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Market Commentary from the Northern Ag Network: 12/15/2017 3:00 PM
It is difficult to say what grain traders were doing Friday, but buying and selling grains was not at the top of their lists as corn, soybeans, and winter wheat all posted tiny changes for the day with not much volume. Talk of an improving economy helped the March U.S. dollar index trade higher while most commodities other than grains also traded higher.
March Chicago wheat closed unchanged Friday and was down 3/4 cent on the week, hanging on to the slight benefit prices received from Thursday's drier looking U.S. Drought Monitor. The seven-day forecast remains mostly dry up and down the western U.S. Plains and that will be an important factor if conditions haven't improved by spring, but for now it remains difficult to shake this market out of its bearish mood while U.S. wheat supplies remains plentiful and U.S. exports are at a trickle. Adding to the trickle, USDA said earlier Friday 4.8 million bushels (130,000 mt) of SRW wheat were sold to unknown destinations for 2017-18. The more interesting game in the wheat market this winter will be to see if noncommercials get so bearish at these cheap prices that they set themselves up for a short-covering rally. For now, winter wheat has no significant bullish argument and the trend remains down. DTN's National SRW index closed at $3.80 Thursday, priced 38 cents below the March contract and up from its lowest price in seven months. DTN's National HRW index closed at $3.63, holding firmly sideways for over three months.
March corn finished a penny lower Friday and was down just over a nickel on the week, showing no ability yet to hold a gain while traders remain focused on big corn supplies and a lack of exports. At 8 a.m. CST, USDA did have news that 5.3 million bushels (134,503 mt) of U.S. corn were sold to Costa Rica for 2017-18 and corn did trade higher early, but it is going to take more than that to shake off corn's post-harvest blues. Fortunately, for corn prices, USDA is expecting 5% production increases for beef and pork in 2018 and ethanol production is near record levels. U.S. corn exports should have a better chance by February when South America's corn exports typically fall off. For now, the trend in March corn remains down with noncommercials bearish and commercials offering contrary support.
Ag Center – Cattle Report
Livestock Marketing Information Center
Kansas State – AgManager.info
North Dakota State – Livestock Economics
University of Missouri – Farm Marketing