Closing Market Report- 3/16/21- Grains Mixed to Firm, Hogs Push Over $100


May contracts of corn, soybeans and winter wheat overcame earlier losses and finished a little higher Tuesday, supported by ongoing signs of firm demand. April hogs jumped to a new contract high on increasing concerns about African swine fever in China while summer month hogs broke the $100 mark in June and July.

Earlier Tuesday, USDA said 45.5 million bushels (mb)(1.156 mmt) of U.S. corn were sold to China for 2020-21. Judging by the bullish premiums in the front-month contracts and by corn’s narrow basis, it is possible the corn was secured at an earlier date and Tuesday’s announcement was a formality. May corn on China’s Dalian exchange was up 0.5% Tuesday at the equivalent of $10.59 a bushel. The upward trend in China’s corn prices is slowing, but more purchases of U.S. corn are possible, while prices remain high. Fundamentally, present corn prices are trading an ending corn stocks estimate of roughly 1.25 billion bushels (bb), suggesting there is room for USDA’s 1.50 bb estimate to be adjusted lower in future reports.

Farm and Ranch Director Jesse Allen has the latest: