It's the last trading day of the year.
Grain futures are mixed this morning, with stability noted after yesterday's large declines. It is the year's last trading day, with volume likely receding quickly after mid-morning. Grains do close at regular time and reopen Sunday night with full-day trading on Monday.
Argentina has reported that his corn condition rating fell sharply to 58% good/excellent versus 90% from early December on the continued heat/Dryness. They did not receive rain yesterday morning, and Argentina has a light forecast of moisture for this weekend. The planted corn is in the fill and late pollination stage under extreme heat, which lowers its yield potential. Argentina still has 29% of its corn yet to plant, which is part of its record planting intentions. If Argentina plants the remainder of its corn crop after January 10, there is a yield drag, just like planting corn in the US after May 10. The Argentine weather forecast calls for another 10-14 days of extreme heat/dryness, with the corn crop going backwards with high temps of 90s into the lower 100s which will persist into January 12.
Argentina was to be the second-largest exporter of corn, based on S Brazil dryness and corn crop losses of 5-6.5 MMT's there. It does not take much of a loss of Argentine production to turn world corn roundtables more friendly and shift additional export demand to the US. Corn is in a bull market alongside soybeans and should look to move higher into the January 12 crop report. Recent price weakness is additional price procuring opportunities.
Jordan has now issued a new wheat tender for 120,000 MTs of new crop wheat with Iraq likely back in Monday tendering for US HRW wheat for February/March delivery. Wheat's recent weakness will likely uncover more end-user demand into the new year.
South American weather, even though beneficial rains did fall yesterday and areas of southern Brazil, with some more showers anticipated over the weekend, this area continues to be forecasted in a prevailing dryer trend across S Brazil and Argentina. Extreme heat was endured yesterday for the sixth day across Argentina, with highs in the 90s to lower 100s. Actual temp highs hit 106° in some crop areas. This extreme heat is concerning as is forecasted to continue for another two weeks. There is limited rainfall for the next five days, but it's mostly considered scattered showers. Rain totals are estimated mostly in the.50″ range with spotty 1.50′ potentials. Dryness returns to S Brazil/Argentina in the 11-15 day window. Northern Brazil weather pattern continues with the wet flow of 5.00-12.00″ of rain to saturate soil moisture to the next 14 days. These heavy rains are delaying soybean harvest, with flooding becoming widespread over Minas Gerias.
It was a quiet trading day yesterday, mainly in the cattle futures, while feeder cattle continued to gain as corn prices sank lower. March feeders are now at the highest price since early September. On Thursday, the cash cattle trade was light and limited to the Texas Panhandle, where cattle sold $3 higher from last week at $138 over $2 lower from earlier week Nebraska sales, which hit $140. Box beef was mixed with the choice value down $0.45 at $2 65.26, and the select value gained $1.14 to $258.23. Actual slaughter reports show that steer carcass weights fell 5 pounds in the last reporting week. But at 924 pounds, weights are still 2 pounds heavier than a year ago and at record levels.
At Heartland Investor Capital Management, the staff and I wish you a Happy and Prosperous New Year!