Skip to Main Content

The University of Tennessee | Institute of Agriculture

Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics

Frequently Used Tools:




Weekly Crop Comments

By Dr. Aaron Smith

August 29, 2014


Listen to the comments or download the file

click to subscribe to rss feed for Podcast Click to subscribe to podcast

Overview

Cotton was up; wheat was mixed; corn and soybeans were down for the week. Harvest corn futures continued to trade sideways for the sixth consecutive week. Average domestic corn yields are very likely to exceed the 2009 record of 164.7 bpa. Many analysts have 2014 yield estimates above 170 bpa (the USDA estimated yields at 167.4 bpa in the August WASDE). As a result of the estimated record yield, 2014 corn production is estimated at 14.031 billion bushels (above the current record of 13.925 billion bushels set in 2013). Record production, combined with potential storage and logistical issues, provides strong indications that we have likely not seen the seasonal low in corn prices. Harvest soybean prices have continued the slide that started with the June 30th Acreage report. Since June 30th November soybean futures have dropped over $2.15/bu. Similar to corn, soybean yields and production are also projected at a record of 45.4 bpa (current record 44 bpa in 2009) and 3.815 billion bushels (current record 3.359 in 2009). Nearby soybean futures have been helped by tight ending stocks and strong export and crush demand, however if the record crop is realized at harvest prices will continue to fall. December cotton futures backed off slightly at the end of the week after approaching the 68 cent level. Prices have rallied slightly from the lows set on August 1 and have been trending up for 4 weeks. Cotton yields are projected at 820 lbs per acre below the 2012 record of 887 lbs/acre. Domestic cotton production is estimated up 4.5 million bales from last year at 17.5 million bales (but well back of the 2005 record of 23.89 million bales). Concerns in the cotton market continue to focus on world supply exceeding use and the resulting increase in already large global stocks. Spring wheat harvest in the northern plains continues to be challenging as wet conditions have harvest well behind the 5-year average. Further compounding the situation are high levels of vomitoxin, lack of available storage, and rail transportation issues.

Today University of Tennessee Extension released its 2014 Farm Bill webpage. The webpage contains copies of Farm Bill presentations conducted across the state, publications, links to USDA Farm Bill sites, links to other University Farm Bill sites, and Farm Bill decision aids that will help producers and landowners examine program alternatives and make a more informed decision. The Farm Bill webpage will be updated as new information is released.

 

 

 

 

Corn

September 2014 corn futures closed at $3.59 down 6 cents from last week with support at $3.53 and resistance at $3.64. Across Tennessee average basis (cash price- nearby future price) weakened in Northwest and Lower-middle Tennessee and strengthened at Memphis, Northwest Barge Points, and Upper-Middle Tennessee. Overall basis for the week ranged from 27 under to 30 over the September futures contract with an average of 4 over at the end of the week. Corn net sales reported by exporters from August 15th to 21st were within expectations with net sales reductions of 1.3 million bushels for the 2013/14 marketing year and within expectations at 27.4 million bushels for the 2014/15 marketing year. Exports for the same time period were down from last week at 39.5 million bushels. Corn export sales and commitments are 100% of the USDA estimated total annual exports for the 2013/14 marketing year (September 1 to August 31) compared to a 5-year average of 107%. Ethanol production for the week ending August 22nd was 913,000 barrels per day down 24,000 barrels per day. Ending ethanol stocks were 17.317 million barrels down 934,000 barrels from last week. Nationally, the August 25th Crop Progress report estimated corn dough or beyond at 83% compared to 70% last week, 67% last year, and a 5-year average of 78%; corn dented or beyond at 35% compared to 22% last week, 21% last year, and a 5-year average of 43%; and corn condition at 73% good to excellent 7% poor to very poor. In Tennessee the Crop Progress report estimated, corn dough or beyond at 96% compared to 92% last week, 94% last year, and a 5-year average of 97%; corn dented or beyond at 66% compared to 53% last week, 77% last year, and a 5-year average of 86%; and corn condition at 77% good to excellent and 4% poor to very poor. This week September and December 2014 corn futures prices traded between $3.52 and $3.70. September cash forward contracts at elevators and barge points for the week averaged $3.44 with a range of $3.26 to $3.69. Sep/Dec and Sep/Mar future spreads were 5 cents and 18 cents, respectively.

Historical September Corn Futures Prices


 


 

 

 

 

 

December 2014 corn futures closed at $3.64 down 7 cents from last week with support at $3.58 and resistance at $3.71. March futures closed at $3.77. Downside price protection could be obtained by purchasing a $4.00 September 2015 Put Option costing 32 cents establishing a $3.68 futures floor.

