Tag Archives: corn


At the end end of the week markets are feeling risk adverse, but not completely risk off. For the equities and outside market the dim shimmer of stimulus hope continues to shine. Mid week there were strong rumors that the Treasury department and Democratic leaders in the house were close to a deal on another round of stimulus. President Trump has even came around to the idea of a big aid package, but the senate is still wanting to try and keep things tight for the balance sheet. Which they may not be wrong in thinking that way. Currently the US debt load sits around $27.1 trillion dollars. While the Federal Reserves balance sheet sits close to $7.2 trillion dollars. That leaves a big question up to the FED of if and when a stimulus package gets passed should it increase its bond buying program to create demand for the extra debt needed to fund any stimulus program created by Congress.

Back to the top of the summary again the market feels risk adverse, but not risk off. The VIX volatility index commonly called Wall Street’s fear factor has not breached 30 throughout the week. Safe haven assets have also had mixed performance, with the dollar lower and Gold almost unchanged. The yield on the 10 year treasury has also been rising to nearly 0.9%. This all shows that investors are looking for the right investment and are not comfortable taking large risks at the current time. That could be well founded given the highly debated election that is 2 weeks away.

In the grain complex end of the week may see the dam that has been holding back the bears finally give way. Thursday saw the wheat complex break down on poor export sales and moisture forecasted in several key wheat area’s of the world. While wheat was breaking soybeans overcame their technical resistance of $10.80 on the November contract. If more momentum enters the complex soybeans could look to test $11. The big IF here is will it needs wheat support to try and move higher from here. Mike Zuzolo, Global Commodity Analytics, takes this question on in his midday commentary on Thursday available at the bottom of the page. Meanwhile corn is content to continue chugging towards it’s target of $4.20 on the December contract. Corn export sales and shipments are Thursday were solid at nearly 2 MMT of sales and almost 1 MMT of physical exports. Interesting to note Japan was also the largest buyer last week of US corn.

Other important items occurring in the grain complex is the fact that harvest is rolling along at a brisk pace. On Monday the latest crop progress data showed that 60% of the US corn crop has been picked and 75% of the beans cut. The next two weeks will be critical to watch how far harvest can progress with cold and wet descending on the Northern plains and Eastern corn belt. In South America the wet season may finally be getting started. Soybean plantings are rolling right with the rains now 32% complete in Brazil. The thing to keep in mind with the delayed plantings in South America is that it will delay harvest and may keep US soybeans in the market for a few more weeks at the beginning of the year.

Other factors helping US grains at least is a friendly currency market. The US Dollar Index is testing recent lows this week. The Chinese Yuan and Russian Ruble have  been able to experience a recent run up given the weakness in the dollar.

USDA’s export sale terminal fired up on Monday announcing two flash sales. The first 345,000 MT of corn sold to unknown and the second 123,000 MT of corn sold to Mexico. Tuesday unknown destinations purchased 132,000 MT of soybeans. Wednesday the flash sale terminal was silent. Thursday the USDA was busy again with flash sales of 152,404 MT of soybeans sold to Mexico, 132,000 MT of soybeans sold to unknown, and 130,000 MT of white wheat sold to South Korea. Friday unknown destinations purchased 100,000 MT of corn.

In the livestock complex down is the word, no matter the fundamentals it seems. Cattle started the selling early in the week. Then feeder cattle attempted to come back on Wednesday. Thursday sellers established themselves once again and moved the market lower. Export sales were solid for beef up 62% week to week. China also made it’s way to the 2nd biggest buyer of US beef at 3,700 MT. Pork net sales disappointed unchanged week to week, but down 35% on the 4 week average. China was also noticeably absent in the us pork export sales.

Demand for pork is still strong though with the noon carcass cutout on Thursday reporting $100+ carcass and nearly $200 bellies. Boxed beef on the other hand remains in an almost sideways pattern.

Friday the October cattle on feed report will drop. Ahead of the report few traders are showing much concern expecting the report to be neutral.

With cattle futures moving into risk off mode cattle feeders focused on basis started to move cattle early in the week. Monday saw light trade develop in the South at $106, $2 lower than the prior week’s weighted averages. A few scattered deals were reported in parts of the North at $165 to $166, $2.50 to $3.50 lower than last week’s weighted average basis Nebraska. Tuesday and Wednesday saw another round of trade develop at $106 live $163-$165 dressed. Thursday and Friday the country was quiet with no bids from packers. Business appeared to conclude ealry in the week.

