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Afternoon Market Recap for June 20, 2018

Choppy markets fight for gains.

Technical bounce saves commodities from another day of losses.

Corn and soybeans prices barely kept their head above water Wednesday, with wheat prices finding a more substantive bounce amid a mostly choppy session. Corn and soybeans ended the day up fractionally, with some wheat contracts climbing 1% to 2%.

Plenty of seasonally cooler weather descends on much of the central U.S. at least through this weekend, with some daytime highs falling 10 degrees or more below normal conditions. The latest cumulative seven-day precipitation forecasts from NOAA show plenty of moisture possible throughout the central Corn Belt between now and next Wednesday, with another 3” or more possible in parts of eastern Nebraska, Iowa and central Illinois during this time.

Wednesday’s headlines failed to puss Wall St. very far in either direction, with the Dow down less than 2 points in afternoon trading to 24,698. U.S. crude oil stockpiles are down, helping lift recently slumping future prices by around 1% Wednesday afternoon. Gasoline and diesel futures posted modest declines, meantime. The U.S. Dollar trended fractionally lower.


Corn prices started lower Wednesday before fighting their way to fractional gains by the close, thanks to a small technical bounce after testing contract lows on Tuesday. July and September futures each added 0.5 cents to close at $3.5425 and $3.6375, respectively.

Corn basis bids are steady to firm Wednesday, gaining 4 to 8 cents at several Midwestern river terminals who are trying to entice additional farmer sales.

EIA’s weekly U.S. ethanol assessment shows output up another 11,000 barrels per day, to 1.06 million daily barrels produced. 

Ahead of Thursday morning’s USDA export report, trade analysts expect the agency to show total soybean sales ranging between 33.4 million and 55.1 million bushels for the week ending June 14. 

Analysts are expecting a slightly bigger South African corn crop for 2018, raising it from estimates of 508.2 million bushels in May to 511.4 million bushels. Domestic consumption is expected to take more than 75% of the total. 

South Korea’s latest purchase of 5.4 million bushels of corn has brought the country’s total purchases to more than 59 million bushels so far in June. Purchases come in the wake of significantly lower commodity prices over the past several weeks.

Grain traveling the nation’s roadways saw a moderate year-over-year jump last week, gaining 6.5% to reach 23,086 carloads. This year’s cumulative volume is just 0.1% below the pace of 2017, at 554,381 carloads.

Preliminary volume estimates were for 336,509 contracts, cooling 56% from Tuesday’s final count of 772,150.


Soybean prices tipped higher after modest losses throughout most of Wednesday morning attracted some bargain buyers. July futures edged up 0.5 cents to $8.8950, while August futures gained 0.25 cents to $8.9450.

 Soybean basis bids were mostly unchanged but mixed Wednesday, with two Midwestern locations trending 5 cents higher while another moved 3 cents lower to properly incentivize farmer sales in those areas. 

Ahead of Thursday morning’s USDA export report, trade analysts expect the agency to show total soybean sales ranging between 14.7 million and 36.7 million bushels for the week ending June 14.

Analysts also expect the agency to report between 50,000 and 300,000 metric tons of soymeal sales last week, plus another 20,000 to 30,000 MT in soyoil sales.

Preliminary volume estimates were for 223,889 contracts, falling to less than half of Tuesday’s final tally of 507,390.


Wheat prices swung higher on what is shaping up to be a tumultuous month, finally reversing some of the losses incurred over the past several sessions. Chicago SRW prices found the biggest bounce, with July futures gaining 10.5 cents to $4.8825. July Kansas City HRW (up 6.5 cents to $4.8950) and July MGEX spring wheat (up 3.25 cents to $5.5225) also trended higher.

Ahead of Thursday morning’s USDA export report, trade analysts expect the agency to show total soybean sales ranging between 9.2 million and 18.4 million bushels for the week ending June 14.

Ukraine’s grain exports have dropped nearly 10% from the same time a year ago. The country’s agriculture ministry estimates Ukraine has exported 617.3 million bushels of wheat and another 685.0 million bushels of corn so far this marketing year.

Bangladesh has issued an international tender to buy 1.8 million bushels of wheat that closes July 3.

 Preliminary volume estimates were for 131,925 CBOT contracts, shifting 45% lower than Tuesday’s final count of 247,000.

Corn Outlook

Soybean Outlook

Wheat Outlook




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