Friday Afternoon Comments (3/7) Corn closed 2-5 cents lower today after a strong week of trade. Even with some profit taking today, funds were buyers of 5,000 contracts by mid-session. For the week CK gained 25 cents and CZ gained 13 cents. Issues in Ukraine continue to support the market, as do strong weekly export sales, as total commitments of 1,480 mln. bu. are 92% of USDA projections. The weekly ethanol report showed usage of 93.9 mln. bu. for the week, which is below the 97.5 mln. bu. per week needed to meet USDA projections. At the same time, ethanol stocks are down 14% compared to last year and ethanol production margins are very attractive. Speaking to logistics, March Oats were down 25 cents today as the Canadian government announced the initiation of fines for railroads if grain car movement does not meet shipment targets. The USDA March S&D report is out Monday with corn ending stocks expected to increase slightly to 1,488 bln. bu. Exports may increase at the expense of Feed/Residual as the hog/PED issue is impacting feed use. Brazilian corn production may drop slightly and Brazil is having at least some issues regarding getting the second corn crop planted due to rainy weather.
Soybeans roared into the close with nearby soybeans closing 20 cents higher while new crop was up just 1 cent. For the week SK gained 44 cents and SX gained 18 cents. Funds were buyers of 7,000 contracts by mid-session. A tight U.S. balance sheet with export commitments already 113 mln. bu. above USDA projections and a S. American bean crop that has stopped getting bigger was supportive once again this week. Monday’s S&D report is expected to show a slight decline in U.S. ending stocks to 141 mln. bu. as the USDA has to reconfigure demand. Expectations are for an increase in exports at the expense of crush and residual (historically, there is not much downside potential for residual from current levels.) News of rapidly declining crush margins in China and news that China is cancelling bean purchases did not seem to have much impact on trade today. Brazilian soybean harvest is 52% complete vs. 48% last year.
Wheat finished the day 5-9 cents higher today and WK gained 52 cents this week. Ukraine issues and dry weather concerns in the U.S. Plains is lending support. Wheat ending stocks in Monday’s report expected to remain steady at 570 mln. bu.
The USDA will release the March Supply and Demand report on Monday. The average trade estimates are below (ending stocks): Average Guess USDA Feb. Range 2012/2013 Corn (bil bu): 1.488 1.481 1.431-1.663 .82 Beans (mil bu): .141 .150 .130-.164 .141 Wheat (mil bu): .570 .558 .538-.618 .718 Comments from Mid-Co Commodities Have a Good Weekend & Be Careful!
Reminder: Time changes this weekend. Spring ahead 1 hour Saturday night.