Grain Marketing Highlights – 5/8/09

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

U.S. Corn Crop 33% Planted
Thirty-three percent of the nation’s corn crop was planted as of Monday, May 4, ahead of last year’s planting pace of 24% and behind the 50% five-year average. Commodity traders will be watching the three “I”s (Iowa, Illinois, and Indiana) being the largest producing states for U.S. corn production. In Iowa 60% of the crop is planted, compared to 47% last year and the five-year average of 53%. Illinois and Indiana both have only 5% of their corn crops in the ground, compared to the five-year average of 66% and 47%, respectively. Both states lag last year’s pace of 25% and 32%. 

Market Strategy
The soybean market is expected to continue the current push higher perhaps to the $12 mark in the nearby futures contract. Export sales are running at a record pace for the year and the projected carry out for U.S. soybeans is expected to be reduced in the May 12 USDA Supply and Demand estimate. Soybean futures have trended higher since the first of March.

The corn market continues to trade in a sideways trading pattern, in spite of planting delays. Noncommercial trading activity (speculative) may hold the key to the corn market. Last year noncommercial traders were net-long over 250,000 contracts at this point in time. This year they have a net-long position of approximately 49,800 contracts.

Winter wheat continues to trade sideways due to ample world ending stocks and the pending new crop harvest that will occur in about two months. Wet weather could play a factor in the SRW wheat market.

Another round of heavy rains occurring in the eastern Midwest, southeastern Plains, and Delta regions is likely to weigh on commodity trading the rest of this week. Planting progress will become viewed as more critical as each week passes from now until the second week of June. In the near term, barring any surprises from outside forces, we can look for the prospect of higher prices led by the soybean pit. On Wednesday, May 6 new crop Dec ’09 corn futures closed at $4.25; Nov ’09 soybeans at $9.60; and July ’09 SRW wheat at $5.53 per bushel. Nearby old crop May ’09 corn futures closed at $3.98; May ’09 soybean futures at $11.16; and May ’09 SRW wheat at $5.41 per bushel.

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

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