Archive for May, 2012

Wednesday, May 30, 2012 @ 11:05 AM
posted by Kent Lockridge

Two large factors provided market direction yesterday. They were 1. July
liquidation and 2. cooler and wetter forecasts. No doubt that dryness has
started to stress newly planted bean crops and older planted corn. After
starting with historically high ratings, the corn ratings dropped by 5% to 72%
good/excellent, bringing it in line with last year’s crop. Kansas and Kentucky
reported the worst conditions for corn. Soybean planting progress is about
2 weeks ahead of normal at 89% planted and 61% emerged, while winter
wheat conditions dipped slightly.

The macro picture continues to weigh on commodities across the board,
brining its fair share of weight to Ags as well. When combining a good weather
forecast with risk -off the table, the path of least resistance quickly becomes lower.
This morning commodities are lower with crude oil under $90 /barrel and gold
off as well. Concerns over the EU and China continue to hit the market in
episodes, driving money out of the commodities sphere. Last night was one
of those events, with Chinese agencies denying that they would add any
stimulus to their economy. China demand is synonymous with strong commodities,
hence any worries over this powerful economy can certainly provide a risk off pattern.
And adding to economic world worries was the fact that Spain’s credit ratings was
reduced to BB from a B ratings, with the Eurodollar at the lowest point for the year.

The trend towards the open for the pit session is lower for soy and wheat, steady
for corn which responded to lower than expected crop ratings:

beans: 5-9 lower
meal: 3.00-3.50 lower
oil: 20-25 lower
corn: 1/2-1 higher
wheat: 5-7 lower

Wheat futures may regain its previous bear -leg status from improving forecasts
in the Black Sea, and the fact that the enormous and quick short-covering rally
took prices to levels that were simply not world competitive.

Thursday, May 24, 2012 @ 09:05 AM
posted by Kent Lockridge

• Quick Editorial: the bulls were finally able to put their foot down overnight,
at least temporarily, following an ugly week for that camp; it will be tough for
them to add momentum going forward, though, in the face of much-improved
growing conditions for most U.S. crop areas for the holiday-shortened week.
• A branch of Taiwan’s BSPA is looking for two bean cargoes totaling 120,000
tonnes, in a tender closing tomorrow; shipment will be set for Aug-Sep. A
separate branch of the BSPA bought 120k tonnes of Brazil soy today as well,
for July-Aug shipment, against the Nov contract at $578/580 per tonne.
• Japan’s Ag Ministry bought 32,000 tonnes of feed wheat and 89,000 tonnes
of feed barley today, while seeking another 120k tonnes of feed wheat and
200k tonnes of feed barley, all for shipment by August. They also took 153k
tonnes as scheduled in their weekly milling wheat tender, including a combined104k
tonnes from the United States, and 49k from Canada.
• The Russian Grain Union expects the 2012/13 grain harvest to “at least”
match last year’s 94 million tonnes, despite some dryness in southern regions
as of late; wheat production is expected at “at least” 56 MMT, with barley at
17-18 MMT. Total grain exports are seen falling from 26-27 to 20 MMT.
• The HGCA expects United Kingdom wheat exports to drop in ‘11/12, down a
200k tonnes to 2.45 MMT, as shipments slowed in March and will continue to
slow in coming months; the country’s wheat feed use is seen at 6.54 MMT,
up from 6.14 MMT in ‘10/11 and up from the previous HGCA forecast.
• The U.N. FAO sees Morocco’s 2012 wheat crop at just 2.7 MMT, down from
6.02 MMT in 2011 due to a Dec-March drought, while barley output is also
expected to drop sharply, from 2.34 MMT last year to 900k tonnes in 2012.
2012/13 grain imports are likely to rise from last year’s 5.5 MMT; the USDA
expects Morocco’s wheat imports to rise over 50% in ‘12/13, to 5.0 MMT.
• Export Sales Estimates (000 tonnes): Estimate Range / Last Week
Corn: 900-2000 / 865.1 Beans: 700-1100 / 673.3 Wheat: 400-800 / 711.4
Meal: 75-200 / 195.6 Oil: 10-30 / 48.1
WEATHER UPDATE:
• The NW belt saw impressive rains overnight, with widespread 0.5-2.0” rains
expected but lots of local numbers looking higher than that; southern crop
areas will remain on the hot and dry side as the northern corn belt sees the
best rains over the weekend. However, forecasts are still calling for a pattern
breakdown and cooler and wetter conditions reaching south next week. The
Southern Plains still looks like the problem, at least for 7-10 days, as temps
and rains revert back closer to normal for most others.

Monday, May 21, 2012 @ 07:05 AM
posted by Kent Lockridge

Seldom is the price outlook for markets “crystal clear.” Most of the time the outlook is at least somewhat clouded. But that may be even more the case now, as there are a lot of uncertainties that could swing prices sharply up, or down.

Euro-zone fracas muddying the water Disarray in the euro-zone is very much on investors’ minds, zapping risk appetite. At the front of the pack in terms of euro-zone concerns is Learn more

Tuesday, May 15, 2012 @ 07:05 AM
posted by Kent Lockridge

May 10, 2012

CommonGround, a volunteer group of farm women dedicated to creating conversations around farming and food, wants to help provide moms with facts around some of the biggest food myths that exist in America.

Recently, CommonGround commissioned the Gate-to-Plate Survey to gain insights into how U.S. moms feel and think about their food and the food choices they make for their families.

More than 70 percent of moms surveyed admitted to having questions or concerns about how their food is grown or raised – a number that CommonGround volunteers Learn more

Wednesday, May 9, 2012 @ 07:05 AM
posted by Kent Lockridge

• Quick Editorial: fund liquidation continued to weigh on soybeans and hold down the grain complex in general overnight, and it remains by and large a bearish anticipation of the USDA’s initial new-crop tables tomorrow…

• South Korea’s MFG bought 70k tonnes of optional-origin corn for just under $273/tonne, for arrival by Nov 25; that’s the lowest they’ve paid so far in 2012, and under $1/tonne above the price they paid for wheat yesterday.

• Taiwan is seeking 48,700 tonnes of U.S. wheat, for late June-early July shipment, while Japan is looking for 120k tonnes of feed wheat and 200k tonnes of feed barley by the end of Learn more