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Grains Futures Prices

Tue, Oct 20th, 2020
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Futures Market News and Commentary

Wheat Futures Mostly 3 Cents Higher

Overnight wheat trading has nudged prices mostly 3 cents per bushel higher. Yesterday, spring wheat led the complex with 1.2% to 1.7% gains. HRW futures were 3 1/4 to 4 1/4 cents in the black at the closing bell, and SRW wheat closed up by 1 3/4 to 3 1/2 cents. Winter wheat planting progressed 11% on the week, with 77% of the 2021/22 crop planted. The 5-yr average is 72%. NASS noted that emergence was 51%, compared to 48% average. This comes despite the lack of moisture in the southern Plains. New crop condition ratings should be available in next week’s report. The weekly Export Inspections report from USDA showed 239,688 MT of wheat exports on the week. MYTD 10.677 MMT have been exported, which outpaces last MY by 6%. Ethiopia issued an international tender for 280k MT of optional origin wheat.

--- provided by Brugler Marketing & Management

Soybean Market Up 5 to 7 Cents

Soybean futures are trading 5 to 7 cents per bushel higher this morning. The soy complex was mixed on Monday with strength in meal. Beans were 0.3 to 0.41% higher on the first trading day of the week. Soymeal futures ended Monday up 1.33 to 1.55%. BO futures were 42 to 46 points in the red at the closing bell. CME’s synthetic soy crush spread was $1.30 1/2 on 10/19, the highest since May 2019. NASS noted that bean harvest progressed 14% on the week to 75% complete. The 5-yr average is 58%. Bean harvest in IA was 90% complete compared to the 52% average. In NE, 92% of soybeans were cut, which is 34 percent points ahead of the average. Dry fall weather has facilitated rapid harvesting. USDA’s Export Inspections report showed that 2.174 MMT of soybeans were exported on the week ending 10/15. MYTD bean exports are at 423.24 mbu through week 7, last year it took more than 10 weeks to breach 420 million bushels of export.

--- provided by Brugler Marketing & Management

Corn Market Fractionally Higher

After opening the week with 2 1/4 to 3 3/4 cent gains on Monday, corn is trading fractionally higher this morning. NASS showed the corn crop was 97% mature as of 10/18, with 60% picked by that date. Harvest was up 19% from LW and running 17% ahead of average. In IA, 65% of corn has been harvested, compared to the 29% average. The final corn conditions for this year’s harvest was a 357 on the Brugler500 index. That was UNCH from last week, but down 19 from the initial corn ratings and only 4 points ahead of the 2019 flood year final. USDA’s Export Inspections data had 35.87 mbu of corn shipped on the week ending 10/15. That was up from 33 million LW and was 13 mbu above the same week last year. MYTD corn exports were at 214.8 mbu, compared to 142.5 LY.

--- provided by Brugler Marketing & Management

Soybean Basis: The Spirit of the Season

Halloween is just around the corner, and the soybean basis market seems to be getting into the spirit of the season. Monday afternoon saw the cmdty National Soybean Basis Index (NSBI, weighted national average) calculated at 54.8 cents under November futures, firming from last Friday’s calculation of 55.0 cents under. This doesn’t seem like much, maybe nothing more than a function of rounding or “an undigested bit of beef, a blot of mustard, or a crumb of cheese, a fragment of an underdone potato” as Ebenezer Scrooge might say to Marley’s ghost. But in the grand scheme of things the resilience of soybean basis is impressive when we consider what it has absorbed to this point. Another piece of data released Monday afternoon was NASS’ latest guess of US soybean harvest to be 75% complete as of Sunday, October 18. With no carry in the soybean futures market’s forward curve, and the cmdty National Soybean Price Index (NSPI, weighted national average cash price) in the upper 5% of its price distribution range (based on last Friday’s calculation of $9.95), much of what has been harvested in the US this harvest has likely been sold. This wave of cash supplies into the pipeline would be expected to weaken the basis market, but it hasn’t. Yes, last week saw the NSBI start to show signs it was headed toward the tomb, but like the undead celebrated during this season, it has climbed from its grave. And if demand continues holds firm through late February, at least, the NSBI could turn into quite a monster. Darin Newsom President Darin Newsom Analysis Inc.
Cash SRW Wheat: Rarified Air

The move by the cmdty National Soft Red Winter (SRW) Wheat Index (SRPI, weighted national average cash price) extended its impressive run last week, hitting a high of $6.02 before finishing Friday at $5.97. The peak was the highest mark posted by the SRPI since registering $6.03 the week of December 29, 2014, while the close was the highest since the previous week of 2014 was calculated at $5.99. Given that, it’s safe to say the SRPI has climbed into rarified air, a far cry from where it was less than 4 months ago. Recall, if you can, this past summer when the SRPI hit a low of $4.55 on June 26 before finishing that day at $4.61. While there have been a number of moving parts in cash wheat over the summer and fall, the most interesting aspect to me is watching how my theory of price distribution has played out. The idea is as old as commodity trade itself, given the age-old search for the upper-third and lower-third of markets. My studies are based on weekly closes over a set period of time, with the latter being back through the 2014-2015 marketing year for the SRPI. This past June, when it closed at $4.61, the SRPI was in the lower 44% of its distribution range. While not extraordinarily low, it was enough to trigger strong buying of cash SRW wheat, with last Friday’s close putting the SRPI in the upper 1% of its range, with only 3 weekly closes higher since June 2014. It would not be surprising to see this test of $6.00 uncover increased selling interest. Darin Newsom President Darin Newsom Analysis Inc.
Soybean Basis: Interesting Times

With Fall 2020 at its midway point as of noon this past Friday, things are getting more interesting when it comes to soybeans basis. I’m hearing from elevators across the US Plains and Midwest that space is getting tight, with room only for contracted bushels, producers busy selling across the scales, and basis weakening. One producer reported to me that his local bid fell from about 50 cents under to 70 cents under the last couple weeks, a similar story to others I’m sure. Meanwhile, the cmdty National Soybean Basis Index (NSBI, weighted national average) was calculated at 55 cents under November futures this past Friday, down only fractionally from the previous week’s final calculation of 54.9 cents under and still sitting at its strongest level from the previous 5-years. In other words, reports from local elevators don’t seem to jibe with what the NSBI is showing us. This raises the issue that the index could be skewed by river and port markets as US exports remain on fire this fall. The latest weekly export sales and shipment update, through Thursday, October 8, showed total shipments of 331.4 mb and outstanding sales of 1.257 bb, putting total sales at a whopping 1.588 bb still early in the 2020 marketing year. However, if the expected rain has fallen over Brazil this weekend and the world’s largest buyer (China) grows more comfortable with potential production from its primary supplier (Brazil), the NSBI could soon reflect the pressure I’ve been hearing so much about recently. Things are indeed getting interesting. Darin Newsom President Darin Newsom Analysis Inc.
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