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.
Grains Find Firmer Footing Overnight
Apr 02, 2013
Two days of dramatic selling leading to nearly a dollar off the corn price and 70 cent losses in soybeans have seemed to come to an end as prices showed modest recoveries overnight. Corn was up 5 cents a bushel while soybeans added 10 cents a bushel in the overnight session. Wheat was higher by 7 cents a bushel.
The first USDA crop progress report of the season showed poor conditions for the US winter wheat crop, with only 34% of the crop rated in good-to-excellent condition versus 58% last year and the worst rating since 2002. While Southern Plains states like Kansas and Oklahoma have showed modest improvements in crop conditions thanks to February and March moisture, they still remain well below normal at 31% and 27%, respectively. Conditions in Nebraska and South Dakota are even worse at 10% and 2%, respectively. Overnight, Taiwan issued a tender to purchase 82,330 MT of milling wheat to be sourced from the United States.
In corn, early planting has been hampered by cold and wet conditions across much of the Midwest. In the deep south, Mississippi farmers had sown 44% of corn as of Sunday, in line with average, but well behind the 60% a year ago, when the US enjoyed near-ideal planting conditions. The Brazilian Trade Ministry said Brazil exported 1.6 MMT of corn in March versus 2.29 MMT in February and 278,300 MT in March 2012. Safras e Mercado said that 54% of the Brazilian 1st corn crop has been harvested versus 59% a year ago and that planting of Brazil’s 2nd corn crop is virtually complete. The Parana corn harvest is 59% complete versus 51% a week ago. Japan is said to be looking for 700,000 MT of corn for April/June shipment and South Korea for 1.1 MMT of corn for August/Sept shipment.
For soybeans, weekly export inspections of 16.3 MB were down from 18.5 MB last week. Shipping delays in Brazil (over 56 days in Paranagua and almost 42 days in Santos) continue to disrupt availability from Brazil. China was thought to have bought 1-2 cargoes of US beans off the PNW for immediate shipment.