October 19: December Corn Prices Can’t Break $3.50

Grain prices were up across the board Thursday in Chicago.

The December corn contract pushed back to the $3.50 level but retreated in the final minutes.

Wheat prices offered the highest nominal gains, and soybean contracts were finding support bearish acreage revisions from Informa. There’s been a flood of bearish production numbers this week from around the globe, traders said enough with the selling…

Let’s get to our recap from the Chicago Board of Trade.

December Corn Contract Adds 0.5 Cents

The first-month corn contract flirted with $3.50 per bushel for most of the day but ran out of steam in the final minutes.

A half-penny gain left the December corn contract at $3.49 per bushel.

The cash price fell another 1.5 cents and closed at $3.285.

Markets ticked higher thanks to export figures for the week ending October 12. The 1.255 million metric tonnes exported for the week was at nearly dead center of the analysts’ range of 1.2 million to 1.3 million metric tonnes. Mexico is still buying despite concerns about NAFTA. Our neighbor to the south purchased a little more than 510,000 metric tonnes.

Elsewhere, Informa updated figures for corn production, and one number was slightly bullish.

The firm now projects 2018 U.S. corn acreage to come in at 90.5 million. That’s a 1.38 million acre cut from its September report.

China reported stronger corn auction sales from yesterday. The country sold 782,000 metric tonnes, which is about 70% of their offerings.

Expect that December corn contract to dance around that $3.50 level for the balance of October unless we get some significant news out of South America.

Soybean Prices Go Green Thursday

China is gobbling up soybeans once again. The USDA reported a private sale of 384,000 metric tonnes to our customers out East. That big sale helped offset some pessimism from the weaker-than-expected export number from last week.

The figure came in at 1.275 million metric tonnes, which was 10% lower than the same week in 2016.

December meal declined by 40 cents. Those contracts are sitting at $321.40 per short ton. Bean oil prices added 42 cents at $33.83.

The November soybean contract at CBOT added 2.25 cents and finished at $9.845 January contracts are flirting with the $10.00 range.

Finally, Informa hiked its U.S. acreage production number by another 1.3 million. That’s trend as the new estimate of 90.3 million is higher than last crop calendar’s soy acreage figure.

Wheat Prices Whip Higher

Traders covered their short positions in Chicago, while stronger export figures gave the complex a nice bump Thursday. The December SRW contract added 2.75 cents and closed a tick below $4.33.

HRW contracts in Kansas City were up one cent. They closed at $4.29.

MGEX spring wheat contracts added 5.75 cents and ending at $6.16.

We saw positive export numbers after figures missed analyst expectations for most of September and October.

There was not much news going on in the sector aside from stronger export numbers. There was a tender by Ethiopia. The nation is seeking 14.7 million bushels as part of a humanitarian request.

It’s expected that this grain will be sourced by Ukraine or Russia.

On Tap This Weekend

Tomorrow, markets will be looking for an update on managed money trading. That CFTC report will come after the close of trading.

While the big three grain categories get most of the attention here at Grain Markets Today, we’ll spend some time talking about pulse crops this week.

Can we find a “pulse” in those markets?

You see what I did there.

Check out FarmLead Insights this weekend, and be sure to visit GrainTests.com.

We’ve launched the easiest tool in America to get all of your grain tested so that you can better market your grain and get the best price possible.

That’s GrainTests.com.

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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