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Corn is like a comatose patient on life support waiting for signs of a response, or someone to pull the plug. Hope for a sustained recovery is diminished because of demand destruction created by the shutdown of the economy. As a result, a strong sense of complacency has developed among the bears. This is evident from the fund short position growing to a staggering 1.335 BB. The record is 1.670 BB. When the bears become overconfident, they frequently let their guard down. In other developments, planting is progressing rapidly at 80 percent complete compared to the average of 71 percent. However, delays are expected with the remainder of the crop because of a wet forecast. Export inspections last week were 45.3 MB and below the average of 49.4 MB needed each week to reach USDA’s projection of 1.775 BB. Right now, we are running slightly short of their target.
China has been a no show in soybean purchases this week which has created disappointment among grain traders. The outbreak of the coronavirus is causing them to fall short in fulfilling their obligations in the trade agreement for this year. However, thoughts are purchases will be forthcoming if they reboot their pork industry. In other developments, planting is progressing quickly at 53 percent complete compared to the average of 38 percent. Even though China has shown greater interest recently, exports continue to lag. Inspections last week were 12.9 MB and must average 26.5 MB on a weekly basis to achieve USDA’s target of 1.675 BB. Since peaking in November, the pace of shipments has fallen 73 percent.
Wheat futures surged on Wednesday from the Wheat Quality Council’s annual tour showing yield prospects in Kansas, Nebraska, and Colorado below a year ago. In addition, drier conditions are reported in eastern Europe and Russia. Export inspections last week were nominal at 16.1 MB. USDA’s target is 970 MB, but cumulative shipments are 877 MB with two weeks left in the marketing year. In other developments, the crop rating fell one-point last week to 53 percent in good-to-excellent condition and compares to the rating of 66 percent a year ago and 48 percent for the ten-year average. Spring wheat planting is progressing slowly because of wet conditions and is 60 percent complete versus the average of 80 percent.
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