COMMENTARY 3/24/14

CORN

UP 11

FUND BUYING.  Civil unrest with the Ukraine flag being lowered and Ukraine families evacuating, unrest in the Black Sea and Export Inspections were at a marketing year high at 45 million vs 30 – 45 expected and only 35 needed.  Expect to pay more for poultry this year while in Russia.  Due to exchange issues and deficit production you can expect to pay 20%more in 2014.  Currency fluctuations/fears said to be restricting Ukrainian producer selling. %’s vary but a couple of sources overnight said 14/15 Ukraine corn output could be down 25-33%, due to lack of input funding. Valero announces that it will buy a certain ethanol plant in Mount Vernon, IN.  FWIW, Producers, such as yourselves, when surveyed by Farm Futures see a corn acres reduction of 3.5% to 92.1 million.

River levels now steady and holding!   Freight costs are now some 28 cents/bu cheaper than what they were 23 days ago.  Much needed water has come in from the North to help stabilize river levels and give some logistical relief.   St Louis river level now at +9.6 ft and forecast to rise to 10.1 by 3/29.  Drafts on barges improving with more volume being able to be loaded into a barge, which makes cost per bushel cheaper.

 

BEANS

UP 17

FUND BUYING.  Chinese crushers agree to cut purchases as domestic soybean meal supply/demand are creating volatility.  Export Inspections were 27 vs 25 -38 expected and only 3.02 needed.  China cancelled 14.1 million.    Rumors still abound regarding Chinese vessels ne-route from Brazil to the Gulf.  The old crop supply/demand issues are still not resolved. Farm Futures sets record US bean plantings forecast at 82.9 million.

The US is 107% sold and 90% exported.  Both of these levels are unprecedented.  If we export all that has been sold, that would put C/O down to just 37 mill bu.   Look to see the US import both soybeans AND bean meal as it may  be cheaper to import them than it is to grow them.  Vessel waiting times at Paranagua is almost half of what it was this time last year.

Argentina was again dry  over the weekend and expected to be dry all week.  Ag Rural puts Brazil harvest at 63%, up 4 from last week.  Safras has crop at 67% complete vs 64% last year.

The 6 – 10 day forecast looks cool/wet to the North and warm/dry for the Plains states.  The 8 – 14 day for the North is calling for above normal temps to the North which should aid Southern plantings.

 

WHEAT

UP 21

FUND BUYING.

Some areas in S Ca, NW Tx, and SW Ok haven’t seen rain in some 60 days!  Last week, 31% of the TX wheat crop is rated poor/very poor, which is down from 46% the week before.  Kansas crop saw their poor/very poor rating drop from 22% to 18%.  Milder temps in the US will slowly bring aid to corn planting and help break the HRW out of dormancy in the Plains.  Export Inspections improved from last week to 19.3 vs 14 – 23 expected and 24 per week needed.  Egypt wheat stocks are now thought to be sufficient until mid-June per Egyptian Ag Minister.