November 24 – Morning Comments

First notice day for December grain contracts is on Friday, November 28th. All longs should liquidate before the close of trade on Wednesday. The Market will be closed on Thursday, November 27th to observe the Thanksgiving holiday.

In the overnight session corn slipped 2 ¾ cents lower, soybeans fell 10 ¾ cents and wheat fell ¾ of a cent. Friday’s trade session for corn was relatively bearish, with prices rising to 3.81 ½ cents and then selling off to finish the day near the lows of the day.

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Rain is covering the eastern part of the Midwest today but should mostly clear up tomorrow providing an opportunity to wrap up harvest for the crops still left in the field. Significant showers are expected early next week and then a wetter weather pattern expected to settle in, halting the remainder of harvest.

Internationally, more rain is in the forecast for southern/western Buenos Aires and southern Cordoba for later today and again this weekend with a significant storm in the forecast. This next storm is likely to cause some areas of excessive rainfall and continue to delay planting progress which was off to a slow start this year due to excessive dryness. Soybean planting pace in Brazil is 76% complete as of Friday, improving 13% week over week and is now only 3 percent behind last year’s pace at this time. Argentina planting is 36% complete versus 44% last year.​


GeoGrain Comments – November 21st

Cash grain markets found strength as futures prices were down on the week. Both spot and corn bean basis levels posted impressive gains, advancing 5 and 3 cents a bushel, respectively, on the week.

Corn found strength from slow farmer sales as harvest wrapped up as well as underlying demand.  Ethanol plants as a group were up 7 cents a bushel with 10 cent gains fairly typical as plants push well above harvest lows. Production at ethanol plants for the week were above last week’s marketing year high coming in at 970,000 barrels per day and sets the year-to-date total at 4% above last year. At river terminals, barge rates fell sharply on the week helping improve basis levels at river markets.

For soybeans, basis levels mostly improved and the falling barge rates helped push basis levels higher there. However, soybean sales were on the light side of expectations with only 483,000 MT of new business as compared to expectations of 700,000 to 1,000,000 MT. For bean plants, basis levels were mostly flat but overall slightly improved with a 2-cent gain. Monthly NOPA crush for October was the strongest on record for soybean crushing, 7 million bushels above estimates.

Wheat showed relative strength closing 4 ½ cents higher for the week ending Thursday, November 20th. Corn declined 4 ½ cents and soybeans fell 27 ¼ cents during the same time period. Technically, corn and soybeans are below the trend line that supported the rally which started in the beginning of October. Those trend lines, which once were support, could now serve as resistance to prices if they push higher from here. Technically speaking, wheat looks the strongest the 100 day moving average and previous high set on October 30th acted as strong support during Thursday’s day session. Harvest pace is 89% complete for corn and 95% complete for soybeans.

This week’s grain inspections set a record with all major export regions reaching 3.69 million metric tons, nearly 34 percent above the three year average for this week.  Soybeans made up most of the inspections showing 3,113,311 metric tons well above the analyst guesses of 2-2.3 million metric tons. Wheat and corn inspections both fell short of expectations reporting only 139,351 and 401,116 metric tons respectively.

NOPA crush numbers also showed strong demand reporting that October crush increased 58% month over month bringing crush to the largest on record for October. Despite these strong demand numbers out early this week soybeans suffered following Monday’s trade session. Traders seemed to look at these demand numbers as an explanation for prices rising over $10.80 last week than for a reason to push prices into new highs. As harvest wraps up and the short term tightness in the soybean and soybean meal pipeline begins to soften attention will start to shift toward south America which has not shown any significant reason for crop concerns. Export sales later in the week also didn’t support the story of strong demand with bookings only reaching 483,000 metric tons, well below the analyst expectations for nearly 700,000-1,000,000 metric tons.

Corn demand continues show signs of life this week despite the weak export inspections on Monday. Ethanol production, which was released on Wednesday, increased 24,000 barrels per day over last week bringing production to a marketing year high for ethanol. Export sales on Thursday also supported the demand story for corn with 908,000 metric tons booked which was up 80% from last week.  Wheat export sales also were relatively positive booking 361,700 metric tons which was within analyst expectations.

November 21 – Morning Comments

In the overnight session corn traded down 1 ½ cents, soybeans traded up 5 ¾ cents and wheat in Chicago traded down 2 ½ cents. Keep in mind that today is the LAST TRADE FOR DECEMBER OPTIONS.

Precipitation is developing over the Delta region which will likely expand to bring moisture to the eastern two thirds of the grain belt throughout the weekend. The 6-10 day forecasts show drier than normal precipitation throughout the majority of the Midwest. North Dakota and Minnesota look to be wetter in the 6-10 day forecast.

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Crop concerns are still minimal in South America other than planting delays in Argentina. Pockets of the country continue to receive precipitation keeping planting pace behind the average pace. About 20% of corn and soybean acres and about 30% of wheat cause some concern about timely planting.

Winter weather in Russia is bringing Rostov on Don water levels to 2.3-2.4 meters, which will stop shipment from that region. This is a shallow draft port with a grain export capacity estimated at 3 million metric tons a year, and typically loads 3,000-5,000 metric ton vessels destined for Mediterranean countries.


