Mark's Feed
Jul 29, 2014

U.S. corn, soybeans, wheat drop after recent gains

CHICAGO, July 29 (Reuters) – U.S. wheat futures fell 2.8
percent to fresh contract lows on Tuesday due to plentiful
global supplies as well as strong competition on the export
market, traders said.
Corn and soybean futures also fell as forecasts for rain in
the U.S. Midwest next week alleviated concerns about dry
conditions reducing harvest prospects for both crops.
The drop in soybeans broke a string of five straight
positive closes. Traders noted investors putting more shorts
into the soy market after prices hit a two-week high on Monday.
Wheat posted the biggest losses, weighed down by big
production forecasts in Ukraine, Russia and Australia. Supplies
were moving from troubled countries in the Black Sea region with
no problem, adding further pressure to prices.
“With the increased sanctions (in Russia), we are not seeing
any risk premium coming into the wheat,” said Mike Zuzolo,
president at Global Commodity Analytics. “The trade just does
not have any fear factor or risk premium in these markets yet.”
Chicago Board of Trade soft red winter wheat for September
delivery closed 14-3/4 cents lower at $5.20 a bushel after
hitting a contract low of $5.18-1/2 earlier in the session.
CBOT September corn dropped 6-1/4 cents to $3.61-1/2 a
bushel and CBOT August soybeans fell 10 cents to
$12.26-1/2 a bushel.
“Corn got hit again as weather forecasts went from dry to
rain promised for the end of next week,” Charlie Sernatinger,
analyst with ED&F Man Capital, said in a note to clients. “Beans
went from darling to deathbed in one day, as weather forecasts
fired up rains for the end of next week, and the shorts piled
back into the contract in style.”
Storms on Sunday and Monday should bring 0.5 inch (1.27 cm)
of rain to northwestern areas of the U.S. Corn Belt, including
Minnesota and Iowa. Showers expand into the rest of the Midwest
later in the week.
“It’s a little wetter than it was yesterday,” said Andy
Karst, an agricultural meteorologist at World Weather Inc. “It’s
not a big soaker for the whole Midwest, but it looks like
everybody is going to get some rain from Sunday into the middle
part of next week.”

Prices at 1412 CDT (1912 GMT):
CBOT corn 361.50 -6.25 -1.7 -14.3
CBOT soy 1229.00 -10.00 -0.8 -6.4
CBOT meal 396.50 -6.30 -1.6 -9.4
CBOT soyoil 36.28 -0.27 -0.7 -6.5
CBOT wheat 521.00 -14.75 -2.8 -13.9
CBOT rice 1312.00 20.50 1.6 -15.4
EU wheat 175.25 -3.00 -1.7 -16.1

Jul 22, 2014

U.S. export sales offer latest sign grains could halt slide

CHICAGO, July 22 (Reuters) – A flurry of grain export sales
to China and elsewhere since last week, totaling about 2 million
tonnes, is the latest sign U.S. soybean and corn prices may be
set to rebound from four-year lows.

Calling a trend for prices is often a fool’s errand, as
recent spikes on rising political tension in Ukraine, a major
wheat producer, ably demonstrate. But as both buyers and sellers
hold back, the next move is increasingly looking to be upward.

Jun 20, 2014

U.S. soy drops on China demand worries; corn, soy firm

CHICAGO, June 20 (Reuters) – U.S. soybean futures fell 1.2
percent on Friday, pressured by profit taking and concerns about
slowing demand from China, the world’s top buyer of the oilseed,
traders said.
Wheat also fell, weighed down by light technical selling and
seasonal harvest pressure, while corn firmed in consolidation
The drop in soybeans put the commodity on track for its
fourth straight weekly loss, the longest stretch of declines
since an equal streak that ended in early August of 2013.
“Beans are having trouble finishing the week on a positive
note,” INTL FCStone said in a note to clients. “The whole
complex is down as China appears to be slowing on demand for
feeding animals.”
At 10:57 a.m. CST (1557 GMT) CBOT July soybeans were
down 16-3/4 cents at $14.04 a bushel. Prices firmed during the
overnight session but failed to hold support above their 100-day
moving average.
New-crop soybean contracts also weakened, but declines were
limited by the unwinding of bull spreads as well as signs of
overseas demand. The U.S. Agriculture Department on Friday
morning said exporters sold 110,000 tonnes of U.S. soybeans to
unknown destinations for delivery in the 2014/15 crop year.

