May 7: Grain Prices Plunge Across the Board in Chicago

Monday was a brutal day across the board in Chicago. Grain traders sold off across all major crop categories. Profit-taking combined with weather reports fueled a sell-off…

So too did chatter about Thursday’s WASDE report. Let’s take a dive into grain prices in Chicago on Monday. Then, we’ll give you a few updates on crop progress and quality.

Let’s get started…

Soybean Prices Plunge Ahead of WASDE Report

July soybean prices slumped 25.25 cents to close the day at $10.115 per bushel.

The August contract shed 25.25 cents to end the day just under $10.15 per bushel.

The price slump came in line with a big drop in soy oil prices.

This morning, the USDA reported soybean shipments of 533,667 MT for the week ending May 3. That was a 23% drop from the previous week.

However, it beat last year’s same period by 44%.

This afternoon, the USDA reported weekly planting of the U.S. soybean crop. The agency reported progress at 15%, a figure that was 10 points higher than last week’s report.

The chart below provides a glimpse of soybean planting progress in the top 10 U.S. producing states.

Wheat Prices Fall Across U.S. Exchanges

It was a tough day for wheat prices in Chicago and Kansas City. July SRW wheat prices fell 14.75 cents to end the day at $5.115 per bushel. The September contract fell 13 cents to end the day a tick under 5.29.

In Kansas City, prices fared even worse. The July HRW contract shed 16.25 to end the day at $5.395. The September contract shed 15.5 cents to end the day a tick above $5.58 per bushel.

The USDA reported export inspections earlier this morning. The agency said that inspections came in at 327,662 MT. That figure for the week ending May 3 came in about 50% lower than the same period in 2017. It was also off 17% from the previous week.

Today, the USDA also reported crop conditions across the United States. The agency said that 33% of the U.S. crop is now headed. The report also said that conditions improved by 1 percentage point to hit 34% “good-to-excellent.”

The chart below provides a glimpse of crop conditions across our top producing states.

Minneapolis Spring Wheat contracts shed 12 cents to end the day at $6.11. The September 2018 contract shed 10.75 cents to end the day a tick above $6.18 per bushel.

That came ahead of the NASS report, which indicated that 30% of the spring wheat crop is now planted. That figure is 21 points behind the five-year average.

Corn Prices Falter Yet Again

July 2018 corn contracts shed 5.5 cents to end the day a tick under $4.01.

The September contract fell 5.25 cents to end the day at $4.085.

Today the USDA reported weekly shipments of American corn. The agency said that inspections totaled 1.916 MMT. That figure was about a 29% jump from the previous week. It was also double last year’s inspections during the same period.

Farmers made a lot of progress in planting from last week. The NASS said that 39% of the American crop has been planted. That was a 22-percentage point jump from last week.

Farmers took great advantage of last week’s improved weather. The chart below provides a glimpse of the current state of U.S. corn planting.

They are now just 5 percentage points back of the five-year average. With good weather reports in the coming days, we can expect to see similar gains in the next few days.

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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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