Today, March corn closed down 6 ½ cents at $3.87 ¼, 2 cents off from last Friday’s close. December corn closed down 5 cents at $3.98 ¼, down 4 ½ cents week-on-week. March soybeans closed down 7 ½ cents at $9.02, down 27 ¾ cents for the week. November soybeans closed down 8 ½ cents at $9.38 ¾, 21 ¾ cents lower than last Friday’s close.
Both the corn and soybean markets experienced overall downward pressure for the week. US corn continues to be the cheapest option in the world for the time being, partially supported by dryness concerns in Argentina that have drove prices higher. Corn has also been following the wheat market’s price increases, touching back to supply concerns in Australia. As a result, we also saw corn follow wheat down to end the week. Ethanol production fell last week to 309 million gallons, off from the 314 million gallon we saw the week before. Low farmer selling has put some strength in corn basis, further concerning the ethanol industry. Corn exports were at 13.6 million bushels last week, well below the range of expectations and the 3rd lowest number for these first 20 weeks of the marketing year.
While US corn has enjoyed being the cheapest option, the same cannot be said for US soybeans. Pressure from a strong production number out of Brazil’s harvest has not made it easy on the soybean market this week. Coupled with increasing concerns about the spread of the new strain of coronavirus out of China, and soybeans have fallen a long way from the strength they showed pre-Phase 1 signing. It’s possible the Chinese buyers are in a “wait and see” mode ahead of their Lunar New Year, and ahead of when their purchase obligations for US ag products will take effect in February.
Warmer temperatures but snowy weather seem to be on the agenda for this weekend. Stay safe and be prepared if you are traveling.