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 was mixed last week, with SRW higher but the other markets lower.  The USDA reports were considered friendly for Wheat priers but futures closed mostly lower anyway and were led lower by Minneapolis.  USDA said that All Wheat plantings would be about 47.5 million acres, with the big reductions seen in Winter Wheat.  In contrast, Spring Wheat plantings were above the trade guesses at 11.335 million acres.  Inventories were just above the average trade guess and 1.083 billion bushels.  The problems with Russian Wheat exporter RiF continue.  The dispute has held up shipments of at least 400,000 tons of grain so far.  The reports indicate that the government is seeking more control of the exports and has made life very difficult on the private exporters in an effort to extract more sales and powers to the government.  Russia is the worlds largest exporter and sets the world price and prices remain low.  Big world supplies and low world prices are still around.  Export sales remain weak on competition from Rusia, Ukraine, and the EU as those countries look to export a lot of Wheat in the coming period.  Black Sea offers are still plentiful.

Weekly Chicago Soft Red Winter Wheat Futures

Weekly Chicago Hard Red Winter Wheat Futures

Weekly Minneapolis Hard Red Spring Wheat Futures


Corn:  Corn and Oats closed higher on Friday and Corn closed higher for the week in reaction to the USDA reports that showed inventories and planting ideas below trade expectations.  USDQ said that plantings should be just 90 million acres and that inventories are estimated at 8.347 billion bushels.  The plantings intentions report was especially bullish for Corn prices.  Demand for Corn has been strong at lower prices.  Big supplies and reports of limited demand are still around, but futures have been very oversold.  Futures are much lower than just a few months ago and a short covering rally is increasingly expected and might start next week.  Funds remain very large shorts in the market.  Basis levels have started to firm in the US as processors look for supplies amid tight farmer holding patterns.   The weather forecasts for Argentina are improving with drier weather expected this week after some big rains last week.  More rain is forecast for central and northern Brazil, but dry weather is forecast for southern Brazil   The planting progress reports to date indicate rapid progress and reports from Brazil indicate that the Winter crop has been mostly planted now.

Weekly Corn Futures

 Weekly Oats Futures


Soybeans and Soybean Meal:  Soybeans and Soybean Meal closed slightly lower last week in reaction to the USDA reports that showed slightly higher quarterly stocks and planting intentions when compared to expectations.  USDA said that the stocks were 1.845 billion bushels and that farmers would plant 86.5 million acres of Soybeans.  Brazil producers had been taking advantage on higher futures in the US and higher basis levels in Brazil, but the basis has fallen sharply in Brazil this week and sales have been less.  Reports of great export demand in Brazil provide some support.  Reports indicate that China has been a very active buyer of Brazil Soybeans this season.  Ideas that South American production is taking demand from the US have pressured futures lower.  Funds remain large shorts in the market.  Basis levels in the US are reported to be firming as processors look for supplies and farmers remain tight holders.  \Big rains were reported in Argentina last week but it should be drier there this week.

Weekly Chicago Soybeans Futures

Weekly Chicago Soybean Meal Futures


Rice:  Rice closed sharply lower last week and at new lows for the move every day.  Trends are down in this market.  Good demand for export continues.  The overseas markets feature less production in Brazil and India, and it appears that the lack of offer from these markets is supporting increased demand for US Rice and prices here in the US.  It turned wetter and colder in the US last week and fieldwork will be much reduced.

Weekly Chicago Rice Futures


Palm Oil and Vegetable Oils:   Palm Oil was lower last week on ideas of increasing world supplies of vegetable oils.  The export pace is expected to continue to really improve but this is part of the price already.  The Southern Peninsula Palm Oil Millers Association expects Malaysia’s palm oil production for March 1-20 to have risen 22%.  Domestic biofuels demand is likely to improve.  Ideas of weaker production ideas against good demand still support the market overall.  The fundamentals of average demand against a weaker supply outlook are still around to keep prices supported.   Trends are turning down on the daily charts.  Canola was lower last week and rends started to turn down on the daily reports.  There were reports of big rains in Argentina, but forecasts for drier conditions now and improving weather in Brazil.  Current forecasts call for generally improved growing conditions in Brazil this week.

Weekly Malaysian Palm Oil Futures

Weekly Chicago Soybean Oil Futures

Weekly Canola Futures


Cotton:  Cotton was a little lower last week and trends started to turn down on concerns about the planting intentions report released Friday morning and despite improving ideas of demand potential from China.  USDA said that 10.7 million acres might get planted this year, from 10.2 million last year.  It is too early to plant in Texas but the heat and dry weather raises concerns about production potential later in the growing season and blackened soils might not permit much planting, anyway.  The demand news has been solid but reduced from previous levels in this market for the last several weeks.  The US economic data has been positive, but the Chinese economic data has not been real positive and demand concerns are still around.   However, Chinese consumer demand has held together well, leading some to think that demand for Cotton in world markets will increase over time.

Weekly US Cotton Futures


Frozen Concentrated Orange Juice and Citrus: FCOJ closed a little lower last week in range trading.  Reports of tight supplies are around.  Florida said that Oranges production will be low, but above a year ago.  Futures still appear to have topped out even with no real downtrend showing yet, so a range trade has been seen.  Prices had been moving lower on the increased production potential for Florida and the US and in Brazil but is now holding as current supplies remain very tight amid only incremental relief for supplies is forecast for the coming new crop season.  There are no weather concerns to speak of for Florida or for Brazil right now.  The weather has improved in Brazil with some moderation in temperatures and increased rainfall amid reports of short supplies in Florida and Brazil are around but will start to disappear as the weather improves and the new crop gets harvested.

Weekly FCOJ Futures


Coffee:  Both markets closed higher last week, with London closing with small gains after making new highs for the move.  The lack of Rcbusta Coffee in the market continues to support futures.  Robusta offers from Vietnam remain difficult to find and the lack of offer of Robusta is a bullish force behind the London market action.  Vietnamese producers are reported to have about a quarter of the crop left to sell or less and reports indicate that Brazil producers are reluctant sellers for now after selling a lot earlier in the year.  The next Robusta harvest in Brazil will start next month.  Brazil weather continues to improve for Coffee production and conditions are called good.

Weekly New York Arabica Coffee Futures

Weekly London Robusta Coffee Futures


Sugar:  New York and London closed higher last week after giving some ground late in the week in response to the UNICA estimates released early in the morning.  Ideas of stronger demand have surfaced, and producers do not appear to be selling much.  Indian production estimates are creeping higher but are still reduced from recent years.  There are worries about the Thai and Indian production.  Offers from Brazil are still active but other origins. are still not offering in large amounts except for Ukraine.  Ukraine offers have suffered lately with the war.  Demand reports from Europe have been strong.  UNICA in Brazil said that the center south Sugar crush was 2.2 million tons in the first half of March, up 272% from last year.  Sugar production was 64,000 tons, up 313%, and ethanol production was 367 million liters, up 39%

Weekly New York World Raw Sugar Futures

Weekly London White Sugar Futures


Cocoa:  Futures were sharply higher last week and kept the incredible rally going.  Production concerns in West Africa as well as demand from nontraditional sources along with traditional buyers keep supporting futures.  Production in West Africa could be reduced this year due to the extreme weather which included Harmattan conditions.  The availability of Cocoa from West Africa remains very restricted and projections for another production deficit against demand for the coming year are increasing.  Ideas of tight supplies remain based on more reports of reduced arrivals in Ivory Coast and Ghana continue.  Demand continues to be strong, especially from nontraditional buyers of Cocoa.

Weekly New York Cocoa Futures

Weekly London Cocoa Futures

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