SOYBEAN PLANTING IN BRAZIL 'UNEVEN'... South American crop consultant Dr. Michael Cordonnier describes soybean planting in Brazil as "uneven," noting some farmers are still waiting for enough moisture to start planting. While Rio Grande do Sul has seen excessive rains that have slowed planting, rains in Mato Grosso have been scattered and producers are concerned about uneven emergence. He says soybean planting is about 20% complete in Brazil, which is slower than last year but ahead of the average pace. In Mato Grosso, about a third of the crop has been planted, which is behind last year.
Dr. Cordonnier left his Brazilian crop estimates unchanged this week, but says it's safe to say the first Brazilian soybean exports will not be earlier than normal or larger than normal. He also says delayed soybean planting is a concern to corn producers that want to plant a second (safrinha) crop of corn. "If a farmer wants to plant a second crop of corn, then he needs to plant his soybeans generally before the end of October," he says.
HEAVY RAINS CONTINUE TO SLOW ARGENTINE CORN PLANTING... Continued heavy rains across the grain belt of Argentina have kept corn planting on a slower-than-usual pace. About a third of the crop is now planted, says Dr. Cordonnier, which is around 11 percentage points behind the average pace. He expects the planting pace to remain slow, while wet and cooler conditions have also raised concerns a portion of the crop will need to be replanted.
"If there is a significant amount of corn in Argentina that does not get planted by the end of October or early November, there is the possibility that some of those intended corn acres might get switched to soybeans," says Dr. Cordonnier.
RETREAT FROM EL NINO UNUSUAL... The Australian Bureau of Meteorology says the retreat from El Nino thresholds over the past several weeks is "highly unusual" as September-October is typically the time when developing ENSO events consolidate and mature. The bureau says while some chances of El Nino remain, climate models suggest sea surface temperatures in the tropical Pacific Ocean will likely be warmer than usual but stay within the neutral range. Click here for more.
BANGING THE BEEHIVE... In "First Thing Today" we report USDA officials addressed divergence between projections of U.S. corn carryover as of Sept. 1 and the survey-based data via the Grain Stocks Report at an annual data user's meeting; World Ag Outlook Board Chairman Jerry Bange pledged to do a better job estimating supplies.
Reporters' early access to data was another hot-button issue due to the jump in market action in the minute ahead of the release of the Oct. 12 USDA reports. Some contacts say this could well be a function of high-speed trading done by computers and a practice labeled "banging the beehive." The Wall Street Journal reports that relative to trading in natural gas futures, this practice involves high-speed traders sending a flood of orders in an effort to trigger huge price swings just before data is released. Get more details.