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Could the May 12 WASDE hold the key?

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Grain market week in review: Are we in a true weather rally right now?

Ag Marketing IQ

The variability in yield relative to trend projections is a major factor contributing to the increased price volatility that is often seen throughout the growing season. Effective management of price volatility is essential to successful marketing.

In the short term, the pace of planting and USDA’s upcoming May 12 World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates could determine whether this phase of the rally still has legs. After that comes a long growing season and the government’s next reports on acreage and stocks June 30. While we wait, here are my current targets for both old and new crop.

With both the May 2021 and July 2021 corn futures contracts taking out the $7.00 price level, the biggest question I’ve heard from farmers over the past few days is, “How high is this thing gonna run? Where and when will be the top?” While it is nearly improbable to know for sure when the top will be, we can apply a few analysis tools to corn and soybean markets that might suggest approximately when and where that high may occur.

Exports

The latest weekly grain export inspection report from USDA, out Monday morning and covering the week through April 29, showed corn volume continuing to strengthen after moving higher again week-over-week. In contrast, wheat faced moderate declines, with soybeans coming in at roughly half of the prior week’s tally.

Grain exports have been robust overall throughout much of the 2020/21 marketing year, but USDA’s latest batch of sales data, covering the week through April 29, didn’t have a lot of helpful data for traders to digest. Old crop corn sales plummeted 74% below the prior week’s tally, with old crop soybean sales down 44% week-over-week. Old crop wheat sales fared the worst, with enough net reductions to push totals to a marketing-year low.

USDA reported two flash sales this week. China took 53.5 million bushels of corn, Mexico took 7.2 million bushels of corn and unknown destinations took nearly 13.2 million bushels of corn.

Crop progress

Just a few short weeks ago, cold and rainy weather (with some unseasonably late snow!) put the brakes on planting progress for corn and soybeans, but better conditions this past week helped farmers make immense progress, especially when it came to corn. That crop is now nearly half planted, according to USDA’s latest crop progress report, covering the week through May 2.

Growers share their Feedback from the Field, plus your images from Twitter and Facebook as planting progress jumps forward.

Podcast

Are we in a true weather rally right now, or are other scenarios also affecting the markets right now? In some regards, weather is providing some cooperative opportunities to keep planting pace ahead of schedule in many areas. But there are some problematic areas across the Corn Belt where overly dry conditions could hamper yield potential. And then there is the strong set of supply and demand fundamentals to consider. Listen to Midweek Markets podcast for May 6, 2021.

Recaps

Corn prices hit a new eight-year high overnight as the outlook for Brazil’s crop dries up in the excessive heat and global livestock demand continues to rise. Surging vegetable oil prices continue to support prices for the soy complex, though another round of African swine flu outbreaks in China’s hog herd could limit global livestock demand for soybeans and soymeal. Wheat prices were pulled higher by this morning’s corn rally and supported by strong global livestock demand, particularly from China. A weaker dollar also helped spur gains in the wheat complex overnight.

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