Corn Climbs on Buoyant Export Signals
By Kirk Maltais
-- Corn for May delivery rose 3.4% to $5.79 3/4 a bushel on the
Chicago Board of Trade Thursday as traders mulled the possibility
of the USDA raising its corn consumption figures in Friday's WASDE
-- Wheat for May delivery rose 2% to $6.28 3/4 a bushel.
-- Soybeans for May delivery rose 0.5% to $14.15 1/4 a
Friday Surprise?: Corn futures led grains higher Thursday as
export sales data suggested the USDA may move its targets for corn
consumption higher in Friday's WASDE report.
"Given still very high corn prices in [China], their
undiminished appetite for other feed grains and wheat and
uncertainty about how Brazil's crop will finish off -- to say
nothing of the very uncertain situation here in the U.S. for our
2021 corn crop ... we assume China will take every bit of what they
have purchased and possibly more," said Joel Karlin of Western
Grain Drain: China was also the prime reason for wheat's
"There are rumors that China is asking for offers on U.S. hard
red wheat for July/August," said AgResource. The agricultural
research company added that it's "uncertain of [if] any U.S. wheat
has sold but based on the cheapness of U.S. HRW wheat to Chinese
corn, it makes economic sense ... When the Chinese government
starts to secure U.S. wheat, we doubt that the buying will stop at
just 2 cargoes."
Just a Smidge: Brazilian crop agency Conab only slightly raised
its estimate for soybean production for the 2020-2021 growing
season after seeing a small increase in productivity. Brazilian
farmers are now projected to produce a record 135.5 million metric
tons of soybeans this season. In March, the agency forecast a crop
of 135.1 million tons.
Meanwhile, Conab forecast a record total corn crop of 109
million metric tons, up from its March forecast of 108.1 million
tons and up from the 102.5 million tons produced in 2019-2020.
Out with the Old: After an absence in recent reports, the USDA
says China has purchased more new-crop soybeans, but also cancelled
orders for old-crop soybeans. In the USDA's weekly export sales
report for the week ended April 1, soybean sales totaled 246,100
metric tons across both marketing years. China was the primary
mover of soybeans for the week, cancelling 216,100 tons of soybeans
purchased for the 2020-21 marketing year while buying 264,000 tons
of soybeans for the 2021-22 marketing year.
"Don't discount additional old-crop U.S. soybean cancellations,
given the availability of Brazilian soybeans and discount of
new-crop U.S. soybeans," said Terry Reilly, senior agriculture
futures analyst with Futures International LLC.
Covid Comeback: Domestic grain shipments in the U.S. fell,
according to the latest weekly grains transportation report from
the USDA. U.S. Class I railroads originated 24,532 grain carloads
during the week ended March 27, down 10% from the previous week but
10% more than last year.
Meanwhile, barge grain movements totaled 776,008 tons for the
week ended April 3, 9% lower than the previous week but 51% higher
than the same period last year.
So while grain shipments shrank back from previous levels, they
are maintaining levels higher than 2020, when the Covid-19 pandemic
had started in earnest.
-- The USDA is scheduled to release its monthly supply and
demand report at noon EDT Friday.
-- The CFTC is due to release its weekly commitments of traders
report at 3:30 p.m. EDT Friday.
-- The USDA is scheduled to release its weekly export
inspections report at 11 a.m. EDT Monday.
-- The USDA is due to release its weekly crop progress report at
4 p.m. EDT Monday.
-- Jeffrey Lewis contributed to this article.
Write to Kirk Maltais at firstname.lastname@example.org
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
April 08, 2021 15:49 ET (19:49 GMT)
Copyright (c) 2021 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.