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Market Commentary from the Northern Ag Network: 7/16/2018 3:30 PM
September Chicago wheat closed down 8 1/2 cents and September K.C. wheat was down 7 1/4 cents at $4.84 1/2, still holding above its 2018 low of $4.66 1/2, but having a hard time sustaining any rally without a bullish fundamental argument. July's WASDE report showed crop estimate reductions for all the usual places, from Europe to Australia, but the new production estimate of 736.26 million metric tons (27.1 billion bushels) is still only down 3% from last year's record global harvest. Monday afternoon's Crop Progress report is apt to show winter wheat harvest around 70% or more complete and another high good-to-excellent rating for spring wheat. Speaking of spring wheat, Friday's CFTC data showed noncommercials in Minneapolis wheat bearish, holding 9,412 net-shorts as of July 10, while commercials continue to find value at the lower prices, holding 11,979 net-longs. September Minneapolis wheat is not showing signs of stabilizing yet, but support should be near with commercials finding good value at these cheaper prices. For now, the trends for all three wheat futures remain down. DTN's National SRW index closed at $4.71 Friday, up from a new two-month low and 26 cents below the September contract. DTN's National HRW index closed at $4.75, also up from its lowest prices in two months.
December corn closed up 1/2 cent at $3.55 1/4 Monday, finding slight support near its lowest prices in 2018, but no strong reasons to bid prices significantly higher. After a hot and mostly dry weekend across the Corn Belt, temperatures are expected to be more moderate the next seven days with rain in the Western Corn Belt earlier in the week and over the Eastern Corn Belt later in the week. USDA's Crop Progress report may show a slightly lower good-to-excellent rating for corn on Monday afternoon, but it is still likely to be historically high as crops are doing well overall. On the demand side, USDA said 47.9 million bushels (mb) of corn were inspected for export last week, a bearish showing that has total inspections down 5% in 2017-18 from a year ago and well below USDA's estimate for a 5% increase. Another bearish concern for corn prices is the level of noncommercial bullishness still in the market. Friday's CFTC data showed noncommercials reluctantly cutting net longs, from 148,352 to 109,320 as of July 10 -- positions that continue to lose money and encourage more selling. So far, the trend remains down for December corn. DTN's National Corn Index closed at $3.10 Friday, near its lowest price in 2018 and 31 cents below the September contract. In outside markets, the September U.S. dollar index is down 0.20 and August crude oil is down $2.82 with unconfirmed talk that Russia may supply more oil, if needed.
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