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 mixed last week with Minneapolis higher as another blizzard is forecast for this week in Spring Wheat growing areas, and Chicago was lower on speculative selling tied as wire reports from Russia indicated that the country has a very big Wheat crop.  They have been offering into the world market at relatively cheap prices.  Hard Red Winter Wheat was a little lower on forecasts for some very light precipitation to fall in JHRW growing areas of the western Great Plains this week..  The western US Great Plains remained too dry and crop conditions were very poor and the war continued in Ukraine with little if any ideas of a cease fire mentioned.   Ports are closed in Ukraine but Russian shippers and exporters are offering and some sales are being reported at Black Sea ports despite the high insurance costs associated with the boats coming into the sea.  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 a little higher last week despite some late week selling from speculators on reports that Brazilian and Argentine Corn were offered at prices much lower than those of the US   The price weakness was in the nearby months as better demand for American Corn due to the loss of export potential from Ukraine went against the cheaper South American offers.  Export sales were off in the weekly report but big sales were announced on Friday to China and Mexico.  New crop futures spent the day a little lower on forecasts for warmer but still wet weather for the US Midwest.  The potential loss of Ukraine exports of Corn makes the world situation tighter.  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 and Soybean Oil were higher last week on the reduced production from South America and on increasing concerns in the US about the cold and wet Midwest weather keeping farmers from the fields for planting.  Demand has been strong even with a slower export pace from the US with NOPA showing a higher crush rate than anticipate by the trade earlier in the week.  Soybean Oil has been the leader to the upside and made new contract highs.  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 not much 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.  China said last week that it imported less Soybeans from the US in March than a year ago.  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 near unchanged last week after a wide ranging week as the market continued to consolidate.  The weekly export sales report showed increased sales from the previous week.  Sales were moderate.  The overall rally is expected to start again very soon.  It looks like supplies are tight and demand is holding together in this market.  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 on currency considerations and as Indonesia announced it would ban Palm Oil exports to help control higher internal prices.  Hopes for better demand from India keep the market supported.  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.  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 higher along with Chicago.   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.  Trends have turned up again in this market.

Weekly Malaysian Palm Oil Futures

Weekly Chicago Soybean Oil Futures

Weekly Canola Futures


Cotton:  Cotton was lower after trading both sides of unchanged last week on weaker export sales for the week.  Support came from dry weather forecasts for the Great Plains and on news late last week that India has waived import taxes on Cotton until September.  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 although there will be a little rain in the region.  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.  One Fed governor said he thought interest rates could be imports due to Covid and is also closing down a number of cities as the Covid spreads through the nation.  raise a full point this year.  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 the ports for imports due to Covid and is also closing down a number of cities.

Weekly US Cotton Futures


Frozen Concentrated Orange Juice and Citrus:  FCOJ was a little lower last week in consolidation trading that showed big swings on either side of unchanged.  The market now knows it is short Oranges and short juice production but is also worried about domestic demand destruction as pills are becoming cheaper again.  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 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.

Weekly FCOJ Futures


Coffee:  New York and London closed higher last week on ideas of les on offer in the cash market.  Deliveries from Vietnam and Brazil Robusta are noted to be decreasing as the harvest is now complete.  Indonesian offers are increasing due to plentiful stocks inside the country.  Arabica deliveries from Brazil are less in part due to less production and in part due to a stronger Real that has cut prices paid to farmers inside the country.  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.  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.

Weekly New York Arabica Coffee Futures

Weekly London Robusta Coffee Futures


Sugar:  New York and London were both lower last week.  Increased offers from India and Thailand are expected if the market continues to rally.  Pakistan is also increasing its offers due to good crops there.  The US government is permitting refiners to blend 15% ethanol into the fuel mixtures instead of 10% for the coming Summer.  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.  CONAB estimated Sugarcane production at 585.2 million tons for 2021-22.

Weekly New York World Raw Sugar Futures

Weekly London White Sugar Futures


Cocoa:  New York and London closed lower again last week and the trends are down on the charts.  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 and net drying is reported.  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