In Agdom this week, USDA’s WASDE report Tuesday will, of course, head the top of the list. Changes aren’t expected to be much, but tweaks are possible, including U.S. ending stocks, Brazilian and Argentine production. See our Report Preview piece for more details and a link to tables showing the trade guesses. Meat production may get a closer look than usual, given the extremely tight supply and beef and rapidly rising production of pork, not to mention recent price volatility.
Always of interest are Monday's export inspections report and Thursday's net export sales. We are headed into the period when South America eats into our sales, but we already are close to reaching USDA's projections for the current marketing year. Wheat is the most vulnerable to market reactions.
The spring planting worries are beginning to crop up even as warm weather hits parts of the nation, awakening bugs and weeds--and possibly dormant wheat--where snow cover is missing. From Ohio south to Louisiana, soggy fields could slow progress again this year and Mother Nature may push farmers toward beans and away from corn as was conjectured since fall, though for a different reason. While we still have ample stocks, weather talk may still lend minor strength to markets, and impact will grow once we are actually into the more critical part of the season.
In Europe Monday, equities fell in reaction to Friday’s strong U.S. economic data that increases the prospect of higher U.S. interest rates. However, the euro climbed from its 11-year low today as the European Central Bank’s quantitative easing program has started, with Bloomberg reporting the German and Italian central banks buying bonds to bolster their economies. As seen during the similar move by the U.S. Fed, this sort of action can draw investors’ attention and cause ripples in commodities that have little to do with fundamentals. Jerry Gulke's week-end article talks more about the general economy's impacts: If you haven't already read it, check it out!
Meanwhile in China, stocks fell as concerns about the slowing economy continue. This softening in the No. 1 buyer of many U.S. commodities is of more concern to U.S. farmers, but demand for feed is likely to continue to be solid.