Soybean Prices Slide after EPA Biofuel Decision

Grain prices were overshadowed Thursday by a significant deal to support global oil prices and increased optimism that the Senate will pass comprehensive tax reform. The Dow Jones surged above 24,000 for the first time, while Brent crude topped $63.50 per barrel.

Here in Chicago, December wheat prices fell more than 1.5%, while soybean prices gave up gains that they’d secured in recent weeks. Want to know what drove commodity prices on Thursday? See below for our daily recap of grain prices from the Chicago Board of Trade.

Wheat Woes Continue

What happened? The December wheat contract in Chicago slumped 7.25 cents in today’s trading session. The March contract slid 1.75 cents to close at $4.33.

Cash prices, however, rallied 9.5 cents to close the day at $4.33.

In Minneapolis, spring wheat contracts slipped 2.25 cents to close the day at $6.055. In Kansas City, the HRW contract for December gained 3.75 cents to close at $4.17.

On the export front, the USDA reported that sales declined by 8% from last week. Overall, the agency reported 6.8 million bushels of old crop sales. New crop sales came in at roughly 100,000 bushels. The U.S. sold the bulk of the wheat to Columbia, while Japan came in a close second place.

Next week, we’re going to be looking for updates from StatsCan on total production and grain yields.

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Corn Prices Show Gains

December corn prices added 2.75 cents to close just a tick below $3.42 per bushel. March contracts added 2.25 cents to finish just under $3.56.

The USDA reported export figure came in at 23.6 million bushels for the week. That figure is more than 44.5% below the same number we saw last week. That figure was off 64% from the same period last year. Mexico and Japan were both large buyers of U.S. crop, with the former edging out the latter for the bigger share of exports.

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Soybean Prices Slide on Export Figures 

Soybean prices slipped on news of weaker export volumes and news that the Environmental Protection Agency doesn’t plan to increase its biodiesel standard in 2019. The agency will hold its standard at 2.1 billion gallons, the same figure set for next year.

The USDA reported three relatively large deals across its reporting system today. The U.S. reported a private sale to China of 19.3 million bushels. A second soybean deal headed to unknown destinations hit 4.8 million bushels. (The third deal was 4.3 million bushels of soybeans heading to China.)

The USDA also reported an uptick in weekly exports. The agency set the number at 31.9 million bushels, a number that came in below trade expectations by roughly 20%.

We also heard a lot new about weather in South America. Rain continues to batter producing regions across Argentina.

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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