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Grains Futures Prices

Fri, May 29th, 2020
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Futures Market News and Commentary

Thursday Bounce for Corn Futures

The corn futures market traded higher on suspected short covering in the Thursday session, to be confirmed with OI data. Futures closed the session with gains of 4 3/4 to 7 cents. July corn was up double digits at one point. EIA ethanol data from the week ending May 22 showed another round of increased production and lower stocks. Production was up 61,000 bpd wk/wk to 724,000 barrels produced per day. Ethanol stocks were down 450,000 barrels to 23.176 million. That’s the smallest stockpile since January. Regionally, PADD Midwest district stocks were down 11,000 barrels to the lowest since the week ending December 13 in 2019. Ahead of the weekly Export Sales report, traders are looking for 0.5 to 1 MMT of old crop sales and 50k to 300k MT of new crop corn sales. The International Grains Council raised their 2020/21 world corn production estimate to 1.169 BMT, up 11 MMT but still 18 MMT below USDA.

Jul 20 Corn closed at $3.27 1/2, up 7 cents,

Sep 20 Corn... Read more

Beans Close Mixed on Thursday

The Thursday session left the front soybean futures mixed. Old crop contracts were down 1 and 1 1/2 cents at the close while November new crop beans were fractionally higher. Soybean meal futures were $1.70 to $2.30/ton higher at the closing bell. Soy oil futures closed with 21 point losses. Traders anticipate USDA’s weekly update will show between 400,000 and 900,000 MT of old crop bean export sales. New crop soybean bookings are estimated between 200k and 500k MT. Traders are looking for soymeal bookings to range 100-350k MT for the week ending May 21. Soybean oil sales are estimated at 5,000 to 30,000 MT. The National Grain and Oil Information Centre in China reported soybean crush from last week was 2.1 MMT, which was a weekly record for the nation and up 190,000 wk/wk. IGC raised their estimate for World soybean ending stocks by 2 MMT to 42 MMT.

Jul 20 Soybeans closed at $8.47, down 1 1/2 cents,

Aug 20 Soybeans closed at $8.49 1/4, down 1 cent, Read more

Thursday Wheat Closes Higher

Two of the wheat markets ended the Thursday session with double digit gains. KC HRW wheat futures were the strongest with futures closing 2.2% to 2.7% higher. Chicago wheat futures were 1.7% to 2% higher at the close, with Sept at $5.17 3/4 /bu. Minneapolis spring wheat gained 1.1% to 1.2% with Sept closing the day at $5.30 3/4 /bu. Estimates ahead of the Export Sales report have old crop wheat bookings at 50,000 to 300,000 MT. Traders estimate 2020/21 sales to come in at 100,000 to 300,000 MT. The European Commission lowered their forecast for 2020/21 common wheat production by 4.3 MMT to 121.5 MMT. The Commission also cut projected exports to 26.5 MMT from 28 MMT. The May WASDE listed 2020/21 EU wheat production at 143 MMT and exports at 28 MMT. Ukraine Grain Traders Union estimates 2020 wheat harvest at 26.7 MMT. USDA’s forecast for Ukraine new crop production is 28 MMT. The International Grain Council estimates 2020/21 World wheat production at 766 MMT, that was up 2 MMT from th... Read more

Corn Basis: Storming Back

Corn basis is proving to be a classic irresistible force with no immovable object to hold it back. This past Wednesday the cmdty National Corn Basis Index (NCBI, weighted national average) was calculated at 26 1/2 cents under the July futures contract, breaking through resistance on its daily chart at the previous high of 26 3/4 cents under May futures from April 29. Technically, this opens the door to a strong rally as we haven’t turned the calendar page to June meaning we have a number of weeks for national average basis to appreciate against the July contract. At that point we hit the interesting time of year when basis is rolled to the hybrid old-crop/new-crop September contract. Seasonally, the previous 5-years strongest basis posted a high weekly close of 7 3/4 cents under the September issue, the second week of July 2019. According to the cmdtyView Cost of Carry table, the July-September futures spread is sitting at a carry of 4 1/2 cents and covering a bullish 24% of calculated full commercial carry. Where does this strength continue to come from, given what supposedly was a collapse in demand over the last quarter (March to May). I will talk about this in more detail in an upcoming cmdtyView webinar on Tuesday, June 4 (check your system for more details, or send me a message), but in a nutshell demand was shifted between two of the three legs of the stool I often talk about. Most notably, feed demand likely increased as ethanol demand decreased, meaning a drop in dried distillers grain supplies. But again, I’ll discuss more in the upcoming webinar. Darin Newsom President Darin Newsom Analysis Inc.
SRW Basis: Could Repeat 2017

If the weekly chart for the cmdty Ag National Soft Red Winter Wheat Basis Index (SRBI, weighted national average) is any indication, the basis market is about to get interesting with harvest just around the corner. Last Friday’s calculation of the SRBI came in at 19 cents under July futures, just off the recent low weekly close of 19 1/2 cents under but down from the previous week’s settlement of 18 3/4 cents. Meanwhile, weekly stochastics for the SRBI show national average basis to be sharply oversold, having fallen from the recent high of 5 1/4 cents under (week of January 6), the top of a solid uptrend that now has next secondary (intermediate term) support at 24 cents under. Seasonally it would seem logical for basis to break down as we head into June, a busy harvest month for winter wheat. However, the SRBI pattern resembles what occurred back in 2017 when the index posted a double-top of high weekly closes in January and February, fell to spring lows in March and May, before posting a strong rally through late June. It 2020 plays out in similar fashion the SRBI would be projected to move beyond the 5 3/4-cent under peak and possibly make a run at par over the next month. This would be quite an achievement, and certainly seems to fit with the weak carry seen in the Chicago (SRW) July-September futures spread. This spread closed last week at 4 cents, covering only 32% of calculated full commercial carry with 33% or less considered bullish on my scale. Darin Newsom President Darin Newsom Analysis Inc.
Soybean Basis: The Canary in the Coal Mine

I was keeping a close eye on the cmdty National Soybean Basis Index (NSBI, weighted national average) following Thursday’s strong double-digit sell-off posted by the July soybean futures contract. When the dust had settled, the NSBI was calculated at roughly 44 1/2 cents under July. This was significant for a couple reasons: 1) It was down about a 1/4 cent from Wednesday’s calculation of 44 1/4 cents under and 2) It was a new 4-day low on the NSBI daily chart. Why is the latter important? From a short-term technical point of view, a move beyond support at a 4-day low (or resistance at a 4-day high) indicates momentum is building and in this case, more pressure could be seen over the days ahead. As for being lower in general for the day, that by itself is not bullish given the sharp break in futures, and we can add in the stronger carry in old-crop futures to complete the bearish trifecta. Now we wait for this week to come to an end and the U.S. 3-day holiday weekend to begin with old-crop soybeans vulnerable to any number of chaotic headline possibilities. First and foremost is the increased tension between the United States and China, with the latter imposing new national security laws on Hong Kong. One had to wonder what was coming with the recent talk that China wants to live up to the Phase 1 trade deal as the U.S. continues to talk about more tariffs based on China’s initial response to coronavirus. None of this looks good for U.S. soybean supplies, with the canary in the coal mine being the NSBI. Darin Newsom President Darin Newsom Analysis Inc.
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