CBOT July corn was up 1-1/2 cents at $4.52 a bushel,
with traders citing $4.50 as a key support point. CBOT July soft
red winter wheat was 4-1/2 cents lower at $5.89 a bushel.
For the week, front-month soybeans were down 1.5
percent, front-month corn was up 1.1 percent and
front-month wheat was up 0.5 percent.
The weekly gains in corn and wheat would snap a five-week
string of declines for both commodities.
Concerns about recent rains in the U.S. Midwest and Plains
hurting the quality of the mature wheat crop limited declines in
wheat despite expectations of ample supplies following harvest.
“Precipitation is hurting the quality outlook for the
already reduced supply of hard red winter wheat in the U.S. -
the U.S. is already priced out of the international market so
this doesn’t necessarily warrant higher prices,” Macquarie
analyst Chris Gadd said.
“Our outlook remains bearish, the reality is the world looks
well supplied.”
The gains in corn were kept in check by expectations of good
crop weather during the next few weeks. No signs of damaging
heat were in the forecast for the U.S. Midwest. The crop will
start its key pollination phase of development in many areas in
the next few weeks and high heat during that period can rob corn
of its yield potential.
RIC Name Last Pct Net Pvs
Change Change Close
1Cc1 CORN JUL4 452 0.33 1.5 450.5
1Sc1 SOYBEANS JUL4 1420.75 0.83 11.75 1409
1SMc1 SOY MEAL JUL4 451.1 -0.44 -2 453.2
1BOc1 SOYBEAN OIL JUL4 40.55 1.2 0.48 40.13
1Wc1 WHEAT SRW JUL4 593.75 1.11 6.5 587
1RRc1 ROUGH RICE JUL4 14.71 -0.64 -0.095 14.785
BL2c1 M.WHEAT EUR NOV4 188.25 -0.13 -0.25 188.5
CLc1 LIGHT CRUDE JUL4 106.65 0.64 0.68 105.97
.DJI DJ INDU AVERAGE 16921.46 0.09 14.84 16906.
XAU= GOLD 1319.85 #N/A 42.35 1277.5
.BADI BALTIC EXCH DRY 902 4.04 35 867
.DXY US DOLLAR INDEX 80.306 -0.34 -0.278 80.584
In U.S. cents, benchmark contracts, except EU wheat (euros) and
soymeal (dollars). CBOT wheat, corn and soybeans per bushel,
rice per hundredweight, soymeal per ton and soyoil per lb

