Market Commentary  12/17/18 3:01:05 PM Printer Friendly VersionPrinter Friendly Version

Monday, December 17, 2018


Corn futures finished weaker today despite firmer markets in neighboring beans and wheat. The commitment of trader’s report from Friday seemed to keep a lid on corn prices today. The report showed the corn funds to be net long nearly 95,000 contracts of futures and options combined, which was a bigger net long position than thought. This limited the new buying and short covering today. Corn inspections totaled 34.8 Mln. bu. Total inspections now stand at 629 Mln. bu., well ahead of last year’s total of 363.8 Mln. bu. Inspections need to average 48.8 Mln. bu. to meet the USDA goal. The wheat market was firmer again today on whether worries in a couple of different spots. Argentina is wet, which is raising concerns about wheat quality there. Cash premiums for wheat in Argentina are said to be firming. The Black Sea region is expected to get bitter cold, which raises the prospects for winter kill. It is being rumored that China will buy U.S. corn as part of the pending trade deal. China’s balance sheet looks very bearish, so the purchases are expected to be light if they happen at all. The FED will be meeting to discuss interest rates on Tues and Wed. It is expected that they will raise the key rate by ¼ point. The U.S. Government needs to pass a spending bill this week to prevent a shutdown. The Farm Bill is expected to be signed this week.


Soybean futures closed 4 cents today as the trade continues to cover shorts ahead of what is expected to be more Chinese bean business. The announced totals have been about 1.4 MMT of U.S. beans bought by China. Cash sources continue to think the recent amount was closer to 2.5 MMT, with rumors circulating that it could be double that when all is said and done. There were no daily export announcements today. Bean inspections totaled 35.8 Mln. bu., just below the average needed of 36.3 Mln. bu. Total inspections for this marketing year stand at 557.0 Mln. bu., a far cry from the 951.5 Mln. bu. a year ago. NOPA crush for November totaled 166.96 Mln. bu. This total was a record for the month of November but did fall 1 to 2 Mln. bu. below expectations. The commitment of traders’ report from Friday showed the funds still net short about 11,000 contracts. This net short total is about 50,000 contracts less than two weeks ago. Support for Jan. beans remains near $9.00.
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