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Morning Commentary

Good morning,

The CBOT will open at 8:30 today with no overnight markets.

Corn prices seem stuck in a rut. The old-crop MAR19 contract has basically traded between $3.70 and $3.90 per bushel since the end of September or beginning of October. We briefly closed sub-$3.70 on two occasions, only once during that time frame have we closed above $3.90, which was back in mid-October. Bears continue to argue that some holes are being shot in the demand story as ethanol plants are struggling with margins and U.S. exporters are looking at stiffer competition in the days ahead. Bears are also pointing to huge rebound in production for South America and the thought that U.S. producer will be planting more corn acres in 2019. Bulls are hoping rumors of Chinese buying U.S. corn and ethanol will eventually come to fruition and that weather hiccups in South America will limit talk of record production.

Soybean prices have moved very little during the holidays. The MAR19 contract continues to trade in the $8.80 to $9.20 range as traders wait to find out more details and confirmation of Chinese buying. Keep in mind, we are in the dark a bit because of the partial U.S. government shutdown, not getting daily and weekly export confirmation reports from the USDA. If we compare new-crop prices to last year at this time, they seem to be running about -40 to -60 cents lower depending on location and basis. The new-crop NOV19 contract is basically trading in the middle of it’s lifetime range, which is between $8.65 and $10.15 per bushel.

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