August 8 – Spring Wheat Prices Rise, While Corn Slips

On Tuesday, the temperate weather continued in Chicago, but the heat was found on the Chicago Board of Trade. Everyone is placing their positions ahead of Thursday’s WASDE report.

Today’s prices were muted by an uptick in the dollar. After last week’s solid July employment report, the government reported a massive uptick in job openings for June.

Corn prices dipped Tuesday, while soybeans saw a small bump. Increased drought conditions across the Midwest have aided in soy prices’ rise. Meanwhile, the weather isn’t expected in the short-term. Markets are looking at possible rain next week, but we see the more important things first… and that includes the USDA’s figures.

Here’s our recap of grain prices from the Chicago Board of Trade for August 8.

Corn Prices Dip

The September corn futures contract dipped 2.5 cents to close the day just below $3.70.

Corn prices didn’t react at all to the news that crop conditions fell again last week. Yesterday, the USDA reports that crops rated good-to-excellent fell from 61% to 60% for the week ending August 6. In addition, the nation’s corn crop was 93% silking, with 42% in the dough stage, and 7% dented.

Yesterday, we didn’t have a lot of time to look at the numbers on a state-by-state level. However, the data showed a surprise decline in quality in Illinois, Iowa and Nebraska, the nation’s three largest crop producers. Colorado had the largest decline – 12 point.

For more on what is happening downstate and ahead of WASDE, check out the latest insight from Doug Kirk, a Central Illinois Farmer, Power FarmLead user and grain markets enthusiast.

Tomorrow morning, be sure to check out Brennan’s Breakfast Brief, where he will offer his expectations for the WASDE report.

The USDA reported that Taiwanese purchasers are looking to buy roughly 130,000 metric tonnes of corn. If you were using our new grain converter, you’d know right away how many bushels that is… check it out here.

Soybean Prices Rise

The uptick in Iowa drought conditions helped press soybean prices higher on Tuesday.

The August soybean futures contract added 3 cents to close the day at $9.67. The November new-crop soybean futures contract gained 3.5 cents to close a tick above $9.73.

Traders barely reacted to the news that crop conditions increased by one point last week. Like corn, soybeans rated G-E sit at 60%. Roughly 90% of the crop is now blooming, and 65% was in pods. Both numbers are higher than historical averages.

Once again, crop conditions were deteriorating in Illinois, which saw a six-point drop in quality.

On the international front, China imported 10.08 million metric tonnes of soybeans last month. That’s a significant jump from the 7.76 million metric tonnes the nation imported last year during the same period.

Wheat Prices Mixed

In Chicago, the September wheat futures contract slumped 6.5 cents to close the day at $4.57.

In Kansas City, wheat contracts were also falling.

The exception was up in Minneapolis, where prices logged another day of gains.

As we noted yesterday, the winter wheat harvest is near completion. But spring wheat harvest is sitting at just 24%. What stood out the most from the report was that North Dakota conditions are improving, while Montana’s drought conditions continue to get worse.

David Murray at the Great Falls Tribune interviewed Lola Raska, executive vice president of the Montana Grain Growers Association on conditions in the state. Needless to say, the problems are mounting for growers of many different crops.

“It’s kind of hard at this point to quantify the harvest to any degree of accuracy,” Raska said. “Depending on where you are in the state, I’ve heard production all across the board – from a good year to average year to poor year – then you get into the eastern part of the state to some crops that were abandoned and won’t even be cut.” [1]

Murray highlights that local grain elevator prices are paying $4.4 per bushel for wheat, and the cost would barely cover the cost of production. Farmers had turned to other crops like lentils and peas.

Finally, Reuters report that Japan is looking for 57,440 metric tonnes of US wheat in a larger tender with Australia and Canada.

That is clearly too big of an offer for you to fill. But if you’re looking to sell some extra grain or make a deal on your crop in the near future, be sure to post it on FarmLead.

About the Author
Garrett Baldwin

Garrett Baldwin is a content strategist and editor at FarmLead. He covers the global grain markets and public policy issues related to the agricultural industry. He is a graduate of the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University. He also holds a Master’s Degree in Economic Policy from The Johns Hopkins University, an MS in Agricultural Economics from Purdue University, and an MBA in Finance from Indiana University.

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