Canada Markets

Grain Futures and September Price Movements

Cliff Jamieson
By  Cliff Jamieson , Canadian Grains Analyst
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This chart shows the average change in futures (November canola and soybeans, December oats, spring wheat and corn) during the month of September over the past five years (2012 to 2016). Prices for all crops ended lower on a percentage basis, with soybeans facing the greatest setback and spring wheat the least. (DTN graphic by Nick Scalise)

Given the question of whether the seasonal lows are behind us on various grain charts, we look at the typical moves for grain futures over the course of September for hints of how prices typically respond over the month. As seen on the attached chart, on average during the past five years, the selected crops all posted losses over the month of September, ranging from an average of 1% loss in December spring wheat futures to an average 4.7% loss for November soybeans.

Price direction during September is not as cut-and-dry as one would think. Over the past two years, or September 2015 and September 2016, almost all crops saw futures close higher over the month. The one exception was the December oat contract trade in September 2015. Of the four crops that posted September gains in each of these two years, this range varied with canola gaining an average of .75% over the two years, while spring wheat gained an average of 4.7% over the two years in question.

Prior to that, all five crops lost ground during the month as seen in September 2013 and September 2014 trade. On a percentage basis, losses ranged from an average loss of 4.1% for December oats to an average loss of 10.3% for December corn. Soybeans were close with an 8.2% loss while spring wheat followed with a 7.8% loss.

Of the five crops selected, MGEX December spring wheat finished higher in September in three of the five years in question (2012 to 2016), more than any other crop. December oats finished lower in four of the five Septembers looked at, the poorest showing of any crop.

While this analysis provides food for thought, seasonal tendencies are just one of six factors used in formulating DTN's marketing strategies.


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