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Spring Market Outlook
Wednesday, March 27, 2024

“Commodity bears” have awakened from their dens early this spring as grain and oilseed prices have dipped back down to multi-year lows. Can the pressure continue? How will planted acreage shake out this spring and what could new crop 2024/25 balance sheets look like? Nicole Thomas and Eric Thornton will discuss what is on the horizon for corn, the soy complex, and wheat.

Sugar, on the other hand, remains a challenging commodity to navigate. Not to fear! Kevin Combs will provide his analysis on the global and domestic market and check in on how price negotiations are shaking out for 2025.

Plan to attend our 2024 Spring Market Outlook webinar to hear our entire outlook on commodity markets heading into the spring growing season.

When: Wednesday, March 27, 2024 · 11:00 a.m. · PST
Duration: 1 hour

Register for the live webinar here.

The corn market has been on the upswing, more or less, since late February. Demand for corn for export and ethanol remains solid, and the rise in crude oil and RBOB gas has also lent some momentum. USDA will update grain stocks on Mar. 28, and we may see some adjustments to corn use in the April WASDE (such as a bump in corn use for ethanol). Also, on Mar. 28 USDA will release the Prospective Plantings report, which is expected to show lower corn acreage in 2024. New-crop Dec-24 corn futures have closed higher in 12 of the last 15 sessions and are poised to test resistance around $4.80 per bushel.

U.S. weekly soybean exports continue to decline as of the week of Mar. 14. China bought a cumulated volume of 304,447 MT by the same week, with an increase in China’s share of U.S. total soybean exports to 78.6 percent. 

USDA is to release the Prospective Plantings report next week where soybean acreage is expected to increase from the previous year. Soybean oil futures settled higher last Friday, but prices are lower while soybean oil basis remains unchanged.

In the week of Mar. 18, most-active #11 and #5 world sugar futures traded mostly sideways, consolidating near their 20-day averages but failing to recover to price levels seen in February. Modest dollar strength and a midweek correction lower for crude oil futures may have helped curb further price gains. Domestic #16 raw sugar is also holding below its February levels, testing its 20-day average before shifting lower to find support above 40 cents midweek.

Cocoa is trading above $8,000 per MT this week. The market remains bullish and overbought. The bullish market is not influenced by speculators, as many may initially suspect. Managed money and non-commercial reportable have been selling since September last year due to high margin rates and high volatility. Supply is the main factor behind price hikes, yet supply is not expected to be restored in the interim future. 

Crude and ULSD heating made some gains with crude clove above $81 per barrel last week. Traders did not make changes to their current positions despite the change in the trend in the market. Speculators found value in natural gas futures as compared to crude and heating oil.

This report summarizes a small sampling of the information available on our IQ Ingredient Intelligence platform. Further insights, statistics, analysis, and pricing information for these commodities and others are available to IQ subscribers.

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Posted by: Information Services
Our Information Services team assists our clients with understanding commodity and ingredient market dynamics. Using our extensive database of intelligence, we also produce regular commodity and commercial market publications covering supply and demand fundamentals, news alerts on events that shape the markets, and resource guides to give you a complete picture of the industries we monitor.