Grain Notes 4/18/19 PM Comments

For the corn and soybean markets, today was the last trading day for the week.  There was not much excitement as corn was fractionally mixed and beans were 1-2 cents higher.  Export sales for corn were above expectations which supported corn to start the day, but favorable planting weather going into a 3 day weekend did not help support prices out of a narrow trading range.  It was a poor showing for soybean exports but much of the price damage was already done earlier in the week as prices rebounded from being 3-4 cents lower at one time today.  President Trump speculated a resolution to the US/China trade deal could come in late May to early June.    

May corn has first support at the contract low of $3.55 ¼, followed by the March 2019 contract low of $3.52 ¾.  Resistance is  at $3.64 ¼  and then $3.75. For the week corn was down 2 ½ cents.

May beans has support at $8.71 ½, then $8.53.  Resistance is at $9.02 and then $9.07 ¼.  The contract low of $8.53 set last September may eventually be a downside target.  For the week beans were down 15 cents.

A reminder that the markets will be closed tomorrow and trade will resume at 7:00 pm Sunday night.

  • US corn exports were reported at 948,000 metric tons which was above trade expectations of 850 million metric tons.  The number was below 1.092 million metric tons reported for the same week a year ago.  Total export sales commitments are running 4.6 million metric tons (181 million bushels) behind last year.  
  • Some good news on trade was that the WTO ruled China's use of tariff-rate quotas for corn, wheat and rice were against WTO rules and were limiting US access to Chinese markets.  It likely does not change anything regarding US exports to China.
  • Weekly soybean exports were dismal at only 382,000 metric tons compared to 1.04 million metric tons a year ago.  Export commitments for soybeans are now 9.7 million metric tons (356 million bushels) behind last year.  At the current export pace it implies USDA is currently over-stating their year end export projection by 150 million bushels for the 2018/19 crop year. 
  • A line of heavy thunderstorms extended from Texas to Illinois this morning dropping up to 2.5" of rain in some areas of the south and eastern corn belt.  The system will continue to move through the east tomorrow, otherwise, rain chances through the latter half of next week will be modest for the corn belt, with a warming trend expected as well.
  • There were expectations earlier in the week that China would buy a big chunk of US beans this week due to the optimism of a trade deal getting hashed out in May/early June.  It was rumored China was asking for US offers but nothing was reported to have been purchased.