- Corn futures rallied off session lows to finish with marginal gains on Friday. March corn gained 2 cents on the session. For the week, March corn settled 1 ½ cents over last week’s close and 13 ½ cents off the lows for this week.
- Weakness in the soybean market and crude oil market in the afternoon limited the corn rally. Soybeans are staying focused on South American weather, which has some rainfall potential for the weekend into next week. Argentina weather stays improved, the prospects of a “normal” corn and soybean crop next spring limits the corn market’s ability to rally.
- December corn is now in the delivery period. There were “zero” deliveries against the December futures on Thursday, but 221 contract on Friday. The delivered bushels and retendering of those bushels provided the weakness in the morning trade.
- Funds are still carrying a sizable bearish bet on corn futures with an estimated net short of 200,000 contracts. The improved technical picture with this week’s strength and jump in demand could have the funds squaring positions into the end of the year, supporting a limited price rally.
- South American weather will stay a focus of the grain markets going into December and the end of the year. The prospects of further soybean planting delays will push second-crop corn planting back even further. The current South American weather could potentially be a larger corn story in late spring and summer.
- Soybeans ended the day lower with pressure from sharply lower soybean meal as traders prepare for an influx of Argentinian meal now that their weather forecasts have turned more favorable. Soybean oil ended the day slightly lower but has held up relatively well compared to meal.
- This week held more positive news for export demand with the USDA reporting an increase of 69.6 mb of soybean export sales in 23/24 last week and big export shipments of 54.3 mb. In addition, two large private sales were reported this morning with one to China in the amount of 132,000 mt and one to unknown in the amount of 198,000 mt. Both were for the 23/24 marketing year.
- Tight US ending stocks and strong demand both domestically and for exports have been a key factor in keeping soybean futures elevated, but South American weather is looking like less of a problem now, and large combined production between Brazil and Argentina could pressure prices in the coming months.
- Thanks to strong cash markets, there have been no deliveries against the December contracts for either soybean meal or oil. Crush margins also remain firm despite some recent weakness in the soy products. Soybean oil has a good outlook with renewable fuel production in September reportedly record large and 43% higher than the previous year.
- The wheat market managed another positive close for all three US classes. Paris milling wheat also finished on a positive note. Support also stemming from possible short covering on oversold conditions, and a lower US Dollar Index.
- There are rumors that France has sold 2.5 mmt of wheat to China for December through March. For the week ending November 23, China was the top buyer of US wheat, purchasing 197,300 tons.
- It is possible that China may be buying wheat for their reserves since there is similar talk in the corn market, that China may purchase 30-40 mmt, whereas the USDA is looking for 23 mmt. These purchases may be due to political tension, but the reasoning remains unclear.
- Stats Canada will release their next update on December 4. Pre-report estimates peg wheat production at 0.7% higher for 2023 versus Stats Canada’s previous forecast. The average guess is for 30.03 mmt of production, with 29.30 mmt on the low end and 30.90 mmt on the high end.
- The Buenos Aires Grain Exchange kept their 23/24 wheat production estimate unchanged at 14.7 mmt, versus 12.2 mmt last year, and they stated that the harvest has advanced to 36.4% complete from 26.4%.
- Spot cheese was lower once again with blocks falling 2 cents while barrels climbed a penny to close at $1.5200/lb. Spot whey gained a quarter-cent to close right at $0.40/lb.
- Class III futures gained back some losses heading into the weekend. The January and February contracts saw a gain of 12 cents each, while the 2024 average gained 3 cents to close at $17.97.
- Class IV futures were steady to lower with the February contract losing the most at 5 cents. The 2024 average went unchanged at $19.58/cwt.
- Spot butter was unchanged on the day closing out the week at $2.6550/lb which is up 15.50 cents from last week.
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