World wheat fundamentals still could help corn prices.
As August finished, November soybean futures and December corn contracts traded near 52-week lows, but Chicago December wheat was priced just above the middle of the 52-week range.
“The wheat will be slightly helpful,” said Jerry Gidel of The Price Futures Group. “Not to yank corn up 50 cents,” but possibly to prevent corn prices from going down.
Statistics Canada estimated the country’s 2018 wheat crop just short of 29 million metric tons, off nearly 1 MMT from last year and down 3 MMT from 2016. Acreage rose this year, but weather cut yields.
“Tightening wheat supplies in Europe and Black Sea ripple through global commodity markets,” headlined an August USDA report. It said combined wheat crops of the European Union, Russia and Ukraine likely will fall 12 percent from last year to a five-year low, and global stocks will drop 5 percent from last year.
Aside from the wheat market, strong ethanol demand helps corn, Gidel said. Talk of year-round E15 and strong exports are positives. So is the reported success in a trade agreement with Mexico.
“There’s a good chance for a corn post-harvest bounce,” but the grain markets are still left with the soybean market struggle.
Last month, the USDA said, “Agricultural exports to China are forecast down $7 billion from fiscal 2018 to $12 billion [in 2019] as soybean sales are expected to be sharply lower due to retaliatory tariffs, which also curb demand for other products.”
Solving the China challenge requires political action, so Gidel said producers could hold their soybeans and look for opportunities to sell corn.
“A lot of people in the world will need this corn,” he said.