2.5124 -0.0038
Natural Gas        
21-Dec 6.233 5.731 5.967 -0.089
Ethanol Futures        
21-Dec     2.207  
U.S. Dollar Index        
21-Dec 94.015 93.685 93.945 0.136
Gold                      $/ounce        
21-Nov 1808.8 1783.3 1788.6 -17.4
21-Oct 4.5255 4.5115 4.5115 -0.04
Fertilizer Swaps     (as of 10/22)  
DAP Tampa-index              650.0 -5
DAP-New Orleans              749.6 -6
Urea-New Orleans              763.4 -6
Urea-Middle East              845.0 15
Urea-Black Sea              765.0 55
UAN (32%) New Orleans              592.5 49.6

Get our top content delivered right to your inbox. Subscribe to our morning and afternoon newsletters!

Hide comments


  • Allowed HTML tags: <em> <strong> <blockquote> <br> <p>

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.