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Corn prices slow to recover

Corn hands
With a good start to the growing season and not much changing in the way of trade, corn prices aren't likely to improve soon.

Corn prices are steady to slightly higher this morning. The market has recently rallied about +20 cents off its nearby lows. The old-crop JUL18 contract posted a low last week of $3.38^6 and the new-crop DEC18 contract posted a low of $3.60 per bushel.

The question now is can and how long will it take to for price to recover? Weather here in the U.S. has been extremely cooperative to start the season. Many producers who have been complaining about extreme heat and dry conditions got a little break this past week, but it looks like the forecast is heating back up. If I had to narrow my selections, I would have to say the greatest risk for corn stress continues to be in several parts of Missouri and in areas of Iowa and Illinois where it borders Missouri. I would also have to chose a few select areas in Kansas and southern Nebraska. The extended forecast will bring possible drier concerns for producer in the eastern portion of the U.S. corn belt.

The bulls are also pointing to continued talk of political concerns and perhaps logistical problems for both Argentine and Brazilian exports. On the flip side, bears continue to point to negative trade headlines, especially those involving NAFTA nations and the Chinese. From a technical perspective, the DEC18 contract will be battling fairly stiff resistance on the charts this week between $3.80 and $3.90 per bushel.

Without some positive headlines surrounding trade or a more negative shift in U.S. weather, I suspect it will be tough for the bulls to find enough momentum nearby to push much beyond the $3.90 level. Obviously, longer-term there's potential for much higher prices, but it's going to take a significant shift in sentiment.

From my perspective, weather and Washington remain the two driving forces and star attractions. I'm not looking for much change in this week's USDA weekly crop-condition report. Staying patient as both a producer and a spec.

TAGS: Marketing
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