COMMENTARY 3/27/14

CORN

UP 7

FUND BUYING.

Export Sales are hoppin’!  Impressive at 55.4 (double that of expectations!) with significant purchasing by North and South Africa.  China bought some too while an unknown cancelled a small portion.  The Crimea situation has still not hurt Ukraine exports thus far.  However, currency fluctuations/fears said to be restricting Ukrainian producer selling. The %’s vary, but a couple of sources said 14/15 Ukraine corn output could be down 25-33%, due to lack of input funding.  A China analyst suggests that due to “huge stockpiles” of corn, large imports over the next 2 years are unlikely.

All eyes now on USDA report for Monday – the average trade guess on acres is 92.75 million, another private is at 93.8 million, and last year’s figure was 95.37 million. The average guess on stocks is 7.099 bbu, another is at 7.152 billion, and last year’s number was 5.400 bbu.  Informa’s estimate is 93.0 on acres is right in the mid range of 90.5 – 94.5.  Mar 1 stocks est is 6.82 -7.74 billion.  Cordonnier has their Brazil crop est at 68.5.  A wet fall could add an additional 1 – 2.

Additional Chinese corn cancellations?  YES – China province Tianjin rejected its 1st cargo of US corn, a 21800MMT shipment. Due to the presence of the MIR 612 gene from Syngenta.  Syngenta claims it is high prices that is causing China to reject unapproved US corn with their trait in it, not their fault.  China then replaced it by buying two cargos from the Ukraine.  The problem is getting worse.   You didn’t even have to plant the dreaded gene to have it affect you negatively.

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.    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 25 days ago.  St Louis river level now at +9.6 ft and forecast to rise to 9.3 by 4/11.

 

BEANS

DOWN 4

LACK OF FUND BUYING.

Record South American Export pace.  Safrinha beans could boost Brazil Exports by an additional 1.5 – 2.0 mmt!  US Export Sales were the weakest so far at a mere400k.  Meal, too was disappointing. The old crop supply/demand issues are still not resolved and the market is not yet convinced that the old crop has been rationed, thus showing more firmness.   It HAS BEEN CONFIRMED – China State reports that 8 South American cargoes of beans HAVE been resold to come into the US.  Additional rumors still abound regarding Chinese vessels ne-route from Brazil to the Gulf.

Funds are VERY long beans.

Monday’s much anticipated report: Avg trade guess for bean acres is 81.2 with a range of 78.5 – 83.6.  Stocks 987mbu avg with a 924 – 1.087 range. Chinese crushers agree to cut purchases as domestic soybean meal supply/demand are creating volatility.   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 are almost half of what it was this time last year.

Argentina was again dry over the weekend and expected to be dry all through the weekend.

Ag Rural puts Brazil harvest at 63%, up 4 from last week.  Safras has crop at 67% complete vs 64% last year.

Light rains for the Plains states with heavier amounts in the Mississippi River Valley into Thur/Fri.  The 8 – 14 day forecast, from the Dakotas to Ohio,is calling for below normal temps,  does not look real conducive for fieldwork.  Who wants to have corn in the ground when it is 17 degrees?

 

WHEAT

UP 13

FUND BUYING.

Higher today on decent Export Sales and exceeded expectations.  Old crop was respectable at 14.7 and new crop at 12.0 compared to expectations of 22.0 old/new combined.  The UK increased their wheat import forcast 170k MT to 1.8 million in 13/14.

Estimates for next Monday’s reports are 56.9 acres with a 54.8 – 57.5 range.  Mar 1 stocks 1.05bbu avg with a 975 – 1.2bbu range.  WSJ reports that Russion grain exports are up some 40% from July 1st to Ma 19th.

Some areas in S CA, NW TX, and SW OK haven’t seen rain in some 60 days! The 6 – 10 day forecast is calling for some of the parched Plains a chance at some light showers. 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%.  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