Mark's Market Talk for Feburary 19, 2024

Feb 19, 2024

The grain markets closed lower again last week. Corn was down 12 cents, beans down 11 cents, and Chicago wheat was 36 cents lower. For beans it was the 9th week in a row we closed lower. The funds continue to add to their shorts as they are 314,000 contracts short on corn and 135,000 on beans. Both are close to record short positions. At some point we want to think they will run out of negative news and start higher. There has not been any reason for importers to get excited while we keep going lower. The demand seems to be waiting until the last minute. The bean harvest in Brazil is moving past the halfway point and yields keep coming in shorter than thought. However, the weather has been kinder to Argentina so their harvest will make up some of these bushels. Corn has been hammered by the number of unpriced bushels above the market. Basis levels continue to lure just enough bushels each week. Small bumps bring extra bushels when needed which shows there is a lot of corn sitting in the country. Producers have been slow to part with last year’s crop as they are well underwater with the current prices. Now we are having some early spring weather, and we have people talking on both sides of this. Some think it could lead to record yields, while others are concerned that having a drought still working while the temps are headed higher earlier than normal for February. After the cold January, we had it sort of confuses all of us. This week will have 4 trading days as Monday is Presidents Day. Let’s hope we turn this ship around and we have positive news to talk about next week.