Ag Market View for Dec 1.23


Prices closed $.02 – $.03 higher in a choppy, volatile session.  Next resistance for Mch-24 corn is the 50 day MA at $4.94 ½.  Yesterday’s export sales were a MY high and well above expectations.  While there were no new sale announcements this AM, US corn remains priced well below SA supplies thru Feb-24.  The BAGE reported the Argentine crop is 32% planted, vs. 25% YA however below the historical average of 36%.  They kept their production forecast unchanged at 55 mmt, (same as USDA) along with acres at 7.1 mil. HA.  Oddly enough however, crop conditions dropped 3% to 26% G/E.  Ukraine’s corn exports since July 1st have reached 6.2 mmt, down 36% from YA.  Corn used in the production of ethanol rose 7% in Oct-23 to 461.5 mil. bu.  This nearly 10 mil. bu. above expectations while up 3% from Oct-22.  In the first 2 months of the 2023/24 MY corn usage is up 7.2% from YA, vs. the USDA forecast of up 3%. 

QST Corn futures chart for 12.1.23
QST Soybean futures chart for 12.1.23


The soybean complex was lower across the board as prices made new lows into the close.  Beans were down $.13 – $.18, meal was $7 – $17 lower, while oil was down 60 – 90.  Jan-24 soybean rally attempts above $13.50 earlier this week all stalled out.  Prices traded back to Monday’s low of $13.23 ½ before settling very near its 50 day MA.  Jan-24 soybean meal fell to a 4 week low however held support at its 50 day MA at $411.90.  Beneficial moisture is still expected to spread across WC and NC growing regions of Brazil late this weekend into the middle part of next week.  NE growing areas in Bahia likely to see little if any rain causing further crop stress.  Still too wet across Southern Brazil while Argentina continues to benefit from a good mix of rain and sunshine.  The USDA announced sales of 198k mt (7.2 mil. bu.) of soybeans to unknown and 132k mt (4.8 mil. bu.) to China.  Biodiesel and RD production rose 2% in Sept-23 to a record 420 mil. gallons and was up 42.4% from Sept-22.  Bean oil usage rose to 1.207 bil. lbs. in Sept, still below the record usage of 1.273 bil. in July-23.  BO usage over the last 5 months has leveled off at just over 1.20 bil. lbs. per month.  Annualized that comes to 14.45 bil. lbs., well above the current USDA 2023/24 MY forecast of only 12.80 bil. gallons.  Unless all the new capacity that comes on line uses another feedstock source and the existing facilities throttle back on bean oil usage as a feed stock, the current USDA forecast is way too low.  The BAGE reported the Argentine crop is 44% planted, vs. 30% YA.  They kept their production forecast unchanged at 50 mmt vs. the USDA forecast of 48 mmt.  Census crush in Oct-23 reached a new all-time record at just over 201 mil. bu. up from 175 mil. in Sept-23 and up 2.4% from Oct-22.  In the first 2 months of the 2023/24 MY crush has reached a record 376 mil. bu. up 3.2% from YA, vs. the USDA forecast of up 4%.  Soybean oil stocks fell to only 1.507 bil. lbs., below the range of estimates and the lowest in a decade.

QST Wheat futures chart for 12.1.23

all charts provided by QST


Prices were slightly higher across all 3 classes with Chicago up $.04 – $.07 while KC and MGEX were up $.01 – $.03.  Mch-24 Chicago has traded back above the $6 level for the first time in over 2 weeks.  Next resistance is at $6.22.  Mch-24 KC held just below resistance at $6.50.  The BAGE reports Argentine wheat harvest has reached 36% up 10% from the previous week and well above the 23% pace from YA.  They kept production unchanged at 14.7 mmt, however suggested production could move higher.  Stats Canada is out Monday with their Dec-23 production update.  The Ave. est. is just over 30 mmt, vs. 29.8 mmt in Aug-23 and below YA production at 34.33 mmt.  Ukraine’s wheat exports since July have reached 5.9 mmt, down 14% from YA.   

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