Weekly Crop Commentary - 12/1/2023

Dec 01, 2023

Haylee VanScoy
Director of Grain Purchasing

Hope you all had a great Thanksgiving last week with your families! Welcome to December 1st. We have rolled our cash corn and wheat bids from Dec to March futures. The CZ:CH spread continually widened this week out to a 27c carry at one point before coming back in some to 20c today. This certainly can help cover some of those DP costs. The corn market did see a little pop this week off their recent lows thanks to strong export sales, coming in at 75.9 million bushels, the largest week of sales we’ve seen this marketing year. Additionally, StoneX’s production estimates came out this week for Brazil and they’re pegging the corn crop at 126 MMT, which would be 2 MMT lower than last year and 3 MMT lower than USDA’s current estimate. Aside from the short-term positives, not sure if there’s much other exciting news to build on for corn. We continue to be hovering around the 20-day moving average and I imagine we will continue to stay range bound through the end of the year.

On the bean side of things, global meal values have not been friendly for the soybean market. We’ve also seen some increased chances of precipitation over the next 10 days for parts of Brazil. Beans have continued to back off this week, but I do think we could see some support around the 200-day moving average at 13.21 SF. Overall, these markets are lacking a fundamental story to give us a trend one way or the other, but I encourage you to continue talking with your local merchandiser and discuss your operation’s objectives, so that we can help you execute on those when opportunities arise!

Lou Baughman
Grain Merchandiser, Kenton (Region 1)

Harvest is getting wrapped up. Everyone is happy with their yields but unhappy with the price, putting the locks on their bins to hold out for a decent profit instead of a loss. I really hope it works out for them, because there is not any good news coming from anywhere right now for the corn market. Beans may have a better story as we move forward, time will tell.

Will Gase
Grain Merchandiser, Upper Sandusky (Region 2)

Happy Friday and Happy Holiday season! It is Friday and raining, seems to be a common occurrence this year. Harvest is winding down up North. Beans are 99% done, and corn is north of 90% at this point. Looks like any harvesting this coming week will be done in the mud with rain today, Sunday, and potentially Tuesday as well.

All three commodities had some positivity in the export sales report earlier this week. Corn and beans are both ahead of their expectations so far for this current marketing year. Interesting to note that Mexico (who has generally been the leader in exports every week for corn) was not at the top this week. China came in and bought some and then UNKNOWN destination was listed at the top which also could have been a China or European sale. This will be important to watch as export sales are what drives the corn market the next couple of months.

For those with bins at home. Now is the time to start thinking about prices for this upcoming winter and spring. Corn is hovering around the 4.50-4.60 range and beans are floating north of 13.00 on some days. Get with your local merchandiser if you are interested in putting in target orders or contracted for winter, spring or even Fall of 2024. Thank you and have a great weekend!

Steve Bricher
Grain Operation Manager, Urbana (Region 3)

We are now to December and harvest is still rolling. Most are finished, but the last part of this harvest for corn is going to take some time.

The markets have been all over the place in the last 60 days. We seem like we trade every event that happens around the world. Corn seems to have the biggest problem at this point as there is plenty around and demand is not good. This late large harvest is going to keep pressure on basis here in the eastern Corn Belt. We will have to see what you want to do with corn after the first of the year. I think it is going to take north of 4.75 to get the farmer to head back to his bins and start moving corn.  We will want to keep an eye on new crop values over the winter if we get anywhere near 5.00 for corn next fall that should be a good place to get some sold as we are still looking at a 2 billion bushel carryover going into next fall.

Soybeans seem to have a little more life but that could be a short lived proposition as the market is looking for record total production out of South America. We will have to see what the new president of Argentina gets done as he looks to change monetary policy in that country.

It has been a great harvest and we know bins are full, let’s make sure we are checking them from time to time to be sure we don’t get surprises when we get ready to haul.

Lisa Warne
Grain Merchandiser, Marysville (Region 4)

Happy December! It’s been four weeks since I last wrote, and in that time, there’s been a few million bushels roll across the scales here at Marysville. It’s been a long fall and we’re not even done yet. With all the struggles everyone has experienced, I think the weather is going to be the next hurdle for the last 10% of corn out there. As of last Sunday night, USDA had Ohio’s corn harvest progress at 86%, compared to the US aggregate of 96% complete.

The corn market has felt the harvest supply hit the chain and sunk to a 33-month low earlier this week, with spot corn prices falling below $4. Since then, we’ve seen the futures turn back higher, along with basis improvements, to see cash bids up 30-some cents from their lows. Soybeans saw a few rallies this week on continued dryness and weather concerns in South America during their soybean planting season.

As we near the finish line on harvest, I want to thank you all for your patience and cooperation this fall while we all chugged along to get through harvest together. Have a great weekend!

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