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Grains Futures Prices

Sun, Aug 18th, 2019
[[ timeframe ]] futures price quotes as of Sun, Aug 18th, 2019.
[[ timeframe ]] futures price quotes, based on [[ timeframe ]] data.
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Futures Market News and Commentary

Corn Prices High Friday

Corn futures finished up 8 3/4 to 10 1/4 cents to end the week. Prices were technically oversold following the early week melt down and there is some bottom picking activity being attempted today. Friday afternoon’s Commitment of Traders report indicated spec funds holding a net long position of 44, 513 contracts in corn futures and options, a reduction of 45% from last week. Thursday’s USDA Export Sales report showed continued softness in export sales. New crop sales totaled 307,591 MT, up 56% from the previous week but down 71% from the same week last year. Total export commitments for old crop corn are now 17% behind a year ago. South Korea purchased 63,000 MT in an international tender for corn to be delivered in January 2020. Areas of dryness and moderate drought are expanding in Indiana, Illinois and Iowa. SEP 19 Corn closed at $3.71, up 10 1/4 cents, DEC 19 Corn closed at $3.80 3/4, up 9 3/4 cents, MAR 20 Corn closed at $3.92 3/4, up 9 1/4 cents MAY 20 Corn closed at $4.00, up 8 3/4 cents --- provided by Brugler Marketing & Management
Soybeans end the week Higher

Soybeans were stronger at the close, 9 to 9 1/4 higher. September soybean meal was up $3.10/ton, with soy oil 6 points higher. Money Managers reduced their CFTC net short positions this week to 66,450, a decline of 9%. This morning to the U.S. Department of Agriculture said private exporters reported export sales of 296,500 metric tons of soybeans for delivery to unknown destinations during the 2019/2020 marketing year. Weekly new Crop sales on Thursday showed strong increases to 817,359 MT, 1.5 times larger than last week and 43% above the same week last year. Basis is sloppy, from -.80 to -1.09 across Iowa, with basis weaker farther West and stronger to the East. SEP 19 Soybeans closed at $8.67 1/4, up 9 1/4 cents, NOV 19 Soybeans closed at $8.79 3/4, up 9 cents, JAN 19 Soybeans closed at $8.93 1/2, up 9 1/4 cents, MAR 20 Soybeans closed at $9.06 1/2, up 9 1/2 cents, SEP 19 Soybean Meal closed at $294.90, up $3.10, SEP 19 Soybean Oil closed at $29.13, up $0.06 -- provided by Brugler Marketing & Management
Wheat Prices Up

Wheat futures contracts close the week on a positive with Minneapolis wheat 3 1/2 cents higher, CBOT wheat up 1 3/4 cents and Kansas City HRW leading the group with a 4 1/2 cents gain. The Commitment of Traders report showed specs further reducing their Chicago net long positions to 4,088 contracts, down 35% for the week ending August 13. In KC wheat they boosted their net short position to 33,272 contracts as of Tuesday. They also added to a record net short position in MPLS wheat on that date of -18903 contracts. Ukraine completed its wheat harvest with an estimated production of 38.5 MMT. SEP 19 CBOT Wheat closed at $4.70 3/4, up 1 3/4 cents, SEP 19 KCBT Wheat closed at $3.94 1/4, up 4 1/2 cents, SEP 19 MGEX Wheat closed at $5.06 1/4, up 3 1/2 cents --- provided by Brugler Marketing & Management
Soybean Basis: The Annual Awkward Phase

If you’ve noticed I’ve avoided the subject of soybean basis lately, you are correct. The cash soybean market has recently been in its annual awkward phase were basis could be derived against any of three futures contracts. Basically, once the July contract heads toward delivery in late June the game becomes figuring out who is bidding off the lightly traded August contract, the near-nonexistent traded September issue, or moving old-crop bids to the massively traded but owner of different fundamentals new-crop November contract. Back in a previous job-life, I always had to talk this through with cash grain analysts trying to cover the markets since nearly all national cash indexes, and therefore national average basis calculations, are based on nearby futures markets. Going back to my merchandiser days, I remember each market having a similar awkward phase, with soybeans being the most difficult. Being a relative cash grain greenhorn back then, my tendency was to jump my old-crop cash bid from the July to new-crop November. Thank goodness I was selling to experienced merchandisers up the line who were still taking into account old-crop fundamentals when shooting me bids, keeping a difference between my old-crop price and new-crop bid over the summer months. As we head toward the end of August, and presumably the end of the use of the ghost-like September contract, the cmdty National Basis Index is sitting at 68 cents under. However, the difference between the cmdty National Price Index and the November contract is about 80 1/2 cents. It will be interesting to watch national average basis as we make our way through September given the crop in the field is only slowly maturing. Darin Newsom President Darin Newsom Analysis Inc.
Corn Basis and the Million Dollar Question

Consider this commentary as Part 2 of my post-USDA report analysis from this past Tuesday. Since then, corn futures have continued under pressure with the old-crop September contract following up Monday’s limit (25 cent) sell-off by losing 19 cents Tuesday and another 7 cents Wednesday. Furthermore, each successive session has seen the old-crop contract close near its daily low, driving short-term stochastics (momentum study) near 0%. This continued bleakness in futures has prompted basis across the U.S. to stabilize, though some pressure has been seen in both the cmdty Regional Basis Index for central Illinois (ZCBAIL50.CM) and Indiana (ZABAIN50.CM). This could be viewed as unusual movement, particularly with the national index (ZCBAUS.CM) firming ever so slightly this week. And that’s where the $1,000,000 question comes into play. I’ve been asked repeatedly if the continued strength in national average basis is indicating the USDA is completely missing the mark on its ending stocks guess of 2.36 bb. As of now, and this is hard for me, I’d say no. USDA’s last few monthly old-crop ending stocks guesses have actually been near my post-June Quarterly Stocks projection of 2.33 bb and given the slowing pace of U.S. export shipments the final tally of ending stocks (September 30 Quarterly Stocks number) could come in closer to 2.45 bb. I still think the strength is coming from the hoarding of old-crop bushels to help cover new-crop production losses, particularly in the Eastern Corn Belt. Time will tell if that is correct or not. Darin Newsom President Darin Newsom Analysis Inc.
Corn Basis: Adding Insult to Injury

I waited for the dust to settle on Monday’s limit (25-cent) down day in corn before taking another look at national average basis through the lens of the cmdty National Corn Basis Index (NCBI, weighted national average). Tuesday morning shows that cash actually weakened in relation to futures, losing about a penny to come in at 10 1/2 cents under the September contract Monday evening. The cmdty National Corn Price Index (NCPI, weighted national average cash price) was calculated at $3.74 3/4 Monday, putting it at its lowest price since May 23. You will recall from previous posts that I’ve been looking for the NCBI to start to fall, given the weight of old-crop ending stocks. Going back to my post-June Quarterly Stocks report on June 28 (showing stocks on hand as of June 1), my estimate for domestic ending stocks was about 2.330 bb. In its July Supply and Demand report, USDA upped its guess to 2.340 bb, followed by another increase in its August estimate Monday to 2.360 bb. For now, ending stocks-to-use sits (the final fundamental factor) at 16.6%, the highest since 17.6% at the end of the 2005-2006 marketing year. This would suggest the NCPI is overpriced by 30 cents to 50 cents, at least, meaning the NCBI is vulnerable to a sharp break. However, support for the cash components of domestic corn continues to be the bullish forward curve in 2019-2020 futures indicating the commercial side is still concerned about long-term supply and demand. Darin Newsom President Darin Newsom Analysis Inc.
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