Last week we had the latest USDA report into US planted acres and grain stocks. While we expected some increases to US hectares for wheat and soybeans (we got them but not as big as expectations) it was corn that surprised the market. Corn has been well supported on the perception that it had lost out to bean hectares and not had the timing at the back end of the sowing window for the market to ‘buy hectares’.
US wheat was expecting a total area somewhere between 48 and 53million acres, USDA has reported 50.8m acres down on the 54.64m acre figure from last year but still above average area of 49.8m acres. US winter wheat harvest is adding to market pressure with growers in a selling mode despite a 7 year low in the wheat market.
Beans were expected to come in somewhere between 82 and 85.7million acres, the estimate came in at 83.7. Higher than predictions in March but lower than expected overall. With strong US sales continuing to be made US soy futures have been the light in the darkness for grains and oilseeds over recent sessions.
Corn was acres were expected to fall in a range between 92 and 94milliion acres instead the USDA gave the market an additional 500,000 hectares over the March estimate, coming in at 94.1m acres. Coupled with stocks that were again above the upside expectation, at 4.7billion bushels vs 4.6billion and corn was hit hard on Chicago futures markets last week.
With wheat and corn competing for a share of feed markets the big interruption to corn markets has sucked wheat into the downdraught somewhat. We are now looking globally at a two speed wheat market, with very cheap general purpose wheat eroding values. However we are seeing demand pick up for the lower, cheaper grades and this will eventually be the solution to oversupply though it will take some time. Holding onto physical old season wheat does not look to be a rewarding exercise from here on in. Grain Brokers can discuss a number of alternatives on this front so please contact one of our brokers at any time.