May corn up 1 at $3.7225
May beans up 1 at $9.0675
The DOW is up
USD is weaker
Crude oil up $.34 at $59.43
Corn traders continue to debate early U.S. spring weather and overall planting conditions. Bulls are pointing to flooding and extremely wet conditions in many important production areas. Bears are saying growth in U.S. demand remains in question as flooding along the rivers continues to delay exports, livestock losses could somewhat limit feed demand, and ethanol margins remain tight. Bears also believe there’s still plenty of time to get the U.S. crop in the ground and no need to add excessive “risk-premium” this early in the game. The USDA will deliver their acreage estimate late next week in the March 29th Prospective Plantings report.
Soybean bears continue to point to ongoing delays in U.S. and Chinese trade. The market also sees the window of opportunity closing for U.S. exporters as the South American harvest rolls on and more new-crop supply makes its way to the ports. I’m hearing Brazil is about 65% harvested and continues to run well ahead of schedule. Another negative hanging over the top of the soybean market is the continued headlines about African Swine Fever. There were reports circulating inside the trade that show China’s hog herd at the end of February 2019 is down over -16% compared to February 2018. Obviously this brings continued debate and uncertainty about Chinese feed and crush demand. Despite higher demand in the poultry and fish markets, I’m still hearing talk that Chinese meal demand could be down -4 to -6 MMTs.
With weather expected to force certain acres into prevented planting status, the USDA Farm Services Agency is reminding farmers to file the appropriate reports in order to retain FSA program eligibility for some programs. If you have acres you planned to plant but due to natural disaster couldn’t, you need to file form CCC-576, Notice of Loss, and do so no later than 15 calendar days after the final planting date as established by FSA and Risk Management Agency (RMA).