November 20 – Morning Comments

Soybean sales lagged expectations providing little support for a continued move higher.

In the overnight session corn increased 2 ¼ cents, soybeans increased 1 ¾ cents and wheat fell 3 cents as we go into the morning pause in trade. Export sales which were released at 7:30 CST caused soybeans to give back most of the gains it had achieved in an overnight bounce.

In this morning’s export sales report, wheat sales fell within market expectations booking 361,700 metric tons, down 13 percent from the previous week. Corn booked 908,700 metric tons, up 80% from last week and beating expectations by a large margin. Expectations for corn sales ranged from 500,000-700,000 metric tons. Soybean sales for 483,000 metric tons disappointed traders with expectations for sales between 700,000-1,000,000 metric tons. Export sales for soybeans fell from the previous week by 55 percent. Soybean Meal sales were strong however with 265,700 metric tons of new sales well over the analyst range of 100,000 metric tons of cancelations to 100,000 tons of new sales.

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Ethanol production numbers showed another week of increased production with 970,000 barrels per day reported on Wednesday. Ethanol production improved 24,000 barrels per day compared to last week. Ethanol stocks declined week over week by 370,000 barrels to 17.34 million barrels.

December corn looks to have found some support at $3.62 which also is the 100 day moving average. Strong ethanol numbers yesterday and exceptionally strong export sales this week should help to support corn in today’s trade. Keep in mind that CIF basis at the Gulf has slipped to the lowest levels in three weeks as farmer sales and declining barge rates pressure basis.

November 19 – Morning Comments

In the overnight session the grains were lower with corn down 2 ¾ cents, soybeans down 9 ¾ cents and wheat down 3 ½ cents.

U.S weather continues to look dry and clear for the next two days to help wrap up harvest, however the delta could receive more rains next week which would further delay corn, soybean and cotton harvest. Wheat should find support from the possible winterkill scenario in the 6-10 day forecast throughout the Plains, however this is still a low confidence event.

Yesterday, a number of international wheat tenders were announced with Jordan’s state grain buyer issuing a tender for 100,000 metric tons of hard milling wheat, Tunisia issued a tender to buy 92,000 metric tons of milling wheat and Quatar issued a tender for 40,000 metric tons of milling wheat. This morning a tender to purchase 116,400 metric tons of feed wheat was issued by a large animal feed producer from the Philippines. We will see if the U.S wins any of these milling wheat tenders as the U.S dollar hovers near five months highs. A surplus of feed wheat out of Europe which was the result of a wet harvest has traders talking about a shipment of French feed wheat bound for U.S soil. This would be the first time French wheat would be shipped to the U.S in 12 years.


Keep a close watch on the Federal Reserve minutes which will be released at 1 PM CST. The fed minutes will give the market a better look as to how the Federal Reserve will approach weaker inflation, and give the market some clarity as to how the first cycle of rate hikes will begin.


November 18 – Morning Comments

In the overnight session corn traded down 1 ¾ cents, soybeans traded up 1 ¼ cents and wheat fell 4 ½ cents. Yesterday, soybeans saw some strong fundamental data which lifted the price into the close. In the first part of the trade the export inspections number supported prices as 3,113,311 metric tons of soybeans were inspected this week for export. The inspections number was well outside of the 2-2.3 million metric tons analyst were expecting.

Export inspections for corn and wheat were not nearly as impressive. Wheat missed expectations by only recording 139,351 metric tons and corn missed expectations to the low side with only 401,116 metric tons inspected for export.

NOPA crush numbers were released at 11 CST and showed a 58% improvement in crush over last month. According to the National Oilseed Processors Association 157.960 million bushels of soybeans were crushed in the month of October which was well above expectations for only 150.781 million bushels. Soymeal exports increased to 707,934 tons in October from 308,515 tons in September. Following the report, the market was able to rally over 10 cents to break through the 100 day moving average. We feel that the strong NOPA crush numbers are likely to explain why soybeans was able to trade over $10.80 last week, but not provide enough of a case for prices to set new highs in the coming weeks. Although demand is currently quite strong, soybean prices are expensive at these levels and we have a huge soybean crop that is now out of the fields.

In the latest crop progress report the USDA announced that 94% of soybeans were harvested up from 90% last week and corn was 89 percent harvested up from 80% last week. Winter wheat crop conditions maintained 60% good-to-excellent.

November 17 – Morning Comments

In the overnight session the grains traded slightly lower with corn down 2 ¾ cents soybeans down ¼ cent and wheat down 1 ¾ cents going into the morning pause in trade. Exporters reported a sale of 111,095 metric tons of U.S soybeans to China for 14/15 delivery. The U.S Dollar index is trading higher this morning within the range it has been trading since October 6th.

Last week soybeans dropped nearly 30 cents on Friday to close out the week trading at $10.20. The sharp drop in soybean prices late in the week took us back below the 100 day moving average which currently sits at $10.32. Trend line support for the rally that started from October 1st could support soybeans during the early part of the session as traders eye the NOPA crush numbers which is scheduled for release around 11 AM CST. Expectations for the NOPA crush report are to show that soy processors increased production in October crush to $150.781 million bushels according to a poll of market analysts by Reuters.

