Grain Marketing Highlights

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

Trader Attention Turns to Weather
With planting progress for U.S. corn nearly equal to what it was this time last year, commodity market traders are turning their attention to weather forecasts for the Corn Belt growing region. For the week ending April 19 U.S. corn planting progress was reported at 5 percent, 1 percent ahead of last year’s progress and 9 percent behind the 2004-2008 average (Table 1).

Table 1. Corn: Percent Planted, Selected States1

State

Week Ending

2004-2008 Avg.

Apr 19 2009

Apr 12 2009

Apr 19 2008

Percent Planted

CO

8

2

6

6

IL

1

0

1

23

IN

0

0

0

9

IA

6

0

0

10

KS

8

5

7

23

KY

4

2

10

37

MI

2

0

1

5

MN

0

0

0

3

MO

7

5

4

42

NE

3

0

2

6

NC

37

13

39

54

ND

0

0

1

2

OH

2

0

0

7

PA

1

1

8

6

SD

0

0

1

1

TN

11

4

15

51

TX

60

59

62

66

WI

1

0

0

1

18 States

5

2

4

14

1These 18 states planted 92% of last year’s corn acreage.

Winter wheat crop conditions are reported to be a tad worse than last year at this time with 13 percent of the crop reported to be in very poor condition compared to 8 percent last year. The good to excellent categories were reported to be 43 percent this year compared to 45 percent for the week ending April 19 last year (Table 2).

Table 2. Winter Wheat: Crop Condition by Percent for Selected States, for Week Ending April 19, 2009

State

% of Crop in Designated Condition1

VP

P

F

G

EX

AR

0

7

35

52

6

CA

0

5

10

35

50

CO

2

8

26

48

16

ID

0

0

19

74

7

IL

1

7

27

56

9

IN

1

2

21

56

20

KS

4

12

40

40

4

MI

2

4

28

51

15

MO

0

8

39

48

5

MT

2

5

37

47

9

NE

1

4

27

59

9

NC

2

2

20

65

13

OH

1

6

25

51

17

OK

30

30

28

12

0

OR

2

20

47

28

3

SD

2

5

33

50

10

TX

49

25

16

9

1

WA

6

10

33

44

7

18 States

13

14

30

36

7

1VP-Very Poor, P-Poor, F-Fair, G-Good, EX-Excellent
National crop conditions for selected States are weighted based on 2008 planted acres.

Marketing Strategy
The planting progress and crop condition reports given above do not present any reason to be alarmed at this point in time. Corn planting progress is expected to make great strides next week. Rumors are said to be circulating among commodity traders that corn export business is about to dry up. If that happens then prices would adjust accordingly. The April supply and demand report strongly indicated that there is no shortage of wheat in the world.

The bullish undertone in the soybean market is currently being reaffirmed by reports from Argentina that their crop might turn out to be shorter than USDA previously projected. USDA’s April estimate for Argentine soybean production was at 39 MMT. Consensus is building that the Argentine crop size could range somewhere between 33 to 37 MMT.

Outside market forces will continue to play an important role in influencing commodity prices. Currently, Dec ’09 corn futures are trading at $4.02 per bushel; Nov ’09 soybeans at $9.24; July ’09 SRW wheat at $5.27; June ’09 crude oil at $47.85; June ’09 U.S. Dollar Index at 86.55; and the Dow is 7959. For technical assistance on making grain marketing decisions contact Carl L. German, Extension Crops Marketing Specialist.

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