Weekly Market Recap August 23, 2019

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Corn lost about 3 cents Friday with September futures ending the day at $3.59 3/4, down 11 1/4 for the week. 

December futures end the day at $3.67 3/4, down 13 for the week. 

Soybeans lost about 12 today, with November futures ending the day at $8.56 1/2, down 23 1/4 for the week. 

The big story this week was the Pro Farmer Crop Tour. They released their U.S. yield and production estimates after the close of the Board today. They are calling for a 13.358 billion bushel corn crop sing 163.3 bu. per acre. This compares to the USDA at 13.9 billion using 169.5 bu./acre.

For soybeans, Pro Farmer is estimating a 3.497 billion bushel crop, using 46.1 bu./acre, while USDA is estimating 3.68 billion bushels using 48.5 bu./acre yield. Throughout the week, we really did not see the Pro Farmer Crop Tour rally that we’ve seen in the past. Looking at some of their data for Iowa and Minnesota kind of helps put this in perspective, at least for corn: 

For the state of Iowa, Pro Farmer is showing about a 3% decrease in corn yields from last year. USDA is also showing a 3% decrease year on year. In Minnesota, they are showing a 5% decrease in corn yields, and USDA is also showing a 5% decrease. While there are a lot of people that want to use the Pro Farmer numbers instead of the USDA’s, the big take away is that most traders look at the percentage change instead of the just the underlying raw data. The bottom line is that Pro Farmer found what the trade expected. For soybeans, their findings were a little off from USDA info. In Iowa, they are showing a 6% decrease from last year, while USDA is showing a 4% decrease. In Minnesota, Pro Farmer is calling for a 12% decrease while USDA is estimating a 9% decrease. 

Some other factors negatively impacting trade recently include: 

  • China is considering more retaliatory tariffs
  • President Trump made the news this morning with a barrage of tweets about how the U.S. doesn’t need China
  • Export sales for Old Crop and New Crop corn were below market expectations
  • Strength in the U.S. dollar is making U.S. corn more uncompetitive
  • Continued weakness in the ethanol industry 
  • Potential for increased corn acres in the U.S. next spring
  • Ongoing discussions with Japan for a trade deal have not produced an agreement 
  • G-7 Economic Summit starts this weekend

About the only item that could positively impact prices quickly is some sort of widespread weather issue like flooding, hail or an early freeze. At this point, it feels like most would rather not hope for anything like that. We’re in that camp as well. Let’s get the crops harvested and then hope for positive news at a later date, instead of hoping for widespread bad weather. There will be some other private crop tours over the next couple of weeks. They won’t be watched nearly as closely as the Pro Farmer Tour, but they may provide a little more insight. 

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