The Grain Hedge Team provides a macro-focused daily view of the world’s grain markets. Kevin McNew received a bachelor’s degree from Oklahoma State University and his master’s and Ph.D. degrees in Economics from North Carolina State University. He spent 10 years as a Professor of Economics with the University of Maryland and Montana State University focusing on commodity markets and is widely regarded for his ability to boil-down complex economic situations into easy-to-understand concepts for applied life.
Planting Delays Spur Market Recovery
Apr 30, 2013
Grains found mild support overnight after a limit move in the corn market on Monday pushed prices to their highest level since the March 28 Stocks report. Corn was up 2 cents a bushel, while soybean prices were up 5 cents a bushel. Wheat prices came under pressure, losing 6 cents.
In corn, USDA planting progress report showed only 5% complete, just 1% higher from a week ago. This matches the slowest since 1984, when farmers also had completed just 5% of their corn planting and in that year acreage fell 2% from the USDA’s March Planting Intentions report. However, growing season weather is still the biggest driver for final yield but for the near-term traders will likely react with a bullish bias to the planting delays occurring. Looking at the weather, heavy rainfall and snow are expected this week across the western U.S. Midwest and eastern Plains. There is a big storm system starting Tuesday which will spread in intensity and coverage by Thursday and linger into the weekend. As a result, planting should continue to be stalled which should remain supportive for the corn market.
For wheat, the Wheat Quality tour kicks off today in Kansas and continues through Thursday. Kansas State agronomist Jim Shroyer said to the tour participants that Central Kansas looks pretty good thanks to spring precipitation but he expects to see freeze damage in some south-central areas around Great Bend, KS, including Pratt, Barton and Rice counties. He noted that in western Kansas, west of Jetmore and Quinter, KS, the wheat goes downhill in a hurry and speculated that some fields will not be harvested. Shroyer said that area of Kansas reminds him of 1989, when the state’s winter wheat struggled after the big U.S. drought of 1988. Internationally, South Korea purchased 48,900 MT of U.S.-origin milling wheat.
For soybeans, export business continues to remain quiet while domestic crushing plants bid up basis levels to draw out beans from farmers. A key processor in Decatur was up 10 cents on basis on Monday.