Market Matters Blog

Basis Levels Lower As Harvest Progresses

By Mary Kennedy , DTN Basis Analyst
(DTN chart)


National average soybean basis on Thursday at 47 cents under November futures was down 1 cent from last Friday and is 5 cents lower than the DTN 5-year max average at this time. Soybean basis is pressured as harvest moves ahead with good yields reported so far. December futures dropped 52 cents early in the week, falling to their lowest level since mid-August after USDA estimated September 1 soybean stocks to be 17 million bushels higher than what the trade had expected. The USDA weekly crop progress and condition report also added pressure by reporting soybean conditions improving from one week ago with 53% in good to excellent condition, up 3 percentage points from one week ago. Conditions improved the most in Illinois and Nebraska with Minnesota showing a decline. Basis bids at river terminals remain steady as terminals continue to move beans south for export. Barge freight is mixed from one week ago with Twin Cities and Lower Ohio levels unchanged, Illinois River and St, Louis down 10%, middle Mississippi up 10% and Cairo to Memphis down 50%. River levels remain low while dredging continues in most river corridors. Levels in St. Louis continue to drop and currently are at -1.18 feet. However, forecasts for heavy rains in the upper Midwest could help restore water levels in a few weeks. Until such time, draft restrictions may be imposed by barge lines in the areas where levels are extremely low right now.


National average corn basis on Thursday at 18 cents under December futures was down 11 cents from last Friday and is even with the DTN 5-year max average at this time. Average basis moved lower and cash prices were pressured to start the week with a bearish USDA report. December corn futures dropped to their lowest level in three years after USDA estimated September 1 corn stocks at 824 million bushels, which was above trade expectations of 681 million bushels. However, prices recovered a little at the end of this week with wet weather predicted for much of the Corn Belt possibly delaying harvest over the weekend, especially in the northern states. USDA reported on Monday that harvest is 12% complete versus the 5-year average of 23% with Minnesota, Iowa and Wisconsin behind for this time of year. The percentage of corn maturing last week rose 23% to 60% versus the 5-year average of 70%.

Hard Red Spring Wheat

National average HRS basis on Thursday at 41 cents under Minneapolis December futures was up 1 cent from last Friday and is 31 cents lower than the DTN 5-year max average at this time. The spot milling premiums have been steady most of the week as logistic issues are causing slowdowns in getting contracted wheat to end users. USDA raised spring wheat production estimates to 532 million bushels, showing a record yield of 46.8 bushels per acre. Stats Canada released the production of field crops report as of September and put all wheat production at a record 33 million metric tons, up 22% from the previous estimates. The biggest production increase is in spring wheat, which is expected to rise 27.3%. The average yield of all wheat is expected to be 48 bushels per acre versus 42.6 bushels per acre last year. The protein average in the U.S. so far at 13.6% and Canada's protein average so far at 12.7%, is keeping spring wheat undervalued to HRW. U.S. harvest is 95% completed with Canada at 75% to 80% complete. The late harvested wheat in Canada and the U.S. is reported to be lower quality as recent rains impacted the baking quality of the wheat.



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