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Grains Futures Prices

Thu, Aug 13th, 2020
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Futures Market News and Commentary

Wheat Futures in Black at Midday

Front month wheat futures are recovering from yesterday’s losses. Chicago futures are up by 7 1/4 to 8 cents. KC HRW futures are trading with midday gains of 7 3/4 to 8 3/4 cents. Spring wheat futures are up by 4 1/2 to 7 1/2 cents at midday. The weekly Export Sales report noted 357,900 MT of wheat booked on the week ending August 6. That was down 39% wk/wk and 20% below the same week last year. Accumulated commitments through the first 10 weeks are 7.78% ahead of last year’s pace. The August WASDE has 975 mbu of wheat to be exported this MY. That increased the U.S. market share 0.29 ppts yr/yr to 14.12% of the global export supply. That shift came mainly via EU and Ukraine, which are forecasted with 14% and 9.5% market shares respectively. Egypt is tendering for wheat again, with results expected later today.

Sep 20 CBOT Wheat is at $4.99, up 7 3/4 cents,

Sep 20 KCBT Wheat is at $4.26 1/2, up 8 3/4 cents,

Sep 20 MGEX Wheat is at $4.99 1/2,... Read more

Soybeans Gaining Double Digits

Front month bean futures are trading as much as 19 1/4 cents/bu higher in the front months. Yesterday there were 220 deliveries against August beans, which expire tomorrow. MTD soy deliveries are 220 bean contracts, 1,780 meal contracts, and 764 oil contracts. Soymeal futures are trading 3.1% higher at midday. Soy oil futures are giving back 14 to 15 points so far. In a mandatory reporting announcement this morning, USDA reported two large new crop bean sales. China bought 197,000 MT, and 202,000 MT was sold to unknown. From the weekly Export Sales report 570,100 MT of old crop beans were booked. That was above pre-report estimates and up 65% wk/wk. China purchased 73.8% of the total on the week (with 355k reported late). New crop purchases were also above expectations with 2.84 MMT. China booked 1.71 MMT (with 1.17 MMT already known), and 872,500 MT were sold to unknown (with 372k already known). Ahead of the 2020/21 MY, China has forward booked 10.27 MMT of soybeans, the highest f... Read more

Corn Up Double Digits

Midday corn trading has futures up double digits through July ’21, with gains of as much as 13 cents. USDA announced a large export sale of 110,000 MT of corn to unknown destinations, which was split 28% old crop and 72% new crop. In the weekly export sales report corn bookings were 377,188 MT for old crop and 553,144 MT for new crop. New crop sales were down big from the 2.6 MMT last week, but still 79.8% above the same week yr/yr. 2020/21 milo sales on the week were the second highest on record with 527,500 MT booked – with 66% to China and the remainder to unknown. FSA reported 81.12m acres were certified planted for corn. That was the lowest confirmed August planting since data became available in ’07. Note that with coronavirus impacts there could be a backlog of registrations and paperwork. The data is as of July 31. The monthly CASDE (China’s Ag Ministry supply and demand estimates) has 2020/21 corn use at 288 MMT.

Sep 20 Corn is at $3.27, up 12 1/2 cents,... Read more

Cash Corn: Telling the Real Story

I’ve watched with great interest the developments of the cash corn market this week, following the Derecho (straight-line windstorm) that leveled a reported 10 million acres across Iowa alone. There are a number of tools to do this, but if we look at the big picture the most effective way is the cmdty National Corn Basis Index (NCBI) and cmdty National Corn Price Index (NCPI). Let’s look at basis first, with the NCBI calculated Wednesday afternoon at 25 1/4 cents under September futures, 1/4 cent stronger than Tuesday’s calculation. This was an interesting development given USDA’s bearish, and always ridiculous, new-crop production estimate of 15.3 bb that included a national average yield of 181.8 bpa. Both were substantial increases from the previous month’s guesses of 15.0 bb and 178.5 bpa respectively, yet September corn closed 3 cents higher for the day and December gained 3 3/4 cents. This was followed by a strong rally Thursday, with both contracts making a run at double-digit gains. Why? Because the market is smart enough to know USDA has no idea what it’s talking about. Also, the strengthening basis and weakening carry in the new-crop forward curve is indicating commercial traders are registering concern over how much damage was done during Monday’s storm. Lastly, the marketing year daily average of the NCPI continues to indicate old-crop corn ending stocks are much tighter, possibly as much as 500 mb, than what USDA is reporting. With these becoming new-crop beginning stocks the 2020-2021 supply and demand situation gets even tighter. Darin Newsom President Darin Newsom Analysis Inc.
Spring Wheat: No Spring in the Step

As the old saying goes, or at least the paraphrased sell, “The rain, the rain, falls mainly on the Plains.” In the case of North America this weekend, that means the Northern Plains where forecasts are for much of the area to see rain this coming weekend. With spring wheat harvest having a difficult time gaining momentum, last Monday’s Crop Progress update from NASS pegged it at 5% as compared to the 5-year average of 10% (through Sunday, August 2), a rainy weekend could keep combines shuttered for another few days. What’s interesting is this hasn’t stopped the September Minneapolis (HRS) futures contract from falling as it hit another new low of $4.91 this past Friday. Meanwhile the cmdty National Hard Red Spring Wheat Price Index (HSPI, weighted national average cash price) was calculated at about $4.40 3/4 Friday afternoon, its lowest weekly close since the week of September 9, 2019 at $4.32 1/2. The differential between cash and futures is basis, and the cmdty National HRS Wheat Basis index (HSBI) looked to be calculated at about 53 3/4 cents under September futures heading into the weekend. This was holding above its recently low weekly close of 54 1/4 cents under from the week of June 29, then 55 3/4 cents under from the week of April 27. Once harvest gets rolling in earnest, be it this weekend or at some point next week, the HSBI would be expected to take out these previous marks and make its way toward the next secondary (intermediate-term) technical target near 56 3/4 cents under. Darin Newsom President Darin Newsom Analysis Inc.
Cash Corn: Real versus Imaginary Fundamentals

Most of the industry is anxiously awaiting next Wednesday’s August round of USDA’s monthly Supply and Demand reports. Most of the industry, but not me. Unlike nearly everyone in the business, I have no need for the fundamental iformation these supply and demand tables are filled with. Instead, I can get all the fundamental information I need by looking at a few simple tools: Forward curves and futures spreads, and the cmdty National Basis Indexes (weighted national averages) and the cmdty National Price Indexes (NCPI, weighted national average cash prices) for the various grain and oilseed markets. With the month of July still in our rearview mirror, one of the numbers I’m actually interested in is USDA’s old-crop 2019-2020 marketing year ending stocks figure. Recall from its July report, roughly through the end of June, USDA estimate old-crop ending stocks at 2.248 billion bushels, and with total demand calculated at 13.635 bb, ending stock-to-use came in at 16.5%. ON the other hand, my analysis using the marketing year daily average of the NCPI put ending stocks to use at 12.7%, up slightly from the previous month’s 12.6%. At the end of July, the NCPI showed a marketing year average of $3.38, down 3 cents from the end of June but still calculating ending stocks-to-use of 12.7%. Doing the math puts my 2019-2020 ending stocks figure at about 1.735 bb, or more than 500 mb less than USDA’s latest guess. Is this divergence unusual? Not at all. In fact, USDA has systematically overestimated its ending stocks figure since the end of the 2016-2017 marketing year (August 2017). However, this marketing year is on pace to be the largest difference between the two of the last four marketing years. Stay tuned. Darin Newsom President Darin Newsom Analysis Inc.
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