Wheat Continues to Run Into Stiff European Competition
By Kirk Maltais
-- Wheat for December delivery fell 1% to $4.77 1/2 a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade on Wednesday, with Russian and French wheat still cheaper than U.S. wheat offerings.
-- Soybeans for November delivery fell 0.6% to $8.66 1/2 a bushel.
-- Corn for December delivery fell 0.4% to $3.60 a bushel.
Overseas Competition: Wheat prices overseas continue to stunt demand for U.S. product. This is in reaction to the French agricultural authority raising its wheat production forecast to 39.5 million metric tons -- the second-largest total on record.
As a result, Russian and French wheat both have reduced prices, said AgResource. "World grain markets still reflect abundant near-term supplies," said the firm.
Corn Support: Stronger-than-expected results from this week's ethanol statistics released by the EIA caused corn futures to eat some losses from earlier in the day. Ethanol inventories have dropped by 1.302 million barrels this week, the EIA said. It is the third such drop in the past four weeks, and places overall inventories at 22.499 million barrels. Meanwhile, ethanol production rose by 10,000 barrels per day to 1.023 million barrels.
Slight Change: Slight moves are expected from Thursday's WASDE report from the USDA. Analysts surveyed by The Wall Street Journal expect corn yields to drop to 166.7 bushels per acre, down nearly three bushels from 169.5 bushels per acre last month.
Soybean yield is expected to be 1.3 bushels off of last month's estimate of 48.5 bushels per acre, and production is expected to be down for both crops.
Traders aren't bullish about the report's effect on futures this month.
"It is difficult to look forward to it with anything but a jaundiced eye," said Dan Hueber of the Hueber Report.
Tariff Apathy: A relaxation of higher Chinese tariffs on certain U.S. goods ahead of a new round of trade talks in October -- including lubricants, and alfalfa meal -- didn't energize trader hopes for a soon-to-come trade deal between the two nations. Even reports from Chinese news services stating that China plans to buy more U.S. agricultural goods had no effect on futures movement either overnight or during Wednesday's trading session.
Good Day Sunshine: Warm temperatures expected across the Midwest next week are expected to aid the final stages of growth for U.S. crops that are as much as one month behind schedule -- good news for farmers, but not supportive for higher prices.
"There is no viable risk of frost damage in the next 10 days," says World Weather Inc. "Temperatures will be warm during the coming week which should help to stimulate faster crop development."
Grains futures have fallen in reaction to the new weather reports.
-- The USDA is scheduled to release its latest weekly export sales numbers at 8:30 a.m. EDT Thursday.
-- The USDA is scheduled to release its World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimate report at noon EDT Thursday.
Write to Kirk Maltais at firstname.lastname@example.org