Farm Progress

The USDA Crop progress report due out today could impact the market if it shows corn planting is falling further behind.

Kevin Van Trump, Founder

April 24, 2017

2 Min Read

Corn bears remain in control with the JUL17 contract pulling back by over -15 cents from last Fridays high. Most bears see the recent rounds of rain as "re-charging" the soils and limiting the chances of a crop damaging drought.

Many inside the market are wondering how far producers will have to fall behind their traditional planting pace before the trade begins to sit up and take notice. Last week the USDA reported 6% of the U.S. corn crop as planted vs. the 5-year average of 9%. today could get a bit more interesting as we start to fall further behind.

The average pace is thought to be at or just north of 15%, whereas we will probably only have 9% to 11% planted. From there the historical average starts advancing rather quickly, jumping to 30%, then 50% by the end of the first week in May, and to around 70% planted by May 15. I'm certainly not saying it can't happen, because I've seen the U.S. producer get faster and faster and much more advanced in the past several years, but it feels like the weather will need to turn more cooperative and provide a slightly larger window of opportunity. 

Demand domestically remains strong with ethanol continuing to lead the growth story. Weekly export sales were alright but towards the lower end of the range. There is some talk of cheaper wheat and more poor quality creating stronger competition for corn. Personally I don't see "demand" as the problem, rather it's the reality that we are swimming in supply, especially with South America hitting a recent home run.

Yes, U.S. planted acres have pulled back an approximate -4.0 million compared to last year, but we are still looking at a healthy 89 to 90 million. As you can see from the graphic below"stocks-to-use" offers up little in the way of bullish rhetoric. It's now all about U.S. weather. If we catch some widespread "uncertainty" there's perhaps +50 cents of upside with the funds begin positioned aggressively short. If weather cooperates I feel there's perhaps another -50 cents of downside. In my opinion it's still a coin-toss...            





About the Author(s)

Kevin Van Trump


Kevin is a leading expert in Agricultural marketing and analysis, he also produces an award-winning and world-recognized daily industry Ag wire called "The Van Trump Report." With over 20 years of experience trading professionally at the CME, CBOT and KCBOT, Kevin is able to 'connect-the-dots' and simplify the complex moving parts associated with today's markets in a thought provoking yet easy to read format. With thousands of daily readers in over 40 countries, Kevin has become a sought after source for market direction, timing and macro views associated with the agricultural world. Kevin is a top featured guest on many farm radio programs and business news channels here in the United States. He also speaks internationally to hedge fund managers and industry leading agricultural executives about current market conditions and 'black swan' forecasting. Kevin is currently the acting Chairman of Farm Direction, an international organization assembled to bring the finest and most current agricultural thoughts and strategies directly to the world's top producers. The markets have dramatically changed and Kevin is trying to redefine how those in the agricultural world can better manage their risk and better understand the adversity that lies ahead. 

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