Black Sea port attacks help elevate wheat futures

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Source: Sosland Publishing Co.

Recap for March 18

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  • Wheat complex futures advanced Monday on concerns about exportable wheat supplies out of the Black Sea region in the wake of Russia president Putin’s re-election and Russia’s weekend attacks on Ukrainian ports. Progressing harvest and off-the-combine sales in Brazil pressured soybean futures further from six-week highs set last week. Spillover weakness from soybeans offset spillover support from wheat, making for choppy corn futures trading before the commodity closed with minor changes. May corn eased ¾¢ to close at $4.36 per bu; later months mostly were unchanged. Chicago May wheat jumped 14¼¢ to close at $5.42¾ per bu. Kansas City May wheat added 7½¢ and closed at $5.73¾ per bu. Minneapolis May wheat advanced 4¼¢ and closed at $6.50¾ per bu. May soybeans dropped 10½¢ to close at $11.87¾ per bu. May soybean meal dropped $2.80 to close at $331.90 per ton. May soybean oil fell 0.72¢ to close at 48.70¢ a lb.
  • Ahead of a much-anticipated Federal Reserve interest rate decision later this week, US equity markets posted a strong start to the week Monday with the help of surging Alphabet shares and rising Apple and Nvidia shares. The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 75.66 points, or 0.2%, to close at 38,790.43. The Standard & Poor’s 500 added 32.33 points, or 0.63%, to close at 5,149.42. The Nasdaq Composite added 130.27 points, or 0.82%, to close at 16,103.45. 
  • US crude oil prices were higher Monday. The April West Texas Intermediate light, sweet crude future added $1.68 to close at $82.72 per barrel. 
  • The US dollar index strengthened again Monday. 
  • US gold futures reversed course and closed higher Monday. The April contract added $2.80 to close at $2,164.30 per oz.

Recap for March 15

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  • Soybean futures ended higher Friday, recovering from the previous day’s decline after a day of choppy trading. Wheat futures mostly weakened for a third day and posted a third straight week of declines on ample world supplies and low demand for US wheat. Corn futures edged higher in short covering after two large export sales were reported near the end of the week. May corn added 3¢ to close at $4.36¾ per bu. Chicago May wheat was down 3¾¢ to close at $5.28½ per bu; later months were mixed. Kansas City May wheat lost 8½¢ and closed at $5.66¼ per bu. Minneapolis May wheat shed 8¾¢ and closed at $6.46½ per bu. May soybeans added 3¢ to close at $11.98¼ per bu. May soybean meal dropped $2.70 to close at $334.70 per ton. May soybean oil jumped 1.03¢ to close at 49.42¢ a lb.
  • Hotter-than-expected inflation data released earlier in the week continued to pressure US equity markets Friday. All three indexes finished the week lower, the S&P 500 noting its first set of consecutive weekly declines since October. The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 190.89 points, or 0.49%, to close at 38,714.77. The Standard & Poor’s 500 shed 33.39 points, or 0.65%, to close at 5,117.09. The Nasdaq Composite pared 155.36 points, or 0.96%, to close at 15,973.17. 
  • US crude oil prices were mixed Friday, but mostly lower. The April West Texas Intermediate light, sweet crude future dropped 22¢ to close at $81.04 per barrel. 
  • The US dollar index strengthened again Friday. 
  • US gold futures continued lower Friday. The April contract declined $6 to close at $2,161.50 per oz.

Recap for March 14

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  • Wheat futures declined Thursday under pressure from the latest China wheat cancellation, this time an Australian purchase. Additional pressure from a lackluster export sales report pushed wheat near the lowest levels since 2020 and dragged corn lower in spillover weakness. Short covering contributed to soybean futures’ volatile day, one that ended with declines attributed to profit taking. May corn dropped 7½¢ to close at $4.33¾ per bu. Chicago May wheat was down 12¢ to close at $5.32¼ per bu. Kansas City May wheat dropped 12¾¢ to close at $5.74¾ per bu. Minneapolis May wheat lost 8¼¢ and closed at $6.55¼ per bu. May soybeans eased 1½¢ to close at $11.95¼ per bu, but August and beyond were higher. May soybean meal added $1 to close at $337.40 per ton. May soybean oil fell 0.18¢ to close at 48.39¢ a lb.
  • US equity indices closed lower Thursday after a Department of Labor report indicated producer prices rose 0.6% in February from the prior month, more than the 0.3% increase economists had projected, on the heels of Tuesday’s data indicating consumer prices climbed more than forecast over the past year. The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 137.66 points, or 0.35%, to close at 38,905.66. The Standard & Poor’s 500 pared 14.83 points, or 0.29%, to close at 5,150.48. The Nasdaq Composite shed 49.24 points, or 0.3%, to close at 16,128.53. 
  • US crude oil prices were higher Thursday. The April West Texas Intermediate light, sweet crude future added $1.54 to close at $81.26 per barrel. 
  • The US dollar index strengthened on Thursday. 
  • US gold futures flipped direction again Thursday. The April contract declined $13.30 to close at $2,167.50 per oz.

