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.
Drought Intensifies in Plains, Cutting Wheat Yield Potential
Mar 28, 2014
Wheat gave up a large share of Thursday’s 13 cent gain in the overnight trade, slipping 9 cents back to the $7 area. Corn and beans were lower as well with modest 2 cent gains.
Markets continue to wait for Monday’s round of USDA reports. The Planting Intentions Report will be the first formal survey of farmers for the 2014 crop and is expected to show lower corn and higher bean acres for the coming year. Analysts look for corn plantings to fall in 2014 to 92.7 million acres, off from the 2013 plantings of 95.4 million. The range of estimates, however, is quite wide going from a low of 90.5 to a high of 94.5 million. For beans, traders expect plantings to come in at 81.1 million versus 76.5 in 2013. Again, a wide discrepancy exists among analysts with the range of estimates going from 78.5 million to 83.6 million. In wheat, analysts expect all wheat acres to be at 56.3 million, on par with last year’s plantings of 56.2.
In wheat, yesterday’s latest drought monitor showed an expanding drought situation in the Plains especially in Oklahoma. Private weather firm Planalytic’s also released their first wheat estimate of the season showing winter wheat yields at 45.7 bushels per acre as compared to 47.4 bushels per acre.
On Thursday, Argentina’s government projected the soybean crop at 54 MMT, on par with USDA’s latest forecast, but pegged the corn crop at 29.8 MMT, quite a bit higher than the USDA projection of 24 MMT. FOB Gulf soybean basis offers fell 2 cents late Thursday on softer export interest. Traders continue to assess rumors of Chinese cancellations, with the latest suggesting some Chinese importers are having problems obtaining letters of credit from Chinese banks. Even so, nothing has shown up yet that suggests cancellations will make a dent in the 100 MB overage of export sales relative to USDA’s annual forecast of 1,530 MB.