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Grains Futures Prices

Fri, Mar 5th, 2021
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Futures Market News and Commentary

Soy Faded Midday Gains

After posting gains of as much as 30 cents on Thursday, afternoon selling left the board just 3 to 4 cents higher. March, with no deliveries reported as of Wednesday, closed at $14.51 1/4 – a 4 3/4 cent premium to May.

Weekly Export Sales data showed 334,039 MT of old crop beans were booked in the week ending on 2/25. China canceled another 61,736 MT of bookings. New crop soybean sales were reported at 199,361 MT bringing the total forward book to 4.863 MMT.

Soymeal futures also faded early session gains and closed $2.20 to $2.40/ton weaker. BO futures were up by more than half a limit, before a selloff left prices 91 to 103 points higher at the close. For May that gain was worth about 11 cents per bushel in product value.

Soymeal weekly export sales were reported at 187,417 MT, a 17% increase on the week but down 40% yr/yr. Total soymeal commitments are 8.133 MMT or 52% of USDA’s Feb forecast. For soybean oil the weekly data release showed 5,456 MT of sales. BO... Read more

Wheat Gives Back Midday Gains

Wheat markets faded their midday gains and ended the Thursday session in the red. There were zero delivery notices vs. Chicago March wheat overnight, but there were 289 put out against KC March as some of the strong hands were not. At the close Chicago futures were down 2 1/4 to 5 1/2 cents. Kansas City wheat prices were down 4 1/2 to 5 cents. Minneapolis wheat prices closed fractionally higher to 1 3/4 weaker.

Export Sales data showed 219,226 MT of wheat were booked on the week ending 2/25. That was up 30% wk/wk but down from 542k from the same week last year. Mexico was the top purchaser. Outside of the weekly Export Sales report, Taiwan purchased 100,410 MT of U.S. wheat from their tender.  

Analysts surveyed ahead of the March WASDE predict USDA will 2.4 mbu to wheat stocks, which would leave 838.4 mbu of carryout if realized. Global wheat stocks are estimated at 304.5 MMT, up 300k from the Feb report if realized.

View All SRW Wheat fu... Read more

Corn Ends Mixed on Thursday

Afternoon selling left old crop corn futures 1 1/2 to 4 cents weaker, with March at $5.46 1/4. That is still a 13 3/4 cent premium to May. New crop futures maintained gains, as the recency correlation ties to old crop begin to loosen. Dec ended up 2 cents to $4.75 1/2. 

USDA’s weekly Export Sales report showed corn bookings were well below expectations with a net 115,888 MT booked in the week ending 2/25. New crop corn sales were also a low 38,839 MT. Commitments to unknown destinations were cut by 1.767 MMT vs. last week. The week’s corn export shipments were a MY high of 2.01 MMT. Algeria is tendering for 30,000 MT of optional origin corn. S. Korea purchased 68k MT of optional origin corn in their international tender.

Ahead of USDA’s March WASDE forecast on Tuesday, analysts surveyed anticipate on average a 42 mbu cut to old crop ending stocks. World corn carryout is expected to reflect that with an average expected drop of 2 MMT.

View All Corn futures

HRW Wheat Basis: Against All Odds

·      cmdty National HRW Wheat Basis Index continues to hold near previous 5-year high·      Both technical and fundamental factors look to be overwhelmingly bearish·      Merchandisers looking at smaller planted area and continued drought across US Southern PlainsThere are a number of reasons traders could be bearish the hard red winter wheat (HRW) wheat market, but basis isn’t one of them. As I’ve talked about in my technical analysis this past week, the old-crop May Kansas City contract completed a double-top pattern on its weekly chart last week, indicating the intermediate-term trend could be in the process of turning down. Not to be outdone, the new-crop July issue posted a bearish spike reversal last week, including a new contract high, also indicating its secondary trend was possibly turning down. Fundamentally, the latest weekly export sales and shipment update (for the week ending Thursday, February 25) shows HRW wheat lagging last year’s pace, a bit more than the slowdown USDA continued to project in its February Supply and Demand report. Lastly, with the March contract in delivery there is no futures spread to act as a confirming read on real fundamentals. Despite all these seemingly bearish technical and fundamental factors, the cmdty National HRW Wheat Basis Index (HWBI, weighted national average) continues to hold near its previous 5-year highs. Thursday saw the HWBI calculated at 33.26 cents under May futures as compared to the 5-year high for this week of 28.18 cents under. Why the support? Merchandises are likely still looking to source supplies on the idea new-crop could be short due to smaller planted area and a continued drought across the US Southern Plains, all as the crop is set to come out of winter dormancy, if it hasn’t already, over the coming days and weeks.   
Soybean Basis: Back in Time

Working in tandem with futures spreadsStrongest in relation to futures since late July 2016Continues to indicate possible record tight US supply and demandThere are only a few certainties in life we have to remember: Death, taxes, and when soybean basis gets red hot it stays red hot. Wednesday’s calculation of the cmdty National Soybean Basis Index (NSBI, weighted national average) came in at 36.85 cents under May futures, 0.36 cent stronger than Tuesday’s calculation and last Friday’s calculated basis versus May of 38.91 cents under. This has been an incredible move, and we are only three days into the new week and month, with basis working in tandem with the May-July futures spread. In the latter we see the May soybean futures contract, while closing down 5 cents for the day, gained 2.25 cents on the July issue, the spread closing at an inverse of 16 cents, its strongest since a close of 16.75 cents inverse on February 10. Back to the NSBI, though. Wednesday’s calculation was the strongest in relation to futures since a spike high of 35.16 cents under on July 29, 2016 as the index rolled from the lightly traded August 2016 issue to the even lighter traded September 2016 issue. This while the May futures contract continues to hold near its highest prices since May 2014. Continuing our trek back in time, the combination of high futures and strong basis has us thinking about the 2013-2014 marketing year when the cmdty National Soybean Price Index (NSPI) implied real ending stocks-to-use of 0.1%. Yes, you read that correctly. At the end of February, the average daily calculation of the NSPI for 2020-2021 at the midpoint of the marketing year was implying stocks-to-use of 0.7%. Darin NewsomPresidentDarin Newsom Analysis, Inc. 
HRW Wheat Basis: Big Swinger

The recent move by the cmdty National Hard Red Winter (HRW) Wheat Basis Index (HWBI, weighted national average) has been impressive, looking like a big swinging hook as it rockets higher. Back on February 25 the HWBI was calculated at 32.04 cents under March futures, holding at or near this level through February 10. From there, though, the HWBI has rallied dramatically, calculated at 38.35 cents under on Thursday, February 25. On the other hand, with first notice day against the March Kansas City futures contract scheduled for Friday, the March-May futures spread has seen its carry strengthen from 3.25 cents on February 1 to Thursday’s close of 8.25 cents carry. Using the Cost of Carry table on my cmdtyView system, this had the spread covering roughly 64% calculated full commercial carry, just outside the bearish territory or 67% or more. If you are thinking something doesn’t add up, you are correct. These (basis and futures spreads) are the two key reads on real fundamentals and they usually move in the same direction. However, as of Thursday afternoon they are definitely diverging like the two roads in the woods of Frost’s poem. Which should we follow? For now, it might be best to sit down and wait a couple days before deciding, letting the situation settle down as the index rolls from March futures to the May contract. At that point, though, we no longer have a futures spread to work with because the May-July is an old-crop/new-crop hybrid, dealing with two different sets of fundamentals. Darin Newsom President                                                                                                                                                     Darin Newsom Analysis Inc. 
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