Strong Exports, Domestic Needs Spiking Corn

Spiking US corn prices were thought to be attributed by a market analyst solely to prospects for strong exports and domestic needs.

So far, the pace of US corn planting likely won’t generate a weather spike in prices, as it’s well ahead of the 2016-2020 average, the market analyst said following the release of the weekly Crop Progress report from the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service Monday.

Emergence also was thought unlikely to cause heart palpitations among grain investors.




NASS reported Monday that corn planting was 46% complete as of Sunday.  This exceeds by a small amount the roughly 45% that was expected, but it is 10 percentage points above the five-year average.

Few states were behind in their corn planting progress.  Kansas was listed at 36% complete, compared with the average of 41%; Missouri was listed at 50% done, compared with the average of 62%, and Texas was 68% complete, versus a 70% average.

Emergence, at 8% complete, was only one percentage point behind the 9% average, NASS said.  At this point in the development stage, emergence readings are considered mostly preliminary.  Weather conditions across the Midwest in coming weeks will affect these readings more in coming weeks.

Also, NASS has not yet begun to list its weekly condition ratings along with growth- and production-stage readings, but most crop watchers likely will see Monday’s report as neutral to prices, the analyst said.

However, topsoil moisture conditions will be examined closely by corn market investors, the analyst said.  Monday’s report listed the contiguous 48 states with a topsoil moisture content of 63% adequate to surplus.

That compared with last week’s rating of 66% good to excellent and 80% good to excellent in the same week last year.

Iowa was listed at 45% adequate with no surplus acres.  Indiana was 71% adequate and 18% surplus, Illinois was 69% adequate and 12% surplus, while Nebraska was 68% adequate and 2% surplus, and Ohio was 68% adequate and 25% surplus.




Along with US crop production prospects, South American crop prospects are having their say about world corn values.  Because of dryness, Brazil was thought to have lost about 10.0 million tonnes of its prospective Serafina corn crop with CONAB projecting the total Brazilian corn crop at 108.966 million tonnes.

According to Brownfield Ag News, that was up from last year with increases in the first crop balancing declines in the second crop.  Still, dryness in this second crop was making futures traders nervous.

With all the prospects for corn production, market analysts said prices could level out for a while until more weather news affects the market, the analyst said.




Fed cattle traded last week at $118 to $120 per cwt on a live basis, down $1 to $4 from the previous week.  Dressed-basis trading was at $191 per cwt, down $1 to $4.

The USDA choice cutout Monday was up $2.80 per cwt at $299.30, while select was up $0.74 at $283.79.  The choice/select spread widened to $13.51 from $13.45 with 53 loads of fabricated product and 25 loads of trimmings and grinds sold into the spot market.

The USDA reported Monday that basis bids for corn from livestock feeding operations in the Southern Plains were unchanged at $1.04 to $1.18 a bushel over the May CBOT futures contract, which settled at $7.32 1/4 a bushel, down $0.07 3/4.

The CME Feeder Cattle Index for the seven days ended Thursday was $132.63 per cwt down $1.50.  This compares with Monday’s May contract settlement of $133.05 per cwt, down $0.55.