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Grains Futures Prices

Mon, Nov 23rd, 2020
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Futures Market News and Commentary

Corn Settles Higher on Monday

Corn futures closed the Monday session with 3 1/2 cent gains in nearby Dec, with other front months up 5 ¼ to 5 3/4 cents. A private export sale of 334,000 MT of 20/21 corn to unknown destinations was reported by the USDA mandatory reporting system this AM. USDA’s weekly Export Inspections report tallied corn shipments for the week that ended on 11/19 at 832,637 MT. That was slightly below last week but 34.97% larger yr/yr. Exports since September 1 are 9.25 MMT (364.2 mbu), 64.82% larger than the same period last year. Sorghum inspections were 121,096 MT in that week, all to China. YTD US exports are 1.096 MMT, more than double the same time in 2019. Brazil’s first crop corn in the Center-South region is now pegged as 91% planted according to AgRural, 9% faster than the same week in 2019.

DEC 20 Corn closed at $4.26 3/4, up 3 1/2 cents,MAR 21 Corn closed at $4.33 1/2, up 5 1/4 cents,MAY 21 Corn closed at $4.36 1/2, up 5 3/4 centsJUL 21 Corn closed at $4.36 1/2, up 5 3/4 c... Read more
Wheat Closes Mixed on Monday

Wheat futures saw gains in the winter wheat markets on Monday, with MPLS steady to 1 1/2 cents lower in the front months. CBT was the strongest, up 3 to 6 1/4 cents. Nearby KC wheat is at an 8 3/4 cent premium to front month MPLS, the largest that has been since Dec 2014. After the close, NASS reported that 89% of the US winter wheat crop was emerged as of 11/22, 1% faster than the 5-year average. Conditions were tallied worse than estimates coming in at 43% gd/ex, down 3% from last week. That correlates to 322 on the Brugler500 index, down 6 on the week and 23 points lower yr/yr. All wheat export shipments during the week of November 19 were tallied at 358,077 MT according to USDA’s Export Inspections report. That was a jump of 7.1% from the week prior but down 17.71% from the same week in 2019. Accumulated inspections are now 12.396 MMT (445.5 mbu) nearly half-way through the MY, just 0.34% above last year. USDA’s full year WASDE projection is 975 mbu, up 10 yr/yr.

DEC... Read more
Beans Start the Short Week with Double Digit Gains

Soybeans futures posted a double digit rally on Monday, with front months 11 to 12 1/2 cents higher. Jan beans hit $12 overnight but backed off in the day session. Ongoing dryness in Brazil during early vegetative growth is the concern. Product Values are also driving the market, with competitor canola futures sitting the highest since 2013. Soybean meal was $0.60/ton higher on the day. Bean oil retreated from earlier gains, down 9 points on Monday after hitting a more than 6-year high last week on the front month continuation chart. They have been getting some help from an 8-year high in Malaysian palm oil. This morning’s Export Inspections report from USDA showed another strong week of shipments, with 2.01 MMT inspected for export. That was a 7-week low and down 18.52% from last week’s number (revised higher). It was 2.95% larger than the same week last year, which was the MY high. The 24.42 MMT (897.21 mbu) shipped MYTD is the largest on record for this week. AgRural estimates th... Read more

Corn Basis: All Eyes on New Highs

There is no quit in the cmdty National Corn Basis Index (NCBI, weighted national average) as it was calculated at 18.6 cents under December futures last Friday (November 20). This equaled the previous peak posted at the close of August 28, just before the NCBI was rolled from the September issue to December with the spread still within sight of its strongest carry of 15 cents. On September 1, the NCBI versus the December contract began its journey at 35 cents under. The last three months have seen almost unchecked basis strength, at the same time the December corn futures contract has rallied from a low of $3.51 to a high of roughly $4.28. Where has this strength in basis come from? If we look at corn’s three-legged domestic demand stool, most of the support has been tied to feed demand. Reports from across the US Plains have indicated many feedyards went into the 2020 harvest short-bought, or in other words not owning as much corn as they would’ve liked, with some influenced by USDA’s systematic overstating of domestic stocks the previous four marketing years. And while the 2020 harvest saw yields, anecdotally (as opposed to officially) come in better than expected, parts of the US Plains remain corn deficit. This past Friday saw the release of the November Cattle on Feed report with 12 million head (mh) reportedly on feed. If so, this would be the second largest on record, trailing only the 12.03 mh reported as of December 1, 2019. Given this, it would not be surprising to see the NCBI continue to strengthen.  Darin Newsom President                                                                                                                                                     Darin Newsom Analysis Inc. 
SRW Wheat Basis: Pick Your Time(Frame)

Those of you who have been following along with this commentary will recall the cmdty National SRW Wheat Basis Index has been somewhat of an outlier in the complex, weakening while national average basis for nearly every other market has been strengthening. An initial look at the various markets shows one consistency is high futures prices with nearby contracts of corn, soybeans, and Chicago wheat all in the upper percentages of price distribution ranges. This could be part of the problem with SRW wheat basis though, given my monthly analysis of real stocks-to-use (as opposed to USDA’s imaginary version) that shows the government continues to overestimate domestic corn and soybean stocks while underestimating US wheat stocks. From a technical perspective, though, things could be changing for SRW wheat. A look at the daily chart for the cmdty National SRW Wheat Basis Index (SWBI) shows that while still near its recent low of 36.5 cents under (November 10), the SWBI was calculated at 34.1 cents under December futures Friday afternoon as it slowly starts to build an uptrend (strengthening basis). The move on the weekly chart is a bit clearer yet, with the SWBI posting a low weekly close of 35.2 cents under (week of November 2) before rallying just over a penny through this past Friday’s calculation. The test will be if it can hold both its minor (short-term) and secondary (intermediate-term) lows, a task that seems more daunting when we expand our view out to the long-term monthly chart. Here we see a continued downtrend with the next downside target, for a monthly close, at 37.9 cents under. Darin Newsom President                                                                                                                                                     Darin Newsom Analysis Inc. 
Soybean Basis: Strength Indicates Continued Strength

After taking a week off, the last week has seen the cmdty National Soybean Basis Index (NSBI, weighted national average) come storming back. From Thursday, November 5 through Thursday, November 12 the NSBI slipped from 49.7 cents under to 51.5 cents under. This hinted at a potential slowdown in export shipments for that same time period, a slowdown that did not show up though in the latest round of weekly export sales and shipment numbers. For the week ending Thursday, November 12 the US shipped 94 mb as compared to the previous week’s 115.4 mb. Okay, so this was down a bit, but 94 mb is still nothing to sneeze at. The latest numbers pushed total 2020-2021 shipments to 821.1 mb, 83% more than the 449.9 mb reported for the same week a year ago. Next week’s shipment update promises to be interesting given the strong gains posted by the NSBI since its 51.5 cents under (January futures) low. Wednesday (November 18) afternoon saw the NSBI calculated at 48.4 cents under January, a new marketing year high and just below the previous 5-year high mark for this week of 46.4 cents under. And there is still two days of calculations remaining. All this while the futures market has rallied to prices not seen since mid 2016. It’s almost as if the market is trying to erase everything that has happened the last four years. Turning our attention back to export shipments, the NSBI is indicating we could see another week of 100 mb-plus when Thursday (November 19) comes to an end. Darin Newsom President                                                                                                                                                     Darin Newsom Analysis Inc. 
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