DTN Closing Grain Comments

Fractional Closes All Around For Grains

Todd Hultman
By  Todd Hultman , DTN Grains Analyst
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(DTN illustration by Nick Scalise)

General Comments:

Corn was down 1/4 cent in the December contract and down 1/2 cent in the July. Soybeans were down 3/4 cent in the November contract and down 1/4 cent in the July. Wheat closed down 3/4 cent in the December Chicago contract, up 1/2 cent in the December Kansas City, and down 5 3/4 cents in the December Minneapolis contract.

The December U.S. dollar index is down 0.41 at 93.09. December gold is up $7.10 at $1,292.10 while December silver is up 19 cents and December copper is up $0.0325. The Dow Jones Industrial Average is up 44 at 22,805. November crude oil is up $1.26 at $50.84. November heating oil is up $0.0253 while November RBOB gasoline is up $0.0308 and November natural gas is up $0.053.

Corn:

December corn closed down a quarter-cent Tuesday, another day of quiet, low volume trading as rain fell across the central and Southern Plains. Tuesday afternoon's Crop Progress report will give an update on harvest progress, which will probably still shows a crop that is maturing behind schedule. Early Tuesday saw sub-freezing temperatures across the Dakotas and northern Minnesota, but warmer weather is expected to return for at least the next 10 days. Monday morning, USDA said 20.6 million bushels of corn were inspected for export, a bearish amount that has total inspections down 49% from a year ago early in 2017-18. Dow Jones' survey of analysts expects USDA to slightly reduce its estimate of ending U.S. corn stocks to 2.25 billion bushels for 2017-18, but that is still big enough to weigh on prices. Technically, the trend remains down in December corn, but prices have not seen a new low since August and commercials have turned lightly net long -- a sign that support should be near. DTN's National Corn Index closed at $3.05 Monday, priced 45 cents below the December contract and has held roughly even for over a month. In outside markets, the December U.S. dollar index is down 0.41 and December gold is up $7.10 as traders showed concern again about tensions with North Korea.

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Soybeans:

November soybeans traded as much as 9 cents higher Tuesday morning, but finished down 3/4 cent on the day, showing reluctance to go to new highs ahead of Thursday's WASDE report. Dow Jones' survey expects USDA to nudge the soybean production estimate up to 4.44 bb, but trim the estimate of U.S. ending stocks from 475 mb to 453 mb for 2017-18. It is still early in Brazil's new season, but so far, central Brazil is off to a dry start with little moisture expected in this week's forecast. Monday morning, USDA said 54.6 mb of soybeans were inspected for export last week, putting total inspections up 4% from a year ago and in line with USDA's export estimate. At 8 a.m. CDT, USDA said China bought 4.8 mb (131,000 metric tons) of U.S. soybeans for 2017-18. Technically, the trend remains up in November soybeans, but prices have stalled sideways for over a month as we wait to learn more about the U.S. harvest and Brazil's next crop. DTN's National Soybean Index closed at $8.88 Monday, priced 78 cents below the November contract and holding a sideways range for over a month.

Wheat:

December Chicago wheat closed down 3/4 cent Tuesday with scattered showers moving eastward across the central and Southern Plains, setting up a stretch of favorable planting weather the next seven days in the southwestern Plains. Tuesday afternoon's Crop Progress report will show winter wheat planting progress. It has been difficult to tell if the planting pace is slower than usual or if less wheat is being planted. Monday morning, USDA said 12.9 mb of wheat were inspected for export last week, a neutral showing that put total inspections down 3% from a year ago. Obviously, more exports would be helpful, but the U.S. is running into stiff competition from Russia's big harvest this year. A Dow Jones survey forecasts USDA to slightly raise its estimate of U.S. ending wheat stocks from 933 mb to 946 mb -- a big number, which makes it difficult for winter wheat prices to expect much of a rally. More sideways trading ahead seems likely. DTN's National SRW index closed at $3.96 Monday, priced 40 cents below the December contract and down from its highest price in six weeks. DTN's National HRW index closed at $3.54, also down from its highest price in six weeks.

Todd Hultman can be reached at todd.hultman@dtn.com

Follow Todd Hultman on Twitter @ToddHultman1

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Todd Hultman