Farmers maintained a steady pace of selling corn and soybeans this past week, with Midwest grain dealers reporting more corn than soybeans being sold.
While the sales were modest in size, dealers said the pace has been constant as farmers need cash to pay bills and to buy inputs for 2016 spring planting. A central Illinois elevator bought 65,000 bushels of corn Sunday night and Monday morning.
“It has gotten to a point where the guys are thinking it is time to get some stuff sold,” said another central Illinois dealer.
Similar reports came from Iowa.
“The guys are wanting from $3.75 to $3.80 cash and are getting in some places,” said a river elevator in eastern Iowa.
Crop futures moved higher in January, contrary to the declines in equities and crude oil. Spot corn futures in Chicago are up about 11 cents in January, and soybeans are up about 16 cents. In addition the Iowa river elevator said its spot basis on soybeans was 11 cents better than the local processor. The Mississippi River is closed for the season there, but there is enough carry to hold them until the river opens in March.
Midwest elevators are shipping corn by train to the southeast, some went to Georgia and others to Mississippi.
USDA’s weekly export inspections on Monday had soybean shipments at about 44 million bushels, down 14% from a week ago and down 23% from a year ago. China was the leading destination for soybeans. Year-to-date shipments for the crop year are down about 11.5% from a year ago.
Corn export shipments were 23.6 million bushels, up 3% from a week ago and down 34% from a year ago. Japan, Mexico, Colombia and Peru were the leading destinations. Year-to-date shipments are down 21.5% from a year ago.
Weekly wheat shipments of 6.9 million bushels were down 45% from a week ago and down 41% from a year ago. Latin America was the largest market for wheat, while Japan was the largest single buyer for the week. Year-to-date shipments for the crop year that began June 1 are down 11% from a year ago.
USDA’s grain transportation report released last week said grain rail car loadings for the week ended Jan. 9 were down 3% from a year ago.
In the report’s fuel segment, USDA said the average retail U.S. diesel fuel price in the week ended Jan 18 was $2.112 per gallon, down 6.5 cents from the previous week and down nearly 82 cents from a year ago.