The grains mostly took profits up until the very early morning hours but have found some buyers since, with the feed grains leading the way at month-plus highs. Cold and wet U.S. forecasts still have time to turn around by the middle of April for early Midwest corn planting, but prospects are less favorable for fieldwork in southern crop areas, as well as small grains and spring wheat seeding. Soybeans and meal are lagging a bit but remain on edge, with a crucial set of reports coming up on Friday.
Tomorrow’s USDA Hogs & Pigs Report is expected to show all U.S. hogs and pigs on March 1 at 72.834 million head, or 100.2% of last year; hogs kept for breeding are seen at 100.5% of last year, with marketing at 100.2% of LY.
Precipitation coverage looks strong for all but the northwestern and south-western Midwest Thursday through Saturday, with the Plains seeing little to no action as well; extended maps continue to run on the wetter side of normal, with temperatures cold for most right up through the middle of April.
Argentina was dry yesterday and rains will be light and confined to northern crop areas through the weekend, for what it’s worth; most areas will be aided by dry weather for dry down and harvest. Brazil did see some rains northeast over the past 24 hours but it was an isolated event; chances look better next week into the 6-10 day for the benefit of the driest northeastern corn areas.
US planting progress and timelines are becoming much more influential market factors. For several weeks trade has shown concern over the cold, wet conditions across the United States, but now that we are weeks away from when most planting would begin across the Midwest, trade is showing more interest. By mid-April we historically see corn planting begin across the heart of the Corn Belt. Given the amount of snow still seen across the Midwest and unseasonably cool temperatures many farmers claim it will be several weeks before they can get in fields to get them ready for planting. This is especially the case in the Upper Plains where heavy snow cover is still a factor. The concern now is that even if snow cover does melt it will bring flood conditions and potentially delay an early start to planting, or even a normal start in many areas. As a result, more analysts are starting to question the 91-million-acre corn projection for this growing season. This is also why some firms believe corn plantings may fall behind last year’s low total of just 88.6 million acres. These delays may increase the number of US soybean plantings though, which would actually be welcomed given the possibility old crop carryout could dip below 200 million bushels.
Have a great day!