The Fed Cattle Exchange Auction today listed a total of 1,096 head, of which 702 actually sold, 394 head were listed as unsold, and none were listed as PO (Passed Offer). The state by state breakdown looks like this: KS 184 total head (1 lot), with all 184 head sold at $106.50; NE 394 total head (2 lots), with none sold; TX 518 total head (3 lots), with all 518 head sold at $106.25 to $106.50. The delivery date/weighted averages breakdown is as listed: 1-9 day delivery: 558 head total, of which all sold, with a weighted average price of $106.50; 1-17 day delivery 538 head total, of which 144 head sold, with a weighted average price of $106.25.

For the week ending October 10, 2020, Imported Beef Passed for Entry in the U.S. totaled 37,136, 87.18% of the previous week and 90.73% of the 4-week average.

Expected Slaughter numbers Friday


116,000 hd today 118,000 hd wk ago 109,311 hd yr ago


51,000 hd Sat. 57,000 hd wk ago 58,992 hd yr ago


488,000 hd today 487,000 hd wk ago 479,720 hd yr ago


239,000 hd today 266,000 hd wk ago 252,614 hd yr ago

Midday Carcass Value Friday


Choice up 0.11 208.97

Select up 1.02 192.10

C/S Spread  16.87

Loads  75


Carcass dn 0.11 98.73

Bellies dn 10.98 163.36

Loads 187

Grain Settlements

  • Corn dn 2 1/2 up 3
  • Soybeans dn 1/4 up 10
  • Chicago Wht up 4 3/4 – 10
  • Kansas City Wht up 7 – 9 1/2

Livestock Settlements

  • Live Cattle dn 0.60 up 0.10
  • Feeder Cattle dn 0.77  up 0.07
  • Lean Hogs dn 0.32 up 0.82
  • Class III Milk up 0.07 – 0.75

Pre-Opening Market Broker Commentary

Ed Dugan, Top Third Ag Marketing, discusses overnight grains and what the trade may see today. Grains look to open higher with rumors that China is expanding import quotas.

Jerry Stowell, Country Futures,  looks at what may impact the livestock futures today. Livestock could open either direction on Friday.

Mike Zuzolo, Global Commodity Analytics, takes a look at the midday trade. Wheat is the leader to the topside as Chicago wheat makes bullish technical moves.

John Payne, Daniel’s Ag Marketing, takes a closer look at today’s grain close.  Payne is bullish grains as demand continues strong.

Jack Fenske, York Commodities, looks at the closing market numbers. Ag commodities may have established highs until 2021.

  • Cash market weakness coming out of the north
  • Are the cattle to big?
  • What is behind the strength in the soybeans
  • Will soybean prices continue to grow?
  • Why are corn prices going up?
  • Wheat continues to see dryness global
  • Sum it up its weather & China
  • Ethanol report out on Wednesday saw production tick lower
  • Not endorsing one candidate over the other how does Nov 4th play into mkts
  • Election risks
  • Could there be an influx of dairy on the cattle market with current milk prices?


  • Continuation of the status quo
  • Many wondering where the stock is in China
  • Will their buying keep up in the short term?
  • Harvest progress is moving along quickly
  • South America forecast is getting better
  • Black Sea region is still tough
  • Basis in the country
  • Is the down trend in the cattle going to turn around?
  • How is cash holding up?
  • COF on Friday


  • Wheat is the most confusing market right now
  • Light buyer support for soybeans
  • Dry weather concerns
  • Corn isn’t really expensive…yet beans have some good value
  • Cattle had some struggles in the trade, falling off the cliff today
  • Make sure you remember what kind of year this is-does that set the stage for 2021
  • Does the downtrend in cattle set the tone for cash this week?


Fall row crop harvest continues at break neck speed across the country. Corn and soybean harvest if continued uninterrupted could have most farmers done by thanksgiving. However the quick harvest pace is a double edge sword as the dry conditions making it possible are also continuing to dry up available soil moisture, and grass quality in pastures.

In a break down of the NASS crop progress report for the week of October 19 the national corn harvest is now 60% complete. Up 19% from the prior week. Meaning if that pace continues corn harvest could be at 98%-99% in two weeks. In the state break down most states are over the half way mark for corn harvest. Iowa has harvested 65% of their corn crop. A far cry from the 13% they had harvested this time last year. Kansas has harvested 76% of their corn crop and Nebraska has harvested 58% of it’s corn crop.

While most other fall crops have concluded their weekly condition rating corn is still receiving a rating. Nationwide the corn crop is rated 61% good to excellent. That is unchanged week to week. Nebraska corn fell 4% to 59% good to excellent. Kansas corn remained unchanged week to week at 59% good to excellent. Iowa gained 3% to 47% good to excellent, but Illinois cancelled those gains out dropping 3% to 65% good to excellent.

