Corn futures are 6 to 7 cents lower at midday Thursday; soybean futures are 20 to 22 cents lower; wheat futures are 3 to 10 cents lower.
Corn futures are 6 to 7 cents lower with trade still working to consolidate above $6.00 with spillover pressure from soybeans Thursday morning and spread action remaining firmer. Ethanol margins should remain in the current range for the balance of the year with driving demand starting to ease back.
Basis has shown signs of softness in the short term with year-end movement about wrapped up and weather set to limit action in some areas, also in the short term. Trade will start watching South American weather more as we get closer to the key weather time frames on new crop as well as soybean progress for the timing of double-crop planting.
Weekly export sales were solid at 1.25 million metric ton (mmt). On the March contract we have support at the 20-day moving average at $5.93, then the upper Bollinger band at $6.12 as resistance, then the fresh high at $6.17 3/4.
Soybean futures are 20 to 22 cents lower at midday with trade fading further on slower demand and hints of better weather for the drier areas in South America. Meal is $3.00 to $4.00 lower and oil is 85 to 95 points lower. South America will continue to see dry areas to the south with some showers expected to work through; northern growing areas are in better shape for now.
Basis remains mostly flat in the short term with the daily export wire quiet. Weekly sales were disappointing at 524,000 metric tons (mt) of old beans, 75,000 mt of new beans, 69,500 of old meal, 300 of new, and oil at 9,300 old and 300 new.
On the January soybean chart, we are back below the upper Bollinger band at $13.71 with the fresh high at $13.75 3/4 Tuesday as further resistance and the 20-day moving average well below the market at $12.92.
Wheat futures are 3 to 10 cents lower with trade following the lead of the row crops with little fresh bullish news. Weather concerns eased a bit in the Northern Hemisphere, along with a quieter political front. The dollar is just below 96 in flat action, keeping trade off the upper end of the range.
Plains weather looks to remain short of moisture in the near term with more-normal temps moving in with the crop solidly dormant. Spring wheat is weaker vs. Chicago, moving the premium to $2.16 on the March; KC is at a 33-cent premium in weaker action.
Weekly export sales were soft at 199,500 mt. KC March chart support is at the 20-day moving average of $8.22, which we are just below; the lower Bollinger band at $7.83 is further support.
The U.S. stock market is firmer with the Dow up 30 points. The U.S. Dollar Index is 10 points higher. Interest rate products are mixed. Energies are mixed with crude up .20. Livestock trade is mixed with feeder cattle leading. Precious metals are firmer with gold up 7.50.