May 2, 2023
Markets are mixed this morning with old corn up 2, new corn down 2 and soybeans up 3.
Corn planting progress rose from 14% to 26% this week, double last year’s pace and right in line with the five-year average; corn emergence doubled from 3% to 6%, up from 3% LY and 5% for the five-year average. Soybean planting jumped to 19%, up from 9% last week and 11% for the five-year average.
US weather presents the trade with enough pockets of dryness over the next ten days to allow normal planting pace. Even under a cool ECB outlook, the trade expects the ECB to proceed without delay. It’s the Dakotas that remain in question and more so North Dakota. Temperatures move to the above normal level in the 6–10-day period for this area and regular rains for the WCB.
Ukraine is reporting that negotiations over the “Grain Deal” will happen tomorrow with all parties involved, including Russia, Turkey, Ukraine, and the United Nations. Ukraine expects its grain exports in the 2023-24 marketing year to be half of this current year’s shipments due to ongoing problems of shipping through the “safe corridor” and due to rising restrictions for moving grain west through Eastern Europe.
We may be close to a bottom in the short term, but there is more downside potential as planting proceeds and demand disappears.
Have a Safe Day!
May 1, 2023
Old crop corn is unchanged while new crop is down 5 to start the day.
We saw a significant selloff in corn last week with May futures closing 27 cents lower, July futures closing 30 cents lower while December closed 20 cents lower. As of Friday afternoon, the funds are reported to be long 20,000 corn contracts and 113,000 soybean contracts. Since we haven’t seen an update from the CFTC in over a week (April 18th), I would anticipate the funds are net short 20-30,000 corn contracts and long 80-90,000 soybean contracts.
Chinas corn cancelations were the snowball that caused the avalanche last week. On Monday China cancelled 327 million metric tons (12 million bushels). On Thursday China cancelled 233 million metric tons (9 million bushels). These cancellations were not what the market needed as it puts the cap on US exports to China somewhere between 8 and 12 million metric ton. These cancellations are due to the size and cheaper price of Brazil’s crop that has become available. Weekly export sales came in at 15.7 million bushels, which was in line with estimates, but significantly behind the ten-week average of 44.3 million bushels. We are currently 113 million bushels behind the pace needed to meet the USDA’s projections.
Last week’s planting progress showed that 14% of the US corn crop had been planted compared to 8% the previous week and 11% for the five-year average. The Dakotas are still reporting 0% while Minnesota reported 1% of the crop being planted. Neither of these are out of range for their five-year averages.
Warmer weather is forecasted for the coming week with the Dakotas seeing mid 60’s by mid-week and mid 70’s by the weekend. This should lead to good progress late in the week for most of the corn belt. This afternoon’s planting progress is expected to show 20-24% of the corn crop planted.
Have a Safe Day.
April 26, 2023
Weaker markets again this morning as corn opened 3 lower while soybeans and wheat are both 2 lower.
Russia says they have little to no interest in renewing the Black Sea grain agreement with Ukraine. The current deal is set to expire May 18th. Ukraine is also facing pressure from other neighboring countries with export bans/limits being imposed on grain moved over land. Despite these growing concerns, the market has yet to show signs of concern with Ukraine’s recent export success fresh on the minds of traders. Since a year ago, the USDA’s corn export estimate for Ukraine has risen from below 10 MMT to above 25 MMT. If realized, this would be larger than the expectations for Argentina.
The grain markets are attempting to catch their breath and come up for air after a streak of selling pressure has sent corn down 40 cents and soybeans down 70 cents over the last 5 trading sessions. A slowdown in planting progress was confirmed on Monday afternoon, but the market feels confident about planting prospects moving. As we enter May the forecast is moving at least a little warmer. Rain is pushed to the South as a dome develops up North ending this massive cold front.
A lot of yesterdays and today’s pressure can be attributed to outside markets and money flow, but analysts are already making early predictions about a bumper US crop and more comfortable domestic carryout situation for next year.
Have a Safe Day!
April 25, 2023
Grain markets are taking a hit this morning with corn down 4, soybeans down 20 and wheat down 12 to start the day.
The market broke down yesterday when China cancelled slightly more than 12 million bushels of corn purchases from the US. Brazilian harvest is 95% complete at this point and the last of grain is moving to the market at significant discounts to US corn. Brazilian corn is currently at a steep discount to US gulf corn by close to two dollars per bushel. We had been hearing of switching getting done out of US to Brazil and this is the evidence.
Corn planting progress came in at 14% complete yesterday, up from 8% last week, 7% last year, and the 11% five-year average; corn emergence initially came in at 3%, up from 2% both LY and on average. Soybean planting rose from 4% to 9% done, up from 3% LY and the 4% 5YA.
The forecast remains cool for the next 15 days and after current storms move out the weather will be mostly dry. Not much rain is forecast for the Central US over the next 7-10 days. Planting is going to move ahead quickly next week.
With planting rolling along and no premium being given for the potential planting delays in the Dakotas and Minnesota and export cancellations, the tops appear to be in for the time being. We could still see some weather premiums in the coming months, but I would not be surprised to see additional export cancellations which will limit moves.
Have a Safe Day!
April 17, 2023
Corn is down 4 while soybeans are up 10 to start the week. Given the recent change in weather one would have expected the opposite coming into this morning.
The US planted somewhere between 15-20% of the corn crop and 5% of the bean crop in the last week with great weather across the growing region. Progress will be out by the USDA at 3 o’clock today. Cold wet weather is forecast across the Central US over the next 10 days. The 15-day forecast stays cold in the Upper Midwest and Canada. More snow is on the way this week and into next. This will limit planting for the next week which will keep the early planting pace in line with historical.
The Black Sea Grain Initiative is facing difficulties on multiple fronts as its May 18th renewal continues to be in jeopardy. Besides Russia’s continuous statements regarding the West not holding up their end of the bargain in re-opening the banking system for ag exports and removing obstacles on fertilizer exports. The inspection of Ukrainian vessels in Turkish waters again saw no activity for a second time in several weeks over the weekend, with Ukraine blaming Russia for not participating in inspections. Additionally, several Black Sea region countries have banned imports of Ukrainian grains as they say the considerable amount of product moving through their territories is detrimentally impacting domestic prices of their grains.
Have a Safe Day!