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Grain Comments: 12-20-2023

Good morning.

Ag markets have been mostly quiet in overnight trade. Corn futures have a 1 1/2 cent trading range and are currently up a penny. Soybean futures are up 2-6 cents and have only traded in a 5-7 cent range. And the Chi wheat market is unchanged to down 1, with a 5-6 cent range. Products firmer, bean meal is up $1/ton and bean oil are up about 5 points. Outside markets mixed, crude oil up $1/barrel, the Dow Jones index is down 70-80 points, and the US$ index is unchanged.

Trade continues to focus on coming South American rainfall and what actual gauge readings are in the next 3-4 days.

Overnight reports of rain are non-existent, but models continue to advertise upwards of 2″ by the weekend. Soybean prices are almost entirely a product of the coming weather.

SF/SH is trading another 3 cents firmer this morning, bringing its gains over the last 3 days to 10+ cents. Strength coming from good exports over the past couple of weeks.

Cash corn markets have become lethargic, as Central IL bids have been unable to move higher than $4.85 or lower than $4.70 in the last 30 days. Both producers and end users have gone into wait-and-see mode on the coming South American weather.

Crude oil futures are again adding premium due to tensions in the Red Sea. Iran-backed Houthi rebels continue to attack commercial vessels in response to Israel’s attacks on the Gaza Strip.

Stock markets are headed for a strong close to the year, as the Dow Jones index again posted new highs yesterday. March futures closed at 37931 yesterday, another new high close.

Today’s weekly ethanol production report is expected to show less production than last month, with the avg guess being 1.067 mil b/d. Stocks are seen marginally lower at 22.098 mil bbl vs 22.1 mil last week.

Mexican poultry farmers called on their government to intervene following the closure of 2 rail bridges in Texas. Roughly 25% of Mexico’s annual corn imports, and 63% of its annual soybean paste imports move through these crossings. The union also warned production of chicken and eggs could be effected.

In the US weather, temperatures are seen remaining above normal for the next 10 days. Good rains have been seen in the Southern Plains and Delta, with more forecast for this coming weekend.

Have a great day!

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