 

Nearby and Harvest Corn Futures Prices

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Soybeans

September 2014 soybean futures closed at $10.89 down 77 cents for the week with support at $10.59 and resistance at $11.10. September soybean to corn price ratio was 3.03 at the end of the week. For the week, average soybean basis strengthened in all five regions. Basis ranged from 81 under to 102 over the September futures contract at elevators and barge points. Average basis at the end of the week was 7 over the September futures contract. Net sales reported by exporters were within expectations with net sales cancelations of 2.3 million bushels for the 2013/14 marketing year and above expectations for the 2014/15 marketing year with net sales of 47.4 million bushels. Exports for the same period were up from last week at 7.4 million bushels. Soybean export sales and commitments are 103% of the USDA estimated total annual exports for the 2013/14 marketing year (September 1 to August 31), compared to a 5-year average of 105%. Sep/Nov and Sep/Jan future spreads were -65 cents and -57 cents.

Historical November Soybean Futures Prices

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

November 2014 soybean futures closed at $10.24 down 18 cents from last week with support at $10.13 and resistance at $10.39. The Crop Progress report estimated soybeans setting pods at 90% compared to 83% last week, 82% last year, and a 5-year average of 89%; and soybean condition at 70% good to excellent 7% poor to very poor. In Tennessee, the Crop Progress report estimated, soybeans setting pods at 84% compared to 75% last week, 75% last year, and a 5-year average of 87%; and soybean condition at 75% good to excellent 5% poor to very poor. This week November 2014 soybean futures traded between $10.19 and $10.37. Harvest soybean to corn price ratio was 2.81. November cash forward contracts averaged $10.26 with a range of $9.98 to $10.54. Downside price protection could be achieved by purchasing a $10.30 November 2014 Put Option which would cost 33 cents and set a $9.97 futures floor. January 2015 soybean futures were trading at $10.32.

 

Nearby and Harvest Soybean Futures Prices

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cotton

December 2014 cotton futures closed at 66.57 up 0.39 cents for the week with support at 65.43 and resistance at 67.23. Net sales reported by exporters were up from last week at 247,700 bales for the 2014/15 marketing year and 16,700 bales for the 2015/16 marketing year. Exports for the same period were down from last week at 96,700 bales. Cotton export sales are 50% of the USDA estimated total annual exports for the 2014/15 marketing year (August 1 to July 31), compared to a 5-year average of 41%. Oct 2014 cotton futures are trading at 67.60. The Crop Progress report estimated cotton setting bolls at 90% compared to 88% last week, 89% last year, and a 5-year average 93%; cotton bolls opening at 19% compared to 12% last week, 10% last year, and a 5-year average of 18%; and cotton condition at 51% good to excellent 16% poor to very poor. In Tennessee, the Crop Progress report estimated cotton setting bolls at 92% compared to 89% last week, 89% last year, and a 5-year average of 97%; cotton bolls opening at 15% compared to 8% last week, 1% last year, and a 5-year average of 15%; and cotton condition at 69% good to excellent 7% poor to very poor. December cotton futures traded between 65.01 and 67.72 cents this week. Downside price protection could be obtained by purchasing a 67 cent December 2014 Put Option costing 2.54 cents establishing a 64.46 cent futures floor.

Historical December Cotton Futures Prices

 

 


 

 

 

 

March 2014 cotton futures closed at 67.01 up 0.44 cents for the week with support at 65.84 and resistance at 67.76. Cotton adjusted world price (AWP) increased 1.52 cents to 54.71 cents. Oct/Dec and Dec/Mar future spreads were -1.03 cents and 0.44 cents.

 

Nearby and Harvest Cotton Futures Prices

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wheat

September 2014 wheat futures closed at $5.50 down 2 cents from last week with support at $5.36 and resistance at $5.68. Net sales reported by exporters were within expectations at 14.8 million bushels for the 2014/15 marketing year. Exports for the same period were down from last week at 17.1 million bushels. Wheat export sales are 45% of the USDA estimated total annual exports for the 2014/15 marketing year (June 1 to May 31), compared to a 5-year average of 43%. September wheat futures traded between $5.31 and $5.64 this week. September wheat to corn price ratio was 1.53. In Tennessee, August cash contracts averaged $4.87 with a range of $3.92 to $5.85 at elevators and barge points. Sep/Dec and Sep/July future spreads were 13 cents and 49 cents.

 

Historical July Wheat Futures Prices

 

 

 

 

 

 


December 2014 wheat futures closed at $5.63 up 1 cent from last week with support at $5.50 and resistance at $5.85. The Crop Progress report estimated spring wheat harvested at 27% compared to 17% last week, 39% last year, and a 5-year average of 49%; and spring wheat condition at 66% good to excellent 6% poor to very poor. December wheat to corn price ratio was 1.55. June/July 2015 cash forward contracts averaged $5.61 with a range of $5.32 to $5.90 at elevators and barge points. July 2015 wheat futures closed at $5.99. Downside price protection could be obtained by purchasing a $6.00 July 2015 Put Option costing 45 cents establishing a $5.55 futures floor.

 

 

Nearby and Fall Wheat Futures Prices

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

Additional Information

If you would like further information or clarification on topics discussed in the crop comments section or would like to be added to our free email list please contact me at aaron.smith@utk.edu.