Grain markets found strength this week with corn advancing 6 cents, beans up 16 and wheat up 2.
Corn and beans found late-week strength thanks in part to some momentum from last Friday, as well as a positive export sales report from earlier this morning. Both corn and soybean sales were above expectations, with corn coming in at 74.3 million bushels and soybeans at 45.6 million. That was easily the largest corn number of the past ten weeks, with soybeans seeing their best week of the past four. Soybean sales actually gained on last year’s pace for the first time in quite a while, so hopefully a fresh trend is getting started. Sales are currently 243 million bushels behind last year’s pace, with the USDA now projecting a year-on-year decline of just 14 million. Corn sales are running 343 million bushels behind last year’s pace, with the USDA projecting a decline of 368 million.
Support for both corn and soybeans continues to come from some rather iffy growing conditions in Argentina. According to Commodity Weather Group, 41% of Argentina’s soybean area has received less than 75% of normal rainfall since December 1st. That’s not a serious drought scenario at the present time, but it is likely trimming back yields enough to have an impact. Further to the north, the weather couldn’t be much better in Brazil, so part of the Argentine loss will be offset. Brazil’s biggest concern now could be over some soggy conditions in Mato Grosso, which could delay planting of their Safrinha corn crop. This morning’s forecast for Argentina is suggesting a dry 15 days for over half of their growing region.
National Cash Market:
In the cash market, more strength in soy futures led to only a modest 0.7 cent basis increase while corn basis posted a strong but modest 1.5 cent gain on the week.
For end users the market was modestly stronger thanks to better than expected ethanol crush on the week which has been keeping corn processing facilities up. For soy processing plants gains were fairly typical at Western Cornbelt Facilities. On average we saw a nearly 2 cent gain across soy facilities.
Soybean river terminals were weaker by nearly 2 cents and at corn river terminals there were gains of nearly a cent a bushel.
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