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Due to an unusual travel schedule this morning, comments will be a bit briefer than normal. Today of course is the final day to file taxes for millions of Americans and ironically, I am en route to Washington, DC.
Overnight news in markets has been light but it is worth noting that two items that sent markets higher a year ago are with us again; Ukraine/Russia and the developing El Niño. Concerning the first, it sounds as if tensions and fighting in Eastern Ukraine have increased but by no means is this garnering the headlines of a year ago nor is there any concern at this point about it impacting spring field work. As to the latter, the Australian Meteorological Bureau has also joined the crowd predicting an actual El Niño this summer and have increased the probabilities to 70%. Of course as we have discussed previously, there is no correlation between these events and adverse crop weather in the United States but there is with the growing conditions in Australia and India. Granted, we need to get beyond the growing season domestically before worrying about the next crops down under but this is one of those topics we need to keep in the back of our minds. Of course neither of these factors produced any noticeable support for the wheat market as it continued as the weakest performer, which is quite a contrast from a year ago when that market led all others higher on these kinds of stories.
Both corn and beans appeared to find a little short-covering bounce yesterday and have tried to extend overnight but I see little in the news yet that would spook the bear into retreat. We will have the weekly EIA ethanol reports as well as the NOPA crush report for March issued later this morning. The trade is expecting a crush number just north of 155 million bushels.
The focus should increasingly be shifting to weather and new crop production ideas and looking at the forecast, it is a little challenging to find much positive. While corn planting is non-existent at this point, the weather outlook through the balance of April would appear favorable to make great strides. All that said, with markets now quite oversold technically and 99% of the growing season ahead, I believe we should see markets find value down at these levels and should have potential for corrective advance as we swing into May. For producers especially, with price levels well below crop insurance base prices, this would not appear to be the time for making any kind of additional sales.
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