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Grains Futures Prices

Mon, Feb 17th, 2020
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Futures Market News and Commentary

Corn Lower into Weekend

Corn futures closed the last trading day of the week with losses of 1 3/4 to 3 1/4 cents. The CoT report from the CFTC had managed money corn speculative traders more net short wk/wk by 28.74%. There were more net sellers than long liquidators, although both were present from the managed money. USDA’s long-term projections for 2020/21 indicate 94.5 MA for corn. The following projected years were seen leveling off at 89 MA. Production estimates show 15.545 bbu, which would be a 12.82% increase yr/yr. The forecasted ending stocks are 825 mbu higher than the projected ending stocks for 19/20 MY, as the USDA projects a 2.754 bbu carryout for new crop corn. The DDGS report from U.S. Grains Council had DDGS prices steady with last week still at an 8% markup to corn, but a larger wk/wk premium to soybean meal currently 0.52.

Mar 20 Corn closed at $3.77 3/4, down 1 3/4 cents,

May 20 Corn closed at $3.82, down 2 3/4 cents,

Jul 20 Corn closed at $3.85... Read more

Losses for Friday Wheat

Wheat futures were 1/2 to 1 1/2 cents lower for the March contracts on Friday. Chicago wheat ended the session 1 1/2 cents lower, KC was lower by a half cent/bu. Spring wheat futures ended 1 1/4 cents lower. The markets will be closed on Monday in observance of Presidents Day. The CoT report with data from 02/11 showed that managed money was less net long for Chicago futures. SRW spec trader OI was mostly net new selling wk/wk. The same report indicated managed money was more net long wk/wk for KC wheat. The long was over 10,000 contracts and the net long is at 7 consecutive weeks. In spring wheat, speculative traders were 6,854 contracts net short, which was a 2,225 increase in the net position wk/wk. Wheat planting acreage from USDA’s long-term projection was 45 MA, which would be 0.2 lower yr/yr. that lower planting puts forecasted ending stocks at 950 mbu, equating the average farm price for 20/21 to be 4.80/bu. The report did insinuate a rising cash average price forecast. Acco... Read more

Soy Market Lower on Profit Taking

Soybean traders dropped the prices of the front months from 2 1/2 to 2 3/4 cents at the close on Friday. Soybean meal was also $0.80/ton lower, with 15 point losses in the soybean oil front month. The Commitment of Traders report showed managed money was more net short wk/wk to 92,172 contracts. Spec trader open interest was up 14,274 contracts with the majority as new shorts. On Tuesday, managed money was more net short in soybean meal as well. The OI was higher, and managed money meal traders were at their strongest net short on record, which is 68,150 contracts. Soybean oil spec traders were less long in the weekly update. There was new selling and long liquidation noted. USDA’s long-term projection estimates soybean planting acreage at 84 million for 2020, with the following years climbing to 86 million. They estimate a 3.46% increase to 20/21 soybean exports. Meal and oil exports are projected to decline in20/21 before picking back up in the long term. Prior to the NOPA report... Read more

SRW Basis: Under Over

The soft red winter (SRW) wheat market continues to fascinate, fundamentally, given what we saw over the course of the last two weeks. The nearby Chicago March-May spread closed at an inverse of 1 1/4 cents on Friday, January 31 before pushing to an inverse of 3 cents on Wednesday, February 5. This led to an immediate fall to a carry of 2 cents, or a 5-cent swing, at the close of business on Tuesday, February 11 before the rest of the week saw the spread climb back to where it started the month at inverse of 1 1/4 cents at this past Friday’s close. There continues to be a number of possible reasons for all this movement, with the bottom line still the global wheat situation, using the Chicago SRW market as a proxy due to its larger trade volume and open interest, is bullish. But what about the U.S. market? If we take a look at the cmdty National SRW Wheat Basis Index (SRBI, weighted national average) we see it was calculated this past Friday at 5 3/4 cents under the Chicago March futures contract. This is challenging its recent high weekly close of 5 1/4 cents (week of January 6) and well above the 26 3/4 cents under posted last year at this time. Could we see the SRBI move to overs before the Chicago March futures contract moves into delivery at the end of the month? The last the SRBI was overs was the week of August 4, 2014. Stay tuned, this could get fun. Darin Newsom President Darin Newsom Analysis Inc.
Soybean Basis: Rolling On

This week has seen the May contracts for most of the grain and oilseed complex have taken over the role of most open interest from March issues as the latter move toward first notice day at the end of this month. At this same time, cash bids will start rolling from March as the underlying futures contract to the May meaning our analytical attention needs to roll forward as well. In the soybean market this recipe is made even more interesting by what looks to be noncommercial rolling of short March futures positions to the May, indicated by the sharp cut in the March-May carry of late. My focus in this piece, though, is on soybeans national average basis versus May futures. While cmdtyView has a number of indexes available to study monthly basis, given what I’ve done with the analysis on my website (, I’m using the spot cmdty National Soybean Basis Index (NSBI, weighted national cash average) minus the May futures contract. As of this writing (Thursday afternoon following a rally of 2 1/2 cents by the May futures contract), the NSBI – May was calculated at about 58 1/4 cents under. This was roughly 1/2 cent stronger than Wednesday’s calculation. Yes, soybean basis just keeps gaining strength despite the February rally in futures (both March and May) and Brazil’s expected record harvest gaining momentum. Furthermore, export demand for U.S. old-crop supplies remains slow as of the latest weekly update (through Thursday, February 6). Given all this, at some point soybean basis should roll over rather than continue to roll onward. Darin Newsom President Darin Newsom Analysis Inc.
Corn Basis: The "Good" Corn Market

A friend from northwest Illinois called this week to tell me about a conversation he just had with a river market grain merchandiser who was looking for export corn supplies. As the story goes, the merchandiser shot my friend a basis bid, then thought to ask if he had any “good” corn. Yes, my friend had some “good” corn available which prompted an immediate and substantial bump in the basis bid. I got a good chuckle out of this story and shared with my friend we are going to see more of this sort of situation as we head toward spring. A look at the basis map on my cmdtyView system shows that part of Illinois with a mixed bag of basis bids, with the cmdty Regional Corn Basis Index for northwest Illinois calculated at 16 3/4 cents under the March futures contract. However, this part of the country saw a lot of flood issues last year, spring through fall, meaning not only some acres didn’t get planted but those that did likely resulted in some lower quality corn, or better corn put into storage in less than optimal condition. With the bulk of U.S corn exports occurring over the second half of the marketing year (March through August), look for exporters to run a multi-bid system in search for better quality supplies to move down river toward ports. Those holding short futures hedges, should see the cash market continue to appreciate into those positions at least through planting season. Darin Newsom President Darin Newsom Analysis Inc.
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