About The Author

Jack Scoville

Jack Scoville is an often quoted market analyst in the grain and soft commodities sectors. You will find his commentary throughout the Reuters, Wall Street Journal, Dow Jones, Bloomberg, and Barron's publications. Contact Mr. Scoville at (312) 264-4322

Wheat:  Wheat markets were lower on Friday but solidly higher for the week as the western US Great Plains remained too dry and crop conditions were very poor although improved from the previous week.  Trends are up in all three markets on the daily and weekly charts due to the poor growing conditions for the crops in the ground.  Ports are closed in Ukraine and Russian shippers and exporters are not offering in part due to sanctions but mostly due to the war and the chance to lose ships due to reports of mines in the Black Sea placed by the Russians.  However, there were reports of Russian Wheat appearing in the world market late last week.  Ukraine can rail the exports to the EU for shipment but the amount that can be moved is very limited.

Weekly Chicago Soft Red Winter Wheat Futures

Weekly Chicago Hard Red Winter Wheat Futures

Weekly Minneapolis Hard Red Spring Wheat Futures

 

Corn:  Corn closed higher last week and trends are up on the daily and weekly charts.  Oats closed lower after making new highs for the move, but trends are still up on the weekly charts.  Corn futures made new highs for the move as the market deals with less due to the war in Ukraine and the planting intentions of US farmers for the coming growing season.  The potential loss of Ukraine exports of Corn makes the world situation tighter and could be enough to keep Corn prices trending higher for now.  The ports remain closed and Ukraine can rail out to the EU in limited amounts.  Russia is also a Corn exporter and no product is moving from either country at this time  China has a Covid outbreak again and has closed some cities and some ports in response.  The moves are harsh but China has a no tolerance policy about the pandemic.  The closings of cities and ports will hurt the economy as people can’t make or spend money and hurt imports as there will be fewer places to unload cargoes.  However, China has been a very big buyer of US Corn over the last couple of weeks as they need the feed and Ukraine cannot currently offer any supply.  President Biden has said he will permit the use of higher ethanol blends in gasoline this Summer in an effort to control inflation and high fuel prices.

Weekly Corn Futures

 Weekly Oats Futures

 

Soybeans and Soybean Meal:  Soybeans were lower and the products were higher as Soybean Oil trends turned up and as there are increasing concerns in the US about the cold and wet Midwest weather keeping farmers from the fields for planting.  President Biden has said he will support expanded use of bio fuels this Summer in an effort to control higher fuel prices. More sanctions are now threatened for Russia due to what the world is seeing in Ukraine right now.  There are still worries about Chinese demand because of Covid lockdowns there.  China has not been mentioned as a Soybeans buyer in the daily sales reports from USDA for the last couple of weeks.  Supplies available to the export market from South America remain limited.  Both Ukraine and Russia are major exporters of Sunoil and control about 80% of the market combined but no Sunoil is moving from either country these days.  China has been a major buyer of US Soybeans this year after a very slow start due to the problems in South America.  They are buying for this year and already have booked a large amount of new crop Soybeans to cover future needs.  Ideas are that the Chinese economy could slow down due to the Covid lockdowns there and cause the country to purchase less Soybeans in the world market.  The world situation is still tightening as Brazil and Argentina harvested less Soybeans.

Weekly Chicago Soybeans Futures

Weekly Chicago Soybean Meal Futures

 

Rice:  Rice was sharply higher on Friday and held the weekly trading range.  Trends are up on the daily charts and sideways on the weekly charts.  The cash market is showing that domestic mill business is around everywhere in light volumes.  Producer sales are reported to have been way ahead of average early in the marketing year so stocks on hand in first hands are reported to be lower than normal.  Growing conditions are considered good for crops right now although it has been a little cold.

Weekly Chicago Rice Futures

 

Palm Oil and Vegetable Oils:  Palm Oil was higher last week in sympathy with the rallies in Chicago Soybean Oil.  Ideas of decreasing world supplies of vegetable oils were bullish.  A new Covid outbreak is reported in China and cities and infrastructure has been shut down, including some airports and water ports.  The economy could slow down and affect demand.  Demand in Malaysia could improve soon as Indonesia is expected to keep most Palm Oil at home.  However, production from Malaysia is expected to increase as well as the Covid lockdowns finally go away and as the weather is good for production.  Indonesia is once again making moves to cut the availability of Palm Oil for export as it manages high internal prices.  Canola was a little lower last week despite the cold and dry conditions in Canada   It is reported to be very dry and has been cold for planting.  There are ideas of reduced Sunflower export potential from Russia and Ukraine. The market is worried about South American production as well.  Canada produced a very short crop of Canola last year so supplies are tight.  Futures prices are still in a trading range but act ready to go higher.

