Morning Comments – May 31

Grain prices were mixed to start the week with corn and wheat lower while soybeans were higher. In outside markets, the US dollar was fractionally higher while crude oil also moved up slightly.

Moscow consultant IKAR pegged the Russian wheat crop at 63.5 MMT, up 1 MMT than previous forecasts but only 0.5 MMT higher than the latest USDA forecasts. Wheat prices in Russia were firmer last as the rouble strengthened by 1% against the dollar and global price benchmarks rose.

China will postpone a state soybean reserves auction, the National Grain Trade Center said in an online statement on Tuesday. The statement didn’t provide a new auction date. According to an earlier statement, China had planned to auction 300,400 MT of soybeans from state reserves on June 1.

Weekend rains over the Midwest were not as abundant as predicted Friday and some fieldwork may have advanced, but more importantly fieldwork will be quicker in resuming this week as soon as abundant sunshine returns. Rainfall reached 1.00 to 2.00 inches in eastern Nebraska, southeastern. Similar rainfall occurred in eastern Iowa and northeastern Missouri and in South Dakota and in random locations from northern Iowa and southern Minnesota to parts of Wisconsin random locations across central Ohio.

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Weekly Commentary

Demand side news continues to push prices higher as a surge in late season US corn exports is helping push prices higher. Weekly corn export sales exceed 1.3 MMT surpassing expectations, and putting the year-to-date commitments only 2.8% off of last year’s total, while USDA has factored in an annual decline in exports of 7.5%. Soybean sales for old-crop were a respectable 456,000 MT on the week, but new-crop sales disappointed for the 2nd week in a row at only 150,000 MT.

US growing conditions continue to be favorable. USDA’s weekly crop progress report showed a big jump in soybean plantings from 36% last week to 56% this week. Corn planting looked to be mostly wrapped up with 86% of the crop planted. And winter wheat conditions held steady at 62% good-to-excellent versus last week. Spring wheat is also faring well at 76% good-to-excellent versus last year of 69%. Indiana and Ohio still lagging on planting, but improved weather this week helped planters roll rather steadily.

In wheat, prices finally showed aide this week, but remain mired by oversupply in the US and world markets. US old-crop carryout will likely be higher than USDA projections as wheat exports fail to reach USDA’s annual forecast with only a week remaining in the marketing year. That will likely push old-crop stocks above 1 billion bushels, or about 50% of the US crop. Brazil was said TO BE IN THE MARKET FOR us HARD RED WHEAT, AND Japan’s regular tender saw the US getting some of that business along with Australia and Canada. Late season rains in the southern Plains are slowing harvest but also pose a disease risk for some of the crop. 


Morning Comments – May 27

\Grains were mixed with little change from yesterday’s close while crude oil gave back some of its recent gains.

USDA announced three flash sales deals this morning with 130,000 MT of China for old crop delivery and 110,000 MT to China for new-crop delivery. A deal for 100,000 MT of soymeal for new crop was also sold to an unknown destination.

The Buenos Aires grains exchange said Argentina’s soy harvest was progressing smoothly after drier weather in recent weeks.  Storms that flooded half the agricultural region prompted the loss of 1.65 million hectares dedicated to soybeans. However, the group kept output forecasts for the bean on hold at 56 MMT this season following a recent cut, thanks in large part to record yields in provinces like Buenos Aires and La Pampa. That is only slightly lower than USDA’s estimate of 56.5 MMT.

China has begun to offer up corn reserves to their domestic market to try and eliminate massive stockpiles that have been accumulating over the past 15 years. This morning they announced they auctioned off 889,000 MT.

The Western Cornbelt will likely see active rain systems in the next 5 days before turning drier in the 6 to 10 day forecast. Showers will be intermittent and limited in the eastern Midwest and much of the Delta in the next two weeks to aid fieldwork, as the best rains focus west of the Mississippi River. A tropical disturbance will bring some wet weather to the Carolinas this weekend as well, but damage threats are low. Follow-up showers in the 6 to 15 day will keep late fieldwork sluggish in the region.

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Morning Comments – May 26

Grains were higher this morning with soybeans reaching new heights on the rally, briefly getting close to $11 a bushel on front-month July futures. In outside markets, crude oil was also chartering fresh ground eclipsing $50 a barrel, its highest mark since last October.

