Corn Plunges as Funds Pull Back from Ag Commodities -- Daily Grain Highlights
By Kirk Maltais
-- Corn for December delivery fell 5.5% to $6.55 1/2 a bushel on
the Chicago Board of Trade Thursday, with fund traders pulling back
from their sizable long positions in grains amid speculation of an
-- Wheat for September delivery fell 4% to $9.49 1/4 a
-- Soybeans for July delivery fell 3.6% to $15.93 1/4 a
Hands-Off Approach: Grain futures on the CBOT dropped hard ahead
of the end of the month and quarter.
"CBOT grain futures are sharply lower on continued risk-off
selling in a waterfall weekly price decline," said AgResource in a
note, adding that higher interest rates seen globally this month
are contributing to end-of-month selling. "Fundamentally it is
difficult to justify the severity of the break with the 2022
growing season for summer row crops having yet to push through
their most sensitive stage of development."
Backtracking: The close of grain futures Thursday put the
most-active corn and wheat contracts at their lowest close since
late February, before the fighting in Ukraine sent futures
Overlapping factors contributed to Thursday's weakness, Dan
Hueber of the Hueber Report told WSJ. "I believe it is a
combination of lack of any significant weather issues, general
commodity liquidation over fears of slowing economies and that we
are approaching the end of a month and a quarter," he said.
Loosening Up: The USDA is working with more ports to help ease
congestion clogging shipping channels for U.S. grains, with the
agency stating that it is now working in Tacoma, Wash., and Houston
to help "ensure agricultural companies and cooperatives can export
their commodities." At these sites, the USDA says it will provide
payments for dry or refrigerated containers to be used as temporary
storage. The USDA had previously announced similar efforts at the
ports of Oakland and Seattle.
In its weekly Grain Transportation Report, the USDA said that
grain shipments via rail, barge and oceangoing vessel are all down
from the same time period last year.
Expected an Uptick: U.S. corn exports are expected to turn
higher in this week's report from the USDA, according to grain
traders surveyed by The Wall Street Journal.
Corn export sales are expected to total anywhere from 550,000
metric tons to 1.05 million tons, versus 279,800 tons reported last
Meanwhile, soybean sales are expected to turn lower from last
week's figure, with estimates ranging from 250,000 tons to 650,000
Wheat sales are expected to total 250,000 tons to 400,000 tons,
which would be an increase from 236,900 tons last week.
Data Delay: The weekly release of daily ethanol production data,
as well as U.S. ethanol inventories, has been delayed, according to
the EIA. The EIA said Wednesday that problems with its systems
forced the delay of its petroleum data, although Thursday the EIA
was able to release natural-gas storage statistics. Because of the
Juneteenth holiday, the data were scheduled to be released at 10:30
a.m. EDT Thursday.
Thursday's report would have helped provide traders with insight
as to if gas/ethanol demand had been sustained despite high gas
prices, said Tomm Pfitzenmaier of Summit Commodity Brokerage in a
note this morning.
-- The USDA is scheduled to release its weekly export sales
report at 8:30 a.m. EDT Friday.
-- The USDA is due to release its monthly Cattle on Feed Report
at 3 p.m. EDT Friday.
-- The CFTC is scheduled to release its weekly commitments of
traders report at 3:30 p.m. EDT Friday.
Write to Kirk Maltais at email@example.com
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
June 23, 2022 16:05 ET (20:05 GMT)
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