Based on exporter demand and somewhat higher barge freight costs, basis bids for corn delivered by barge to the U.S. Gulf Coast firmed up on Monday. In contrast, dealers said that spot soy barge bids remained stable despite signs of resurgent soy export activity.
Corn barges loaded in January were offered at 80 cents over March (CH3) futures on the Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT), up 5 cents from the previous day. The price for February corn barges was 85 cents over futures, up 3 cents from the previous day.
While wheat export inspections of 334,217 tonnes were marginally higher than last week’s inspections, corn export inspections of 727,643 tonnes were lower than week-ago totals. Both results matched analyst expectations.
The FOB offer for maize shipments in February remained constant at about 88 cents over CBOT March futures, while the offer for shipments in March increased by 4 cents to about 93 cents over futures.
CIF Gulf barges filled in January were offered for soybeans at 110 cents over CBOT March (SH3) futures, which is the same as Friday’s price. Bidding for February soy barges increased by 2 cents from Friday to 100 cents over futures.
Down 5 cents on Friday, FOB offers for February soybean cargoes were around 125 cents over March futures.
Generally Steady-Weak Soy Basis, Mixed Corn Bids
This week, barges on the Illinois River were advertised at 700% of the tariff, an increase from Friday’s 675%. On the Mississippi River north of St. Louis, delays were reported around Lock 27 and the Melvin Price Locks, as well as near the LaGrange Lock and Dam on the Illinois River.
For the fourth session in a row, Chicago soybean futures fell on Monday as rain in Argentina’s arid growing regions allayed worries about crop damage. As required moisture for the winter wheat harvests was provided by snow and rain over portions of the American Great Plains, wheat fell to almost 16-month lows. Corn also declined, along with soybeans.
The most active soybean contract on the Chicago Board of Trade fell 16 1/4 cents to finish at $14.90-1/4 a bushel after reaching $14.79-3/4, its lowest level since January 10. Although prolonged dryness in recent weeks may have already harmed much of the crop, the rain forecast in Argentina over the weekend is expected to help soybean harvests. The following week is predicted to see more rain.
On Monday, spot basis bids for soybeans were largely stable at elevators throughout the American Midwest and largely unchanged to lower at processing plants, according to dealers.
Basis bids for spot corn were barely in agreement. On Monday, farmer sales were weak as futures markets experienced a steep decline. At a sizable processor in Decatur, Illinois, the spot corn basis bid increased by 5 cents per bushel while falling by 15 cents at a processor in Blair, Nebraska.
In Sioux City, Iowa, a soy crusher decreased its spot basis bid by 10 cents a bushel. After two additional processors in the area shut down unexpectedly last week for repair, a broker said that local soybean supplies were abundant.