Weekly Malaysian Palm Oil Futures

Weekly Chicago Soybean Oil Futures

Weekly Canola Futures

 

Cotton:  Cotton was lower on Friday after making new highs for the move on dry weather forecasts for the Great Plains and on news that India has waived import taxes on Cotton until September.  It looks like some speculative long liquidation hit the market on Friday.  Trends remain up on the daily and weekly charts.  India will now increase imports as world and US Cotton is now lower cost to importers.  Much of the western parts of the Great Plains have missed out on recent precipitation events and are likely to miss out again this week.  Production of the next US crop is at risk now.  There was talk about less demand for the market in part from Fed moves to control the inflation now seen in the US and around the world.  Traders are getting worried about a potential recession caused by Fed tightening.  China has been buying even with the port closures and domestic difficulties caused by renewed Covid lockdowns.  Traders are worried about Chinese demand moving forward.  China has closed two ports for imports due to Covid and is also closing down a number of cities as the Covid spreads through the nation.

Weekly US Cotton Futures

 

Frozen Concentrated Orange Juice and Citrus:  FCOJ was sharply higher last week as the market now knows it is short Oranges and short juice production.  Futures were a little lower on Friday on what appeared to be speculative long liquidation before the long weekend.  The greening disease has taken its toll on the US crop and the previous Brazil crop was down significantly due to drought.  Trends are still up on the daily charts.  The weather remains generally good for production around the world.  Brazil has some rain and conditions are rated very good but it is drier now and some tree stress could develop soon.  Weather conditions in Florida are rated mostly good for the crops with some showers and warm temperatures.  Florida Mutual said that FCOJ inventories are now 32% less than last year.

Weekly FCOJ Futures

 

Coffee:  New York and London were both lower again last week as deliveries from Brazil remain less than needed by the market and on ideas of less demand from Ukraine, Russia, and China.  Deliveries from Vietnam and Brazil Robusta are noted to be increasing but Robusta was following New York.  Brazil deliveries are able to expand, but the recent strength in the Brazilian Real is keeping producers from offering right now.  Less deliveries are reported from Vietnam now as producers have sold most of the crop and are holding the rest and waiting for higher prices, but the market is still flush from Vietnamese selling seen earlier in the year.  Good growing conditions for the next crop in Brazil are still around but flowering is reported to be uneven this year in at least some areas.  New York made a key reversal on the weekly charts last week so weaker prices are anticipated this week.

Weekly New York Arabica Coffee Futures

Weekly London Robusta Coffee Futures

 

Sugar:  New York were lower last week and London closed higher.  Weekly chart trends are up in both markets but London appears to be the stronger market.  Increased offers from India and Thailand are expected if the market continues to rally.  The US government has proposed to open the reserve in an effort to lower petroleum prices here and this affected Sugar due to the potential for reduced ethanol demand from the lower prices.  It is also permitting refiners to blend 15% ethanol into the fuel mixtures instead of 10% for the coming Summer.  Russia has left a trail of atrocities in its withdrawal from Kiev and other cities in Ukraine.  News reports indicate that little export activity is taking place from Ukraine with the ports basically closed.  Russia said it is still exporting from Black Sea ports.  India and Thailand expect improved crops this year.  Thailand expects to produce about10 million tons of sugar this year, up 33% from last year.  India said it could produce more than 9.0 million tons of Sugar.  Brazil could also have better Sugarcane production this year but the strengthening Real implies that most of the refining will be for Ethanol and not Sugar.

Weekly New York World Raw Sugar Futures

Weekly London White Sugar Futures

 

 

Cocoa:  New York and London were lower last week.  Daily chart trends are still mixed in New York and are now mixed in London.  The weekly charts also show mixed trends.  The moves are coming before the grind data for the first quarter is released.  The EU released bullish data last week as demand improved more than expected.  The grind was 373,098 tons, up 4.3% from last year and up 2.1% from the previous quarter.  Asia and North America are expected to release grind data early this week, The weather is good for harvest activities in West Africa but some are concerned about dry weather that could affect the yields for the midcrop harvest.  Some showers are in the forecast for West Africa and have been for several weeks, but the precipitation was less than normal last week.  Farmers there say that soil moisture conditions are good for the midcrop, but there are concerns that conditions are too dry overall for the best yields.  The weather is good in Southeast Asia.  Ghana arrivals have been below year ago levels but Ivory Coast arrivals are ahead of last year.

Weekly New York Cocoa Futures

Weekly London Cocoa Futures

 

Questions? Ask Jack Scoville today at 312-264-4322