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In corn, it is all about weather. However, concerns are not so much about dry conditions, but rather cool temperatures that are forecast through early May. Not only could this cause problems with germination, but also development that may well impact yields. Until the crop is planted, currently 8 percent done, and the weekly ratings are published, values will likely continue higher. In other developments, exports remain strong with inspections last week at 60.0 MB. However, a yellow flag is waving as mentioned in last week’s comments. That is, the pace of shipments is showing signs of waning. Since early April, it has fallen nearly 14 percent, but is still on track to reach USDA’s projection of 2.675 BB. Right now, this does not seem to be an issue as traders are focused on weather, but it could become a factor once the crop is in the ground and becomes established.
You have pretty much heard it all when you talk to producers who are planting soybeans in the midst of snow flurries. However, that is happening as they want to get an early start and capture the 40-cent premium that September futures has over the November contract. Planting is just getting underway and is 3 percent complete compared to the average of 2 percent. Meanwhile, in other developments, exports continue to deteriorate. Inspections last week were a marketing year low of 6.7 MB. A number this low has not been seen since September 2016. Since November, the pace of shipments has fallen 87 percent which is well below the norm. However, for the moment, traders are focused on weather and planting.
Wheat is being underpinned from strength in corn and soybeans, but also from recent freezing temperatures that may have damaged the crop. So far, the ratings the past three weeks have been steady at 53 percent of the winter crop in good-to-excellent condition. This compares to a rating of 57 percent a year ago. Meanwhile, spring wheat planting is off to a fast start at 19 percent complete versus the average of 12 percent. Conditions are dry in the upper Plains, but showers are in the forecast. Looking at exports, inspections last week were 22.5 MB and below the average of 25.1 MB that must be shipped each week to reach USDA’s target of 985 MB.
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