Commodity Updates for Corn, Soybeans and Sugar

The October 2015 corn harvest is progressing well and is more than 60% complete. However, the condition of the crop is not as good as last year with only 68% of the crop rated good to excellent versus a 74% crop rating for the same condition last year. Forecasted corn supply from the upcoming crop is 5% lower than last year while demand is up slightly from last year and projected to be at record high demand levels. Nearby corn prices have been relatively range bound at $3.50 to $4.00 per bushel; and current futures through this crop year show corn staying in this range, but most probably closer to the upper range.

With over 77% of acres already harvested, the soybean harvest is close to completion. Since the forecasted crop is expected to be large and soybeans are forecasted to have a robust stock level, soybean pricing has dropped as the harvest has progressed. Prices have ranged this year between $8.50 to $10.50 per bushel with recent pricing trending downward; and the current and futures price are around $9.00 per bushel.

Concerns over export demand, especially from China, have contributed to volatile soybean meal and soybean oil pricing. A good global supply and a strong dollar are contributing to a lower forecasted export demand for US soybean meal and soybean oil. Soybean meal pricing has trended between $300 to $375 per ton, with current and futures prices now hovering close to the bottom of this range. Facing similar volatility, soybean oil has been traded this year in a wider price of $.26 to $.35 per pound. The low of $.26 per lb. was as recent as late September, but has recently shown some price strength with current and futures prices ranging $.29 to $.30 per pound.

Sugar is a relatively protected market with restricted imports into the US. Previously, Mexico sugar imports were unrestricted with NAFTA, but with an agreement to avoid anti-dumping charges against Mexico, imports from there have also become restricted. Sugar has been relatively flat in pricing with future pricing not expected to change dramatically, but there is probably more risk of a moderate price increase than a price decrease.