Market News

Corn mostly $.30 lower on USDA numbers: June 30, 2009

Soybeans were mostly lower on old crop/new crop spread trade, technical selling and spillover from corn. The USDA’s planted acreage estimate was a little smaller than the average pre-report guess, but still a new record, up modestly from March and 2% above a year ago. Quarterly stocks were larger than expected, but are still much tighter than normal, which supported the July contract. Overall, a lot’s going to depend on late planting and weather. Soybean meal was mostly higher on the tight nearby demand and overall greater demand than bean oil. Bean oil was lower on that product spread activity and the sharply lower crude oil. USDA reported that China bought 113,000 tons of U.S. soybeans for 2009/10 delivery.

Corn was mostly limit down on profit taking, fund selling and technical weakness. USDA’s planted acreage estimate was larger than expected, up from March and 1% more than a year ago. To say that was a surprise following the wet spring would probably be an understatement, but after crunching the numbers and consulting with analysts and economists, the increase is due to larger planting in marginal acreage and the lower input costs. Between that implied increase in production, forecasts for good growing weather in the near term and larger than expected quarterly stocks, there wasn’t much that could have helped corn. Allendale’s David Kohli expects Tuesday’s lower trade to carry over into the overnight activity and Wednesday’s day trade. Ethanol futures were lower.

The wheat complex was lower on fund and technical selling, in addition to the drop in corn. The USDA numbers pretty much just confirmed the bearish fundamentals for wheat. All wheat acreage is down 5% from a year ago, winter wheat was down 6% and while the spring wheat projection was 3% below last year, it was above the average pre-report estimate. Quarterly stocks were down from the average pre-report guess but up 118% from June 1, 2008 on the slowdown in demand for the ample U.S. supplies. U.S. wheat continues to command a hefty premium to competing exporters. European wheat was lower on the bearishness of the USDA numbers; November Paris was down 3% and November London was 2.6% lower. Japan’s Ag Ministry issued a tender for 108,000 tons of wheat and Taiwan Flour Mills is tendering for 82,350 tons of U.S. wheat.

  • Hi! I’m Janet Whitaker, assistant to Al Cross at the Institute for Rural Journalism and Community Issues, writing to let you know John Perkin’s story on corn prices was excerpted in the 6/30/09 Rural Blog, our almost-daily digest of events, trends, issues, ideas and journalism about rural America. To see your story and the rest of the blog, go to
    If you want to get our near-daily notices of blog updates, just let me know.

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