After the Bell: Soybeans Racing Higher

Posted on Thu, 09/17/2020 - 15:02

Corn: Corn futures traded in a wide, two-sided trading range today before settling high-range with gains of ½ cent to 3 ½ cents. Ongoing signs of strong and building demand for U.S. corn put bulls in control of the corn market today, with the move to new highs for the week triggering some technically based purchases. Strong gains in nearby soybean futures added to positive attitudes. purchases. Strong gains in nearby soybean futures added to positive attitudes. USDA today reported the U.S. sold more than 1.609 MMT of corn the week ending Sept. 10, with “unknown” and China each accounting for around 360,000 MT of those purchases.

Soybeans: November soybean futures rose 17 1/4 cents to close at $10.28 1/2 today and set another record high. December soybean meal futures hit a more-than-two-year high today and closed up $9.60 at $335.30. December bean oil fell 5 points to close at 34.86 cents. The bull market runs in soybeans, meal and bean oil are gaining steam, which is attracting the interest of more and more speculators who like to play the long side of the markets. Declining U.S. soybean crop ratings and strong Chinese purchases of U.S. soybeans continue to fuel the futures rallies. USDA reported impressive weekly U.S. soybean export sales of 2.457 MMT for 2020-21, with China accounting for 1.487 MMT of those buys. Sales were near the upper end of expectations. Exports were also strong at 1.733 MMT, with China again as the main recipient.

Wheat: December SRW wheat futures closed up 14 ¼ cents at $5.56 1/4 today and near the daily high. December HRW wheat futures gained 12 1/2 cents at $4.87 1/2 and closed at a 3.5-month high close today. Spring wheat futures rallied 8 ¾ cents to close at $5.61 ½. The wheat futures markets latched onto the coattails of solid gains in corn and soybean futures today, as those markets continue their solid bull runs. Fundamental reasons for the wheat markets’ rallies are limited.

Cotton: Futures faced pressure for most of the day and the market settled on or near session lows with losses ranging from 16 to 62 points. Cotton futures delivered a pretty disappointing day of trade considering some positive demand news. USDA announced 519,600 running bales (RB) of cotton were sold for 2020-21 delivery the week ending Sept. 10, with China accounting for 440,100 RB of those deliveries. Alan Barrett, director of research and consulting at HigbyBarrett, said he believed this was the largest weekly sale since the U.S.’s Step 2 program was eliminated in 2006. But actual exports of 187,900 RB were down 38% from the prior four-week average.

Hogs: October lean hog futures prices rose $1.30 to close at $66.525 today, while December hogs gained $1.65 at $63.625. Prices closed nearer the daily highs. The lean hog futures bulls may be making a “save” late this week, what with today’s solid gains that are keeping a price uptrend alive on the daily chart. Good gains again Friday would put the bulls right back in the technical driver’s seat, after a dreadful start to the trading week. Wednesday, it appeared the lean hog market’s runup in response to the arrival of African swine fever in Germany had run its course. However, the futures market today responded very favorably to impressive weekly U.S. pork export sales.

Cattle: Live and feeder cattle futures faced light to moderate pressure for much of the day and finished similarly. Live cattle posted losses of 7 ½ to 62 ½ cents in all but the front-month, which edged out a 5-cent gain. Feeder cattle posted losses of 50 cents to $1.325 through the May contract. Some cash cattle trade got underway yesterday on the Plains and in Iowa at $104, with some additional action at similar levels reportedly underway today. But while that’s an improvement from last week’s action that generated an average price around $101, it is still at a premium to where futures are trading, thus triggering some profit-taking.