Grain Marketing Highlights

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

U.S. Corn Planting May be Ahead of Crop Progress Report?
As of the week ending April 1, 2012, three percent of the nation’s corn crop was reported as planted compared to two percent this time last year and the five year average of two percent. Next week’s report is expected to bump planting progress up considerably based upon anecdotal evidence from states such as Illinois, where planting began to some degree as early as mid-March but was not yet on the radar screen, meaning Illinois planting progress was reported to be at zero as of last Sunday.

USDA Export Sales Report 04/05
Pre-report estimates for weekly corn exports ranged between 15.7 to 31.5 million bushels. The weekly report placed total export sales at 44.2 million bushels with 36.9 million bushels scheduled for ‘11/‘12. This was well above the 17.2 million bushels needed this week to stay on pace with USDA’S demand projection of 1.7 billion bushels. Weekly shipments of 31.2 million bushels were below the 34.2 million bushels needed this week. This report is viewed as slightly bullish.

Pre-report estimates for weekly export sales of soybeans ranged from 22 to 36.7 million bushels. The weekly report placed total export sales at 40.9 million bushels with 15 million bushels scheduled for ‘11/‘12. This was well above the 5.4 million bushels needed this week to stay on pace with USDA’s demand projection of 1.275 billion bushels. Shipments of 31.4 million bushels were well above the 13.5 million bushels needed this week. This report is viewed as bullish.

Pre-report estimates for wheat exports ranged from 11 to 25.7 million bushels. The weekly report placed total export sales at 22.3 million bushels with 15 million bushels scheduled for ‘11/‘12. This was above the 6.6 million bushels needed this week to stay on pace with USDA’s demand projection of 1 billion bushels. Weekly shipments of 14.9 million bushels were below the 23.1 million bushels needed this week. This report is viewed as bearish.

Market Strategy
The incentive for farmers to switch from corn to soybeans has increased since the release of the planting intentions report with Nov ‘12 soybean futures closing at $13.76 in yesterday’s day trade and the corn-to-soybean price ratio now favoring soybeans in some areas. New crop soybean futures are 71 cents per bushel higher than they were the day before the report, with new crop corn futures currently about 20 cents per bushel higher. Commercial interests are said to be supportive of the corn and soybean markets this week. At today’s open, Dec ‘12 corn futures are trading at $5.46; Nov ‘12 soybeans at $13.80; and July ‘12 SRW wheat at $6.57 per bushel.

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

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