April 17, 2015
Morning Price Trends
Corn: Down 1
Soybeans: Steady to up 1
Grain futures are mixed this morning, in a mostly quiet overnight trade, despite more volatility in outside markets and a lot of weather news.
Corn prices are a little lower, after trading in very narrow ranges for most of the overnight session. Large old crop stocks continue to weigh on prices, but a wet start to the season has raised a few concerns about planting delays. Much of growing region received only light rain this week, though that could be about to change.
Storms continuing across the central Plains this morning should move slowly east over the weekend, bringing three-quarters of an inch to much of the Corn Belt, according to the latest predictions for the next week. A few areas, including most of North Dakota and Wisconsin, and northern Illinois, should receive lesser amounts, part of a drying trend spread across the upper Midwest in 6- to 10-day and 8- to 14-day outlooks out yesterday.
Export Sales out Thursday totaled 24.3 million bushels, above trade guesses, but shipments remain below the rate needed weekly to reach USDA's forecast for the marketing year.
The preliminary report from the CBOT showed daily futures volume down 53% on Thursday to 251,216 as a drop of almost 60% in May-July spread trade thinned activity. Open interest was up 4,718 on flat trade from funds. Options volume was off 12% at 56,691 and 63% of the trades were for puts as traders liquidated puts and opened new calls.
Overseas prices today were mixed today. September futures on the Dalian exchange in China rose 8.6 cents to $10.314 while June corn in Paris morning trade was off 4.1 cents to $4.462, after conversions to bushels and adjustments for currency valuations.
Bottom line: The market's focus is trying to turn to weather, and as long as much of the Midwest stays wet, prices won't fall apart. But large old crop carryout won't go away, and farmers are ready to plant enough acres to meet demand with only average yields, keeping stocks burdensome and prices low. For more, see my Weekly Corn Review. For specific recommendations and daily charts, subscribe to our free E-newsletter, Farm Futures Daily.