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Morning markets: Weather market drives grains higher


The prospect of hot dry weather conditions affecting the yield prospects of developing corn and soya crops in the US mid-west is firming values, despite the US sitting on record soyabean stocks.

The rise in corn and soybean futures is pulling up US wheat values too. European wheat prices are also firming as Russia and France have downgraded 2019 harvest estimates.

Monday trading saw all three commodities continue to strengthen after Friday’s increases when Chicago corn futures gained 10 cents, soybeans 12 cents and wheat 5 cents over the day.

Early Monday trading saw the September Chicago corn futures rise almost 1% to $4.57 per bushel after Friday’s $4.54¼ per bushel close. The December contract was trading at $4.64¾ per bushel after closing 2.5% up at $4.59¼ per bushel on Friday.


Corn yield estimates falling

“The US crop is looking at a hot dry July, during which a late planted crop is highly vulnerable to stress,” said Benson Quin Commodities. It pointed to satellite data indications that US corn will yield closer to 159.4 bushels/ac against the USDA’s recent 166 bu/ac prediction.

“Market reaction yesterday to the 166 figure would lead us to believe no one is working off that number anymore,” noted the analyst. “A recent pundit poll held that 77% of respondents felt corn will make new highs before the Dec futures go off the board.”

The dry weather could also affect EU corn crops, which “appeared to get nicked by hot dry conditions in June,” observed Benson Quinn. Euronext corn futures for August closed at euro 178 per tonne Friday, with the November position at euro 175.50 per tonne.

Soybean values have also been supported by weather forecasts. As with the US corn crop, a late start this year means the yield prospects of developing crops are more at risk from dry conditions. The CBOT August contract closed at $9.13¼ per bushel Friday, a fifth successive increase, and was trading at $9.15 per bushel early Monday.

The ICE canola contract for November was 0.8% up to Can$451 per tonne on Friday and Paris rapeseed rose to euro 370.25 per tonne.

Three month high for soybeans

“Soybeans in particular lifted, taking prices back to those last seen in April,” commented Tobin Gorey at Commonwealth Bank of Australia. “Canola prices have lifted from recent lows but remain much closer to them.

US wheat futures prices gained on Friday with Chicago’s September contract up 0.3% to $5.23 per bushel and $5.35 per bushel for December. Nearby wheat was $5.29¾ per bushel on Monday morning.

“Chicago prices are nearing levels seen before last February’s meltdown,” noted Mr Gorey. “Kansas remains only about half-way back.”

The Euronext wheat contract was unchanged at euro 178.25 per tonne for September.

Hot weather in the US

Weather forecasts predict higher temperatures over the US midwest this week, with little rainfall expectations. One source sees a high-pressure ridge driving daytime temperatures above 100 degrees with overnight lows in the 80s.

The corn belt is unlikely to see any of the storms and rainfall in the Gulf of Mexico region.

“Market pundits now believe crop conditions for both corn and beans will be moving backwards on Monday’s Crop Progress numbers,” concludes Benson Quinn Commodities.


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