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Weekly Grain Movement - Oct. 17, 2016

Semi grain elevator
Corn sales increase as prices rise.

Last week’s market rally in corn had farmers selling much of what they were bringing out of the fields, while they retained ownership of much of their soybeans despite a similar rally in prices, grain dealers said on Monday.

Lower basis bids did inhibit some. Corn was bringing about $3.20 in parts of Illinois and soybeans at or less than $9. Soybean sales did occur at times in areas where cash bids moved above $9.

“With 230 and 240 yields we are close to break even,” an Illinois dealer said of the cash corn prices.

Rain, fog and high humidity slowed harvest over the weekend in parts of Iowa and Illinois but this week’s forecasted hot weather, with highs in the 80s, plus windy conditions should dry crops and fields to get combines rolling again.

“We kept getting rain every four days or so, so we could not get a constant flow of soybeans,” a central Illinois dealer said.

Corn and soybeans were mainly going to local users such as ethanol plants, soybean processors, and feed mills. While basis bids at those locations did come down, they remained more attractive than the export market. Basis bids for corn and soybeans at the Gulf decreased a few cents in the past week, which typically occurs during harvest.

Corn at the Gulf was bid about 35 cents over December for October shipment, compared with 42 a week ago, and was 46 over for November versus 51 a week ago. Soybeans for October shipment were bid 44 over November versus 46 cents a week ago, and November was bid 54 over versus about 58 a week ago.

Barge rates for shipment to the Gulf continued to decline. At mid-Mississippi points, barges for next week’s shipment were offered at 375% of tariff versus 400% a week ago. The 25-point decrease equates to a decrease in shipping costs of about 4 cents for a bushel of corn and soybeans.

“Typically, spot barge rates increase during the corn and soybean harvest, however, this year barge operators indicate that there is a weak market for barge services as farmers are not willing to sell grain to river elevators while cash prices are low. In addition, the barge supply has been adequate and rates have been very competitive in order to attract freight buyers,” said USDA’s Grain Transportation Report.

USDA’s latest weekly grain inspections for corn of 34.5 million bushels were down sharply from a week ago and missed trade forecasts and largely matched the pace needed to meet USDA’s annual export forecast. Soybean shipments of 92.2 million were up sharply from a week ago, beat trade forecasts, and easily topped USDA’s projected weekly rate. Wheat shipments of 16.6 million were up a little from a week ago, matched forecasts but slightly missed the weekly rate needed to meet USDA’s forecast.

USDA said barge grain shipments during the weekend Oct. 8 were 630,700 tons, down 9% from the prior week and down 10% from a year ago.

In the rail sector, grain car loadings totaled 27,626 for the week ended Oct. 1, up 10% from the prior week and up 10% from a year ago, the grain transportation report said.

For truckers, the U.S. average diesel fuel price rose 6 cents in the latest week to $2.45 per gallon. That is down 11 cents from the same week last year.

Weekly Grain Movement - Oct. 11, 2016 - End users fill up as harvest gains traction

Weekly Grain Movement - Oct. 4, 2016 - River shipments delayed as locks close

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