Mark's Market Talk for December 26, 2023

Dec 26, 2023

If you expected the Chicago Board of Trade to give you a big Christmas gift last week, I hope you have a coal burning furnace. Corn ended the week 10 cents lower while beans were 16 cents lower. The weather forecast for Brazil turned just a touch wetter, but the heat continues and crunch time on their early beans is getting close. Trade volume was low due to the holiday, and we may see that for 2 more weeks as we have 2 4-day trade weeks in a row. Then we have the January supply and demand report coming up and that can be a mover of some type. The USDA may choose to play with the harvest yield numbers and this may be something hard to predict this year. We have heard a wide range of yields throughout the country from poor to record high. The demand side shouldn’t see a lot of change as corn exports have been good and we are now seeing more action on the bean side. Last Friday the USDA released both the hog and cattle reports. Both reports showed steady to higher numbers of livestock on feed which should give the grains a little bit of support. A negative last week was the US Government shutting down 2 major rail crossings into Mexico on Monday. This caused waves clear back to Iowa as we rail a lot of corn to Mexico. We also export a large amount of bean meal from some central Iowa plants, and this caused immediate concerns as a long- term shutdown would have slowed the crush at these plants which would have reduced the basis paid for beans. Fortunately, the crossings were reopened later in the week. However, it shows how fast a political action can wreak havoc on our markets. It does not appear grain marketing will get any easier in the near term. We need to keep looking for some opportunities and we will probably need our glasses on to see them.