CASH MARKET WRAP: Weather rallies wheat, corn and soybeans

17 May 2019


It was a mixed week, with US and European futures prices rocketing, while cash trading remained subdued as the trade waits for the arrival of the new crop.

SRW prices shot up 11% over the week, touching a high of $4.72/bu Friday on short covering, US weather, and a bull run for corn.

In the cash market, old crop trading in the Black Sea was nearly over with nearby offers at $208-210/mt FOB versus no bids.

But new crop activity picked up, with a talking point an aggressively-priced August 11.5% cargo booked at $174/mt FOB, which undercut the market and pushed bids lower.

Agricensus’ Russia June 12.5% was unchanged at $207/mt while July was also flat at $183/mt.

For Russian 11.5%, the nearby assessment was steady at $197/mt and July lost $2/mt to $183/mt, while Ukrainian feed wheat was unchanged at $191/mt for June and down $2/mt to $165/mt in July. In Argentina, nearby 12% was down $1/mt to $214/mt.


Slow planting progress set the tone for a dramatic resurgence in futures, as US plantings reached 30% - well behind the 66% typical by this time of year.

Along with constant rain across the Midwest, the data tripped profit-taking from the huge net short position and saw July futures surge from a contract low of $3.52/bu on May 10, to add 27 cents over the week.

That equated to around $10/mt added to all Agricensus outright prices, although with South American basis rising amid competition from soybeans, end-user buying was evident, but subdued.

Asia’s feed associations KOCOPIA and MFIG tendered, paying $191/mt, with Korea’s NOFI and MFG buying December corn at $184/mt, just ahead of the price spike.

Argentina remained the most competitive origin, with FOB Up River prices moving from $146/mt to $156.25/mt, while APM-15 for US Gulf FOB cargoes rose from $160.50/mt to $171.75/mt.


After a further fall on Monday as US-China trade tensions bit, futures rebounded on Tuesday on wet weather forecasts that could prevent new crop planting with potentially millions of acres lost.

July futures had hit $8.41/bu by time of press Thursday, up 37 c/bu from a 12-year low of $8.14/bu on the week.

Brazil cash premiums surged from Monday, despite a rising board as demand for US beans slumped and Chinese demand for alternative supply was anticipated to keep rising.

The premium between for Brazilian beans over US beans hit the highest level since US-China trade talks started last December.

On a flat price basis, beans for July shipment on a FOB Santos basis reached $346/mt, up from $330/mt a week ago, while US prices for the same shipment on a FOB US Gulf basis had hit $322.50/mt by Thursday, up from $308/mt.

In Argentina, July shipment prices rallied to $324/mt from $303/mt, while July shipment on a CFR China basis rose $13/mt to $375/mt as Cofco rushed to buy non-US beans.