Commodity

Wheat, corn, soybean futures mostly lower ahead of holiday

Soybean futures
Source: Sosland Publishing Co.

Recap for December 29

  • Wheat futures posted narrow, mixed changes Friday ahead of the New Year’s Day holiday but were up for the week as concerns about export demand were more than offset by increased strife in the Russia-Ukraine war. Corn and soybean futures were lower for the day and for the week on improved weather prospects for Brazil’s corn and soybean crops. For the year, nearby corn futures were down about 30% from a year earlier, Chicago wheat was down about 20% and soybean futures were down 15%. March corn futures were 3¢ lower to close at $4.71¼ per bu. Chicago March wheat declined 3½¢ to close at $6.28½ per bu; later months were narrowly mixed. Kansas City March wheat slipped 1¾¢ to close at $6.42 per bu; later months were narrowly mixed. Minneapolis March wheat lost 2¢ to close at $7.23½ per bu. March soybeans dropped 14¢ to close at $12.98 per bu. March soybean meal was down $4.70 to close at $386 per ton. March soybean oil gained 0.20¢ to close at 48.18¢ a lb.
  • US equity indexes closed with small to modest losses Friday due mainly to profit taking but posted double-digit growth for the year and were near record highs as traders anticipated an easing monetary policy and lower interest rates in 2024. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 20.56 points, or 0.05%, to close at 37,689.54. The Standard & Poor’s 500 was down 13.52 points, or 0.28%, to close at 4,769.83. The Nasdaq Composite dropped 83.78 points, or 0.56%, to close at 15,011.35.
  • US crude oil prices edged lower Friday. The February sweet crude future was down 0.12¢ at $71.65 per barrel. 
  • The US dollar index advanced again on Friday. 
  • US gold futures ended the last trading session of 2023 on a downward slide. The February contract lost $11.70 to close at $2,071.80 per oz.

Recap for December 28

  • Wheat futures advanced on Thursday after a second incident this week in the Black Sea raised concerns about safe exports of grain from Ukraine. The incident involved a Panama flagged vessel heading to load grain at a River Danube port hitting a Russian mine. Corn and soy complex futures were lower on beneficial rains in Brazil. March corn futures were down 2¼¢ to close at $4.74¼ per bu. Chicago March wheat added 8½¢ to close at $6.31½ per bu. Kansas City March wheat gained 8¾¢ to close at $6.43¾ per bu. Minneapolis March wheat rose 3¾¢ to close at $7.25½ per bu. March soybeans dropped 8½¢ to close at $13.12 per bu. March soybean meal was down $3.10 to close at $390.70 per ton. March soybean oil lost 0.68¢ to close at 47.98¢ a lb.
  • US equity indexes closed mixed on Thursday. The S&P 500 continued to inch closer to an all-time high, and all three indexes were on track to conclude a ninth consecutive week of gains. The jobless claims report issued earlier today provided further proof that the economy was effectively cooling, indicating 218,000 layoffs occurred last week, which was slightly higher than economists were expecting but not enough to quell the bubble of optimism that’s been fueling the recent surge in stocks. The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 53.58 points, or 0.14%, to close at 37,710.10. The Standard & Poor’s 500 was up 1.77 points, or 0.04%, to close at 4,783.35. The Nasdaq Composite slipped 4.04 points lower, or 0.03%, to close at 15,095.14.
  • US crude oil prices were lower Thursday. The February sweet crude future was down 2.34¢ at $71.77 per barrel. 
  • The US dollar index advanced Thursday. 
  • US gold futures declined Thursday. The February contract lost $9.60 to close at $2,083.50 per oz.

Recap for December 27

  • Wheat futures declined Wednesday on ideas export demand for US wheat still was lacking, mostly offsetting higher futures prices Tuesday on increased tension in the Russia-Ukraine war. Fresh export demand also was lacking for US corn and soybeans with markets moving mostly on weather events and forecasts in Brazil. March corn futures lost 3¾¢ to close at $4.76½ per bu. Chicago March wheat fell 13¼¢ to close at $6.23 per bu. Kansas City March wheat dropped 7¾¢ to close at $6.35 per bu. Minneapolis March wheat gave back 7½¢ to close at $7.21¾ per bu. March soybeans gained 1½¢ to close at $13.20½ per bu, but later months were narrowly mixed. March soybean meal was down $2.10 to close at $393.80 per ton. March soybean oil ticked up 0.15¢ to close at 48.66¢ a lb, but later months were mixed.
  • US equity indexes on Wednesday continued their streak of closing higher this week. The S&P 500 inched closer to an all-time high. The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 111.19 points, or 0.30%, to close at 37,656.52. The Standard & Poor’s 500 was up 6.83 points, or 0.14%, to close at 4,781.58. The Nasdaq Composite gained 24.60 points, or 0.16%, to close at 15,099.18.
  • US crude oil prices dropped as ocean vessels continued to transit the Suez Cannel despite recent terrorist attacks. The February sweet crude future was down 1.46¢ to close at $74.11 per barrel. 
  • The US dollar index declined again on Wednesday. 
  • US gold futures were sharply higher Wednesday. The February contract jumped $23.30 to close at $2,093.10 per oz.

