Record Weekly Corn Planting Keeping Pressure On Futures

May 21, 2013 01:18 AM

What Traders are Talking About:

Overnight highlights: As of 6:15 a.m. CT, corn futures are 7 to 13 cents lower with old-crop contracts leading declines amid bull spread unwinding, soybeans are 5 to 9 cents lower except the July contract that is modestly higher and wheat futures are 5 to 10 cents lower with Chicago and Kansas City contracts leading losses. Bears will likely retain control into the open this morning. Live cattle futures are called to open firmer this morning, while lean hogs are seen opening with a mixed tone.


* Record weekly corn planting pace last week. As of Sunday, 71% of the U.S. corn crop was planted, an increase of 43 percentage points, which matched to all-time weekly record from a percentage standpoint. Assuming USDA's planted acreage figure of 97.3 million from the Prospective Plantings Report was accurate, producers seeded 41.8 million acres of corn last week, which is the most total acres seeded in one week, topping the 34.1 million planted in a seven-day span in 1992. In Iowa and Illinois, the two biggest corn production states, producers seeded a combined 14.9 million acres of corn (7.95 million in Iowa and 6.95 million in Illinois) last week, assuming March intentions were accurate.

The long and short of it: With corn planting now only eight percentage points behind the five-year average, December corn futures are testing long-term support at $5.11 and are likely headed for a test of the psychological $5.00 mark -- or lower.

* Keep an eye on old-crop soybeans. While much of the attention is on the planting pace and falling new-crop prices, old-crop soybeans are quietly making some noise. July soybean futures moved to their highest level since late February overnight. Tight supplies, potential shipping delays out of South America due to labor disputes and a very strong cash market as solid sources of support. But with that said, July soybean futures are now at levels that have repeatedly turned back rally attempts since last fall. A push through the top of the extended, choppy trading range would be explosive. But history says the sledding will get tough for bulls.

The long and short of it: Be ready to trim old-crop inventories on the move into the upper bounds of the extended, choppy range.

* Pray for Moore, Oklahoma. My thoughts and prayers go out to all of those impacted by the devastating tornado that ripped through Moore, Oklahoma, yesterday. The personal property loss is hard to accept, but those items can eventually be replaced in some manner. Unfortunately, the lives lost can't be replaced. That's the real tragedy in the situation.


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