Grain prices closed mixed today amid a choppy day of trade.
May corn continued higher closing in on the $8.00 benchmark. May corn closed 6 ¾ cents higher at $7.90 ¼. December corn closed a half cent higher at $7.35 ¼.
May soybean futures gained 6 cents, while the November contract closed 4 cents lower.
Wheat futures closed lower. CBOT wheat was down 17 cents. KC wheat was down 20 cents, and Minneapolis May was down 16 cents.
For the week, May corn closed up 21 cents with the December contract closing 16 cents higher. May soybeans closed down 7 cents with November soybeans closing up 6 cents. Wheat futures closed 16 to 45 cents higher.
In outside markets, crude oil is $2.30 per barrel higher.
Livestock futures closed mixed. June hogs closed up 87 cents. June cattle closed down 45 cents, and May feeder cattle closed down 17 cents.
At this hour, the U.S. stock market is mixed with the Dow up 56 points and S& P 500 down 28 points.
Looking ahead to the grain trade next week, I will be watching:
1. developments in the war in Ukraine,
2. the short- and long-term weather model updates for U.S. and Brazil, and
3. the USDA weekly Crop Progress report on Monday.
Midday Comments: 11:30 a.m.
Corn prices continue to march higher with May corn moving up to test the $8.00 benchmark. December corn is again moving to new contract highs.
Soybeans are mixed with old crop higher, and new crop slightly lower.
Wheat prices are under pressure. Wheat exports were disappointing this morning, and the forecast is for much-needed rain to hit the Southern Plains next week.
At this hour, May corn has had an 11¢ trading range and is currently up 5¢. December corn was lower most of the morning but is now 2¢ higher.
May soybeans have had a 22¢ trading range and are currently up 2¢. November soybeans are 4¢ lower. Wheat futures are lower, with CBOT wheat down 3¢. KC wheat is down 5¢, and Minneapolis wheat is 1¢ higher.
I am impressed the bull spreads keep working in corn and soybeans and even with these high prices we do not yet see any demand destruction. For wheat, is the slowdown in export a signal that high prices are starting to cut demand?
The trade will watch closely for any changes in the weather forecasts over the weekend, and what the USDA indicates in the weekly Crop Progress report next Monday.
In outside markets, crude oil is down $1.33 per barrel. The U.S. stock market is mixed to lower, and livestock futures are lower.
Opening Comments: 9 a.m.
After trading higher last night, prices are now slightly lower.
At this time, July and December corn are both down 1¢. July soybeans are down 6¢, and November soybeans are down 9¢. Winter wheat futures are down 7¢ to 9¢, while Minneapolis wheat is 1¢ higher. Trade volume is less than usual ahead of the Good Friday holiday.
The weekly USDA Export Sales report showed corn exports about as expected at 52.5 million bushels. For the time of year, this is a great number. Soybean exports came in close to trade estimates at 20.2 million bushels, and wheat exports were very disappointing at just 3.5 million bushels. Wheat exports are struggling because of the high value of the U.S. dollar and high shipping costs.
Yesterday, I wrote that I will be watching the spreads today between May and July corn and May and July soybeans. The bull spreads are working, which is a good sign for higher prices.
In outside markets, crude oil is down $1.30 per barrel. The U.S. stock market is slightly higher. The U.S. dollar index is up 66 points, and livestock futures are all slightly lower.