Weekly Commodity Market Update

Brownfield’s Weekly Commodity update featuring former OSU Extension Ag Economist Ben Brown.  This week Will and Ben discuss USDA’s updated acreage expectations.

This Week’s Topics:

  • Market recap
  • Sideways commodity trading
  • U.S. Jobs & job openings report updates
  • Crude oil stocks building
  • April WASDE pre-report expectations
  • Planting progress
  • Reports to watch

Market recap (Changes on week as of Monday’s close):

  • May 2024 corn flat at $4.35
  • December 2024 corn down $.01 at $4.73
  • May 2024 soybeans down $.04 at $11.81
  • November 2024 soybeans up $.02 at $11.84
  • May soybean oil down 0.34 cents at 47.90 cents/lb
  • May soybean meal up $2.60 at $336.00/short ton
  • May 2024 wheat up $.08 at $5.65
  • July 2024 wheat up $.08 at $5.80
  • May WTI Crude Oil up $2.43 at $85.61/barrel

Weekly Highlights

  • The February JOLTS (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics) report showed job opening in February totaled 8.8 million matching expectations, while the number of people quitting jobs rose slightly to 3.5 million.
  • US crude oil stocks excluding the strategic petroleum reserve increased 135 million gallons last week after being up 133 million gallons the week prior. Conversely gasoline stocks declined 179 million gallons and distillate stocks decreased 43 million gallons. Crude Oil prices broke above $90/ barrel last week on middle east tensions but broke lower to start the week on reports of de-escalation.
  • Ethanol production increased to 315 million gallons on the week- up from 310 the week prior and 295 the same week in 2023. Ethanol production continues to run at historically high levels. Gasoline demand was up 6%. Ethanol stocks rose 14 million gallons.
  • Open interest of Chicago grains and oilseeds was up for wheats (+3.6%), Corn (+1.9%), soybeans (+3.1%), Soybean Oil (+2.5%), soybean meal (+2.6%), and Cotton (+0.8%), while being down for rough rice (-0.7%).
  • Managed money traders reduced their net shorts in Chicago wheats 2,322 contracts while increasing their net shorts of corn- 7,826 contracts and soybeans 3,476 contracts. Money managers do not seem concerned about being historically short in corn and soybeans.
  • Export sales of US grains and oilseeds were rather weak for the week ending March 28th. Corn, soybean, soybean oil, grain sorghum, and wheats were all down week over week. Soybean sales of 7.1 million bushels were below all pre-report estimates.
  • Export inspections were mixed. Corn export inspections of 55.9 million bushels exceed all expectations, wheat inspections of 18.3 million bushels were on the top end of expectations while soybean inspections of 17.8 million bushels were the lowest since early September.
  • Planting progress was slow with several broad storms moving through the Midwest. Corn planting increased 1% to 3%, which is slightly ahead of the 3-year average of 2%. Rice planting was up 9% to 23% while cotton planting was reported at 4% up from 3%.
  • The winter wheat conditions rating was unchanged at 348 (a perfect score is 500). Up from 276 last year. Kansas at 338 was up from 220 last year. Oklahoma at 365 was up from 260 last year and Test at 324 was up from 250 last year.
  • The March Job Reports showed nonfarm payroll in the US at 303,000 up from 270,000 in February and analyst expectations of 200,000.
  • The US unemployment rate also fell to 3.8% down from 3.9% and stayed below 26th month in a row, the longest stretch since the 1960s.

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