Corn Acres and Quarterly Stocks: Not Out of the Woods Yet

Published on: 17:13PM Jul 01, 2009
With the June 30th USDA Planted Acres and Quarterly Grain Stocks released, Allendale’s research suggests USDA’s forthcoming World Agriculture Supply and Demand Estimates are likely forced to produce revisions to projected 2009/10 end stocks.
By viewing the chart, you will observe three distinct columns on the righthand side. In the first 2009/10 column, you will see the days supply of corn and wheat as a result of the USDA June WASDE, which suggests decade record low number of days supply of corn at 32, two days less than the previous record low of 2001/02. The second of the three columns has revised the number of days supply to 36 as USDA’s June planted acres reported 87.035 million acres vs. its present WASDE estimate of 85 million, creating a growing supply of corn while leaving yield per acre unchanged at 153.4 bu. per acre. The third and final column includes the upward acre revision as well as  USDA’s June 30th quarterly corn stocks report estimate of 4.266 billion bushels.
Knowing the most recent three-year average 4th corn use as well as lag in 2008/09 corn use, Allendale Inc suggests USDA has a discrepancy of 323 million bushels from its present old crop end stocks of 1.6 billion bushels and likely to cause a larger 2009/10 carry-in stocks estimate. Allendale’s research suggests by adding in the potentially larger carry-in stocks and increased planted acres, the days supply of corn may reach 46. Though building a degree of comfort for end users as well as grain handlers, corn is not out of the woods just yet, as the 10-year average days of corn supply is 54 and there is evidence of a downward trending bias since 2004/05’s 72-day supply.
With reference to corn’s starch cousin wheat, the trend bias is notably upward since 2003/04’s level of a relatively tight situation of 85 days. USDA launched another acreage surprise on June 30th with regard to wheat by discovering an additional 1.175 million acres vs. its June WASDE estimate of 58.6 million acres. Before the June 30th USDA acres and quarterly stocks reports, the days supply of wheat numbered 110. By adding the additional acres, the 2009/10 days supply of wheat has reached a level of 120 days, and by adding in the quarterly stocks data suggest the outlook for 121 days.
Allendale Inc.’s most immediate response to this time-sensitive data is the wheat supply may in fact be the darkest starch cloud for producers, which may produce a gray cloud over corn’s ability to stage a significant weather rally for 2009. Allendale’s research does advise we have likely experienced the 2009 December futures high in the month of May with the potential to reach $4.40 to $4.60 and a $3.40 to $3.50 low before the fall harvest. Allendale encourages you to utilize the fundamental and projected price range data with an Allendale representative to formulate your specific marketing plan.
Speculative investment traders may want to explore the potential of a long Sept futures corn vs. short Sept wheat futures position as technical chart data suggest the spread remains confined within a 20-cent trade range.
What are your thoughts about the most recent USDA reports? Does USDA have the right acreage and stocks estimates? Could USDA begin to make immediate abrupt acreage and stocks adjustments in the July WASDE, or wait until the January Annual WASDE? The trade may suggest there is plenty of the growing season ahead and El Nino could cause crop stress. Ask yourself this: What if there is not a major weather issue -- are you prepared?..........Joe Victor
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