Weekly Crop Commentary - 5/5/2023
May 05, 2023
Vice President, Grain Division
The commodity markets are finishing the week on a firmer tone today. Support is coming from fund buying on continued geopolitical concerns in the Black Sea region and weather concerns of continued dryness in Kansas and Nebraska. Corn for the week has added a dime and beans are up fifteen cents on the week. Basis continues to trade steady, with some local improvements due to lack of farmer selling. The USDA will release updated supply/demand figures next Friday and will also give us our first glimpse of 2023-24 crop year figures. Trade is looking for an increase in carry-over stocks for both corn and beans. It looks like spring is finally here for good with improving temperatures and mixed precipitation in the forecast for the next couple of weeks. Please continue to be safe, enjoy the sunshine, and have a great week.
Director of Grain Purchasing
Thankful for the sunshine and warmer temps again! Chances of some on again, off again rainstorms seem to be popping up first of next week, but I imagine there will be opportunities to get in the field by middle of next week in many parts of the state.
The markets are working hard to make a recovery today after a rough week. Majority of the corn belt is at or above their average planting pace. Currently, Ohio is 3% above their average for corn and 9% on beans. In headline news, Feds raised interest rates another 25 basis points, US export sales and overall demand continue to lag, and Russia, the UN, and Turkey are in Moscow today to discuss the grain export corridor agreement that’s set to end on May 18th. As we move into next week, we’ll continue to keep an eye on weather and planting progress, along with next Friday’s May Supply and Demand report.Below is a chart that our friends at StoneX put together this week that shared similarities in new crop corn futures in 2014 and 2023 to date. This story started in 2011 as we went through the ebb and flow of a wet year into a drought year in 2012, increased acreage on higher prices the following year, and into an international oversupply come 2014. The demand story is certainly concerning this year and a reminder that prices can always go lower. I know many of you have taken advantage of some alternative pricing opportunities, such as our flex floor or accumulator style contracts. I encourage you to reach out to your local merchandiser if you are undersold on your new crop and discuss a plan that best fits your needs. There are still opportunities available! Wishing you all a safe and successful planting season! Enjoy the nice weather this weekend!
Grain Operation Manager, Urbana (Region 3)
May is here but the first part of the week temperatures felt more like March. If the forecast is correct, we should see and feel some warm weather starting today. We have not seen much if any field work going on this week as the rain event over the weekend drug into early this week. Once field conditions get right, it will be go time.
The markets have recovered a little from the beating they took the last few weeks. That is not saying much but any increase is good. Fundamentals have not changed much in the last week or so. Exports have not been great and South America is selling corn and soybeans at a discount to us. The war in Ukraine was front and center this week as a drone attacked the Kremlin. This back and forth is going to be with us for a while as there is no end in sight for this conflict. Russia needs to export grain and other raw materials to fund their government so if they want to be able to do that, they must let Ukraine export as well. This is going to keep the markets jumpy, especially the wheat market.
As mentioned a few weeks ago, any rally in corn or soybeans need to be sold at this time. We need to get old crop grain cleaned up as it looks like we are getting planted across the country. We will have to see if we get any kind of market rally so we can get some new crop sold, as the farmer across the county has very little to no new crop grain sold. It is hard to believe that the best new crop prices so far were back in January.
Grain Merchandiser, Marysville (Region 4)
Finally, some sunshine! I hope you will be able to get some fieldwork and planting done before the next round of rain rolls in Sunday morning. The market finally turned back around midweek on headlines out of the Black Sea region. Wednesday’s drones over the Kremlin spurred uncertainty in global wheat availability, bringing U.S. wheat off the 25-month lows it had hit in the overnight session. The Black Sea grain export deal is due to expire in two weeks. Representatives from Ukraine and Russia were to meet today for discussions on the matter, but that was pushed to next week, for now. Expect volatility in both directions in the grain market as tensions escalate and the export deal nears the deadline.Fundamentals have not really changed for corn and soybeans, but they are riding the coattails of wheat higher to end the week. We’ve seen decent planting weather and progress across the lower Midwest, declining demand, and increasing world supply with Brazil’s giant crop of corn and beans. The market will be looking for fresh fundamental news in next Friday’s USDA WASDE report. Have a great weekend and be safe in the fields and on the roads.