Weekly Crop Commentary - 12/15/2023
Dec 15, 2023
Director of Grain Purchasing
Exporters saw a glimmer of excitement this week with flash sales of beans. But aside from that and a promising announcement from the Biden administration, the markets remained largely quiet. Unfortunately, that is typical this time of year. We’ll likely continue to see this market trade sideways until we get into the first of the year.
With harvest pretty well wrapped up across the state, I’d like to say a special thank you to our Heritage grain team for their hard work and long hours to make this fall another successful season. We also would like to thank you, our customers, for choosing Heritage as your partner of choice. We wish you and your families a wonderful holiday season!
Grain Merchandiser, Upper Sandusky (Region 2)
Happy Friday and Happy Holiday season! 10 days until Christmas and it does not look like it is going to be a white Christmas this time around. The word of the week is sideways trade. As I am writing this corn and beans have only moved a penny or two one way or the other compared to a week ago for both old crop and for 2024 crop. Wheat has dropped about 6-7¢ for old and new so that also has been relatively quiet. There is not a whole lot of new out there, positive or negative, that is affecting the market. Harvest is pretty much over here in the United States, outside of coring bins and a little bit of cash-flow for bills, farmers are waiting until the New Year to do any hauling and selling. The world market has also been relatively quiet for this past week. Although late, Brazil has their crop in the ground and we are now in the wait-and-see timeline of whether the crop was planted too late or if it will yield above average.
Although it is still December it might not be a bad idea to start thinking about the 2024 crop. Take a look at profitability for your operations and see what prices have to be to at least earn profit. On the corn side of things, we are about 25¢ away from 5.00 corn. That is not a bad place to start and might be wise to get some orders in and working at those levels. For the bean side of things, while we are only at 12.30-ish, I think there is room to grow and think setting some target orders for beans would be wise as well. Hope everyone enjoys the Holiday season and have a great weekend!
Grain Operation Manager, Urbana (Region 3)
Another quiet week for the grain markets. When you don’t have a major weather story or a supply issue you see this kind of market action. Harvest is complete, for the most part, as the last few customers are finishing up their corn. It has been a very good harvest and bins are full.
Now the question is, when do I start selling what I have in the bins? The market is showing good carry clear until June or July, but does it more than offset the cost of money? We will see some bounces through the winter but I do not expect any major price movement unless we see a major sale to China or we start seeing major weather problems in South America.
We will get final harvest numbers in January and the planting intentions in March. It could be a quiet winter for the grain markets so you need to get targets in that will work with what we are seeing in the market today. Also, it is not too early to start looking at next year as we have harvest corn prices for 2024 at better values than we see today.
Grain Merchandiser, Marysville (Region 4)
Good afternoon! The market is mostly in a sideways pattern while we await the January 12th USDA report. Corn has traded in a tight 10¢ range this week, with a lack of news to move it much in either direction. With local basis improvements, our cash corn bid is nearly a dime better than last week’s close. Soybeans have also traded within an approximate 2% range, 32¢ higher Monday, but losing 28 of that on Tuesday and Wednesday. Beans are also looking to end the week up from last Friday’s close.
As the last couple of customers get finished in the field, it’s about time for those of you with grain in the bin to consider getting the centers cored. With as wet as the corn was this year, we’ll want to make sure everything dried uniformly, and quality doesn’t become a problem down the road.
While you’re working on your year-end paperwork, I’d like to point out that you can download a list of your scale tickets with details into an Excel format from the Heritage Portal in the Grain > Scale Tickets section. You can access the Portal through our app or online using a computer. Please let us know if you need any assistance! Have a great weekend and a Merry Christmas if we don’t talk between now and then.