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.
Tension Ease, Grains Pullback Overnight
Mar 04, 2014
Corn and wheat came under selling pressure overnight after Monday’s meteoric rise fueled by tensions in Ukraine. Corn and wheat gave back 4 and 7 cents a bushel, respectively while beans posted a 3-cent advance in the night session.
Russian President Putin said on Tuesday that there are no plans to make Ukraine’s Crimean peninsula part of Russia. He said ousted Ukrainian leader Viktor Yanukovych is the legitimate leader of the nation, and the country's interim government is the result of an "anti-constitutional coup." In the grains, ADM and Bunge said operations in Ukraine were business as usual with processing and export movement continuing without issue. Ukraine’s newly appointed ag minister said on Monday that the government will do all it can to assure that there is no reduction in spring sowing area there. However, he did note that some traders were reluctant to enter into contracts for grain.
In corn, new export business was announced by USDA Monday morning with Japan buying new-crop corn while South Korea bought old-crop corn. Weekly export inspections came in strong with 1,044,300 MT for the week versus trade expectations of 625,000 to 775,000 MT. On Monday, the cash market came under pressure on basis with heavy farmer selling seen for old- and new-crop delivery.
For wheat, Australia’s ag department predicts a step drop in Australia wheat production next year as lingering drought leaves soils parched. The agency pegged 2014 wheat production at 24.8 MMT of from last year’s crop of 27.0 MMT. In the US, state ag statistics offices from Nebraska to Texas saw declining winter wheat crop conditions in their states. In Oklahoma, monthly crop conditions fell from 36% good to excellent last month to 31% good to excellent this month. Weekly US export inspections were strong at 609,867 MT versus trade expectations of 300,000 to 425,000 MT.
In soybeans, prices were under pressure on Monday in contrast to corn and wheat. Rains are expected to ease in Brazil’s key production area of Mato Grosso. Weekly export inspections of 984,181 MT were below trade expectations of 1,000,000 to 1,200,000 MT. Farmer sales were limited on Monday but basis levels continue to fall at many markets around the country.