AgFax Grain Review: Corn Prices Expected to Stabilize; Chinese Soy Demand on Rebound

Markets/Trade

  • Bryce Knorr reports for Farm Futures that corn futures saw a strong start to 2014 before losing half their gains in the July contract in 2 weeks, a trend which he points out is typical for this time of year if planting progress remains on track. Corn prices are expected to stabilize within the next few weeks as the market waits to see how the weather plays out over the summer with potential summer rallies likely. However the extent of any rallies is questionable. Soybean futures remain highly variable as the market attempts to ration tight old-crop supplies, but increased soybean plantings and the potential for a record harvest could see prices drop significantly later in the season.
  • A Reuters report on Pakistan’s Business Recorder notes that China has imported a small amount of Brazilian corn following rejections of U.S. shipments containing an unapproved GMO variety. While China has currently only imported limited amounts of Brazilian corn, a Chinese official has said the country is likely to increase corn import from Brazil, with Brazil becoming a main source of Chinese corn purchases in the future.
  • AgriMoney.com reports that continued rains in Argentina have drastically slowed the country’s grain harvests, but an expected dry period for the next few weeks has boosted production estimates with expectations of farmers being able to finish harvest while the crop is still in mostly good condition. Argentina’s farm ministry currently projects corn production to total 31.1m tonnes, with soybeans coming in at 54m tonnes.
  • AllAboutFeed.net reports that a recovery in China’s poultry industry has increased demand for soybeans and improved the country’s crushing margins.

Production

  • An Associated Press article on the Star Tribune reports that after the cold, wet spring that had many Minnesota corn growers concerned about getting their crops planted before the crop insurance deadline, last week saw ideal planting weather that had growers scrambling to get their crop in the ground, with many finishing before the start of the Memorial Day weekend.
  • Erica Quinlan reports for AgriNews.com that high-oleic soybean production is on the rise in the U.S. with an estimated 200,000 acres being planted this year compared to 47,000 last season. The leader of the United Soybean Board has said the goal is to increase production to 18 million acres over the next decade and make high-oleic soybeans the 4th largest ag sector, behind corn, regular beans, and wheat. The beans currently earn a 40-50 cent premium over regular beans beans due to restrictions that require they be kept apart from the regular beans during harvest and storage to prevent them getting into the pipeline until they earn approval in Europe. High-oleic beans are valued for the higher quality oil they produce, which is creating demand in both the food and automobile industries.

Policy/Politics

  • Melissa Erickson reports for the Ames Tribune that a March 31 corn stover fire at a DuPont facility near Nevada, Iowa, has resulted in a lawsuit against DuPont by a neighboring property owner suing for “their reckless, careless and dangerous practice of storing highly combustible corn stover material immediately adjacent to (the Clarks’) home, and to recover damages” caused by the fire. The fire was the 5th fire at a DuPont facility in the Story County area since the company began storing corn stover in 2012 in preparation for the new cellulosic ethanol plant expected to open this year. The company has been working with local fire fighting agencies to come up with measures to reduce the risks of fire breaking out, limit their impact, and make controlling them easier.



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