DTN Closing Grain Comments

Grains Stay Quiet, Turn Higher

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

General Comments:

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

The December U.S. dollar index is down 0.15 at 93.07. December gold is up $6.90 at $1,289.90 while December silver is up 25 cents and December copper is down $0.0105. The Dow Jones Industrial Average is down 16 at 23,141. November crude oil is down $0.65 at $51.39. November heating oil is down $0.0243 while November RBOB gasoline is up $0.0031 and November natural gas is up $0.001.


December corn closed up a half-cent Thursday, and yes, it was another day of narrow range, low volume trading for corn on a pleasant fall day for harvest. We could mention again that USDA is expecting a 14.28 billion bushel U.S. corn harvest this fall, but a rough version of that number has already been guessed for well over a month, and prices have flattened out near $3.50 in anticipation of this year's bounty. With cattle and hog numbers up this year, USDA expects the entire harvest to be consumed, but that still leaves a large 2.34 bb carry and exports have not been doing their fair share early in the new season. Early Thursday, USDA said last week's export sales and shipments of corn totaled 49.4 million bushels and 13.4 mb respectively, a bearish combination for the week that has total shipments down 46% in 2017-18 from a year ago. Technically, the trend in December corn is sideways with just enough commercial support to offset this fall's bearish harvest pressure. DTN's National Corn Index closed at $3.04 Wednesday, priced 44 cents below the December contract and still holding above its August low. In outside markets, most commodities other than energies are higher. December gold is up $6.90.


November soybeans closed up 2 1/4 cents Thursday with the short side of the market still a little nervous about this year's dry start in central Brazil. At the same time, Thursday's weather was excellent again for harvest progress and combines were likely busy with rain chances coming back into the forecast this weekend for all, but the western end of the Midwest. On the demand side, FOB soybean prices continue to favor U.S. export business, but the pace has slowed lately. Early Thursday, USDA said last week's export sales and shipments of soybeans totaled 46.9 mb and 68.0 mb respectively, bearish amounts for the week which put total soybean shipments down 7% in 2017-18 from a year ago. USDA also added a daily sale announcement that China bought 14.1 mb (384,000 metric tons) of U.S. soybeans for 2017-18. With USDA estimating 4.43 billion bushels of new soybean supplies this fall, it may be difficult to trade above $10 until more is known about Brazil's next crop. Technically however, the trend remains up in November soybeans. DTN's National Soybean Index closed at $9.06 Wednesday, priced 78 cents below the November contract and down from its highest price in over two months.


December Chicago wheat closed up 2 3/4 cent Thursday, helped by commercial buyers responding to this week's lower prices in spite of bearish export news and favorable planting weather. There hasn't been much bullish to say about winter wheat lately, but it should be acknowledged that commercials have been interested enough to keep December Chicago prices above their August low of $4.22 1/2. Early Thursday, USDA said last week's export sales and shipments of wheat totaled 22.6 and 11.6 million bushels respectively, bearish amounts for the week that have total wheat shipments down 5% from a year ago. That pace is a little higher than USDA's estimated export pace, but not strong enough to make a dent in U.S. wheat supplies. This week's warm and dry fall weather is expected to give way to rain this weekend which will beneficial to new wheat crops in the Southern Plains and eastern Midwest, but the western edge of the southwestern Plains will be missed. Technically, winter wheat prices remain under bearish pressure, but the trends are sideways with commercial support helping Chicago wheat in the low $4s. DTN's National SRW index closed at $3.92 Wednesday, priced 38 cents below the December contract and holding above its August low. DTN's National HRW index closed at $3.54, also holding above its August low.

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

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Todd Hultman