Grain Marketing Highlights – March 30, 2012

Carl German, Extension Crops Marketing Specialist; clgerman@udel.edu

Corn Stocks Down; Soybean Stocks Up; All Wheat Stocks Down
Corn stocks in all positions on March 1, 2012 totaled 6.01 billion bushels, down 8 percent from March 1, 2011 and 150 million bushels below average of pre-report trade expectations. Of the total stocks, 3.19 billion bushels are stored on farms, down 6 percent from a year earlier. Off-farm stocks, at 2.82 billion bushels, are down 10 percent from a year ago. The December 2011 – February 2012 indicated disappearance is 3.64 billion bushels, compared with 3.53 billion bushels during the same period last year.

Soybeans stored in all positions on March 1, 2012 totaled 1.37 billion bushels, up 10 percent from March 1, 2011 and 11 million bushels less than average pre-report expectations. Soybean stocks stored on farms are estimated at 555 million bushels, up 10 percent from a year ago. Off-farm stocks, at 817 million bushels, are up 10 percent from last March. Indicated disappearance for the December 2011 – February 2012 quarter totaled 998 million bushels, down 3 percent from the same period a year earlier.

All wheat stored in all positions on March 1, 2012 totaled 1.20 billion bushels, down 16 percent from a year ago and 35 million bushels less than average pre-report expectations. On-farm stocks are estimated at 217 million bushels, down 25 percent from last March. Off-farm stocks, at 983 million bushels, are down 14 percent from a year ago. The December 2011 – February 2012 indicated disappearance is 462 million bushels, down 9 percent from the same period a year earlier. For grain stocks: http://usda.mannlib.cornell.edu/.

Corn Planted Acreage Up; Soybean Acreage Down; All Wheat Acreage Up
Corn growers intend to plant 95.9 million acres of corn for all purposes in 2012, up 4 percent from last year, 9 percent higher than in 2010, and above average pre-report trade expectations of 94.7 million acres. If realized, this will represent the highest planted acreage in the United States since 1937 when an estimated 97.2 million acres were planted.

Soybean planted area for 2012 is estimated at 73.9 million acres, down 1 percent from last year, down 5 percent from 2010, and below average pre-report expectations of 75.5 million acres. Compared with 2011, planted area is down or unchanged across the Corn Belt and Great Plains with the exceptions of Illinois, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wisconsin.

All wheat planted area is estimated at 55.9 million acres, up 3 percent from 2011, and above average pre-report trade expectations of 57.6 million acres. The 2012 winter wheat planted area, at 41.7 million acres, is up 3 percent from last year but down 1 percent from the previous estimate. Of this total, about 29.9 million acres are Hard Red Winter, 8.4 million acres are Soft Red Winter, and 3.5 million acres are White Winter. Area planted to other spring wheat for 2012 is estimated at 12.0 million acres, down 3 percent from 2011. Of this total, about 11.3 million acres are Hard Red Spring wheat. Durum planted area for 2012 is estimated at 2.22 million acres, up 62 percent from the previous year. For prospective plantings: http://usda.mannlib.cornell.edu/.

USDA Export Sales Report 3/29 (for the week ending 3/22)
Pre-report export estimates for corn ranged from 25.6 to 31.5 million bushels. Export sales were reported at 6.2 million bushels with 5.1 million bushels scheduled for ‘11/’12, a marketing year low. This was well below the 16.7 million bushels needed this week to stay on pace with USDA’S demand projection of 1.7 billion bushels. Weekly shipments of 25.3 million bushels were below the 33.8 million bushels needed this week. This report is viewed as bearish.

Pre-report estimates for weekly export sales of soybeans ranged from 18.4 to 27.6 million bushels. Exports sales were reported at 21.7 million bushels with 17.3 million bushels scheduled for ‘11/‘12. This was above the 5.9 million bushels needed this week to stay on pace with USDA’s demand projection of 1.275 billion bushels. Shipments of 20.6 million bushels were above the 13.8 million bushels needed this week. This report is viewed as bullish.

Pre-report estimates for wheat exports ranged from 18.4 to 25.7 million bushels. Weekly export sales were reported at 14.8 million bushels with 8.3 million bushels scheduled for ‘11/‘12. This was above the 6.8 million bushels needed this week to stay on pace with USDA’s demand projection of 1 billion bushels. Weekly shipments of 16.2 million bushels were below the 22.4 million bushels needed this week. This report should be viewed as bearish.

Market Strategy
Today’s prospective plantings and quarterly grain stocks reports present a mixed bag for the corn, soybean, and wheat markets. Analysts are suggesting nearby corn futures to be oversold. However, with planted acreage exceeding expectations corn futures may be hard pressed to continue their seasonal rally at the present time. Soybeans could emerge as the leader from today’s reports. Market attention will now turn to weather conditions and planting/crop progress. In overnight trade, Dec ‘12 corn futures closed at $5.28; Nov ’12 soybean futures at $13.05; and July ‘12 SRW wheat at $6.29 per bushel.

For technical assistance on making grain marketing decisions contact Carl L. German, Extension Crops Marketing Specialist.

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