Ugly day on Friday with lower closes on corn, beans, and especially wheat (uffda).
USDA reported flash sales to China on beans and sorghum.
There were rumors of basis contracts “coming due,” forcing farmer selling in futures. When a farmer sells grain to the elevator on a basis contract, only the basis is fixed. This creates a long futures position in the grain elevator’s brokerage account, held on behalf of the farmer who is invariably waiting for a futures rally to lock in a better price. In practice, many farmers don’t ever get the rally they want and then are charged fees to roll (on top of the carrying charge built into the futures market curve), and often end up having to—what we call in the trading business—puke the position at the final end date, often at or near the end of the crop year. The accumulated losses from rolling the long futures position as well as any fees incurred are counted against the basis price. It’s important to remember that when you sell grain on a basis-only contract, all you’re doing is replacing your physical grain with a long futures position—you may not own your corn anymore but you still own corn. And it sucks to pay carrying charges.