April 23: Spring Wheat Prices Slump in Minneapolis

It was a tough day for spring wheat markets as the May and June contracts both shed more than 10 cents in Minneapolis. In Chicago, wheat and soybean prices ticked lower, while corn found small gains for the old and new crop.

Here’s our daily recap of grain prices.

Wheat Prices Mixed on Monday

In Chicago, SRW wheat prices for May shed 1.75 cents to close the day at $4.615 per bushel. July contracts shed 2.75 cents and closed the day at $4.745.

In Kansas City, May HRW wheat prices added 0.5 cents and closed the day just above $4.83 per bushel. The June contract added 0.75 cents and closed the day just under $5.03 per bushel.  It was a relatively quiet day for trading as markets were too busy eyeing lackluster weather reports and the slump of spring wheat prices in Minneapolis.

This morning, the USDA reported wheat inspections of 619,251 MT for the week ending April 19. The figure was almost a 23% jump from the week prior. We’ll be more interested in Thursday’s export report to determine if the U.S. can remain competitive on the global markets.

This afternoon, the USDA released its weekly crop progress and quality report. According to the report, 31% of the winter wheat crop is rated good-to-excellent (GE). That figure is the same figure from last week, but 15 percentage points back from the same period last year.

Turning abroad, Russian wheat exports are up 43% year-to-date. The country shipped another 1.9 MMT of wheat for the week ending April 23. Russia’s exports hit 32.96 MMT during the marketing year.

Meanwhile, the USDA’s office in Astana, Kazakhstan projected that the nation’s wheat production would decline by 5.4% to 14 MMT. That would be the lowest production total for the country since 2004.

Up in Minneapolis, spring wheat prices for May shed 12 cents. The contract closed at $5.88.

The July contract shed 10.75 cents and ended the day at $5.95 per bushel. The USDA reported after the bell that just 3% of U.S. spring wheat has been planted.

That figure is unchanged from last week and 18 percentage points back from the same time last year. The five-year average is 25%. Look for prices to react on Tuesday morning.

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Soybean Prices Slide in Chicago

May soybean prices slumped another 8 cents on the day and closed just under $10.21 per bushel. The July contract shed 8 cents and closed a tick above $10.32.

The downturn comes at a time that Brazilian soybean premiums are sitting about 70 cents higher per bushel than soybeans purchased from U.S. Gulf terminals.

The ongoing concern that China will slap tariffs on soybeans continues to press the price of non-U.S. soybeans higher in South America. USDA data shows that about 2.7 MMT of U.S. beans are on the books, and there’s a real possibility that we might see cancelations in the weeks ahead.

Friday’s Commitment of Traders report showed that short positions for the week ending April 17 came in at their lowest levels in almost six years. Managed money added another 16,751 contracts to their net long position. The long position now hit 192,968 contracts. The chart below provides a glimpse of how managed money has traded soybeans over the two years.

Today, the USDA reported that soybean planting is 2% complete across the top 18 states. That figure is 3 points back of the pace last year, but even with the five-year average.

The USDA also reported weekly export inspections. That figure for the week of April 19 came in at 470,817 MT. That number was off 27% from the same time last year.

Corn Prices Find Small Gains

May corn prices added 2 cents to close the day at $3.785. The July contract added 2 cents to close at $3.875 per bushel. Corn prices ticked higher after a better-than-expected export inspections report came in this morning. The 1.719 MMT figure reported by the USDA was about 9% higher than the previous week’s report. It also was about 17% higher than the same period in 2016/17.

Today’s crop progress report was released after trading closed in Chicago. The agency reported that US farmers have planted just 5% of the corn crop. That figure was below analysts’ expectations that the number would be around 7% for the week.

That figure is also 10 points behind the pace of corn planting last year, and nine percentage points behind the five-year average.

Finally, the CFCT’s Commitment of Traders report showed that managed money increased their long position for corn by another 36,643 contracts for the week ending April 17. The chart below provides a glimpse at hedge fund sentiment in the corn space over the last year.

Get More Information on Grain Prices

Looking for daily content on the U.S. and Canadian grain markets?

Be sure to sign up the daily Breakfast Brief. Each morning, FarmLead co-founder and CEO Brennan Turner takes readers inside the numbers to break down what is moving grain prices across the continent.

We’re not just talking exchanges in Chicago and Winnipeg.

We’re talking about local prices on some commodities with limited price transparency.

Sign up for the Breakfast Brief right here. 

It’s free and delivered to your inbox every morning.

 

 

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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