Farm Progress

Soybean, corn sales slow. Mexico is leading destination for U.S. soybeans.

Bob Burgdorfer, Senior Editor

August 1, 2017

3 Min Read

Strong cash bids to move soybeans down river to fill ocean vessels supported prices inland in hopes of getting farmers to turn loose of remaining old-crop supplies. However, farmers largely held tight to what few soybeans they still had, grain dealers said this week.

A slowdown of soybean sales in Brazil has shifted buyers to the United States, which helped raise cash basis bids at the Gulf. Corn bids also improved following a slowdown in farmer sales. Farmer selling slowed of both crops following weakness in Chicago futures late in July.

In the latest week, Mexico displaced China as the leading destination for soybean shipments, with China third, behind the Netherlands.

Talk continued in the cash markets that the slow farmer sales in Brazil will shift export business to the United States. The Real’s value increased about 6% in July against the dollar following the dollar’s drop to a one-year low. The Real currently is about 3.11 to the dollar versus 3.3 early in July. Since soybeans are sold in dollars that hurt income for Brazilian farmers and caused a slowdown in sales.

Barge loadings have resumed on the Mississippi River near the Quad Cities after being suspended a few days early last week because of high water.

At the Gulf this week, soybeans were bid 51 over August for August shipment versus 48 over a week ago, and 42 over November for September versus 38 over. The latest Gulf bids for corn were about 21 over September for August shipment versus 18 over a week ago and bid 24 over Sept for September shipment versus 22 a week ago, according to wire reports.

Crop Development

Crops in western Iowa and central Illinois received beneficial rain since late last week, dealers said. Most of the corn and soybeans in Iowa and Illinois were in good shape with rain needed in the aforementioned areas.

Weather maps have rain in parts of the Dakotas and Midwest the next three days, but no severe storms are indicated. The latest 6- to 10-day outlook (August 6-10) is cool and wet for the Midwest and central Plains and cool and dry for the northern Plains.

Gulf barge loadings

Barge grain loadings during the week ended July 22 totaled 1,230,416 tons, up 34% from the prior week and up 30% from a year ago, according to USDA’s grain transportation report. Much of the increase was in soybean barges, which totaled 453,000 tons, up 163% from the three-year weekly soybean average for July.

Grain vessel loadings at the Gulf totaled 32 vessels during the week of July 20, down 11% from a year ago. Forty-two vessels are expected to be loaded in the next 10 days, down 32% from a year ago, the report said.

In the rail sector, grain car loadings totaled 22,802 for the week ended July 15, up 26% from the prior week and down 11% from a year ago.

For truckers, the U.S. average diesel fuel price increased about 2 cents during the week ended July 24 to $2.51 per gallon. That is up 13 cents from a year ago.

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