Chicago Close: Corn, Soys Gain on Weather Threat

Corn and soybean futures were both higher on Tuesday as winter-like conditions continued to bear down on portions of the northern and western Midwest.

Snow was expected to begin to accumulate later today in the northern Rockies and shift across the northern Plains during the mid-to late-week period. Significant accumulations of wind-driven snow are forecast for parts of Minnesota, Montana and the Dakotas. Cold air trailing the storm system should result in growing season-ending freezes during the weekend across roughly the northwestern half of the Corn Belt.

The freezing temperatures are a particular concern, given that this year’s U.S. corn and soybean crops are maturing at the slowest pace in the last quarter century. Less than two-thirds of the American corn crop had reached maturity as of Sunday, according to Monday’s USDA crop progress report. Meanwhile, only 72% of the soybean crop was dropping leaves.

The Dakotas have 78% (North Dakota) and 64% (South Dakota) of corn yet to mature. Those two states account for about 17% of this year’s estimated total U.S. production. For soybeans, roughly 18% of the 2019 projected production is in the Dakotas and Minnesota, with some areas expected to see nearly 8 inches of snow.

December corn was up 8 ¾ cents to $3.95 ¾ and march added 7 ½ cents to $4.06 ½. November soybeans were 5 ¼ cents higher at $9.20 ½ and January climbed 5 ¾ cents to $9.35 ¼.

The gains in corn helped to lift wheat today, with additional support coming from the stalled U.S. spring wheat harvest. The crop progress report put the spring wheat harvest at 91% complete as of Sunday, up only 1 point on the week. The coming winter-like weather likely means what’s left in the field won’t be harvested at all. December Chicago wheat was up 11 cents at $5.00 ¼, December Kansas City gained 8 cents to $4.10 ¼ and December Minneapolis was a nickel higher at $5.43 ½.

Live cattle futures ended mixed today. Lean hogs were higher.

Source: DePutter Publishing Ltd.

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