Jun 17, 2014

U.S. soy leads corn lower as supply concerns ease; wheat firms

CHICAGO, June 17 (Reuters) – U.S. soybean futures fell 1.6
percent at the Chicago Board of Trade on Tuesday, dropping below
$14 a bushel for the first time since March 24, on the easing of
pressure on the U.S. balance sheet, traders said.
Corn also weakened, hitting a 4-1/2-month low, while wheat
firmed on moderate bargain buying after touching their lowest
since Feb. 10.
Expectations of a large U.S. harvest of both corn and
soybeans also weighed on prices after the U.S. Agriculture
Department’s weekly conditions report on Monday afternoon showed
that both crops were thriving across the Midwest during their
early stages of development.
Soybean futures posted the biggest drop, with investment
funds selling on reports of weakness in the cash market that
indicated that elevators and processors will have enough
supplies to last them until harvest.
“We have got liquidation pressure,” said Bill Gentry, a
broker at Risk Management Commodities. “What we hear on the
commercial side of the equation is that the imports seem to be
satisfying the needs for the crushers and there is no sense of
urgency right this minute.”
At 11:15 a.m. CDT (1615 GMT), CBOT July soybeans were
down 23 cents at $13.98-3/4 a bushel. Prices hit a low of
$13.97-1/4 earlier in the session.
CBOT July corn was 4-1/2 cents lower at $4.36-1/2 a
bushel and CBOT July wheat was up 1 cent at $5.82 a
bushel after dipping to $5.76-3/4.
“Recent lows are under fire on the charts once again,” Matt
Zeller, director of market information at INTL FCStone said in a
note to clients.
The U.S. corn crop was rated 76 percent good to excellent as
of June 15, the best mid-June rating for the crop since a 77
percent reading in 1994, according to USDA’s weekly crop
conditions and progress report.
Soybean ratings weakened by 1 percentage point, dropping
below analysts’ expectations, to 73 percent good to excellent.
That was still the best mid-June rating for soybeans on record.

RIC Name Last Pct Net Close
Change Change
1Cc1 CORN JUL4 436.75 -0.96 -4.25 441
1Sc1 SOYBEANS JUL4 1398.75 -1.62 -23 1421.75
1SMc1 SOY MEAL JUL4 454.8 -1.64 -7.6 462.4
1BOc1 SOYBEAN OIL JUL4 39.42 -0.2 -0.08 39.5
1Wc1 WHEAT SRW JUL4 582.25 0.22 1.25 581
1RRc1 ROUGH RICE JUL4 14.63 -0.24 -0.035 14.665
BL2c1 M.WHEAT EUR NOV4 186.5 -0.67 -1.25 187.75
CLc1 LIGHT CRUDE JUL4 106.88 -0.02 -0.02 106.9
.DJI DJ INDU AVERAGE 16793.69 0.08 12.68 16781.01
XAU= GOLD 1270.16 #N/A -1.13 1271.29
.BADI BALTIC EXCH DRY 858 -2.5 -22 880
.DXY US DOLLAR INDEX 80.608 0.17 0.137 80.471
In U.S. cents, benchmark contracts, except EU wheat (euros) and
soymeal (dollars). CBOT wheat, corn and soybeans per bushel,
rice per hundredweight, soymeal per ton and soyoil per lb.

Jun 17, 2014

U.S. corn ratings rise above market view, soybean ratings dip

CHICAGO (Reuters) – U.S. corn ratings were the best in 20 years because of warm weather and plentiful soil moisture in growing states such as Iowa, North Dakota and Illinois during the past week, according to U.S. Department of Agriculture data released on Monday.

The U.S. corn crop was rated 76 percent good to excellent as of June 15, the best mid-June rating for the crop since a 77 percent reading in 1994, according to USDA’s weekly crop conditions and progress report.

Jun 2, 2014

US soybeans firm on tight supplies, wheat hits 3-month low

CHICAGO, June 2 (Reuters) – U.S. soybean futures rose on
Monday on signs of strong export demand that threatened to
further deplete thin U.S. supplies, traders said.

Corn was close to unchanged, with good crop weather
pressuring prices, while wheat futures sagged to a three-month
low on ample global stocks and lackluster demand. CBOT wheat has
fallen for nine straight days and in 17 of the last 18 sessions.

