Dec 19 corn futures closed up ¼ cent at $3.68 ¾, down 2 ½ from last Friday’s close. Dec 20 corn futures closed down 1 ½ at $3.92 ½, down 3 ¼ for the week. Jan 20 soybean futures closed down 4 cents at $8.97, down over 21 cents for the week. Nov 20 soybeans closed down 2 ¾ cents at $9.425, down almost 11 cents for the week.
Corn harvest progress in the U.S. was estimated at 76% complete as of Sunday, vs. the 5-year average of 92%. Iowa is estimated to be 77% complete vs. the 93% average. Corn exports this week came in at a bit more than 25 million bushels, which is a marketing-year high. We are also now “on par” with the Black Sea Region as far as competitive pricing of exports. Looking at ethanol production, it increased for the 8th straight week at 304 million gallons. However, we are still behind last year’s pace and the weekly number will need to average 310 million to hit the USDA estimate for the year. The possibility of a 5 million-acre bump in corn acres for 2020 continues to loom in the back of traders' minds. It may be a little early to be concerned but could put downward pressure on the corn market when we approach planting season.
Soybeans continue to lose ground this week, though exports remain strong at 56.3 million bushels. This is the 2nd largest weekly total for the crop year and puts us 12% ahead of the same time last year. On an indirect note, palm oil hit a new contract high and that could eventually contribute to a rally in the soybean market. We continue to see speculation and concern over U.S. and China negotiations. It is believed that we are still moving closer to completing a Phase 1 deal, though no specifics have been released.
Markets will trade normal hours on Wednesday, November 27th. They will be closed Thursday, November 28th for Thanksgiving and will trade 8:30 am to 12:05 pm on Friday, November 29th.