Weekly Crop Commentary - 8/4/2023

Aug 04, 2023

Wes Bahan
Vice President, Grain Division

Good afternoon. Hard to believe we are into August already, but here we are. Another volatile week in the grain markets as favorable weather forecasts continue for much of the Midwest. Condition ratings for corn dropped two percentage points for the nation but did get one point better for Ohio. This puts our crop 10 points better than the same week last year. Development is slower than normal as corn in dough stage is 18 points behind last year. Many of us have made comment of this for most of the growing season. Planting really wasn’t that late so maybe the dry weather in late May and June, combined with the smoke from Canada has been more harmful than thought. It seems to be the same story for beans. Blooming and pod setting for us is a week or so behind where we typically are.  We are into the crop forecasting season as the calendar flipped to August. Stone X was the first to come out, and they have corn at 177 bushels per acre and beans at 50.5. This seems to be in line with current USDA forecasts. They have the Ohio corn crop at 190 bushels average and beans at 55 bushels.

If you are holding grain on delayed price, please be careful. Corn harvest in the deep south is under way and moving North daily. Even though we are seeing a big premium for old crop bushels we do have big crop projected. Please keep an eye on this. I know prices aren’t as attractive as they were previously, but they are still much better than what we are looking at for new crop. Have a great weekend.

Haylee VanScoy
Director of Grain Purchasing

Happy August! It’s sure been a rollercoaster the last couple of weeks since we’ve talked. CZ23 corn appears to have found some support around $4.93 after falling through the 20-day moving average on Monday, but struggling to close above $5.00 today. SX23 beans have also took a hard hit losing nearly a $1.00 over the last week and now sitting around the 200-day moving average of $13.34. There is a gap around the $13.75-13.79 range from earlier in the week that I’d keep an eye on. If weather forecasts change and we see an opportunity, don’t be afraid to take advantage of it if you need some more coverage on new crop sales.

There were also some signs of life in bean export demand this week as China and “unknown” destinations purchased some more new crop. As for Russia and Ukraine, the uncertainty continues as attacks on grain infrastructure and port facilities seem to be making headlines every other day. Hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

Will Gase
Grain Merchandiser, Upper Sandusky (Region 2

It’s Friday and the first week of August! Markets today are up slightly across the board but are not even close to taking back what we have lost since Friday’s close a week ago. New crop corn is down 34¢, new crop beans are down 47¢, and new crop wheat is down 47¢, all since Friday’s close.

The past couple of weeks Russia and Ukraine have been bombing each other back and forth as most of you have probably heard about. It almost seems that the market is starting to become numb to these bombing of export facilities, bridges, and ships. It is going to take a serious bombardment or a bombing of a crucial area to move the market like we saw early last week.

I have included two charts below. The first chart shows corn futures for the month of December (Fall Delivery). As you can see, since April we have seen two price spikes this summer and are on the downhill of the second spike. If I was a betting man, I would guess that we will not be seeing a third spike anytime soon, and will likely be on the downturn here for the foreseeable future. There are too many acres planted out there, and from reports around the corn belt it seems that corn yields will be better than the initial reports following the dry spells in June.

The second chart shows November futures for beans (fall delivery). You can certainly tell a difference starting in June once the dryness period formed over the corn belt. Prices continued to go up once planted acres number dropped along with yield. Look for the USDA supply and demand numbers next Friday to be a big indicator on where bean prices will go heading into harvest. Have a great weekend everyone! 

Steve Bricher
Grain Operation Manager, Urbana (Region 3)

It is county fair week here in Champaign County. If you want to talk to anyone this week just go to the fairgrounds and you will find everyone there. I don’t know where the summer is going but we are into August and harvest is not that far down the road.

Corn and soybeans have been getting beat up the last 10 days or so as we have lost 70¢ to almost a 1.00 in these markets. The weather has not been a major issue and Stone X came out with their first survey earlier this week and put the corn crop at 177.0 and soybeans at 50.5. Here in Ohio they pegged the crop at 190 and 55. Those were very close to the numbers I sent in to them. They had both Illinois and Iowa over 200. On corn, for all the talk of weather, I think the crop is going to be good. Missouri is the area having the most problems but they have received some rains in the last week to help their crop out.

We will receive the latest and greatest from the USDA on Thursday, so we will see what that does to the markets. Later in the month we should see crop tours going on, giving us more information.

This crop is moving along but I believe that the corn crop is 10 day to 2 weeks behind normal. When out riding I can still smell corn pollen which means some of this crop is at least 60 days away from maturity. We will need a warm October to help this crop dry down or we will be burning a lot of gas this fall. On a side note, if you have not filled your propane tanks, now is the time as prices are at their lowest levels in many years. 

This my broken record time, old crop grain needs to be sold, the only thing that is going to happen over the next 60 days is the basis is going to work against you. We are around a 1.00 a bushel difference between old and new crop at this point and it is not going to get any better. The consumers of corn and soybeans don’t want anything in their bins when new crop harvest starts, why would you want to carry old crop to new crop at a dollar more a bushel? Yes, there may be some opportunities to get some old crop sold at nice pushes, but as soon as the processor has what he thinks he needs to get to harvest that will disappear.

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