This week there are 5 key reports to watch that could have significant impacts on commodity markets the week of September 24, 2023. This Farms.com column tracks key events in commodity marketing impacting the agriculture industry! The series of article shares issues to watch the following week, issues that may have an impact on commodity prices in the coming weeks.
By Colin McNaughton
Farms.com Risk Management Intern
1. USDA’s Crop progress report will be released on Monday, September 25th. The recent report showed that U.S. corn areas are still battling dry conditions Twenty percent of corn is considered very poor-poor, a 2% increase from the prior week. Soybeans remained at 18% very poor-poor, seeing no change over the week. Illinois saw a 6% increase in very poor-poor conditions, jumping from 16% up to 22%. Any rain that falls now is too late but can help replenish soil moisture for next year's growing season.
2. The upcoming week's reports include the USDA grains inspected for exports report on Monday, September 25th, EIA ethanol data on Wednesday, September 27th, and the USDA weekly export sales report on Thursday, September 28th. Demand remains weak and the funds are concerned as they keep selling the grains, but its also that time of the year seasonally where we are trying to form a bottom.
Corn inspections were strong as 642,000 mt were inspected. That number comes in higher than both last week and this week last year at 549,000 mt. Soybeans inspections came in at 393,000 mt, noticeably lower than last year's 521,000 mt. The start of this marketing year for corn is showing some positive signs that it can be better than the last which lacked in comparison to the prior year.
3. Despite rains in the Midwest, the U.S. drought monitor map worsened as now 78% of the Midwest is affected by at least D0 drought conditions, up 9% from last week. North/Eastern Iowa saw the emergence of D4 drought conditions, leaving 4.96% of the state in D4 drought. Iowa did not see any D4 drought conditions throughout the entire summer.
The USDA/NOAA Ag in Drought report showed that 58% of U.S. corn and 53% of soybeans are suffering from at least D1 drought conditions. The U.S. Midwest has seen 0 moisture in the last 30 days resulting in a very poor/dry/fast finish which usually results in lower yields by as much as 10%, as grain fill is impacted. Crops west of Indiana were brown layering instead of black layering and adding yield. At the end of August, crops were dying, not drying down!
4. USDA’s quarterly Grain Stocks report will be released on Friday, September 29th. The June report showed most grains stored were down from 2022. Corn stored in all positions was down 6% from the prior year, soybeans were down 18%, and all wheat was down 17%. This report can be market moving, particularly in corn, and provide a bullish surprise as stronger U.S. basis in 2022 suggests that the USDA overestimated both the U.S. corn and soybean crops at 173.3 and 49.5 bpa respectively.
5. The USDA quarterly Hogs and Pigs report will be released on Thursday, September 28th. The June report showed the U.S inventory of all hogs and pigs on June 1st, 2023, was 72.4 million head. This number was slightly down from the March report which came in at 72.9 million head. The Market hog inventory came in at 66.2 million head, down 1 percent from the March report. Pigs saved per litter surprised with a 3.3% growth. Many are looking to see if this report shows further liquidation in the industry as hog weights are down 9 lbs vs. last year and sow slaughter continues to rise.
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