Recap for December 22

  • Wheat futures jumped higher Tuesday on fresh concerns about safe shipping in the Black Sea after Ukraine missiles struck a Russian warship in Crimea, with short covering also a feature. Higher crude oil prices (supported by turbulence in the Mideast and ideas of US economic strength) gave corn and soybean futures a boost. Market moves often are more extreme amid thin holiday trading. March corn futures added 7¼¢ to close at $4.80¼ per bu. Chicago March wheat jumped 20¢ to close at $6.36¼ per bu. Kansas City March wheat added 19¾¢ to close at $6.42¾ per bu. Minneapolis March wheat was up 15¢ to close at $7.29¼ per bu. January soybeans gained 13½¢ to close at $13.13¼ per bu. January soybean meal was up $3.60 to close at $403.20 per ton. January soybean oil lost 0.62¢ to close at 47.91¢ a lb.
  • US equity indexes started the final week of the year with higher closes Tuesday mainly on ideas the Federal Reserve will begin to cut interest rates in March 2024. Trading volume was light between the holiday weekends. The yearend “Santa Clause” effect appeared to overshadow concerns that the market was in overbought territory. The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 159.36 points, or 0.43%, to close at 37,545.33. The Standard & Poor’s 500 was up 20.12 points, or 0.42%, to close at 4,774.75. The Nasdaq Composite gained 81.60 points, or 0.54%, to close at 15,074.57.
  • US crude oil prices advanced Tuesday amid growing tensions in the Mideast. The February sweet crude future was up 2.01¢ to close at $75.57 per barrel. 
  • The US dollar index declined Tuesday. 
  • US gold futures were higher Tuesday. The February contract added 70¢ to close at $2,069.80 per oz.

Recap for December 21

  • A weaker dollar lent support to grains on Thursday, helping Chicago soft red winter futures climb in a technical bounce. But Kansas City and Minneapolis futures were mostly lower, the latter to the lowest levels since Dec. 14, after French-based consultancy Strategie Grains said in its first projections for 2024-25 that global wheat production is expected to rebound. Also rising on a technical bounce was corn futures, which consolidated after striking contract lows in the previous session amid concerns over possible US export disruptions due to US-Mexico rail border crossings being closed by the US government due to migrant crossings. Rainy forecasts for dry Brazil pressured US soybean futures. March corn futures added 2¾¢ to close at $4.72½ per bu. Chicago March wheat was up 2½¢ to close at $6.12½ per bu. Kansas City March wheat added 1¾¢ to close at $6.26¾ per bu; the July contract and beyond were narrowly lower. Minneapolis March wheat was down 3¾¢ to close at $7.14¼ per bu. January soybeans dropped 11¢ to close at $12.97¼ per bu. January soybean meal was down $4.50 to close at $395.40 per ton. January soybean oil shed 1.52¢ to close at 49.04¢ a lb.
  • US equity indexes resumed their climb Thursday, the S& P 500 hopping back on track for an eighth weekly gain, after the US central bank’s preferred inflation indicator rose by 2% in the third quarter, less than previously estimated. It was the latest signal the US economy is cooling gradually, as policy makers have hoped. The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 322.35 points, or 0.87%, to close at 37,404.35. The Standard & Poor’s 500 was up 48.40 points, or 1.03%, to close at 4,746.75. The Nasdaq Composite jumped 185.92 points, or 1.26%, to close at 14,963.87.
  • US crude oil prices closed lower Thursday after advancing for three days. The February West Texas Intermediate light, sweet crude future was down 33¢ to close at $73.89 per barrel. 
  • The US dollar index reverted back to the downside Thursday where it lived for most of the preceding seven trading days. 
  • US gold futures were higher Thursday. The February contract was up $3.60 to close at $2,051.30 per oz.

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