FarmLead Breakfast Brief
Friday, August 18th, 2017
“One of the greatest joys known to man is to take a flight into ignorance in search of knowledge.”
– Robert Staughton Lynd (US sociologist)
Good Morning !
At 7:35 AM CDT in the North American futures markets (*not cash prices*):
(all prices in dollars per bushel unless otherwise indicated)
$1 USD = $1.2626 CAD, $1 CAD = $0.792 USD)
Dec Corn: +0.3¢ (+0.05%) to $3.645 USD or $4.596 CAD
Nov Soybeans: +0.5¢ (+0.05%) to $9.335 USD or $11.77 CAD
Oct Soybean Meal (per short ton): unchanged at $299 USD or $377.53 CAD
Oct Soybean Oil (cents per lbs): +0.11¢ (+0.35%) to 33.45¢ USD or 42.18¢ CAD
Dec Oats: +1.3¢ (+0.5%) to $2.593 USD or $3.269 CAD
Dec Wheat (Chicago): +2.3¢ (+0.5%) to $4.43 USD or $5.586 CAD
Dec Wheat (Kansas City): +1.3¢ (+0.3%) to $4.433 USD or $5.589 CAD
Dec Wheat (Minneapolis):+3.3¢ (+0.45%) to $6.875 USD or $8.669 CAD
Nov Canola: +2.7¢/bu / +$1.20/MT (+0.25%) to $9.015/bu / $397.50/MT USD or $11.367/bu / $501.20/MT CAD
Yesterday’s Winnipeg ICE Close
Dec Barley: unchanged at $2.504 USD or $3.157 CAD
Oct Durum Wheat: unchanged at $7.015 USD or $8.845 CAD
Oct Milling Wheat: unchanged at $5.59 USD or $7.049 CAD
The Search for High Protein is On
Grain markets pushed higher Friday as traders priced in the weather, and the complex looked to outside factors like buyer demand.
As Garrett mentioned in yesterday’s Grain Markets Today, soybeans gained yesterday on better-than-expected US export sales. Last week, 1.35 million tonnes of old and new crop US beans were sold.
The market was expecting somewhere between 350,000 to 750,000.
American wheat export sales also came in above expectations at 633,500.
US corn export sales for last week came inside of expectations at a little more than 734,000.
Some areas of the Midwest missed the rains, but for the most part, there’s more precipitation in the forecast that they’ll likely get a drink within the next week.
Will Crop Tour Show Dryness?
The latest US Drought Monitor shows that the dry conditions are expanding westward. 
Montana is “rapidly worsening” according to USDA meteorologist Brad Rippey, while Nebraska and the Dakotas did see some improvement last week. And in Iowa, 70% of the Hawkeye state is experiencing some level of drought.
Will these conditions be showcased in next week’s annual Pro Farmer crop tour? If I’m a betting man, the tour results will likely show numbers closer to that 165 bushels per acre number. As such, I think we’ll be able to see some better prices next week as bullish yield data starts to get published by Chip Flory and company.
However, gains will likely be limited by rains and the continuous challenge of the size of old crop inventories, as mentioned in yesterday’s Breakfast Brief.
We’ll have our own Doug Kirk on tour next week, covering the western stretch. As the tour progresses, we’ll give you Doug’s take.
International Wheat Price Competitions
Millers in Indonesia recently bought 25,000 MT of Canadian hard red spring wheat for November arrival.  The delivered price, including transportation costs are about $8.70 USD/bushel or $11 CAD/bushel.
Australia would normally get that busy, but they’ll be harvesting their wheat crop in 4Q2017. Aussie wheat with 10.5% protein is being offered out of their ports at about $6.55 USD/bushel or $8.25 CAD/bushel. Comparably, 11.5% protein Black Sea wheat is being offered out of their ports at $5.85 USD or $7.40 CAD per bushel. If you’re doing the math, that’s better-quality wheat, but for a lower price.
Not hard to do the math there if I’m an international buyer.
How Small is Canada’s Harvest?
While we’ve got the USDA’s estimates already and StatsCanada will come out with their forecasts in 2 weeks, what does the private market think of Canadian crop potential?
Bloomberg’s recent survey of traders and analysts is putting the 2017/18 crop at multi-year lows.  Wheat output is expected to come in at 26.4 million tonnes, or 17% lower than last year and the smallest haul since 2011. Similarly, the durum wheat crop is estimated to come in at 5.1 million tonnes, the lowest in 5 years and down 35% year-over-year.
The drop is partly due to the decline in acres planted in Canada this year from last year. The other half of the blame goes to the fact that some areas have received less than 40% of average rainfall since April 1st. The challenge with this though is that it could limit the amount of winter wheat acres that get planted this fall in Western Canada.  There is data that backs up the worthiness of planting winter wheat when soil moisture is less than ideal.
On oats, there are concerns that Western Canadian crops ran out of moisture and didn’t fill.  Accordingly, below-average test weights are one of the concerns that buyers are considering. However, the largest oats-producing areas have seen enough rainfall that crops are looking about average. That said, cash bids have been trending sideways-to-lower as we get closer to harvest.
Nonetheless, once you have it in the bin, we strongly recommend getting that grain tested to make sure you can ensure you meet buyer’s specs.
Yesterday, Garrett gave 3 great reasons why you should be getting your grain tested this year.
We’ve built GrainTests.com to help you do this so go check it out.
For canola, expected production is set at 18.1 million tonnes. Considering that there are about 19-20 million tonnes of demand for Canadian canola forecasted in the 2017/18 crop year, it can be easily considered as bullish. This factor is why, as we mentioned last week, we’re looking to fill contracts and then start to price out canola likely in late fall / early winter.
The good news is that the weather should be decent for harvest in Western Canada this year, according to Drew Lerner of World Weather.  The usual threat of frost will start to arrive in early September, but Lerner says that most crops should be advanced by then and to expect limited harm. 
COMMODITY TRADING INVOLVES RISK AND MAY NOT BE SUITABLE FOR ALL RECIPIENTS OF THIS POST. Neither the information presented, nor any opinions expressed, constitutes a solicitation for the purchase or sale of any commodities. The thoughts expressed in this email and basic data from which they are derived are believed to be reliable, but cannot be guaranteed due to uncertainty about future events and complexities surrounding commodity markets. Those acting on the information are responsible for their own actions.