April 14, 2024

Eastern Corn Belt sees steady corn, soybean basis

Update from Purdue economist

Soybean basis in central Indiana for the first week of March was 25 cents per bushel under May 2024 soybean futures. This is 1 cent per bushel stronger than the first week of February, but is 9 cents per bushel weaker than the historical two-year average soybean basis for the region.

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Corn and soybean basis continue to steadily strengthen at most eastern Corn Belt locations, according to Nathanael Thompson, agricultural economist at Purdue University.

Corn basis in central Indiana for the first week of March was 24 cents per bushel under May 2024 corn futures, according to his latest basis update.

This is 5 cents per bushel stronger than the first week of February, but still about 18 cents per bushel weaker than the historical three-year average corn basis for the region.

Thompson expects this trend to continue for the next four to six weeks.

“However, as we approach planting of the 2024 crop, new-crop conditions will begin to weigh heavily on old-crop basis levels,” the report stated.

“As a result, Purdue research demonstrates that predicting basis levels during May, June and July is very difficult.

“Those still owning ‘23 crop will want to be cognizant of this risk and pay close attention to basis levels if they plan to continue owning grain into the summer months.”

Corn and soybean basis at Ohio River terminals took an unseasonal dip prior to February USDA and CONAB adjustments to Brazilian production.

“Not surprisingly, corn and soybean basis at Ohio River terminals strengthened in response to reduced Brazilian production estimates,” Thompson said.

“For example, soybean basis at Ohio River terminals for the first week of March was 6 cents per bushel over May 2024 soybean futures. This is 17 cents per bushel stronger than the first week of February, but is still 17 cents per bushel weaker than the historical two-year average soybean basis for these terminals.

“With nearly half of Brazilian soybean harvest complete at this point, we will continue to pay attention to Brazilian production as it plays a critical role in soybean export markets.”

Keep up to date on basis patterns in your area using the Center’s Crop Basis Tool at https://tinyurl.com/yc2szp97.

The tool allows you to follow crop basis in Indiana, as well as Illinois, Iowa, Michigan and Ohio.

Erica Quinlan

Erica Quinlan

Field Editor