In what would appear to be typical up-Monday/down-Tuesday trade, the corn and bean markets are returning a good portion of yesterday’s bounce, with wheat just continues to find its way into lower ground without the benefit of a rebound to soften the blow. Obviously, the trade is not too concerned about the pace of planting for spring wheat, which came in at 2% complete versus 3% last year and a 13% average, but the overall condition of the winter crop is decent.
The slowness at which we have begun the corn planting season has not upset anyone terribly either, and I guess at the 16th of April, that should not really be expected. Nationwide, we have all of 3% of the corn acreage in the ground, nearly all of it in the south, which is just 2% behind the 5-year average. Gauging from the weather outlook for the balance of this week, I once cannot anticipate there will be much progress in the major producing states this coming week either but we will probably need to see the calendar roll over into the month of May before the trade becomes excited about this.
Looking at reports from around the world, the weather does not appear to be an issue for planting or harvest. The Ukraine Ag Ministry estimates that spring grain crops are 90% at this time and as we have reported previously, France is ahead of schedule planting corn this spring. In the southern hemisphere, it is estimated that the Brazilian bean harvest is 89% complete, which compares with the historical norm of 85% and the late yields have been improving. Dr. Cordonnier bumped his estimate up 1 MMT this week to 116 MMT, which compares with the recent USDA update to 117. The safrinha corn crop is now far enough along to feel comfortable with estimates, and Dr. Cordonnier bumped his estimate up 2 MMT to 96.5 MMT. The USDA is at 96.0 and Conab is at 94 MMT. The Argentine soy harvest has moved up to 16.9% complete and corn at 21.2% harvested, with solid yields being reported for both. Dr. Cordonnier bumped his estimate up by 1 MMT for both beans and corn taking them to 56 MMT and 48 MMT respectively. The USDA currently stands at 55 and 47.
Seeing that this is a short-trade week, it is difficult to imagine that we will attract much in the way of new interest in the grain/soy sector and after today could see stagnant trade. Seeing we have little else to look at right now, I thought I would take a peek at where we would stand with the Voice of the Tomb right now. According to the story, we would have purchased July what on the 22nd of February and December corn on the 1st of March. Had that been done, you would be down $.38 on wheat and $.06 on corn. It is not time to despair yet though as the voice instructs us to hold the wheat until the 10th of May and corn until the 20th. Hope “springs” (pun intended) eternal.