March soybeans closed up 7 cents Thursday and March K.C. wheat was up 8 1/4 cents, taking advantage of long stretches of dry weather that are not over yet. U.S. grain prices are also benefiting from a U.S. dollar index trading near its lowest prices in three years.
Midday: Corn is mixed, but wheat and beans flat to firm at midday.
Corn trade is flat at midday with trade stuck at the upper end of the four-month trading range. Ethanol futures are edging higher to support margins here at midday. Good current and projected livestock margins should keep feed usage high as well looking forward throughout 2018.
The bull argument needs exports to kick it up a notch to prevent bears from arguing friendly items are priced-in with our strength the past month. Weekly export sales were strong again at 1.97 million metric tons.
On the March chart support is at the 20-day at $3.59 with the 100-day at 3.57 below that, with the 200-day moving average at $3.76 the highest moving average and major resistance.
Soybean trade is 2 to 5 cents higher with trade working to extend gains with somewhat choppy trade. Meal is $3 to $4 higher and oil is flat to 10 lower. There should volatility moving forward with the moves to new highs for the move this week and the important weather month of February in South America.
The Argentine weather picture continues to be watched with little relief expected in the next week. Early Brazilian harvest will continue despite being slowed by rains, causing some crop losses.
The weekly export sales remained softer at 640,400 metric tons of beans, 210,000 of meal, and 24,400 of oil. On the March, support is the 10-day moving average at $9.90, with resistance the $10.27, which is the 6-month high.
Wheat trade is flat to 7 cents higher at midday with trade chopping around the upper end of the range with mixed forecasts and support from the row crops. Looking at the weather I am still concerned the dry trend will remain the entrenched pattern for the plains with La Nina in the Pacific. The Russian crop will continue to be watched with less cover than usual, and India shaping up to potentially import more bushels the coming year.
Weekly export sales were as expected at 311,100 metric tons. On the March KC wheat support is at the $4.55 20-day with resistance at the $4.72 200-day which we are back above at midday then the recent high at $4.84 1/2.