Friday, March 1, 2024
Closing Markets: Corn: -5 old & -4 new. Beans: +11 old & +7 new. Wheat: -19.
Market Recap:
Markets finished the week mixed at the CBOT. Grains were significantly lower, while the soybean complex was mostly higher. The Biden administration failed to announce anything of note on SAF/ethanol/the GREET model in Houston today but did say they would be finalizing revisions "in the coming weeks."
Products were mixed, May bean meal was up $3.10/ton at 332.30, while May bean oil was down 5 points at 45.16. Livestock markets saw strong closes across the board to wrap up the week; April live cattle were $3.10 higher at 188.45, April feeders were $4.27 higher at 258.00, and April hogs were up $1.45 at 88.07. Hogs had an outside day higher. Outside markets are mostly higher, crude oil futures are up $1.40-1.70/bbl., the Dow Jones index is up 75 points, and the US$ index is down 30 points. Crude oil traded above $80 today for the first time since November.
Spreads were firmer to end the week, corn spreads were a half cent to a penny and a half stronger, while soybean spreads were generally 4-8 cents higher. CH/CK closed at -12 1/2, while SH/SK closed -8 1/4.
For the week: May corn futures were 11 1/4 higher; December corn futures were 9 3/4 higher; May soybeans were 9 1/2 higher; November soybeans were 9 1/2 higher; and May wheat was 11 1/4 lower. Corn closed higher 4 out 5 trading days this week but did not trade above last week's high of 4.34. May soybeans only had a 33-cent trading range this week.
Traders took profit on long corn positions heading into the weekend on Friday, while a measure of short covering was seen in the soybeans. Volume was relatively light, as most of the cash related business involving March expiration was completed yesterday. It's hard to say, but we estimate maybe half of the March basis contracts got priced, and the other half got rolled. Farmer is still holding on to a good amount of corn. Wheat futures traded sharply lower to end the week, with traders attributing this mostly to a fall in global prices. Paris wheat futures traded their lowest levels since 2020 early this morning. There was also cash-related selling, as longs got out of the way of delivery potential.
Soybean news included a pair of private production revisions for South America on Friday. Stone X raised their estimate of Brazil's soy crop from 150.35 mmt's, to 151.5 mmt's, citing an improvement in climate which has benefited the later planted crops. They did not make any changes to exports or domestic consumption. Ag Resource Co. also updated their estimate for Brazil today, lowering it from 145.4 mmt's, to 143.9 mmt's. The group also lowered their estimate of the corn crop in Brazil from 119.7 mmt's, to 114.9 mmt's. The group cited harvested yield and producer survey data as the reasons for their adjustments.
Other soybean news included this afternoon USDA Fats and Oils report for January. The report showed soybeans crushed in January totaled 5.84 mil tons, which was 1.9% more than Jan 2023. Soy oil production was seen at 2.29 billion lbs., which was 1.6% higher than last year. Oil stocks were seen at 1.54 billion lbs., which was down 23% from last year.
This afternoon's COT report showed managed money traders shed some shorts from their corn position in the week ended February 27th. They were seen short a combined 295,258 contracts of futures and options contracts. This was a reduction in nearly 45,000 contracts from last week. Managed money was seen short 160,653 contracts of soybeans futures/options, an increase of nearly 25,000 from last week. Some of the reduction in the corn position could likely be attributed to March option expiration.
In soft markets, cotton futures traded limit down Friday after trading sharply higher earlier in the week. Fires look to persist in Texas/Oklahoma into next week, but profits were taken into the weekend.
EIA data out Thursday showed US production of oil and gas reached a new seasonal record in December. Total production of crude oil and condensates increased to 413 mil bbl., up from 376 mil in the same month of 2022. On a per-day basis, production was up 10% from last year. Despite this increase in production, WTI crude oil futures are trading slightly higher than a year ago.
Several rounds of rain/storms are forecast for this weekend and early next week for Northern Argentina into Southern Brazil. Rain in the North become more scattered in nature over the next two weeks. Long term forecasts are showing a return to more normal rainfall beyond the middle of March.
US Northwest and parts of California are expected to see snowfall of up to 12+" in some places over the weekend, as a blizzard moves in. Temps in the Midwest again rise to potentially record setting levels over the weekend before this low-pressure system makes its way through the country.
Have a great evening!
Chelsey White
Emery Manager & Originator:: Topflight Grain Cooperative, Inc.
593 Emery Rd :: Maroa, IL 61756
Phone:: 217-794-2240
This material should be construed as market commentary, merely observing economic, political and/or market conditions, and not intended to refer to any trading strategy, promotional element or quality of service provided by Topflight Grain Cooperative, Inc. Topflight Grain is not responsible for any redistribution of this material by third parties, or any trading decisions taken by persons not intended to view this material. Information contained herein was obtained from sources believed to be reliable but is not guaranteed as to its accuracy. Contact Topflight Grains designated personnel for specific trading advice to meet your trading preferences. These materials represent the opinions and viewpoints of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the viewpoints and trading strategies employed by Topflight Grain Cooperative, Inc.

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