May 15, 2014

U.S. corn drops to lowest since March; wheat off for 7th day

CHICAGO, May 15 (Reuters) – U.S. corn futures fell 2.1
percent on Thursday to a seven-week low on a technical setback
and forecasts for improved planting weather in northern areas of
the U.S. Corn Belt by the weekend, traders said.
Wheat and soybean futures also were lower, with wheat
dropping for the seventh day in a row due to ample global
supplies that were chilling demand for U.S. offerings on the
export market.
Chicago Board of Trade corn futures have fallen for four out
of the last five days as the pace of planting has picked up in
the U.S. Midwest following weeks of delays in key growing areas
such as Iowa.
“The corn is moving lower again today as the market is
working its way through the nearby support areas,” Sterling
Smith, futures specialist with Citigroup, said in a note to
clients. “Planting conditions and the weather is expected to
improve by the weekend, and there should be improvement in the
northern plains situation by next weekend.”
The benchmark CBOT July corn contract was down 10-1/2
cents at $4.85 at 11:40 a.m. CDT (1640 GMT). The contract fell
through the low end of the 20-day Bollinger range for the first
time since Jan. 10.
The front-month CBOT wheat contract hit a three-week low.
The seven-session losing streak has wiped out 7.4 percent of the
contract’s value.
CBOT July wheat was 12-1/4 cents lower at $6.78 a
“Traders are also looking at a wetter forecast this morning
for stressed hard red winter wheat fields,” said Bryce Knorr,
senior editor at Farm Futures Magazine.
Scattered showers were possible in the central U.S. Plains
from Friday into the weekend with a better chance for rain
forecast for the end of next week, according to Commodity
Weather Group’s outlook.
The U.S. Agriculture Department’s export sales report
released on Thursday morning showed that old-crop export sales
of wheat were just 54,900 tonnes, below a range of trade
forecasts for 100,000 to 300,000 tonnes.
Old-crop corn export sales of 343,000 tonnes were
in line with expectations while old-crop soybean export sales of
73,600 tonnes topped the range of analysts’ forecasts.
Soybean futures were down 1.5 percent, falling to session
lows after the National Oilseed Processors Association’s monthly
crush data showed that the pace of crushing was roughly in line
with expectations during April.
CBOT soybeans for July delivery were 20-1/2 cents lower at
$14.66-1/4 a bushel.
NOPA said that processors crushed 132.667 million bushels of
soybeans during April, the heaviest for the month in five years.

Prices at 11:42 a.m. CDT (1642 GMT)

CBOT corn 481.75 -9.00 -1.8% 14.2%
CBOT soy 1399.75 -16.25 -1.2% 6.6%
CBOT meal 452.80 -6.60 -1.4% 3.4%
CBOT soyoil 41.08 -0.21 -0.5% 5.8%
CBOT wheat 687.00 -12.00 -1.7% 13.5%
CBOT rice 1451.00 3.00 0.2% -6.4%
EU wheat 199.00 -2.00 -1.0% -4.8%

May 13, 2014

U.S. soybeans rally, lending strength to corn, but wheat weak

CHICAGO, May 13 (Reuters) – U.S. soybean futures rose on
Tuesday, rebounding from Monday’s sell-off on a round of bargain
buying and some position squaring ahead of a report that will
show how big demand from domestic crushers was in April, traders
Corn futures also were firm, following soybeans higher, but
gains were capped by a pickup in the pace of planting around the
U.S. Midwest following weeks of delays.
Wheat futures sagged as funds liquidated long positions on
poor export demand for U.S. supplies. Chicago Board of Trade
soft red winter wheat has fallen for five days in a row,
shedding 4.6 percent during that time.
“The problem is, U.S. wheat is expensive on the global
scene,” said Jim Gerlach, president of A/C Trading. “We have got
to find a level that makes it competitive again.
“USDA told us Friday there’s plenty of wheat globally; it’s
just not going to be here in the U.S., necessarily, so buyers
are going to find cheaper alternatives.”
At 10:10 a.m. CDT (1510 GMT), CBOT July soft red winter
wheat was down 9-1/4 cents at $7.05-3/4 a bushel. CBOT
wheat’s losing streak was the longest since prices fell for
seven days in a row in early November.
CBOT July soybean futures were up 13-1/2 cents at
$14.78-3/4 a bushel and broke through resistance at their 30-day
moving average. The closely watched July-November spread
SN4-X4 widened by 8 cents a bushel.
The National Oilseed Processors Association will release its
monthly report on crush data and oilseed stocks on Thursday. The
last report showed that processors had remained active
throughout March, recording the heaviest crush for the month
since at least 2001.
CBOT July corn was up 1/2 cent at $5.00 a bushel. Corn
futures hit resistance at their 40-day moving average during the
overnight session.
The U.S. Agriculture Department said on Monday afternoon
that corn planting was a better-than-expected 59 percent
complete as of May 11, up from 29 percent a week earlier and 1
percentage point ahead of the average mid-May pace from 2009 to
2013, the USDA said.
Soybean planting was 20 percent complete, up 15 percentage
points from last week and 1 percentage point behind the
five-year average.
Prices at 10:11 a.m. CDT (1510 GMT)

