- The corn market saw some end-of-the-week profit taking, as it faded off the top end of the Thursday price range. December corn closed 2 ¾ cents lower but finished the week with a small 1 ¼ cent gain.
- The USDA released weekly export sales on Friday morning. Corn sales last week were above expectations at 910,000 mt (35.8 mb) and 87,400 mt (3.4 mb) for 2024-25. Total sales commitments for 23/24 are at 602 mb, up 14% from last year’s levels, but still behind the pace needed to reach the USDA export target of 2.025 billion bushels.
- A strong move higher in crude oil prices helped limit corn selling pressure. Ethanol margins remain positive and have been helping support the corn market.
- On Thursday, the USDA lowered expected corn yield to 173.0 bushels/acre and reduced corn carryout 2.111 billion bushels for the 23/24 marketing year. The friendly report has corn prices challenging resistance over top prices at 498 ¾. This is a key technical barrier and if broken could allow prices to push higher on short covering.
- Harvest pressure limits the market’s upside. Rainfall across the Corn Belt on Friday likely limited harvest progress on Friday. Last week, the corn harvest was 34% complete, and that number should push higher with a strong harvest pace in the front half of the week. The next harvest pace number will be released in Monday’s USDA Crop Progress report.
- Soybeans ended the day lower following a higher start due to likely end-of-week profit taking and some weakness in soybean meal. Soybean oil closed higher thanks to big gains in crude oil. For the week, November soybeans gained 14-1/4 cents, December meal gained 17.90, and soybean oil lost 0.97.
- The big bullish news of the week was the WASDE report which saw the national yield at just 49.6 bpa, down from the USDA’s last guess of 50.1 bpa. Ending stocks remained at a very tight 220 mb, and world ending stocks fell much further than anticipated. If exports increase through the end of the year, the soybean market could be poised to rally.
- Today’s export sales report was very supportive, with soybean sales at 1.057 mmt, above the upper end of trade estimates, and total soy exports at 1.44 mmt. In addition, daily sales totaling 117,300 mt of soybeans were reported for delivery to unknown destinations for 23/24, and 100,000 mt of soybean cake and meal were reported for delivery to unknown destinations for 23/24.
- With soybeans out of the PNW becoming more competitive, China appears to have stepped up its U.S. purchases. Offers out of the PNW are reportedly 30 cents cheaper than Brazilian offers for November and with Brazil’s soybean supplies running low, now is the window for the U.S. to increase exports.
- Overall wheat had a mixed close today. Chicago futures finished higher alongside Matif wheat, however, Minneapolis and KC contracts posted losses. This may be a delayed reaction to yesterday’s report which wasn’t necessarily bullish for wheat on the U.S. numbers alone. However, the reduction in global production is lending a helping hand to the market.
- The USDA reported an increase of 24.0 mb of wheat export sales for 23/24, but last week’s shipments at 12.6 mb were behind the 13.8 mb per week pace needed to meet the USDA’s 23/24 export goal of 700 mb.
- This morning, private exporters reported sales of 181,000 mt of U.S. SRW wheat for delivery to China during the 23/24 marketing year. This is the second recent sale to China, suggesting that U.S. wheat has become more competitive on the global market.
- The USDA left the Russian wheat crop unchanged at 85 mmt despite some higher private estimates, and they also kept Argentina’s production unchanged at 16.5 mmt in the face of a 14.8 mmt estimate by the Rosario Grain Exchange. This is also despite the growing concern over drought in that region. Interestingly, the USDA did reduce Australia’s crop for the same reason – drought.
- December Chicago wheat today closed above the 21-day moving average for the first time since the end of July. From a technical perspective, this may indicate that wheat has a near-term bottom in place.
- Ukraine’s grain harvest is said to have reached 31% complete with 35.6 mmt of grain collected. Of that total, 22.2 mmt is said to be wheat. Elsewhere, the French soft wheat crop is said to be 17% planted as of October 9th, up from 3% last week, but behind last year’s pace of 19%.
- Spot butter fell again, marking 4 of the last 5 sessions lower, a 14 cent drop in that time frame, while spot powder has maintained its upward trajectory, closing higher for the 6th straight session.
- Spot cheese has crept higher or unchanged for 7 straight sessions, settling above the 100 day moving average, spot whey also carrying upward momentum with 9 straight sessions higher/unchanged.
- Milk markets have benefited from the active spot trade as both Class III and IV futures have seen the 2nd month and 2024 averages move higher this past week.
- Regional cheese reports show mixed signals, solid, but not spectacular demand, decent inventories and production, enough spot milk (still positive basis), and optimism around upcoming holiday orders.
- Cattle price bounced off support levels to work slightly higher, while unrest in the Middle East has driven energy markets up.
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