Closing Market Comments May 18, 2021

Today’s Prices

Grain markets finished mixed for the second day in a row as there is a little bit of news for bulls and bears keeping prices mixed.

Grain Market News

U.S. Corn Planting Progress

We’ve gotten off to a good start with corn planting in most areas and we’re now 80% planted as of mid-May. Interesting to compare that with 2 years ago when we were 30% planted and 2019 was the year with a tremendous amount of prevent plant acres.

Weekly Corn Planting Progress

Three weeks ago we planted 29% of the crop, 2 weeks ago we planted 21% and last week we plant 13% of the crop and that goes up to 80% planted. That leaves 20% to go. If we planted 10% next week, and then 6% the following and 4% after that and we’d be completed by the first week of June.

U.S. Soybean Planting Progress

Soybean planting progress shows we are 61%. That’s the best we’ve been for this time of year in about 12 years. It’s also worth noting 2 years ago we were just 19% planted compared to 61% this year. Again, we’re getting off to a very good start with U.S. planting.

Winter Wheat Crop Condition

The U.S. winter wheat crop fell by 1% from 49% to 48% G/E. But it’s still a crop that is rated pretty much in the middle. Pretty average rated crop. No where close to the high rating years but also not close to the low end of the range. Again, a pretty average wheat crop at this time and the Wheat Quality Council tour began today so we’ll start to hear reports on what they’re seeing in the field.

NOPA Soybean Crush

Yesterday the April NOPA soybean crush report was released yesterday and came in with 160.3 mb, down 6.7% from last year. It was seen as somewhat disappointing as it was about 8 mb below what the trade was expecting. Year to date crush is up 1.3%, virtually right on USDA’s estimate. We believe the demand is out there for soybean products, it’s just whether soybean crushers can find adequate supply of beans to allow our crush somewhere close to where we were last year during the final 4 months of the marketing year.

Grain Market News

7-Day Precipitation Forecast

You can see the 1-2” rains in ND and adjacent areas of MN, SD, MT, and the southern Canadian Prairie. Portions of IA, southern MN, southern SD, and NE may only see 0.25-0.75” and although that will be helpful it will certainly won’t help end the drought conditions in portions of the northwestern belt.

6-10 and 8-14 Day Forecast

The forecast is mostly non-threatening with above normal temperatures in the 6-10 and 8-14 day forecast and mostly above precipitation in the 6-10 and 8-14 day forecast. The forecast does look pretty good and that is limiting the upside potential in the grain markets right now.

July Corn Chart

Corn prices tested the spike low at $6.29 by trading down to $6.33 yesterday. Now they’re bounce a little bit with overhead resistance at $6.84 on the nearby July chart.

Weekly Corn Chart

This chart is a weekly chart and shows the nearby contract so our high prices so far this spring was $7.75. That was prior to the May contract expiring. After the May contract expired July corn traded down to about $6.33 and therefore, on a weekly chart we’ve had a $1.42 setback. The setbacks we had earlier in the year were 50 cents and 49 cents. This is fairly typically. If we look at 2010 rally that took place. Early in rally we had setbacks of 74 cents and 99 cents but as prices got higher we saw setbacks of $1.26 and $1.24 so what we’re seeing right now is fairly typically for a big market pushing towards all-time highs.

July Soybean Chart

Soybean prices have pulled back off the highs posted last week and today we did posted below chart support at $15.74 but we turned around and closed right at that current level of $15.74. If we break below the next level of major chart support would be $14.90. If we would break back above, overhead resistance at $16.67 is the contract high. The market is watching weather to determine where the next significant move will be.

Weekly Soybean Chart

Soybean prices posted a high of $16.77. The market is clearly in a big up move but we’re getting fairly high prices. We’re getting close to the all-time highs that were posted back in 2012 at $17.94. It will be weather that will determine whether we can challenge or take out those all-time highs. Right now the weather looks pretty good but we’re only in the middle of May.

July KC Wheat Chart

Wheat prices have had a fairly significant correction of about a dollar but technical indicators are now getting into the oversold range. This is no place to be making sales. We would not be surprised to see wheat getting back into that consolidation area between $6.80 and $7.20 at some point as we move through May and into June.

Weekly Wheat Chart

Prices posted a high of $7.34. We closed today at $6.47 so down about 85 cents from the contract highs. You’ll also note, we are not challenging the highs in the mid to upper $9 range and that’s because wheat supplies are more plentiful than corn or beans. Wheat supplies are shrinking in the U.S. and if corn and beans rally, wheat will have no problem following along and challenging its previous high at some point if the corn and bean markets can see a summer rally.