photo of green soybean pods

Is it too late for U.S. to be crowned “Soybean King”?

South American soybean production now record high

There is no question that one of the big winners in the growth in demand for soybeans from China has been U.S. soybean producers. A recent Market Intel article, China’s Insatiable Demand for Soybeans, highlighted the growth in U.S. exports to China since China joined the World Trade Organization in 2001. Each month China imports hundreds of millions of bushels of soybeans and soy by-products, not only from the U.S. but from Brazil and from Argentina as well. Figure 1 highlights the Read more

flood damage in corn and wet fields

Wet fields create big dilemma for farmers

After a deluge of rain last week, London-area farmers are anxious to get their corn planted.

But an agronomist is advising them to wait until their fields have dried out.

“Farmers will have to have some patience this week,” said Peter Johnson, an agronomist with Real Agriculture.

Earlier planting increases chances of a good harvest but planting on soil that is too wet risks soil compaction that can stifle root growth, he said.

Johnson said there was a wide variation of rainfall across the region last week ranging from a low of about 30 mm around Bayfield to more than 100 mm in some areas. Read more

flood damage in corn and wet fields

Tricky May forecast raises uncertainties for U.S. corn

CHICAGO, May 2 (Reuters) – The planting and emergence of the 2017 U.S. corn crop is right on schedule, but the weather might continue to present some unique challenges as May begins.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture on Monday placed corn plantings at 34 percent complete by April 30, identical to the five-year average but below last year’s 43 percent. Emergence stood at 9 percent, compared with an average of 8 percent, and 12 percent one year ago.

Even though the progress pace lines up with recent averages, an Read more

wheat seedlings

Winter wheat condition holds for second week

The condition of the U.S. winter wheat crop held steady for the second straight week this past week.

Monday’s USDA crop progress report put the condition of the nationwide crop at 54% good to excellent as of Sunday, unchanged from a week earlier and 7 points behind last year. Crops in Kansas and Oklahoma were battered by severe weather over the weekend – including heavy snow in parts of the Read more

CBOT building

Funds all-time record short across CBOT grains, oilseeds

CHICAGO, May 1 (Reuters) – Speculators hit a milestone in the Chicago grains and oilseeds market last week as they have reached a new level of bearishness across all seven grains and oilseeds futures and options contracts.

Combining corn, hard and soft red winter wheat, hard red spring wheat, soybeans, soybean oil and soybean meal, hedge funds and other money managers now hold an all-time record net short position of 464,376 futures and options contracts in the week ended April 25. Read more

Planting seeds in field photo

U.S. planting weather supporting corn; weighing on soybeans

Corn and soybean futures have both seen pressure over the past week but are expected to see divergent moves in the near future as poor Midwestern seeding weather may see acreage shift out of corn and into soybeans.

While it is still early in the planting season, it is looking like farmers may run into difficulties getting the corn seeded in a timely fashion, said Preston Zacharias, of CHS Hedging’s Russel Consulting Group. Read more

flood damage in corn and wet fields

Weak El Niño may mean wetter than normal summer Midwest weather

Commodity weather group forecasts wet summer will boost corn, soybean yields.

A weak El Niño pattern will develop in the Pacific, meaning there’s the likelihood of a wetter summer in the Midwest, Commodity Weather Group, the Bethesda, Maryland-based forecaster, said in a seasonal report Tuesday.

The wetter-than-normal weather likely will have a negative effect on planting but a positive impact on crops that get planted due to ample moisture, the forecaster said. The El Niño pattern will mean warmer waters near the Baja Peninsula and relatively cooler waters in the Pacific Northwest.

“The central (and) southwest Midwest is at most risk for slower-than-average corn (and) soy seeding, but rains aid moisture for the heart of the Corn Belt heading into summer,” CWG said in the report. “Summer temperature outlook trended warmer in the eastern U.S., but mostly unchanged in the Corn Belt, keeping the threat for notable Midwest-focused heat low this season.” Read more

Corn field photo

Wet spring puts U.S. corn further at mercy of summer weather

(The opinions expressed here are those of the author, a market analyst for Reuters.)

By Karen Braun

CHICAGO, April 26 (Reuters) – The corn market is reminded every year about how crucial it is to have favorable summer weather in the United States, but that may be especially true this year, as an unusually wet spring could get the season off to a shaky start.

Traders have been somewhat hesitant to factor in wet U.S. weather and the potential for corn planting delays to futures prices, but the risk was evident enough on Tuesday, when July corn futures closed up 6-1/4 cents or 1.6 percent

The move followed the previous day’s crop progress report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which showed that U.S. corn planting was 17 percent complete as of April 23, ahead of the pre-report trade guess of 15 percent. Read more

Harvesting Soybeans

Big south american output casting long shadow

Wet weather may be slowing planting in the American Midwest, but the big crops expected in South America this year will continue to overhang the corn and soybean markets, according to a U.S. analyst.

Speaking last week as part of an MGEX-sponsored crop call, Randy Martinson of Martinson Ag Risk Management, admitted the big numbers from South America suggest there’s little reason for Northern Hemisphere producers to expect any kind of significant price rally, especially given the fact the Brazil soybean harvest is now just about wrapped up. Read more

Planting seeds in field photo

Weather uncertainty still supportive for soybeans

U.S. weather uncertainty will continue to be a source of support for downtrodden soybean futures, regardless of rising South American production prospects, according to a U.S. analyst.

“There appears to be a reluctance in getting short before planting and the growing season,” said Sean Lusk of Walsh Trading in Chicago.

Chicago soybean futures actually fell to their lowest level of the past year earlier this week, but bounced off those lows as uncertainty about new-crop production and chart-based buying offered support. As the chart below shows, the May soybean contract fell heavily throughout March, dropping over US$1/bu before showing some mettle on Wednesday and early Thursday. Read more