January 16 – Soybean Prices Snap Higher in Chicago

The Great White-Out of Chicago has ended, and the thaw begins. Down at the Chicago Board of Trade, traders returned from a three-day weekend. Soybean prices continued their bullish boomerang after Friday’s WASDE report. But wheat prices just can’t find support.

The USDA’s WASDE report from Friday revealed a surprise acreage number in the wheat complex.

It also hiked ending stocks due to lower feed demand.

The result: Pain.

Here’s more on grain prices from today’s trading session.

Soybean Prices Pop Post WASDE Report

Soybean prices ticked higher.

The uptick came from increased optimism over Friday’s WASDE report and today’s crush report.

March 2018 soybean contracts added 7.5 cents to close the day at $9.68 per bushel. May contracts added 7.5 cents to finish at $9.795 per bushel.

The big news today was the monthly crush report.

The NOPA report indicated that its members crushed roughly 165.38 million bushels in December.

That’s a new record. It’s about 1 million bushels more than the analysts expected. It was also about a 3.9% jump from the December 2016 output.

Meanwhile, we’re keeping an eye on Argentina, which is facing planting delays. Higher temperatures have led to moisture problems in northern Argentina.

The latest USDA numbers project 42 million MT of corn out of Argentina this year. That’s unchanged from December estimates, but a 2% jump from last year. Overall expectations for acreage are 6% higher than last season, but December numbers came in at the same level.

Additional rainfall is needed to complete planting in northern Argentina as high temperatures have caused soil moisture deficits and delayed planting operations.

Corn Prices Rise from Short Covering

Corn prices ticked higher despite weak export numbers.

March corn prices added 2 cents to close the day just above $3.47 per bushel. The May contract added 2 cents to finished a tick under $3.57.

Today, the USDA announced that weekly exports came in at 584,389 metric tonnes. It was about a 31.3% drop compared to the previous week.

Overall, corn shipments are down pretty significantly from the previous year. That’s problematic with the upcoming harvest on tap in South America.

Wheat Prices Retreat Again

Markets are still digesting the news about U.S. winter wheat acreage. The USDA hiked its acreage estimate by about one million acres from the December report.

In Chicago, SRW contracts for March shed 4 cents to close at $4.165. May 2018 contracts shed 4.25 cents to close at $4.30 per bushel.

HRW contracts down in Kansas City experienced a similar downturn on the day. March 2018 contracts shed 4.25 cents and finished at $4.22 per bushel.

May contracts dipped 4.25 cents and closed the day at $4.355.

Spring wheat contracts for March dipped 1.25 cents and finished trading $6.115. May contracts added 0.25 cents and finished a tick under $6.21.

On the wheat front, several international buyers are trying to take advantage of a lower prices. Japan announced a tender that includes 24,160 MT of U.S. wheat. The other 91,733 MT would be sourced from Australia and Canada.

Meanwhile, GASC purchased another 295,000 MT of wheat from Russia following its Monday tender.

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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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