U.S weather looks clear from precipitation for the most of this week allowing producers to wrap up harvest. Monday will produce some rains on the eastern part of the U.S and on Fridaysome showers are expected in southeastern U.S. but for the most part there should be minimal harvest delays. Rains return to the forecast in the 6-10 day outlook with higher than average precipitation expected in the northern plains and from Illinois east.

Late this week rains are expected to return to the southern part of Brazil providing widespread relief for early corn and soybean development. Minas Gerais will be monitored for too much rain over the next 16-30 days. There is no significant concerns for crops in South America as of yet this growing season.

November 14th, Basis Report

Corn and bean futures prices found strength this week and the cash market added on to the gains with a 2 cent basis increase on average across the US this week.

In corn, ethanol plants were a dominant driver adding 4 cents a bushel as a group as ethanol production continues to accelerate. Weekly ethanol output was at 946,000 barrels per day, a marketing year high, and puts year-to-date output 6.1% ahead of last year’s pace. USDA has only a 0.3% increase expected for annual corn use for ethanol.  Export markets were also up with the Gulf port basis advancing 3 cents a bushel.  Weekly export inspections were at 517,000 MT on par with expectations but a bit slim for this time of year.

By comparison, soybean export inspections continue to set a blistering pace with 2,481,000 MT for the week and cumulative exports at 13.5 MMT compared to 11.8 MMT for the same period last year.  This is 14.4% higher than 2013 while USDA is only factoring in a 4.4% increase year on year. However, basis levels at the Gulf this week were flat with some river terminals in the Upper Midwest seeing lower basis as barge rates there moved higher.  Soy plants were up as a group gaining 3.4 cents a bushel, but some areas of Minnesota and Iowa were weaker with 5 to 10 cent declines being fairly common by plants in this region.

November 14 – Morning Comments

​In the overnight session the market retraced some of yesterday’s gains with corn down 3 ¾, soybeans down 12 ¼ and wheat moving 2 ¾ cents lower. Keep in mind that Monday the 17th the NOPA crush numbers will be released at 7:30 CST. Expectations are for the report to show that soy processors increased crushing pace by 51% percent. The average analyst guess in a Reuter’s poll for October crush was 150.3781 million bushels.
Export sales were released this morning showing wheat booked only 417,700 MT which was on the high side of market expectations of 250-400 thousand metric tons. Wheat sales were up 57 percent week providing some positive demand side news to support the recent run-up in price.

Soybeans reported sales of 1,074 thousand metric tons which was on the low side of expectations which were between 1,100-1,300 thousand metric tons. Soybean sales were down 33 percent from the week prior. Soybean meal which has had a strong export pace this year recorded positive sales of 21,300 metric tons which was up from net cancelations last week.

Corn sales were reported at 505,300 metric tons which was within analyst expectations and up 6 percent week over week.

Weekly ethanol output was at 946,000 barrels per day, a marketing year high, and puts year-to-date output 6.1% ahead of last year’s pace. USDA has only a 0.3% increase expected for annual corn use for ethanol. If realized, this higher pace would trim US corn carryout by 200 to 300 MB.

WEEKLY EXPORT SALES (in thousand metric tons)

Expected Actual YTD/USDA
Corn 400-600 505.4 -15% / -9%
Soybeans 1,100-1,300 1,074 +8% / +4%
Wheat 250-400 417.7 -25%  / -21%





November 13 – Morning Comments

In the overnight session the grains traded only slightly higher with corn up 2 ½ cents, soybeans up 3 ½  but traded as high as 10.58 before selling back down to the lows of yesterday’s range and wheat up ½ a cent consolidating near the highs of yesterday’s range.

Yesterday, January soybeans traded as high as 10.86 ¼, testing that price level twice before turning lower and finishing off the day around $10.47. There has been talk of two soybean meal cargoes being shipped from Argentina to the eastern U.S to meet short term demand which weighed heavily on the soy complex and pressured soybean meal to close the yesterday below $400. Keep a close watch on soybeans this week as volatile price action often times signals that the existing trend is coming to an end. The Monday WASDE report provided very little to support a sustained price rally, showing stocks to use stuck around 12%.

Wheat found strong buying interest yesterday but showed little follow through in the night session. Tensions between Ukraine and Russia continue to escalate which puts at risk trade movement out of those countries. In addition, dry and cold weather continues to be problematic for the Ukraine crop. Nearly a third of Ukrainian winter grain crops sown for the 2015 harvest are under threat and could be damaged by frosts, the state weather forecaster said on Thursday.  These are crops that were sown too late – in the second half of October.  Also, sub-zero temperatures in Colorado and Kansas pose some risk for winter wheat in the U.S.


In corn, basis levels have been mostly steady to inching higher in some areas. Ethanol plants continue to hold basis fairly firm although some areas of the country are stronger than others. A key plant in central Illinois has raised its basis by 20 cents a bushel since harvest lows 30 days ago. Weekly production of ethanol will be released today with expectations of another strong week likely to show output surpassing 900,000 barrels per day.