Soybeans continue to be fueled by a surge in soymeal prices tied to the crop shortfall in Argentina. Meal prices bested $400 a ton in the last session and continue to move higher overnight. With Argentina’s soy crop problem, traders are looking for much lower soymeal exports from the world’s #2 supplier.


Russia’s Sovecon agriculture consultancy has raised its forecast for Russia’s 2016 grain crop to 107 MMT from a previously expected level of 105.4 MMT, its presentation at a conference in Moscow showed on Thursday. Its forecast for the wheat crop was raised to 64 MMT from 61.1 MMT. USDA currently has the Russian wheat crop at 63 MMT.

Overnight export deals saw Jordan tendering for 100,000 MT of optional origin milling wheat. Meanwhile, South Korea’s MFG walked away from the tender to buy 70,000 MT of corn, citing prices that were too high.

Crude oil continues to climb thanks to EIA data on Wednesday showing a 4.1 million barrel drawdown in crude stocks. Expectations were for only a 2.4 million barrel drop in inventories.





















Morning Comments – May 25

Grains were in positive territory to start the day with soybeans leading on a 10-cent advance. In outside markets, crude oil and equity futures continued to add to yesterday’s gains.

Soybeans were up today buoyed by strength of late in soymeal. Slow farmer selling in Argentina is helping support soymeal prices as international buyers usually find ample supplies from South America this time of year. Also supporting soymeal was word that ADM’s Frankfurt, IN soybean plant was idling for maintenance.

In weather, rains is expected to be focused on the center of the US with rains across the W. Midwest will keeping planting slow. The western Midwest finally gets a needed break beginning the middle of next week which promises a longer window to catch up soy seeding and this will extend into the eastern Midwest as well.


In overnight export deals, a South Korea feed dealer bought 60,000 MT of feed wheat optional origin while another group in South Korea issued a tender for 70,000 MT of corn.

API crude stocks data on Tuesday was supportive as weekly inventories shrunk by 5.1 million barrels versus trade estimates of a 3.3 million barrel decline. That marks the 2nd week in a row of declining API crude stocks, and is the first time since early January that crude stocks reported by API fell for two weeks in a row. Official government data from EIA will be released at 9:30 am CDT today with the data expected to show a 2.4 million barrel drop from last week.

Morning Comments – May 24

Grains moved lower yet again overnight with soybeans continuing their selloff reaching their lowest mark since the May 10 crop report. In outside markets, the US dollar was stronger as was equity futures and crude oil.

After the close on Monday, USDA released their weekly crop progress report showing a big jump in soybean plantings from 36% last week to 56% this week. Corn planting looked to be mostly wrapped up with 86% of the crop planted. And winter wheat conditions held steady at 62% good-to-excellent versus last week. Spring wheat is also faring well at 76% good-to-excellent versus last year of 69%. Indiana and Ohio still lagging on planting.  For corn, Indiana is 62 percent planted (vs 5-year avg of 77 pct) and Ohio reaches 51 pct (vs 5-year avg of 66 pct).

In export news on Monday, weekly inspections from USDA showed sub-par movement for soybeans while corn and wheat were in-line with expectations. With only a few weeks left in the wheat marketing year it seems likely final year exports will come up 20 to 30 MB shy of USDA’s forecast. Corn is also lagging but the pace has been brisk of late and with 3 months left in the marketing year will likely meet USDA’s benchmark.

Overnight, Taiwan’s maize industry procurement association MFIG has purchased 65,000 MT of corn to be sourced from the United States in an international tender which closed on Tuesday, European traders said. The tender had sought corn from either the United States, Brazil, Argentina or South Africa. This morning USDA announced a 140,000 MT of soybeans for new-crop to unknown destinations. That makes two days in a row of new-crop bean deals.


Morning Comments – May 23

Grains started the week in negative territory with soybeans facing the biggest brunt of the selling pressure. In outside markets, crude oil fell for a 4th consecutive session and equity futures were steady to weaker in early trade.

Soybeans got pressured overnight on improved crop weather in the U.S. Midwest and a “risk-off” mood in the broader commodity sector. Ahead of USDA’s weekly crop progress report, early trade estimates were for the government to show U.S. soybean planting at 58 to 60 percent complete.

