Basis levels continued to be steady to slightly weaker. On average, US corn basis was unchanged for the week, while US average soybean basis slipped one cent a bushel.
For corn, Gulf basis levels firmed this week by 5 cents a bushel as tight supplies for export and expanding export demand underpin the market. However, upstream river markets saw a lesser increase as ice poses problem for barge navigation and rates have climbed steadily over the past week. For ethanol, it was generally a week of lower basis with one-cent losses on average. But losses of 3 to 5 cents were fairly common among some key plants. Weather continues to limit pipeline supplies which should underpin basis levels. Snow fall of about 6 inches is expected to blanket the Midwest over this weekend.
In soybeans, basis levels were generally weaker especially at export sensitive areas. Although the Gulf was down only 2 cents a bushel, but average river terminal basis levels are were off 5 cents a bushel. Double digit losses were fairly common especially along the Illinois river where ice has limited grain flows. For crushing plants, basis levels actually bucked the trend by improving 1-cent a bushel. Western Cornbelt plants were up a nickel in some cases. In the East, bad news came for North Carolina with the announcement that Cargill would be idling its Raleigh plant this spring as a result of weak soymeal demand.