Rainy Week Ahead For Country's Midsection

April 30, 2012 05:22 AM

What Traders are Talking About:

* Rainy week ahead. Cool, rainy conditions dominated the weather scene across the country's midsection over the weekend. The rains are forecast to continue this week, although temps are expected to rise. Moist soils from the rains will slow planting progress, but the pace will continue to run well above normal. With the calendar flipping to May tomorrow, the areas to watch are planting progress in Iowa and Minnesota as both states slipped below the five-year average pace for corn planting the week ended April 22. While hopes for a very quick start to the growing season are no longer alive in these two states, there aren't concerns with planting delays as producers can get the crop in the ground in a hurry once the rains pass.

The long and short of it: Weather is viewed as favorable for crop development as the benefits of rains far outweigh the minor planting delays they are causing.

* May grain/soy futures enter delivery. Today is first notice day -- the start of the delivery process -- for May grain and soy futures. As expected, there was no corn or meal put up for delivery. For soybeans, 752 contracts were put up for delivery, while Chicago wheat had 2 deliveries (and 360 deliveries of mini contracts).

The long and short of it: Given tight supplies and strength in the cash market, it's not surprising to see no corn put up for delivery.

* Spanish woes continue. GDP data showed Spain slipped into recession in the first quarter. The Spanish economy contracted 0.3% from the fourth quarter of last year and 0.4% compared to the first quarter of 2011. And more economic contraction is expected in the quarters ahead as austerity measures take hold. Meanwhile, Spanish bond yields are creeping closer to 6% -- a level most investors feel is unsustainable for long.

The long and short of it: Markets are absorbing Spain's GDP data relatively well. Investors are more focused -- for now -- on the European Central Bank's decision on interest rates on Thursday.

Follow me on Twitter: @BGrete

Need a speaker for a seminar or special event? Contact me: bgrete@profarmer.com

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