Ben Brandvik - Grain Marketing Team
The corn markets have been extremely dull with March futures having only a 20 range during the last quarter. Basis has been able to hold steady in spite of the excess of local crops. Some producers are taking advantage of the fact that new crop corn is valued at about 30 cents more than old crop, and nearing $3.50 for a contract price.
The wheat markets have fared nicely during the previous weeks. We have gained 60+ cents since mid December spurred by dry weather concerns in the domestic market, excessive cold temperatures, less planted acres, and concern over weather conditions across the globe. Unfortunately, volatility has been gut wrenching with big daily swings of 10+ cents becoming the norm. We are encouraging producers to start contracting next year’s wheat, now that prices are well above $4.00 per bushel.
Be sure to contact us if you have high quality wheat stored on the farm. The market is paying nice premiums for high protein and high test weight stocks. You may have noticed your local elevator moving carloads of wheat at a rapid pace. We need high quality wheat to be able to continue the current campaign, so take advantage of it before you get busy again this spring.
Many of you saw the violent turn in the milo basis. Our local basis widened 40 cents per bushel after China stated that they will begin an investigation of purported “dumping” of U.S. stocks into the Chinese market. Many think that their announcement is in retaliation against added tariffs on solar panels and appliances that have been coming to the U.S. from China. Hopefully their statement does not lead to sanctions, but the industry is not willing to pay a premium for sorghum at this time because of the added risk.