Soybean harvest is about 15% ahead of corn harvest now 75% complete across the country. Iowa (90%) and Nebraska (92%)  are just behind the state with the most soybean harvest complete. Louisiana at 93%.  Kansas is further behind these other states at 64% complete, but was able to gain 24% harvest completion week to week.

Given it’s strong cash market sorghum harvest has really kicked into gear with 63% of the nations sorghum crop in the bin. That is 12% ahead of the five year average. Nebraska has harvested 60% of it’s sorghum crop, up from 31% last week. Kansas has harvested 49% of the state’s sorghum crop, up from last week’s 30%.

Soybeans and sorghum no longer have a weekly rating from NASS.

Winter wheat seeding continues to push on and is almost done. Nationwide 77% of the winter wheat has been seeded. With states across the great plains essentially done. Kansas is 84% planted, Colorado 98%, Nebraska 72% and South Dakota at 71% planted. All of these are within a few points of their five year average.

Despite the dry most states are seeing strong emergence of the winter wheat. 51% of the national crop has emerged. 71% of the South Dakota crop has emerged. 61% of the Kansas winter wheat crop has emerged. 68% of the Colorado winter wheat crop has emerged and 72% of the Nebraska winter wheat crop has emerged.

The final pages of the report really detail how short moisture is becoming across much of the country. Pasture and range condition in Kansas fell 5% to 27% good, 0% excellent. Nebraska pasture fell 21% to just 15% good, 0% excellent.

Topsoil moisture fell 7% in both Kansas (21%) and Nebraska (20%)  adequate to surplus. Subsoil moisture than fell 8% in both Kansas and Nebraska, to 31% and 28% adequate to surplus.

You can read the full report here:


Clay Patton has the audio recap of the report here:

The Energy Information Administration says U.S. ethanol production hit its highest level in five weeks, while inventories reached the largest number seen since the end of August.

Ethanol output in the seven days before October ninth averaged 937,000 barrels a day, up from 923,000 the previous week. The EIA says it’s also the most ethanol production since September fourth. The Midwest, which far and away produces the most ethanol in the country, reached an output of 900,000 barrels of ethanol a day, up from an average of 881,000 barrels, and was the region’s highest output since late July.

East coast production jumped to an average of 10,000 barrels a day, up from 6,000 the previous week. Rocky Mountain output was unchanged from the prior week, producing an average of 10,000 barrels a day. Gulf Coast production took the biggest dive from the previous week, coming in at an average of 9,000 barrels per day after averaging 17,000 barrels a day, with the drop likely due to the effects of Hurricane Delta.

The EIA also says inventories increased last week to 20 million barrels. That’s up from 19.6 million barrels the week prior and the largest amount of ethanol in storage since late August.

Grains end mixed on Friday, but Troy Nielson with Smart Yield looks at the week’s trade. Overall corn and soybeans continue to hold record prices given the seasonality of harvest. This could give farmers a chance to sell grain into a strong market, but there is the lingering question of basis. Nielson looks at basis and the spreads to help explain what the current market is encouraging farmers to do.

Nielson also reflects on last week’s WASDE report and some of the data that may have been overlooked in the wild ride immediately following the report.

Catch the full episode here:

Grains continue to move higher being lead Thursday by wheat. Corn has almost all of it’s 2020/2021 contracts above the $4 mark. Soybeans continue to see strong soybean demand. Jeff Peterson, Heartland Farm Partners, discusses the fundamentals of what continues to drive the grain market higher. Of course with a market that doesn’t seem to want to stop has producers asking questions of what to do about selling into the cash market.

Peterson also addresses tough questions about China and the role their current strong demand is playing into this current market. Part of that discussion includes keying in on why the early week export inspections may be more important now than the weekly export sales report.

Cath the full conversation with Peterson here:

  • Fundamental news is bullish
  • Funds position on the December cattle-risk off attitude
  • Election still has a “hold” on the markets
  • Why are cash bids so low?
  • Is the stock market worried about the election?
  • Seeing a decline in the grade…does that mean we are getting current?
  • How are weights?
  • Fund liquidation vs. good fundamentals
  • Hogs…continue to have export news to China
  • Tech picture on the hogs looks good
  • Hogs vs. cattle in the trade
  • Oct hogs go off the board tomorrow
  • Farmers selling beans…did it happen to soon?
  • Grain summary is China.
  • Harvest clips along