Talk Is True, Argy Corn Headed To US

March 27, 2013 01:23 AM

What Traders are Talking About:

* Argy corn headed to United States. Rumors swirled through the corn market yesterday that a shipment of Argentine corn was headed to the U.S. and it appears that is indeed the case. A Reuters story citing an Argentine source confirms one cargo of Argentine corn is on its way to the U.S. (presumably into the Southeast) and a "couple" more shipments are coming. While corn imports from Argentina are rare, this should not be overly shocking as U.S. corn supplies are tight and Argentina recently freed up additional 2012-13 corn exports.

The long and short of it: The corn market is digesting this news relatively well as futures closed high-range, though lower, yesterday and are choppy this morning. That signals there's little "shock" factor in this news.

* Wheat damage assessment underway. Crop scouts are trying to assess damage from the freeze event on winter wheat throughout the Southern Plains, but it will likely be a week or longer before they have a good handle on the impact. What's fairly certain is that damage will be heaviest in Texas and southern Oklahoma, where much of the crop is jointing (some is heading). Further north, damage will be more isolated as crop development isn't as far along. As is usually the case, weather following the freeze event will play a key role in how areas that were "burnt" by the cold temps recovers. But because the crop was already stressed by drought, a recovery from freeze damage may be slowed, even if there's favorable weather from here forward.

The long and short of it: Market concern is relatively limited, largely because the freeze came in late March. If it had been mid to late April, this would be getting a lot more market attention.

* Cyprus concerns linger. Cyprus has secured bailout funding to keep its banking sector afloat, but that hasn't completely eased concerns in that country -- or across the euro-zone. But while Europe remains on edge, the rest of the world is handling the situation relatively well. Asian stock markets are largely brushing aside the news and the U.S. stock market continues its move to historic highs. Commodity markets are largely unaffected at this time.

The long and short of it: The biggest impact for commodities from the Cyprus situation is the affect it has on the U.S. dollar. If the euro continues to fall, it would push the U.S. dollar higher, which could zap buying interest in commodities.


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