Wheat was the winner for 2021, but it ends the year on a sour note

AgweekTV's Michelle Rook and Randy Martinson of Martinson Ag Risk Management talk about where wheat, corn, soybeans, cattle and hogs ended up in 2021.

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The wheat market, Michelle Rook said on this week's Agweek Market Wrap, was up 57% for the year, making it the big winner in ag markets for 2021.

But it closed out the year on a bit of a down note, with all classes seeing losses this week. Randy Martinson of Martinson Ag Risk Management explained wheat has been struggling for a variety of reasons, including a lack of demand as well as technical damage.

"It's just like the market collapsed and there wasn't anything to catch it," he said.

He thinks the market can recover, though. Tight supplies remain an issue right now, and trouble with winter wheat, including dry conditions and winds, could become more clear once it comes out of dormancy. Plus, as corn and soybeans go higher, wheat will have to climb, too, he said.

Soybeans were due for a bit of a correction after nine straight days of being up and gaining $1.40, Rook said. Martinson said that besides being "rip for a little bit of a technical correction," beans also took a hit on news of unexpected rain in southern Brazil.


But it looks to remain mostly dry in southern Brazil and in Argentina, and there have been quality issues in northern Brazil because of rains, and that all should be good news for the market, he said.

Soybean meal has remained the leader in the soybean sector, as soybean oil has stayed in the backseat.

Corn had a down week, in large part because of the wheat market. The good news, Martinson said, is exports were strong. Concerns remain about the weather in the southern hemisphere, which could be good news for the corn market, too.

Rook questioned whether it would be possible to get corn back above $6, and Martinson said it does seem possible. South American crop deterioration, more export demand and more feed demand as temperatures drop all would work in corn's favor. Plus, ethanol remains strong.

Feeders have been the leaders in the cattle complex, Rook said. That comes down to the tight supplies of cattle and the expected continuing herd reduction following the 2021 drought.

"It's been a bright spot," Martinson said, noting new contract highs. "A lot of the emphasis is being put on the tight supplies we're going to see later."

The hog market remains two-tiered, with future months seeing gains over front months. Martinson said supplies are not just expected to get tight in the future but appear to be tight already, but still the front months continue to struggle.

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

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