CASH MARKET WRAP: US holiday checks corn, wheat, soybean price moves

29 Nov 2019


Global wheat futures traded in a narrow range on a lack of any fresh fundamentals to end the week marginally higher, with SRW up 1.5%, HRW adding 1% and French milling wheat gaining 1.9%.

Cash markets were muted as buyers found little reason to enter the market to take positions ahead of a US holiday.

Russian 12.5% wheat ticked $1/mt higher to $209/mt FOB Novorossiysk, while Ukraine 11.5% ended the week unchanged at $206.50/mt FOB HIPP with liquidity in the Black Sea wheat market limited as buyers held off to book forward volumes.

European wheat prices gained less than $1/mt as a combination of softer premiums in Poland and Germany and a weaker euro offset the underlying gains in Paris futures.

In Australia, the spread between the high protein APW and feed grade ASW narrowed to $4/mt amid tight supply of low protein wheat with quality testing confirming a higher protein crop.

Jordan booked another panamax of optional origin 11% milling wheat from CHS at $239.30/mt CFR Aqaba for shipment in the first half of April – some $1.50/mt higher than last week.

Finally, Ethiopia tendered for 200,000 mt of 11.5% wheat with offers coming in at $210-212.46/mt FOB and taking the nation’s outstanding demand to 600,000 mt.


South Korea was the focus as the high price of feed wheat, falls in corn futures and signs that the country’s African swine fever outbreak is under control unlocked another burst of buying to take November purchases past 1 million mt.

Elsewhere, despite poor US weather slowing the harvest and signs of good domestic demand in Brazil and the US, corn futures lost 7% through November, closing Wednesday – ahead of the US Thanksgiving holiday – at just over $3.73/bu, a 2.5-month low.

Ukraine’s good quality crop saw it targeted by EU, Asia and North African buyers, but FOB prices ended the week higher than they had begun – APM-11 rising $1/mt to $171/mt.

Further out, Argentina’s FOB Up River market prices attractively from April onwards even amid fears of higher export taxes once the new government arrives on December 10.

Finally, Brazil’s spot premiums surged as domestic demand kicks in, stoking fears that the country could have exported too much of its record-breaking corn harvest as December FOB Santos offers ended the week at 100 cents over December.


Futures slumped, US cash premiums were static and old crop South American beans rose over the course of the week as market participants awaited news of a trade deal.

January futures hit an 11-week low on Tuesday as the Brazilian real crashed to a record low on comments from the economy minister that he was "comfortable" with a weaker real, but the slump forced the government to intervene, but to little effect.

While that pressured futures, it had minimum impact on Brazilian new crop premiums, which were offered at 66 c/bu for February shipment FOB Paranagua ($348/mt).

But it was old crop soybeans from South America that raised eyebrows as Chinese crushers chose to snap up two cargoes a day before President Trump jeopardised trade talks by signing a bill into law that seeks to pressure China to guarantee Hong Kong's autonomy.

With nearly all crushers out of tariff-free exemptions for US soybeans, two trades were heard - one an FOB trade at 70 c/bu over January futures FOB Up River and a 215 c/bu for Dec/Jan shipment CFR North China ($403/mt).

That shows despite the trade truce, Chinese crushers are still paying up to $18/mt more for soybeans from Brazil than they could get from the US.