CBOT corn 500.75 1.25 0.3% 18.7%
CBOT soy 1478.25 13.00 0.9% 12.6%
CBOT meal 483.30 5.20 1.1% 10.4%
CBOT soyoil 41.39 0.41 1.0% 6.6%
CBOT wheat 706.00 -9.00 -1.3% 16.6%
CBOT rice 1535.00 3.00 0.2% -1.0%

Apr 15, 2014

U.S. soy rallies on strong domestic crush; wheat firm

CHICAGO, April 15 (Reuters) – U.S. soybean futures surged
1.7 percent on Tuesday on signs that domestic processors kept
their plants running at high levels even as supplies dwindled,
traders said.
Wheat futures gained 2.3 percent, supported by concerns
escalating political tensions in Ukraine would disrupt shipments
of the grain from the key exporter.
The gains in wheat pulled corn higher after a weak start but
forecasts for warm temperatures and dry conditions across the
U.S. Midwest during the next 10 days limited the gains. The
improving weather should allow farmers to make quick work of
planting, which has been delayed across much of the region.
The soy rally erased much of the losses posted during the
last week following Chinese defaults on imports that showed
demand from the world’s biggest buyer of the oilseed was waning.
“The market last week was compressed on the China default
news,” said Dan Cekander, grains analyst with Newedge USA. “That
caused a lot of liquidation. It still doesn’t solve the tight
supply situation unless those boats end up here.”
At 11:55 a.m. CDT (1655 GMT), Chicago Board of Trade
soybeans for May delivery were up 24-3/4 cents at $15.01 a
bushel, threatening to break through last week’s high of $15.12.
That would mark the highest price for the front-month soybean
contract since July 23, 2013.
The National Oilseed Processors Association on Tuesday said
its U.S. members crushed 153.840 million bushels of soybeans in
March, up from 141.612 million in February. Analysts had
forecast a monthly crush of 146.1 million bushels, according to
a Reuters poll.
The crush was the heaviest for March since at least 2001 and
threatened to further reduce the already tight domestic
stockpile of U.S. beans.
“The crush rate is an indication that current prices and
spreads are not rationing domestic demand,” said Rich Feltes,
vice president of research for R.J. O’Brien. “The USDA in its
April crop report trimmed the U.S. soybean crush by 5 million
bushels. There is nothing in the crush reports to date to
suggest that that is a realistic estimate.”
CBOT wheat for May delivery was up 15 cents at
$6.93-3/4 a bushel, briefly breaking above the psychologically
key $7 a bushel level and hitting its highest since March 28.
Temperatures dropped well below freezing in the southern
U.S. Plains wheat belt early Tuesday and likely hurt some fields
already stressed by drought but meteorologists said the damage
was not expected to be widespread.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture on Monday afternoon rated
the winter wheat crop at 34 percent good to excellent, 1
percentage point below last week and two points below a year
ago, broadly in line with market expectations.
CBOT May corn was up just 1-1/2 cents at $5.04-1/2 a
USDA said farmers had planted just 3 percent of the corn
crop as of April 13, below the five-year average of 6 percent
but 1 percentage point above where farmers were a year ago.
Corn planting progress inched along throughout much of April
2013 before exploding during May and many analysts expect a
similar pattern this year, which should allow plenty of time for
the crop to develop before scorching temperatures hit the
Midwest in July.
“A lot of people are ready to go,” Feltes said. “People
generally feel this is the last cold blast, the last snow. There
will be a lot of folks starting to roll next week.”

