Chicago Close: Strength in Post-USDA Trade

The news wasn’t universally bullish but corn, wheat and soybean futures all showed good tone by ending higher in post USDA trade on Friday.

For soybeans, the USDA raised its 2019 U.S. average yield and production estimates from December, defying trade expectations for a decline. U.S. soybean ending stocks for 2019-20 were left steady from last month at 475 million bu and world ending stocks were increased to 96.67 million. Additionally, this morning’s export sales report showed U.S. soybean sales for the week ended Jan 2 at 358,983 tonnes, well below pre-report trade ideas. Regardless, March soybeans climbed 2 ½ cents to close at $9.46 and November was up 3 ¼ cents at $9.74 ¾.

Similarly, the USDA raised its 2019 U.S. corn yield and production estimates from last month, even as the trade was expecting a downward revision. Corn ending stocks for 2019-20 were trimmed 18 million bu from last month to 1.89 billion bu, but analysts were expecting a deeper cut. The 161,888 tonnes in weekly export sales were much lower than expectations as well. March corn ended 2 ½ cents higher at $3.85 ¾ and new-crop December was 2 ¾ cents higher at $4.02 ¾.

The USDA today reported U.S. winter wheat seeded area for 2020 at 30.8 million acres, down 1% from last year and the second lowest on record, but still about 100,000 acres above the average trade estimate. U.S. and world wheat ending stocks were reduced from last month, although supplies still remain heavy. Like soybeans and corn, weekly export sales for wheat were also considered disappointing. March Chicago wheat was up 2 ¼ cents at $5.64 ½, March Kansas City added 4 ½ cents to $4.94 ¾ and March Minneapolis gained 6 ¼ cents to $5.58 ¼.

Live cattle futures were higher today while lean hogs were mixed.

Source: DePutter Publishing Ltd.

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