-Grain markets continue to rally as forecast remains wet
-EU wheat crop raised, exports expected up solidly
-Funds record net buyers in corn in latest CFTC data
-Record Brazilian safrinha corn crop expected
Grain markets continue to race higher following the very heavy rains in many parts of the corn belt over the weekend, with another 10-day stretch of notable and widespread rains expected. There are ideas for a period of heat/dryness in the 11-16 day period, but the focus remains on the very limited planting activity likely to continue for at least another week. Ideas on U.S. corn planting in this afternoon’s USDA update appear mostly around 60% vs 49% last week and 90% average, while soybean planting ideas appear mostly in the 30-31% range vs 19% last week and 66% average and spring wheat planting around 84-85% vs 70% last week and 91% average.
Ukrainian ag consultant APK-Inform estimated the country’s winter wheat crop will rise to 25.9 MMT from 23.9 MMT last year, while the winter barley crop is seen at 3.3 MMT vs 2.9 MMT last year. The USDA’s estimate of Ukraine’s total wheat production this year of 29.0 MMT reflects an expected 4.0 MMT increase from last year, although USDA doesn’t provide winter vs spring wheat estimates.
The EU Commission raised their estimate of this year’s total EU common wheat crop to 143.8 MMT from141.3 MMT previously, with common wheat exports estimated at 25.5 MMT for 2019/20 vs 21.0 MMT in 2018/19. The USDA sees the EU total wheat crop (including durum) at 153.8 MMT vs last year’s 137.2 MMT and total exports at 27.0 MMT vs 24.0 MMT in 2018/19. The Commission sees the 2019/20 EU corn crop at 68.2 MMT, down minimally from previous ideas of 68.3 MMT and last year’s 69.0 MMT, while 2019/20 EU corn imports are estimated at 15.5 MMT, down solidly from 22.5 MMT in 2018/19. The USDA is estimating 2019/20 EU corn imports at 20.0 MMT vs 23.5 MMT this year. The Commission is estimating 2019/20 EU rapeseed production at 18.7 MMT, down from 19.2 MMT previously and 20.0 MMT last year.
Friday’s CFTC Disaggregated COT data for futures/options combined for the week ended 5/21/19 showed funds were massive net buyers in corn on the week of 166k contracts, reducing their net short to 117k contracts and reflected total net buying of the last four weeks of 205k contracts. Additionally, the net fund buying in corn for the week was a single-week all-time record since the Disaggregated data set began in June 2006. Funds were also net buyers of 36.7k contracts in CBOT wheat (net short 41.8k), 15.7k soybeans (net short 153k), 11.5k soybean oil (net short 69k), 4.6k soybean meal (net short 35k) and 8.3k KCBT wheat (net short 48k), while being mostly net even in MPLS wheat and net short 12k contracts.
A wire service survey of Brazilian ag industry participants revealed average expectations for the total Brazilian corn crop at 97.5 MMT, just short of the record crop two years ago of 97.8 MMT, moderately above CONAB’s last estimate of 95.3 MMT and sharply above last year’s 80.7 MMT. USDA, though, is currently estimating the crop at a record 100.0 MMT. The survey put average ideas of the safrinha corn crop at a record 70.4 MMT vs CONAB’s 69.1 MMT and last year’s 54.0 MMT. The Brazilian soybean crop was estimated at 116.2 MMT vs 115.5 MMT a month ago and compares to USDA’s 117.0 MMT and CONAB’s 114.3 MMT.
South Korea bought 120k tonnes of Black Sea origin feed wheat for August and October arrival periods and priced at $207.90-$208.95/tonne c&f. The rise in U.S. ag market values of late is pushing global values higher, accordingly, with Russian new crop wheat values at Black Sea ports up $2.00-$2.50/tonne over the last week to $187-188/tonne fob for 12.5% protein.
Russia’s ag ministry said total spring grain planting was 78% complete with 23 million hectares (56.8 million acres) planted so far vs 20 million hectares (49.4 mil acres) planted at this time last year.
Above average rainfall will continue to plague planting progress across the majority of the Midwest in the next 10 days. Totals may not be as heavy in the next 10 days as they have been in the past and there looks to be some longer periods in between the rain events, but enough rains are still indicated to fall to significantly impact fieldwork. The next system will spread rains into areas west of the MS River in the next 24 hours and will then push through the east tomorrow. Totals with that system look to be in the 1-3”+ range in the southern ½ of IA, the northern 1/3rd of MO and west central IL, with .30-.80”, isolated to 1”+, to fall in most other areas. Coverage looks to be around 85%, with only the OH River Valley possibly missing the rains. An area of showers and thunderstorms will work through the southern ½ of MO, IL and most of IN and OH by Thursday, producing totals of .30-.80” to those areas. The rest of the week and Saturday look to be mainly dry. Waves of hit and miss showers and thunderstorms then look to bring totals of .30-1”+ to around 85% pf the region from Sunday into the first half of next week. There is a slight bias to those rains, with MI, IN and OH to see the lower amounts and coverage. The 11-16 day period sees a fairly significant change in the upper air pattern (ridging) to produce below average precip and above average temps in much of the Plains and Midwest. An area of average precip looks to occur in much of NE, MN, SE SD and NW IA. Past 4 Days 1-5 Day Forecast 6-10 Day Forecast W
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