Price action: Corn futures did not stray far from unchanged throughout the session, but bears took a late advantage to result in a steady to 1 1/2-cent lower close for the day. For the week, the market posted modest gains.
5-day outlook: Harvest-related hedge pressure will continue to limit buying in the corn market until progress passes half complete. But it is not yet clear if USDA will update its Crop Progress and Condition Report on Monday. Thursday's export sales data for the week ended Oct. 3 will also be important as the market has been in the dark on export activity since Oct. 1. Today's data for the week ended Sept. 26 reflected stronger than expected sales.
30-day outlook: The November Crop Production and Supply & Demand updates will take on added importance in the wake of the cancellation of the October reports. However, it is unclear whether this data will be compromised by the government shutdown. Meanwhile, the Oct. 31 release of export sales data for Oct. 4-24 could also be a market-mover, as could the Nov. 13 update of certified acreage data (the Oct. 16 release was canceled due to the shutdown).
90-day outlook: Carryover supplies are expected to be replenished this year, which means focus will be on the export side of the equation and what sort of prices will sustain a strong demand base. Planting intentions for 2014 will also shift back into focus. Early expectations are for a fairly substantial retreat in corn acres.
Hedgers: 25% of expected 2013-crop production is sold via cash forward contract for harvest delivery.
Cash-only marketers: 25% of expected 2013-crop production is sold via forward contract for harvest delivery.
Price action: Soybean futures were on the defensive after testing overhead resistance in the overnight session. But losses were relatively limited and were mostly trimmed by the close. November futures finished 2 cents lower but higher on a weekly basis.
5-day outlook: The lack of government data has traders guessing on how much of the harvest has been completed. However, private sources believe harvest has at least reached the 50% completed stage, if not more. The lack of pre-weekend hedge-related pressure seems to support that view. But without any major export-related news, ongoing harvest next week will keep prices on the defensive.
30-day outlook: The market is waiting on confirmation of a surge in export business prompted by the slump in bean prices and the U.S. dollar index. If that export business is delayed, prices will labor under ongoing harvest efforts. If that business appears, prices will start to trend higher.
90-day outlook: Prices will find it difficult to rally until a surge in export demand is confirmed. Exporters may be complacent about lining up supplies as long as harvest is underway and the U.S. dollar shows signs of weakening. But they may become more aggressive when harvest is completed and available supplies get locked up in storage.
Hedgers: Get to 100% sold in the cash market on expected 2013-crop production. We'll manage risk on the board the remainder of the marketing year.
Cash-only marketers: Get to 75% sold on expected 2013-crop production.
Price action: Wheat futures finished the week with a flourish, closing with gains in the teens in most SRW, HRW and HRS contracts. After showing signs of rolling over earlier in the week, wheat finished on its weekly highs to extend the price recovery.
5-day outlook: The weekly high close and upside breakout from the short-term consolidation range points to followthrough buying in wheat futures next week. But the market is going to need fresh bullish news to spark active buying interest. If fresh supportive news is lacking, wheat futures could face profit-taking pressure.
30-day outlook: Weather is favorable for the U.S. winter wheat crop and acreage is expected to be steady to higher compared to the 2012-13 crop. Therefore, additional price strength must come from heightened global supply concerns or a pickup in export demand.
90-day outlook: The key to the sustainability of the price recovery in the wheat market lies with demand. If export demand for U.S. wheat picks up as prices rise, it would signal the global supply situation is even tighter than anticipated.
Hedgers: 75% sold on 2013-crop in the cash market. No 2014-crop sales are advised.
Cash-only marketers: 50% sold on 2013-crop. No 2014-crop sales are advised at this time.
Price action: Cotton futures ended 34 to 71 points lower today to finish lower for the week and near weekly lows.
5-day outlook: The technical posture of the market is bearish and bears have momentum on their side. That suggests December cotton futures are likely to challenge key support at the bottom of the broad, sideways range. If that support is violated, it could turn into a heavy selloff. If that support holds, a corrective bounce is likely.
30-day outlook: Cotton harvest is picking up and yields are generally strong. If that remains the case, it will be hard for the cotton market to generate much buying interest barring a bullish development on the demand side of the market.
90-day outlook: Chinese demand is the wildcard to the longer-term price outlook. With China sitting on roughly 50% to 60% of global cotton supplies, it's unlikely Chinese demand will be overly strong, though private firms may choose to import cotton instead of buying state-owned reserves.
Hedgers: 50% of expected 2013-crop production is hedged in December cotton futures at 83.87 cents. 50% of expected 2013-crop production is also sold via cash forward contract for harvest delivery.
Cash-only marketers: 50% of expected 2013-crop production is sold via cash forward contract for harvest delivery.