Cash Grain Report – 2/21/14

Grain basis was weaker again across much of the US as rising futures prices give farmers the incentive to sell. For the week, both US average corn and bean basis lost one cent a bushel.

In the corn market, the only signs of real strength this week were at the Gulf were export basis levels jumped 8 cents a bushel. This helped lift some river terminal bids as well but logistics issues continue to hamper movement. Ice along the Illinois River has forced width restrictions on two locks and slowing traffic on the waterway, according to the Army Corps of Engineers, Rock Island (Illinois) district. Barge rate bids were flat at 600 percent of tariff on the Illinois while costs increased by 15 to 25 percentage points to 460 on 500 on the Mississippi River at St. Louis. For ethanol plants, losses of 5 to 10 cents were quite common in the Western Cornbelt and Northern Plains as heavy farmer deliveries have givenethanol plants plenty of supplies. Basis bids out through late spring also gave way a bit this week forethanol plants.

For soybeans, a similar story emerged this week to that of corn. Strong Gulf export basis levels gave a minor lift along river terminals with Ohio River markets and Lower Mississippi markets being the biggest benefactors of the increase. In the Northern Plains and Upper Midwest, spot bean basis levels were down by 5 cents or more.