Markets show end-of-the-month slowdown

AgweekTV's Michelle Rook and Randy Martinson of Martinson Ag Risk Management talked about end-of-the-month profit taking, wheat abandonment and a tight range for corn and soybeans on the Agweek Market Wrap.

Most of the markets were a little down on Friday, but that likely was just end-of-the-month profit taking, AgweekTV's Michelle Rook and Randy Martinson of Martinson Ag Risk Management said on the Agweek Market Wrap.

That wasn't unanticipated, Martinson said. What was a little more expected was for the results of the Wheat Quality Council spring wheat tour to result in a little bit more of a push for the Minneapolis wheat market.

However, as Martinson said, the poor showing was not unexpected as the region remains mired in drought. The market already had traded that, and then the end-of-the-month maneuvering didn't leave much room.

Martinson does believe Minneapolis wheat will move ahead of the other markets at some point.

"It might take until March until Minneapolis really hits its peak," he said.


One big caveat on the already poor results from the Wheat Quality Council's tour: The results don't take into consideration abandoned acres, which will bring the yield down farther still. The U.S. Department of Agriculture also only figures abandonment at 3% until the Sept. 30 Small Grains Summary. Abandonment of spring wheat acres in the North Plains might be 15-19%.

Corn and soybeans didn't make much noise this week.

"We've been trading in a very tight range, it seems like, for the last couple weeks as the market is waiting for some news to come in," Martinson said.

That includes news about weather about whether the eastern Corn Belt can make up for expected poor yields in the Northern Plains and western Corn Belt. Also involved were poor trade returns for both crops.

Basis, Rook pointed out, is still tight in many places. That indicates that farmers aren't selling much old crop and are holding on in case they need bushels to make up for new crop contracts, Martinson said.

Cattle didn't make the moves that were expected after bullish reports on cattle on feed, herd retraction and cold storage, Martinson said. He speculates that news about the Delta variant and possible related economical slowdowns could be involved with that. But boxed beef was up, indicating domestic demand is not bad.

Hogs also lost a little ground this week. African Swine Fever in the Dominican Republic could be one issue, putting the dreaded disease a little too close to the U.S. for comfort. But it also appears demand might have slowed down a bit, Martinson said.

To watch previous episodes of the Agweek Market Wrap, click here.

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