April 6: Wheat Prices Pop Friday on Weather Woes

Wheat prices in Chicago found solid gains during Friday’s trading session. SRW prices popped higher thanks to frigid temperatures across the Midwest. Temperatures across portions of the Plains fell into the 30s this afternoon. It looks like rain and snow are on tap for the weekend.

Meanwhile, soybean prices shrugged off the latest concerns about a trade war between the United States and China. President Trump’s head economic adviser Larry Kudlow said that recent plans for tariffs between the two nations are little more than proposals.

In Washington, Chinese and U.S. trade officials are rumored to be in negotiations to resolve ongoing trade disputes. While grain prices didn’t shrug at the downturn, things on Wall Street got very ugly. The Dow Jones shed more than 572 points.

Let’s turn away from Wall Street, and focus on today’s results at the Chicago Board of Trade.

Wheat Prices Heat Up During Spring Chill

A cold snap across the Plains pushed wheat prices higher in Chicago, Minneapolis, and Kansas City. May SRW contracts added 7.5 cents to close just above $4.72. The July contract added 7.25 cents to finish the day at $4.885.

Down in Kansas City, May HRW contracts gained 8.25 cents to close the day a tick under $5.07. The July contract added 9 cents and closed at $5.255.

But the biggest gains came in Minneapolis. May MGEX contracts added 17.5 cents to close the day above $6.07 per bushel. The July contract added 15.75 cents to end the day at $6.17 per bushel. The cold snap and snow across various parts of the country have fueled delays in spring wheat planting.

Next week, we’ll be turning our attention to the April WASDE report. The first number we want to eye is ending stocks. A recent Reuters report projected an uptick of 2 million bushels from the March estimate. That would put ending stocks at 1.036 billion bushels.

Corn Dips Ahead of WASDE Report

Corn futures prices fell slightly on Friday, although cash spot prices jumped 8.5 cents to $3.88 per bushel. The May corn contract shed 1 cent to end the day at $3.885. The July contract lost 1.25 cents and closed at $3.97.

A light day of data featured this afternoon’s Commitment of Traders report. Money managers were net sellers of corn (down 10,000 contracts). Funds were buyers of both soybeans and wheat for the week ending Tuesday.

The pace of the first corn crop in Brazil sits at 60%, down from the 70% of last year.

Ongoing U.S. weather concerns are likely to delay some corn planting across the country. However, it’s unclear how farmers are reacting to ongoing trade tensions.

Cash Soybean Prices Pop in Chicago

Cash soybean prices in Chicago popped 18.75 cents, while futures contracts saw some gains.

The May 2018 soybean contract added 2.5 cents to close the day just under $10.34. The July contract added 2.75 cents to close the day just under $10.45 per bushel.

Traders are keeping a close eye on ending stocks during the release of the April WASDE report. Trade estimates have pegged the figure to come in at 547 bushels, a 19 million-bushel uptick from March.

Today, AgRural offered an update on soybean harvest progress down in Brazil. The consultancy said that farmers have harvested 77% of the crop. That is five percentage points behind the pace from last year. The harvest is complete in Mato Grosso, Mato Grosso do Sul, and Sao Paulo. The pace in Minas Gerais, Goias, and Rondonia is above 94%.

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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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