COMMENTARY 5/4/18

In the US, mild with scattered showers for the Corn Belt and N Plains then followed by sharp widespread warm up and then drier for the Central and S. While April was cold everywhere, (though wet here) it was  extremely dry in ND, MN, E NE, S IA, MO, W IL,  and most of KS.  In SA, hot/dry for Brazil’s N 2/3 of their safrinha crop for the next two plus weeks.  In Argentina, a strong system producing heavy accums  of 2.25” to 4.50” next week is likely to cause flooding especially  Sun-Thurs.

CORN

DOWN 2

Eased back off of Thurs’ highs.  Limited by dry weather issues in Brazil.  Mon’s planting progress should be interesting!  Thoughts are 35-40% done compared to 17% last week, 45% last year, and44% avg.  Significant progress has been made in N IL with some areas as high as 90% and some others done.  Corn planted in the extreme S of the state is able to be “rowed”.  The SA crop estimates are relatively steady at Argentina at 31.5 and Brazil at 89.0.  Brazil is 32% done w/ harvest.  Shhh!!  ….. an 86 MMT crop COULD lead to a 2.4 bill bu US export program. The USDA est is currently at 92 MMT.

Bloomberg Trader Bias:  Bullish 41% (81% LW), Bearish 41% (6% LW), Neutral 18% (13% LW)

BEANS              

DOWN 16

Guess those China/US trade deliberations weren’t so optimistically complete as thought! The end of these talks was an agreement to continue talking, which put pressure back on! Due to the previous optimism, bean premiums in Paranagua dropped for the second day in a row. –> BUT – even after the 20c drop (yes, that IS a drop in basis) our US beans delivered to China are STILL cheaper. China did buy another 3 to 4 more vessels today for J/A deliv from Brazil.  Informa lowered their Argentine crop another 1.5 MMT to 37.5 and raised Brazil 1 to 117 MMT.  The BA Exchange is unchanged at 38 MMT.  Currency value changes have increased Argentina’s seven day repo rate to 40%, a 1275 bps move in one week!  The Argentine peso weakened 8%  before finishing down 6% from last week.  The producer there is only 20% sold and he uses cash beans to hedge off inflation and potential drops in the peso.  After strong devaluation, he has reportedly “rewarded the market” with some significant sales this week.  Back in the US, planting progress is thought to be 13-15% compared to 5% last week, 13% last year, and 13% avg. The US has exported a surprisingly strong 1.415 MST of Mar (1.2 Feb and compares to 1.46 last year),WELL ABOVE the NOPA est and Export Sales info. so far this year, our shipment of 6.9 MST is 3.2% ahead of last year (but still behind the USDA forecast for an 8% annual increase). You SHOULD expect this current “shortfall” to dwindle!

Bloomberg Trader Bias:  Bullish 18% (31% LW), Bearish 53% (38% LW), Neutral 30% (31%LW)

 

WHEAT

 

DOWN 12

YICK!!  It wasn’t due to an improvement in the weather!  Today, the market seemed to discount the fact that the KS crop MAY be the smallest in 30 yrs.   The Quality Council crop tour ended with a winter wheat yield of 37.0 bpa with a production of 243 mill.  That’s WAYl down from 48.0 and 333 for last year.  Spring Wheat planting progress is thought to be 20% compared to 10% last week,  51% last year, and 51% avg.  According to the Sov Econ the S Russia winter wheat is decent and drought risk has been overrated.  The Argentine crop is est to be a record 20 MMT, up 2 from this year’s.  On China tariffs, public hearing day is May 15 with a May 21 deadline on Chinese investment restrictions.  After May 22, tariffs CAN be implemented!

Bloomberg Trader Bias:  Bullish 31% (40% LW), Bearish 38% (13%LW), Neutral 31% (47% LW)