Prices at 12:00 p.m. CDT (1700 GMT)

CBOT corn 504.75 1.75 0.4% 19.6%
CBOT soy 1504.25 28.00 1.9% 14.6%
CBOT meal 489.10 10.00 2.1% 11.7%
CBOT soyoil 42.90 0.64 1.5% 10.5%
CBOT wheat 694.00 15.25 2.3% 14.7%
CBOT rice 1540.00 -2.00 -0.1% -0.7%
EU wheat 221.25 7.25 3.4% 5.9%

Apr 4, 2014

Wheat falls 1.7 percent on weather outlook; corn, soy drop

CHICAGO, April 4 (Reuters) – U.S. wheat futures fell 1.7
percent on Friday and were on track for their biggest weekly
loss since January on forecasts for some much needed rain in the
U.S. Plains, traders said.
Corn and soybean futures also fell, as funds exited some
long positions and technical traders booked sales.
“It just seems like a money kind of a flow today, with the
entire complex under pressure,” said Greg Grow, director of
agribusiness at Archer Financial Services. “The funds have been
extremely long in corn and beans … and it seems to be a little
bit of a technical selloff.”
Wheat notched the biggest decline as improving conditions
for growth in the U.S. Plains ensured that the world will
remained well supplied with the grain.
Forecasts called for slight rains during the weekend and a
bigger system bringing much-needed moisture at the end of next
week, said Don Keeney, meteorologist with MDA Weather Services.
The region’s wheat crop is emerging from dormancy and will need
increasing amounts of moisture as it develops over the next few
At 11:47 a.m. CDT (1647 GMT), the benchmark Chicago Board of
Trade May soft red winter wheat contract was down 11-1/2
cents at $6.64-1/2 a bushel. KC hard red winter wheat futures
, which track the crop grown in the drought-stricken
Plains, was off 13-1/2 cents at $7.30-1/2 a bushel.
CBOT wheat has shed 4.5 percent this week and was on track
for its biggest weekly loss since the week ended Jan. 10. The
May contract slipped through its 30-day moving average for the
first time since Feb. 11 during Friday’s session.
CBOT May soybeans were down 5 cents at $14.70-1/4 a
bushel, with a wave of technical selling hitting the market
after prices failed to break through the high end of its 20-day
Bollinger range. New-crop contracts were close to unchanged as
traders unwound bull spreads.
May soybeans were up 2.3 percent this week, the third
straight week of gains for the front-month contract. Front-month
soybeans have risen for eight out of the last nine weeks due to
concerns about tight old-crop supplies in the United States.
CBOT May corn was down 2-3/4 cents at $4.97-1/4 a
bushel. The contract has risen 1.1 percent so far this week and
also was on track for its third straight week of gains.
Front-month corn has risen for 10 of the last 11 weeks on strong
demand from the export and ethanol sector.

Prices at 11:50 a.m. CDT (1650 GMT)

CBOT corn 497.50 -2.50 -0.5% 17.9%
CBOT soy 1470.50 -4.75 -0.3% 12.0%
CBOT meal 477.80 -2.30 -0.5% 9.2%
CBOT soyoil 41.55 -0.12 -0.3% 7.0%
CBOT wheat 664.25 -11.75 -1.7% 9.7%
CBOT rice 1573.00 3.00 0.2% 1.4%
EU wheat 206.50 -0.25 -0.1% -1.2%

    • About Mark

      "I cover grain futures out of Chicago, with a focus on the wheat market. Examining the effects of world crop production on prices and the vagaries of export demand for U.S. supplies takes up most of my time. Previously, I was a reporter on the equities desk in New York and I got my start as a news assistant in the Washington Bureau."
    • Follow Mark