April 24, 2015
Corn closed at a 5-month low on Friday and lower for the week as Midwest planting should accelerate next week as forecasts show drier weather then and through early May.
Soybeans finished lower as Brazil's soybean exports should not be disrupted by a truck strike. Wheat futures tumbled, with Kansas City's hard red winter setting contract lows, as rain in the central and southern Plains should improve the crop.
Outside markets were mixed. The Dow Jones industrials were about 15 points higher helped by good earnings from Amazon, Google and Microsoft.. Crude oil was down about 50 cents a barrel, gold was off $17.70 an ounce and the dollar was down for the third day.
Corn dropped 6 to 7 cents a bushel, with May posting the lowest close for a lead month since November, on fund selling as Midwest farmers may finally get some dry weather to plant the crop.
The National Weather Service's 6- to 10-day forecast shows a dry pattern for the Midwest beginning next week that should allow corn planting to progress. In addition, the forecasts now show increased chances for normal to above-normal temperatures, a change from earlier this week when they favored below-normal temperatures then.
A longer term forecast showed dry conditions lasting through the first week of May.
The USDA crop progress report on Monday should show planting up from last week's 9%. A year ago, the five-year average for that date was 28% planted.
Bird flu in U.S. poultry flocks continues to hang over the market as millions of birds have been destroyed. Jim Sumner, president of USA Poultry and Egg Export Council told Farm Futures on Friday the outbreaks are "like nothing we have ever experienced before."
Argentina added to the bearish news this week by saying it was ramping up corn exports. USDA estimates Argentina's corn harvest at 24 million metric tons, up 500,000 from its previous forecast but down from the previous crop's 26 million.
CBOT estimated Friday's futures volume at 422,245 compared with Thursday's actual of 499,178. A Reuters poll said funds sold a net 12,000 contracts, the largest so far this month.
May corn closed down 6-1/4 cents at $3.64-1/2 per bushel and July dropped 7 to $3.69-3/4. New-crop December was off 6-1/4 at $3.88-1/4.
What to Look For – Drier weather should arrive late next week and last through the first week of May. Planting progress in Monday's USDA report will be watched. A year ago 19% of the crop was planted then and the five-year average was 28%.
Soybeans closed lower for the day, but finished up one tick for the week.
News the Brazilian truck strike lacked broad participation sidelined soybean buyers in Chicago who thought a strong and widespread strike could slow Brazilian soybean export.
The weakened truck strike, the bird flu cases, big soybean harvests in South America and end-of–the week positioning combined to take soybeans down.
Technically, the actively traded July for the second straight day fell short of testing resistance at the 50-day average near $9.87. The contract finished well under the 100- and 200-day averages.
Light soybean planting occurred in parts of Iowa this week, but farmers largely focused on corn. USDA will add soybean planting progress in next week's weekly crop progress summary.
May soybeans settled down 8-1/2 cents at $9.69-3/4 per bushel and July fell 9-1/4 to $9.70-3/4. New-crop November dropped 9 to $9.52-1/2.
CBOT estimated Friday's soybean volume at 177,473, compared with Thursday's actual of 244,771. Funds sold an estimated 5,000 contracts.
What to Look For – The first soybean planting report of the season lands on Monday. A year ago 3% were planted and five-year average was at 4%.
Wheat futures closed lower, pressured by the lower corn and soybeans and by improved moisture in the Plains wheat areas.
Contract lows were set in all of the Kansas City hard red winter wheat months, while SRW's July came within 3 cents of its contract low
Traders likely will expect some improvement from last week's 42% good to excellent rating for wheat and in Kansas' 26% good to excellent.
Estimated volume in Chicago's soft red winter wheat on Friday was 95,847, compared with Thursday's actual of 116,269.
May SRW closed down 11-3/4 cents at $4.86 per bushel and July fell 12-3/4 to $4.88-1/2.
Kansas City's May HRW dropped 14-1/4 to $5.02-1/4 and July fell 14-1/2 to $5.07-1/2.
Spring wheat for May fell 10-1/4 at $5.35 and July dropped 10 to $5.45-1/4.
What to Look For – The latest crop condition ratings come out after Monday's close and traders will look to see if there was enough rain to help hard red winter wheat.
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