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Corn market under heavy pressure

There’s a tremendous amount of weight on the corn market, and another boulder could be coming.

University of Minnesota grain market economist Ed Usset says ethanol is getting hammered as Americans refrain from travel and crude prices sink amid an oil price war between Russia and Saudi Arabia.

“So that whole sector is weak, and it’s going to hurt corn because the corn market today is a lot different than it was 20 years ago.”

Today, he tells Brownfield the corn market is driven almost as much by fuel and energy prices as it is feed demand.

The USDA could deliver another blow Tuesday, when the agency is expected to forecast around 94 million planted corn acres.

But Usset doubts that number will get much bigger.

“And in the end, the biggest determinant might come down to planting conditions in late April, May, and going into June. Is it going to be another late year, or will farmers get (the crop) in early?”

He says delays favor more soybean acres, which would strengthen the corn market.  But a fairly normal planting season would be price-neutral overall.

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