Corn Futures Wilt as Dollar Strengthens

Date : 02/19/2020 @ 9:20PM
Source : Dow Jones News

Corn Futures Wilt as Dollar Strengthens

By Kirk Maltais

 

--Corn for March delivery fell 0.7% to $3.80 1/2 a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade on Wednesday, with the stronger dollar pressuring the competitiveness of U.S. grain exports.

--Wheat for March delivery lost 0.3% to $5.65 1/4 a bushel.

--Soybeans for March delivery rose 0.6% to $8.97 1/4 a bushel.

 

HIGHLIGHTS

 

Haven't Got Time for the Pain: The week-long U.S. dollar rally is becoming a significant source of pressure for grain futures. Since last Wednesday, the greenback has gained 1%. A stronger dollar makes exports of U.S. agricultural goods less attractive to buyers, bad news when corn traders are hoping to see higher export demand and supply worldwide is looking about as robust as last year.

Coming Around Again: Traders locked in profits after wheat futures surged 4.4% Tuesday on expectations of the smallest Australian wheat crop in 12 years. Arlan Suderman of INTL FCStone called it a correction of "irrational exuberance" in trading to start the week. He's also skeptical about the USDA's Agricultural Outlook Forum this week. "I've been in this business for nearly four decades, and I cannot recall a single new trend revealed by the Forum's outlook that wasn't already known," Mr. Suderman said.

Nobody Does It Better: Soybean crush figures reached a record-high 176.9 million bushels in January, according to the National Oilseed Processors Association. "Good profitability and strong meal demand continues to drive crush higher," RJO Futures said.

 

INSIGHT

 

Anticipation: Traders are mostly pessimistic about the forecasts the USDA will release at the Agricultural Outlook Forum, but there is one area they will be keeping a close eye on. "The new hope is that the Outlook Forum will be a little more optimistic about the (corn) export potential," said Tomm Pfitzenmaier of Summit Commodity Brokerage. The USDA last week lowered its projection for 2019/20 U.S. corn exports to 47 million metric tons.

 

AHEAD

 

--The USDA holds its annual Agricultural Outlook Forum in Arlington, Va., on Thursday and Friday.

--Deere & Co. reports its first-quarter earnings before the market opens Friday.

--The USDA will release its latest weekly export sales numbers at 8:30 a.m. ET Friday.

 

Write to Kirk Maltais at kirk.maltais@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

February 19, 2020 16:05 ET (21:05 GMT)

Copyright (c) 2020 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.


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