Corn & Soybeans Keep Rolling. The Corn & Ethanol Report

We started off the day with Export Sales, Initial Jobless Claims (26/DEC), Jobless Claims 4-Week Average (26/DEC), and Continuing Jobless Claims (19/DEC) at 7:30 A.M., 4-Week and 8_Week Bill Auction at 9:00 A.M., and EIA Gas Storage at 9:30 A.M.

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On the Corn front, the market keeps rolling along. We did see some profit-taking yesterday and the market did a 180-degree turn and closed near the highs. Looking at the final Export Sales number for this year. Meghan Grebner with Brownfield AG News for America reports, that there are several factors that are pushing projections for corn and soybean prices higher for next year and could impact the profitability of livestock and dairy producers. Tanner Ehmke, manager of CoBank’s Knowledge Exchange points out that something producers will have to keep a close eye on in 2021. “If you’re an end-user and you have to pay a higher price for those commodities, that’s not such good news and it’s going to be squeezing the margins for animal protein, poultry, and dairy products,” he said. “This is also coming at the same time when China is reducing or slowing, their purchase of animal proteins from the U.S. as they rebuild their hog herd.” He went on to say, that sets up a very narrow path to profitability for livestock and dairy producers… especially when considering exports. “We think it will be a slower export pace of animal protein in product to China, that is going to put downward pressure on animal protein prices here in the U.S.” Increased restaurant activity post-COVID would improve demand for livestock and dairy and help offset an increase in inputs. In the overnight electronic session, the March corn is currently trading at 480 which is 5 ½ cents higher. The trading range has been 481 ½ to 473.

On the ethanol front, this market is expecting a much sounder 2021 as well and is preparing to deliver the goods. The EIA reported a 300,000-barrel increase in U.S. inventory of ethanol during the week of December 25 and the ninth consecutive week with a build, pushing stockpiles to their highest levels since mid-May at 23.5 million bbl, while 2.5 million bbl or 11.9% above a year ago. We will see what role that will play in expanded exports next year and the numbers look promising now. We will be tracking April ethanol because it is the richest in Open Interest. With no trades posted in the overnight electronic session the April settled at 1.523 and is currently showing 1 bid @ 1.523 and 0 offers posted with Open Interest at 43 contracts.

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