The Grain Hedge Team provides a macro-focused daily view of the world’s grain markets. Kevin McNew received a bachelor’s degree from Oklahoma State University and his master’s and Ph.D. degrees in Economics from North Carolina State University. He spent 10 years as a Professor of Economics with the University of Maryland and Montana State University focusing on commodity markets and is widely regarded for his ability to boil-down complex economic situations into easy-to-understand concepts for applied life.
Grain Basis Rallies
Sep 16, 2008
Corn and soybean basis gained ground this past with U.S. average gains of 5-cents a bushel for both crops. However, considerable variation existed around the country as some southern-tier states are well into harvest while other areas of the country saw stronger basis as weaker futures have slowed country movement to end-users. At the Gulf, basis levels were mixed as corn basis bounced 8-cents a bushel higher but soybeans were off 10 cents for the week.
If corn, basis levels were mostly stronger along the river system and the Western Cornbelt. Gains of 6 to 8 cents a bushel were common in these regions. Many ethanol plants in NE, IA and SD are pushing corn basis higher with gains of 10 cents or more fairly typical over the past week.
For soybeans, the gains and losses were much more sporadic over the country. Areas of the Western cCornbelt and river system saw solid gains in soybean basis over the last week, while Eastern Cornbelt states were mostly unchanged to slightly weaker. Eastern Seaboard processor markets in the Carolinas up to the Mid-Atlantic were mostly unchanged for the past week, but are pushing higher on Monday, reflecting a need for short-term supplies before harvest.
Overall, look for end users to continue to drive up basis until we get to harvest. However, the impact on basis from harvest should be large, especially for soybeans where basis levels might be as much as a $1 per bushel lower than current levels. Also, look for slight weakening in basis levels around the river system in the next few days as rain-drenched rivers are putting a crimp on barge traffic and pushing barge rates higher.