Recap for March 13

  • Wheat futures were mostly lower Wednesday, pressured by substantial global supplies. Corn futures were mostly flat, notching only modest gains on concerns of weather negatively impacting Brazil’s main corn crop. Soybean futures were mixed, with front-end months supported by delayed harvests in Argentina, but abundant South American supplies weighed on later months. May corn slipped ½¢ to close at $4.41¼ per bu; later months narrowly mixed. Chicago May wheat was down 3¼¢ to close at $5.44¼ per bu; later months were mixed, mostly lower. Kansas City May wheat dropped 9¾¢ to close at $5.87½ per bu. Minneapolis May wheat lost 8½¢ and closed at $6.63½ per bu. May soybeans gained ¾¢ to close at $11.96¾ per bu, but September and beyond were lower. May soybean meal lost $2.80 to close at $336.40 per ton. May soybean oil advanced 0.75¢ to close at 48.57¢ a lb.
  • A drop in technology company shares, including Intel, Nvidia and Advanced Micro Devices sent the S&P 500 and Nasdaq indexes lower Wednesday while the Dow industrials index posted a gain as traders continued to digest the latest inflation reports. The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 37.83 points, or 0.1%, to close at 39,043.32. The Standard & Poor’s 500 eased 9.96 points, or 0.19%, to close at 5,165.31. The Nasdaq Composite pared 87.87 points, or 0.54%, to close at 16,177.77. 
  • US crude oil prices were higher Wednesday. The April West Texas Intermediate light, sweet crude future added $2.16 to close at $79.72 per barrel. 
  • The US dollar index closed lower Wednesday. 
  • US gold futures reverted to a high-side move Wednesday. The April contract added $14.70 to close at $2,180.80 per oz.

Recap for March 12

  • Despite data indicating the latest CPI numbers were hotter-than-expected, major US equity indexes closed higher Tuesday with the S&P 500 notching its 17th record high of 2024. While the latest inflation reading was higher than expected, it wasn’t as high as investors had feared, and many continue to expect cuts to interest rates will begin sometime this year. The Dow Jones Industrial Average advanced 235.83 points, or 0.61%, to close at 39,005.49. The Standard & Poor’s 500 gained 57.33 points, or 1.12%, to close at 5,175.27. The Nasdaq Composite jumped 246.36 points, or 1.54%, to close at 16,265.64. 
  • Soybean futures jumped Tuesday on short-covering and technical trading. Meanwhile, wheat futures were mixed, still drawing strength from technical positioning and short covering, but analysts indicated market fundamentals were weak. Corn futures were mostly flat. May corn was steady at $4.41¾ per bu; later months were steady to narrowly mixed. Chicago May wheat gained ¼¢ to close at $5.47½ per bu, but later months were lower. Kansas City May wheat ticked down 1½¢ to close at $5.97¼ per bu; later months were mixed in a narrow range. Minneapolis May wheat added 2¢ and closed at $6.72 per bu. May soybeans jumped 16¾¢ to close at $11.96 per bu. May soybean meal added $2 to close at $339.20 per ton. May soybean oil advanced 1.18¢ to close at 47.82¢ a lb.
  • US crude oil prices were lower Tuesday. The April West Texas Intermediate light, sweet crude future eased 37¢ to close at $77.56 per barrel. 
  • The US dollar index closed higher again on Tuesday. 
  • US gold futures paused their meteoric rise and closed lower Tuesday. The April contract fell $22.50 to close at $2,166.10 per oz.

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