Closing Market Commentary- 3/8/21- Grains Close Mixed Heading Into Tuesday USDA Reports


May contracts of corn, soybeans and soybean oil were all higher Monday, one day ahead of USDA’s next WASDE report, due out at 11 a.m. CST Tuesday. All three U.S. wheats closed lower, pressured by rain in this week’s forecast for the U.S. Southern Plains.

May corn was higher Sunday evening, turned lower after Monday’s 8:30 a.m. CST bell, then clawed back to close up 1 1/2 cents at $5.47, one day ahead of USDA’s next WASDE report, due out at 11 a.m. CST Tuesday. Monday’s corn prices had bullish support from higher prices in China, rumors of a possible export sale and the anticipation of a small reduction in USDA’s ending stocks estimate on Tuesday. According to, Saudi oil production was unaffected in Sunday’s attack by Iran-backed rebels in Yemen. April crude was trading higher Sunday evening, but is down 97 cents Monday afternoon.

Dow Jones and the private firm AgRural reported 35% of Brazil’s soybeans were harvested as of last Thursday, down from 49% a year ago. Rain after rain continues to keep fields wet across central Brazil and this week’s forecast expects more of the same. It also doesn’t hurt that May soybeans on China’s Dalian exchange were up 2.6% early Monday, a sign China’s demand remains active. The vegetable oil sector continued to lend support to soybean prices Monday. The May contract of Malaysian palm oil was up 3.7% to its highest spot close in ten years. May soybean oil was up 0.66 cent at 52.46 cents, May canola was up C$10.30 and spot rapeseed oil finished at a new all-time high of 525.75 euros per metric ton (mt). India is the world’s largest importer of soybean oil, but China also plays a significant role. May soybean oil in China was up 3.5% Monday to its highest spot close in over eight years, another sign of strong demand.

Later this week, moderate to heavy rain amounts are expected to stretch from eastern Colorado and the Texas Panhandle to Ohio, catching both HRW wheat and SRW wheat areas in the path. For HRW wheat crops, the timing is especially helpful for crops getting close to emerging from dormancy. Drought still remains a concern for much of the western U.S. Plains and drier weather is expected to return after the weekend. Another drought concern is in the northwestern U.S. Plains where farmers will be enticed away from spring wheat to other, more profitable crops in 2021. For the northwestern U.S. Plains, moderate to severe drought conditions have been common all winter and there is no rain in the seven-day forecast.

As the week gets underway, the live cattle and feeder cattle contracts are enjoying the market’s support while the lean hog market is still trying to find stable footing around the market’s indecisiveness. As the future market takes an overall supported leap into Monday’s trade, the countryside remains intense, itching to see if feedlots can break the cash cattle market’s stagnant trade.

Farm and Ranch Director Jesse Allen has the latest: