DTN Closing Grain Comments

Soybean Meal, HRW Wheat Push Higher

Todd Hultman
By  Todd Hultman , DTN Lead Analyst
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General Comments:

Corn was up 2 cents in the May contract and up 1 cent in the December. Soybeans were up 3 1/2 cents in the May contract and up 1 1/2 cents in the November. Wheat closed up 4 1/4 cents in the May Chicago contract, up 11 1/4 cents in the May Kansas City, and down 3/4 cent in the May Minneapolis contract. The March U.S. dollar index is up 0.43 at 90.22. April gold is down $13.50 at $1,319.30 while March silver is down 19 cents and May copper is down $0.0430. The Dow Jones Industrial Average is down 121 points at 25,588. April crude oil is down $0.98 at $62.93. April heating oil is down $0.0202 while April RBOB gasoline is down $0.0220 and April natural gas is up $0.003.


May corn closed up 2 cents Tuesday at $3.79 1/4, pushing the upper limit of its four-month range with ongoing support from a dry Argentina. Tuesday's satellite map showed light showers in southern Argentina, but main crop areas remain dry with only light amounts expected in the seven-day forecast. Here in the U.S., flooding along the Ohio and Illinois rivers remains a problem with shipping stations unable to load grain and get to ships waiting in New Orleans (see Monday's "Flooding Halts Shipping on Illinois River" by DTN's Mary Kennedy). Tuesday's seven-day forecast has more rain expected in the region with the heaviest amounts across the Mississippi Delta and into Tennessee. With corn prices still too low to entice grain out of the bin, corn's export problems remain the most bearish factor at present, but continue to lose out to the bullishness of Argentina's dry weather. For now, the trend remains up in May corn, in line with its seasonal tendency. DTN's National Corn Index closed at $3.39 Monday, priced 29 cents below the March contract and at its highest price in seven months. In outside markets, the March U.S. dollar index is up 0.43 after the new Fed Chairman Powell told the U.S. House Financial Services Committee "the economic outlook remains strong."


May soybeans closed up 3 1/2 cents at $10.49 1/2 on Tuesday, still shy of the July high of $10.53 while the November contract pushed 1 1/2 cents higher to a new contract high close of $10.32. Tuesday's satellite map showed some light showers in southern Argentina, but was mostly dry again for major crop areas. The seven-day forecast continues to expect light amounts for southern Brazil and Argentina, while central Brazil continues to attract more rain. So far, concerns about too much rain in central Brazil have not proven to be much of a problem. Private consultant Safras & Mercado tweeted Tuesday that the soybean harvest was 58% complete in Mato Grosso, Brazil's largest soybean producing state, and 27% finished in Parana, Brazil's second largest soybean state. While the fundamental outlook for soybeans remains a difficult call and U.S. soybean shipments continue to lag behind last year's pace, the trends in May soybeans and May soybean meal are clearly up. Spot soybean meal posted its highest close in over 18 months. DTN's National Soybean Index closed at $9.65 Monday, at its highest price in nearly a year and priced 69 cents below the March contract.


May Chicago wheat closed up 4 1/4 cents and May K.C. wheat was up 11 1/4 cents at a new six-month high of $5.04 3/4, supported by ongoing weather concerns here in the U.S. The seven-day forecast remains mostly dry for the western U.S. Plains as drought conditions worsen. Late Monday, several state NASS offices put out similar crop ratings to a month ago. For Kansas however, the state NASS office said 49% of winter wheat was rated poor or very poor, up from 44% a month ago and the National Weather Service warned of fire danger in western Kansas again on Tuesday. Meanwhile, flooding remains a problem in the southeastern Midwest and more rain is expected in the next seven days, especially from southern Arkansas into Tennessee. With both Chicago and K.C. wheat prices trending higher while the U.S. continues to have weather problems, it is becoming dangerously easy to forget the world has plenty of wheat available. DTN's National SRW Index closed at $4.33 Monday, near its highest price in six months and priced 27 cents below the March contract. DTN's National HRW Index closed at $4.37, also near its highest price in six months.

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

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Todd Hultman