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Weekly Crop Comments

 

Price

Change

US Dollar

81.56

+0.98

Crude

93.24

-3.17

Dow

14,000

+18

Soybeans prices are up; cotton prices mixed while corn and wheat prices are down for the week. USDA held their annual Ag Outlook Forum on February 21 & 22 and offered an overall bearish outlook for 2013 crops, especially corn and soybeans. We should keep in mind that these numbers are more statistically driven and are more or less best guesses for this point in time. Still, the acreages being worked with are in the ranges that have been bantered around as of late. Projected yields may find more arguments, as for grains it appears that everything will have to go just right to be achieved. The weather system that moved through the Plains and Midwest although not a drought buster did add needed moisture to the area and put pressure on new crop prices. Ships are stacking up in South American harbors and causing delays in getting their crop to the world market. U.S. grain exports will benefit for a while until the delays get worked out.

Corn:
Nearby:

Corn

Price
$/bushel

Change

May

6.84 1/4

-0.12 3/4

Support

6.79

-0.04

Resistance

6.94

-0.08

Technical

Strong Sell

=

20 Day MA

7.13

-0.07

50 Day MA

7.12

-0.04

100 Day MA

7.28

-0.02


Weekly exports were above expectations with net sales of 15 million bushels (14.2 million bushels for the 2012/13 marketing year and .8 million bushels of net sales for the 2013/14 year). Ethanol production rose 8,000 barrels per day to 797,000 barrels per day in the latest report. On the daily reporting system, a new crop buy of 9.5 million bushels by China was reported.

New Crop:

Corn

Price
$/bushel

Change

September

5.73

-0.09 1/2

Support

5.68

-0.02

Resistance

5.81

-0.11

Technical

Strong Sell

=

20 Day MA

5.95

-0.07

50 Day MA

6.10

-0.07

100 Day MA

6.33

-0.03


The USDA Ag Forum numbers for 2013/14 were released and to no real surprise were bearish. The current working numbers are 96.5 million acres of corn planted, 88.8 million acres harvested, and a corn yield of 163.6 bu. acre producing a crop of 14.530 billion bushels. Total usage was projected up 15.8% at 13.01 billion bushels leaving carryover at a whopping 2.177 billion bushels and an average price of $4.80 per bushel. Certainty, holes can be shot into the assumptions both on the production and demand side, but either way you look at it with normal weather stocks will grow and prices will be lower. Currently, I would have 10% of 2013 production priced. I am still looking for a bounce for additional pricing or for an opportunity to implement an option strategy.

Soybeans:
Nearby:

Soybeans

Price
$/bushel

Change

May

14.43 3/4

+0.29

Support

14.06

+0.22

Resistance

15.15

+0.84

Technical

Buy

++

20 Day MA

14.48

+0.07

50 Day MA

14.26

=

100 Day MA

14.33

-0.02


Weekly exports were below expectations with net reductions of 2.1 million bushels (net reductions of 4.4 million bushels for 2012/13 and net sales of 2.3 million bushels for 2013/14). Shipping delays in Brazil switched business back to the U.S. as China needs soybeans now.

New Crop:

Soybeans

Price
$/bushel

Change

November

12.65

+0.03 1/4

Support

12.35

+0.11

Resistance

13.21

-0.35

Technical

Sell

+

20 Day MA

13.00

-0.06

50 Day MA

12.99

-0.04

100 Day MA

13.10

-0.02


The numbers from this week’s Ag Outlook Forum placed soybean planting at 77.5 million acres, harvested acres of 76.6 million acres, yield of 44.5 bu. per acre and a crop of 3.405 billion bushels. Demand is expected to increase 7% to 3.295 billion bushels creating ending stocks of 250 million bushels or double the February estimate. The average price is expected to drop to $10.50 per bushel. If old crop prices increase on a pickup in exports, new crop prices may be dragged with it for a while. I would have up to 10% priced on 2013 production. I think there may be an opportunity for additional pricing at higher levels or an opportunity to put in place an option strategy.

Wheat:
Nearby:

Wheat

Price
$/bushel

Change

May

7.18 3/4

0.29 3/4

Support

7.08

-0.17

Resistance

7.37

-0.19

Technical

Strong Sell

=

20 Day MA

7.60

-0.10

50 Day MA

7.78

-0.10

100 Day MA

8.26

-0.09


Weekly exports were above expectations at net sales of 27.8 million bushels (25.7 million bushels for 2012/13 and net sales of 2.1 million bushels for 2013/14).

New Crop:

Wheat

Price
$/bushel

Change

July

7.23 1/2

-0.27 1/2

Support

7.14

-0.16

Resistance

7.40

-0.17

Technical

Strong Sell

=

20 Day MA

7.63

-0.11

50 Day MA

7.83

-0.11

100 Day MA

8.22

-0.04


The weather system going through the Plains dropped much needed moisture to a dry area and pressured prices. The Ag Outlook Forum projected a more or less neutral scenario as it estimated that 56 million acres of wheat planted with 46.5 million acres harvested. A national yield of 45.2 bu. per acre would produce 2.1 billion bushels. Usage is projected at 2.282 billion bushels which would leave carryover at 639 million bushels and an average price of $7.00 per bushel. I am currently priced 10% on the 2013 crop.

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