Soybeans, Corn Little Changed Overnight; WASDE Report Has Ups, Downs

December 13th, 2017


Category: Grains, Oilseeds


Soybeans and corn were little changed, but with a bias to the upside, in overnight trading after the World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) report yesterday.

The report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture came out as most analysts had expected, so there wasn’t much market movement on the day. Still, the USDA lowered its forecast for corn stockpiles due to higher use in ethanol production, the one bullish figure in the report.

Investors aren’t getting too excited, however, as the government raised its forecast for domestic soybean stockpiles amid weak export demand.

The weather in Argentina is still playing a role in price moves as dry weather is expected to continue in the country’s growing areas at least until the end of the weak. Some rain, however, is in the forecast.

Soybean futures for January delivery rose 2 ¾ cents to $9.78 ½ a bushel overnight on the Chicago Board of Trade. Soymeal added 50 cents to $325.20 a short ton, and soy oil declined 0.07 cent to 33.38 cents a pound.

Corn futures for March delivery rose ¾ cent to $3.48 ¼ a bushel in Chicago.

Chicago wheat for March delivery rose 2 ¼ cents to $4.13 a bushel overnight, and Kansas City futures gained 2 ½ cents to $4.13 ¾ a bushel.


The USDA’s WASDE report came out like most figured it would with some positives to speak of, but also some negatives.

First, the bad news.

Soybean stockpiles at the end of the marketing year were seen at 445 million bushels by the government, up from last month’s projection of 425 million bushels and consensus of 438 million bushels.

The USDA accomplished this by reducing its forecast for exports by 20 million bushels. The move was justified, analysts said. Exporters since the start of the marketing year on Sept. 1 have sold 36.3 million metric tons of beans, down 16% from the same timeframe a year earlier.

Corn sales are worse with total commitments from overseas buyers trailing the year-ago pace by 27%, according to the USDA.

Despite the weak sales in corn, the government reduced its outlook for corn stockpiles on Aug. 31.

Stockpiles are now pegged at 2.437 billion bushels, down from the month-ago estimate of 2.487 billion bushels and behind the average estimate for 2.478 billion bushels, giving prices a solid underpinning.

While export sales aren’t exactly going gangbusters, ethanol production is. The EIA has reported record output by ethanol producers in two of the past three weeks.

The USDA said ethanol companies will increase use by 50 million bushels to 5.525 billion bushels in 2017-2018.

The push and pull from the WASDE report likely will keep prices rangebound for another few weeks barring any black swan events, analysts said.


A band of Arctic air has moved into the northern Plains and Great Lakes regions, plunging the area into a deep freeze.

A winter weather advisory has been issued for a large swath of land stretching from extreme eastern North Dakota all the way east into Pennsylvania, according to the National Weather Service.

In northern Wisconsin, as much as 5 inches of snow is expected today, reducing visibility and making travel difficult.

Across Lake Michigan, a winter storm warning is in effect for much of the state of Michigan today. Total snow accumulations are expected from 5 to 8inches, the NWS said in a report early Wednesday. The snow is expected to fall from about 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. today.


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