Overnight news saw some export tender activity. Taiwan’s MFIG purchasing group issued a tender to buy 40,000 to 65,000 MT of corn, while a group of Israeli buyers issued a tender to purchase 108,000 MT of corn. This morning USDA announced two export deals. Exporters sold 140,000 MT of new-crop soybeans to unknown destinations and a 20,000 MT deal for old-crop soybean oil.

In outside markets, the US dollar continued to climb higher this morning as the market starts to expect the US Fed to raise interest rates. The US dollar is at 2-month highs and posing problems for commodity prices in general. Crude oil in particular is off from its highs by $2 a barrel.



Weekly Cash Comments

Cash Commentary-

Corn basis was unchanged on the week while soybean basis firmed nearly two cents a bushel.

In corn, active farmer selling in the Western Cornbelt this week brought some pressure to basis levels as did weakness out of the Gulf. Ethanol plants as a group were mostly unchanged, but there was some weakness apparent in the Western Cornbelt where plants seemed to be 3 to 5 cents lower on the week. River bids were also weaker, giving up 2 cents a bushel on average.

For soybeans, farmer sales were limited after soybean futures backed off of recent highs. River terminals were up 3 cents a bushel on the week, while soybean crushing plants were up 2 cents on average.

Futures Commentary-

Grains finished the week with only modest changes, but the level of volatility continues to be rather high.

Early in the week, USDA’s crop progress report showed good conditions for the US crop. Corn plantings were 75% completed while soybeans were at 36% completed. The US winter wheat crop was rated at 62% good-to-excellent, on par with last week’s score. Private analyst Informa pegged US corn acres at 93.4 million versus USDA’s forecast of 93.6, while soybean acres were pegged at 83.0 versus 82.2 by USDA. Analysts have been suggesting as much as 2 million more acres of soybeans, so Informa’s number of only 800,000 more acres would be substantially below that.

In currency news, the US dollar hit a 3-week high this week after the Fed meeting showed a renewed interest in raising interest rates in June. The US dollar had been sliding over the past few months, but now seems on a higher trajectory pegged to the Fed policy. Any movement higher in the US dollar would not be supportive for grains.

In export news, USDA’s export sales report this week showed supportive corn numbers with a good showing on both old- and new-crop deliveries, which beat expectations. Wheat and soybeans were less impressive though still within expectations.

Morning Comments – May 20

Grains found strength overnight with soybeans leading the complex higher while corn and wheat followed with more subdued gains. In outside markets, equity futures were higher while crude oil and the US dollar were mostly steady.

Producers in isolated parts of Brazil’s main grain state of Mato Grosso started harvesting the winter corn crop earlier than expected to take advantage of near record prices, as the drought that has curtailed yields also accelerated the crop’s maturation. Reports of winter corn harvesting are still isolated in the center-west state of Mato Grosso, according to agronomists on the Rally da Safra crop tour.

French farmers had sown 91% of their corn crop, up from 78% but lagging the 96% progress seen a year ago, farm office FranceAgriMer said on Friday.  Corn planting has been slowed by wet, cool weather during much of spring so far and FranceAgriMer said the average sowing date was 15 days later than the average of the past five years.

South Korea’s KOCOPIA rejected all offers and made no purchase in a tender for 55,000 MT of corn which closed on Friday, European traders said. Prices were regarded as too high, they said. Lowest offer was $198.60 a tonne c&f including surcharge for additional port unloading, they said.


Morning Comments – May 19

Grains were weaker overnight as strength in the US dollar continued to weigh on all commodity markets especially crude oil which was off over a $1 a barrel.

The US dollar continued its rally overnight and into the morning session, gaining 0.4% overnight and reaching its highest mark since March 23. The Federal Reserve will likely raise interest rates in June if economic data points to stronger second-quarter growth as well as firming inflation and employment, according to minutes from the U.S. central bank’s April policy meeting released on Wednesday. That view, expressed by most Fed policymakers at the last policy meeting, suggests the central bank is much closer to lifting rates again than Wall Street expects.

This morning, USDA’s export sales report had supportive corn numbers with a good showing on both old- and new-crop deliveries, which beat expectations. Wheat and soybeans were less impressive though still within expectations.


OC-Act OC-Exp NC-Act NC-Exp
Corn 1,473 900-1,300 541 100-300
Soybeans 556 300-500 158 50-250
Wheat 175 0-250 573 200-400