May 24 – Grain Prices Can’t Sustain Rally Amid Weather Concerns

Corn prices, wheat prices, and soybean prices all fell on Thursday as grain prices couldn’t sustain their rally. This afternoon, traders digested the latest round of export figures from the U.S. while keeping an eye on the weather.

In addition, the Trump administration threw shade on potential deals with China, while making a very controversial decision to cancel a summit with North Korean officials next month.

Let’s dig into the stories that affected grain prices at the Chicago Board of Trade.

Wheat Leads Grain Prices Lower

SRW July wheat prices fell 0.75 cents to close the day a tick above $5.30. The September 2018 contract shed 0.75 cents to end the day at $5.47 per bushel.

Down in Kansas City, HRW wheat prices didn’t fare any better. July and September 2018 contracts both shed 2.75 cents. The July contract is now trading at $5.49, while the next-month contract is sitting at $5.675.

Today’s export sales topped analysts’ expectations for the week ending May 17. The USDA reported sales of more than 112,000 MT of old crop. That figure was a 78% jump from the previous report, but still 44% behind last year’s same period.

Total wheat exports of 362,200 MT was down 12% from the previous week as noted in the chart below.

Weekly US Wheat Exports

The top five destinations were South Korea (83,300 MT), the Philippines (79,200 MT), Mexico (37,200 MT), Guatemala (32,300 MT), and Venezuela (30,000 MT).

In Minneapolis, spring wheat prices took a bigger hit. The July contract shed 7.25 cents to close the day just under $6.35. The September contract shed 7 cents and ended the day just under $6.40 per bushel.

Soybean Prices Can’t Maintain Momentum

We saw some traders taking gains off the table after soybeans’ recent rally. While some fears are still persisting about the U.S. trade relationship with China, markets are willing to extend some patience with the Trump Administration. This patience comes at a time that the Trump administration has announced an investigation into foreign automotive imports, a report that could impact ongoing NAFTA negotiations.

With that in mind, trade figures this morning were mixed. The USDA reported a big sale to unknown destinations for new crop at 264,000 MT this morning.

But for the week ending May 17, export sales showed a net reduction of nearly 139,500 MT.

Weekly US Soybean Exports

Total exports for the week came in at 903,900 MT. That is a 56% jump from the previous week. The top five destinations for American soybeans over the week were China (133,200 MT), Mexico (114,500 MT), Bangladesh (113,300 MT), Germany (75,200 MT), and Vietnam (74,400 MT).

In Chicago, July soybean prices shed 3.5 cents to close the day just under $10.36. The August contract shed 3.5 cents to close a tick under $10.40.

The other big news today came out of Argentina. The nation’s government is dealing with IMF demands to reduce its debts and improve its overall fiscal standing. One such proposal could have a significant impact on soybeans… and help benefit American soybean farmers and Canadian canola producers.

We’re going to break down this very controversial story in GrainCents over the weekend.

If you want to learn more, sign up for a free three-week trial of our subscription service. You’ll get a complete breakdown of this story and many others starting this weekend in our Weekly Digest.

Click here to learn more.

Corn Prices Dip in Chicago

July corn prices continued to hold above $4.00 per bushel, despite the 4.25-cent decline on the day. September 2018 corn contracts are trading at $4.13 after falling 4.25 cents on the day.

The decline came despite news that Agriconsult had cut its estimates of Brazil’s second corn crop to 57 MMT. That figure is 3.2 MMT lower than the consultancy’s previous forecast.

Today, the USDA announced the cancellation of 132,000 MT of old crop sorghum that was destined for unknown destinations.

That reported accompanied the weekly update on U.S. corn exports and sales. The USDA announced old crop sales for the week ending May 17 at 854,304 MT. That was a 13.3% drop from the previous week, but more than 21% ahead of the same time last year. The positive news was that old crop sales came in above 273,000 MT, a figure that easily beat analysts expectations.

Total exports came in at 1.469 MMT, a 6% drop from the previous week.

Weekly US Corn Exports

The top five destinations for U.S. corn were Mexico (371,700 MT), South Kora (286,900 MT), Japan (172,300 MT), Egypt (116,600 MT), and China (72,200 MT).

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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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