Closing Market Comments July 15, 2021

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Today’s Prices

Grain markets closed mixed today as the markets waits to see if the hot, dry forecast is going to verify for next week and beyond.

Grain Market News

High Temperatures Wed 7-14-21

We’ve been mentioned how near-term weather has been very good and temperatures yesterday no exception. Mostly 80’s across the U.S. corn and bean belt. A few 70’s where it was cloudy and rainy and few 90’s down in KS. But overall, 80’s are quite favorable temperatures for growing corn and bean crops given you have adequate moisture.

14-Day Observed Precipitation

In the near-term many areas have adequate moisture. This map shows rainfall over the past 14 days. Anything yellow, orange, or red indicates precipitation above 2”. Much of IA, southern MN, eastern SD, and eastern NE has seen 2” or more over the last two weeks and they should be sitting in pretty good conditions at this time. Any areas in green have been less than 2”. That would be a concern especially in the drought areas of the northwestern belt and northern Plains. Also, in the southwestern Plains there’s quite a few dry pockets and some drier pockets in the eastern belt. The eastern belt is not as big of a concern because they have better subsoil moisture heading into this minor dry spell. Bottom line, many areas have seen good precipitation and seasonal temperatures over the last week and a half or so. And in those locations, crops should be doing ok at this time.

14-Day Precipitation as % of Normal

The percent of normal precipitation shows those areas that have had less than 2”. MN and portions of the Dakota’s have not had much relief. Portions of the southwestern Plains have not had much relief over the past 2 weeks. These will be the areas that will most quickly see crop stress if the hot, dry conditions do develop as they’re forecasted.

U.S. Radar 7-15-21 at 1pm

The frontal boundary that was up farther towards the northwestern belt produced good rains across SD, southern MN, northern IA yesterday. That front has now pushed farther to the south and east were KS, MO, and IL could be getting better rains today. This frontal boundary pushes farther south tomorrow into the OH Valley and into the Delta. And then by Saturday, it pushed into the southern Delta and deep south. Areas to the north and west of this frontal boundary are pretty much done with rain for a while. There’s not much rain in the forecast for the northwestern belt over the next week possibly two weeks. This is the concern that has had the market on somewhat pins and needles the last few days.

7-Day Precipitation Forecast

Most of the northwestern belt looking dry for the next week with jest a few scattered showers in NE.

6-10 and 8-14 Day Forecast

Unfortunately for the northwestern belt, heat looks to be building in the northwestern belt in the 6-10 and last through the 8-14 day as well. IA and NE look to be above average over the next 2 weeks. Not good news for the northwestern belt as far as precipitation, very dry there and very little rain expected over the next week, possibly two weeks. But also note, precipitation looks to be below normal for almost all of the U.S. corn and bean belt over the next tow weeks. Crops in many areas will be able to withstand maybe a week of warmer, drier weather but not 2-3 weeks.

U.S. Drought Monitor

The U.S. drought monitor which was released today with data through July 13th. The drought conditions are still in place in the northwestern belt. We have gotten some good rains so topsoil is ok in some of the areas of IA, eastern SD, southern MN but it hasn’t been enough to remove the drought and areas in drought conditions would be areas where subsoil moisture is still depleted. The topsoil moisture won’t last as long in the northern and northwestern belt as it will in the eastern belt where subsoil moisture is more plentiful.

U.S. Drought Monitor Class Change

This map shows the drought monitor class change. Areas in green are areas where the drought has improved. Areas in yellow are where drought has gotten worse. Eastern SD, eastern NE, western IA, and portions of southern MN has seen some improvement. But we’ve also seen some deterioration in western MN, southern/southwestern NE, and down into the central Plains.

Grain Market News

Global and U.S. Covid

When we look at global statistics for Covid. Daily cases made a secondary push earlier this year especially in India and then dropped off but is now making a another push up on many of the different variants that are spreading globally. The goods news is that other than a recent spike, deaths still seem to be on the decline and that’s good news. The U.S. has seen a bounce in new cases based on the variants that have been spreading recently. The good news is that deaths have not appear to be increasing and are still on the decline, so some good news there as well.

Baltic Dry Index

This is the Baltic Dry index and it’s a basket of freight weight around the global for transporting bulk commodities like grain. The cost for transporting grains and other dry goods has increased dramatically since Covid a year ago. We’re still nowhere near the transportation costs that were in place in 2008. The spike in 2008 corresponds to the spike in crude oil when crude oil went to $147/barrel. Today’s price at $72/barrels, about half the price of 2008. None the less, transportation costs are rising dramatically. The higher cost for transporting goods somewhat a limiting factor sometimes when we consider global growth. The Baltic dry index is for ocean freight globally and does not include land transportation such as truck or rail.

December Corn Chart

Corn prices look very good from a chart perspective. Today was a consolidation day but still pretty good and the technicals looks pretty good as well. From a chart perspective it still appears that the first objective would be to fill the gap up to $5.73, about 15 cents above where we closed today. If that was broken, the next logically chart point would be $6.14, the highs from about 2-3 weeks ago.

November Soybean Chart

Soybean prices also have turned upward from a short-term perspective and the technicals look pretty good as well. We did make a new high for the move in beans but it was a relatively quiet day as we approach initial overhead resistance close to the $14 level. If prices could break above that the next target would be the highs posted a little over two weeks ago at $14.23.

September KC Wheat Chart

This chart also looks fairly impressive, the short-term trend is up. Technicals have turned up. We are getting close to initial overhead resistance around the $6.50 level. If that would be broken, $6.59 would be the next logical target for September wheat if we could get some additional friendly news.

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