Sunflower markets remain quiet after the holidays

Historically, grain markets tend to turn quiet the week before and after the holidays. This year was no exception as prices traded sideways in the past week, and are unlikely to change unless something happens with NAFTA or other news soon. Old and new crop sunflower prices have been stuck in a trading range for the last two weeks. Sunflower prices at the crush plants ended the week mixed at unchanged to up 10 cents. Nearby prices continue to trade $3 to $3.65 per hundredweight higher this year versus last year at this time. A year ago, harvest pressure and heavy producer selling caused prices to crash and nearby sunflower prices were trading in range of $14 to $14.45 at the crush plants. It is very possible that the market low has already been established and prices will remain relatively firm for the foreseeable future. The market is anxiously awaiting four major USDA reports that will be released in early January: a world supply and demand update, the final numbers for 2017 crop production and yields, a quarterly stocks report and the winter wheat seedings report. The winter wheat report might be the most interesting to traders because that starts the discussion about how many acres of what crops producers are going to plant in 2018. So, until these reports are out, expect slow trade in the near term.