News & Media

Market Briefs for March 1, 2017

Japan uses corn stockpiles
Japan has had to use at least 330,000 MT of corn from its emergency stockpiles since shipping delays from the U.S. have drawn inventories down to critically low levels. An official at the nation’s ag ministry said it had received and approved applications from 11 feedmakers by the end of February to use 340,000 MT of grain (including a small amount of wheat) from the nation’s 850,000 MT in emergency stocks.

Spring crop insurance prices
The spring crop insurance price discovery period for corn, soybeans, spring wheat and other spring-planted crops is complete. Based on closing prices for December corn futures, November soybean futures and September HRS wheat futures during February, the spring crop insurance price is $3.96 for corn, $10.19 for soybeans and $5.65 for spring wheat. The spring crop insurance price is up 10 cents for corn, up $1.34 for soybeans and up 52 cents for spring wheat from a year ago. The closing date for purchasing crop insurance on spring-planted crops is March 15.

Cattle on Feed categories up
Traders expected the monthly Cattle on Feed Report to reflect that the number of cattle on feed stood at around 10.785 million head as of Feb. 1, which would be up 0.7 percent from year-ago levels. The actual number exceeded expectations and came in at 10.8 million head, up 1 percent from year-ago levels. Placements were expected to come in around 111.1 percent and actially came in at 111 percent of year-ago levels. Marketings were expected at 109.8 percent and came in at 110 percent of year-ago levels.

USDA’s 2017-18 balance sheet
Following are highlights of USDA’s 2017-18 supply/demand projections for major crops released at the Outlook Forum near Washington, DC:

  • Corn: National average yield of 170.7 bushels per acre on 82.4 million harvested acres produces a crop of 14.065 billion bushels. Feed/residual use of 5.45 billion bushels, food seed and industrial use of 6.87 billion bushels (5.4 billion bushels for ethanol) and exports of 1.9 billion bushels results in carryover of 2.215 billion bushels. Season-average farm price: $3.50 per bushel.
  • Soybeans: National average yield of 48 bushels per acre on 87.1 million harvested acres produces a crop of 4.18 billion bushels. Crush of 1.945 billion bushels, seed and residual use of 135 million bushels and exports of 2.125 billion bushels result in carryover of 420 million bushels. Season-average farm price: $9.60 per bushel.
  • Rice: Total 2017 rice planted acreage is projected to decline 17 percent from last year to 2.6 million acres. Long-grain plantings are expected to decrease 22 percent to 1.9 million acres due to the large 2016 carryout and increased soybean prices relative to rice. Medium- and short-grain plantings in 2017 are expected to decline 1 percent from the prior year to 700,000 acres.  Total supplies of all rice in 2017-18 are projected to decrease by 6 percent to 275.1 million cwt, as a smaller crop more than offsets a larger carryin and a slightly higher imports. Long-grain ending stocks are forecast to decrease by 40 percent to 19.1 million cwt. The season-average farm price for long-grain rice is projected at $10 per cwt, up 20 cents from the 2016-17 midpoint. Medium- and short-grain ending stocks are forecast to decrease 14 percent to 15.2 million cwt. The season-average farm price for all medium- and short-grain rice is projected at $12.90 per cwt, up 50 cents from the 2016-17 midpoint.
  • Wheat: National average yield of 47.1 bushels per acre on 39 million harvested acres results in crop of 1.837 billion bushels. Food and seed use of 1.026 billion bushels, feed and residual use of 190 million bushels and exports of 975 million bushels result in carryover of 905 million bushels. Season-average farm price: $4.30 per bushel.
  • Cotton: National average yield of 816 pounds per acre on about 10 million harvested acres results in a crop of 17 million bales. with mill use at 3.4 million bales and exports of 13.2 million bales, carryover is put at 5.2 million bales. Season-average farm price: 65 cents per pound.
  • Cattle/beef: Commercial beef production is forecast at 26 billion pounds, highest since 2011. Steer and heifer slaughter will be above 2016. Beef exports of 2.72 billion pounds would be up 7 percent from 2016. Beef imports are forecast at 2.74 billion pounds, down 9 percent from 2016. The five-area steer price average for 2017: $109 to $116 per hundredweight.

China’s soybean imports surge
China imported more than 7.655 MMT of soybeans during January, a 35.31 percent surge from the year prior, according to official customs data. The U.S. was the main recipient of this business, shipping Beijing nearly 6.778 MMT of the oilseed, a 46.23 percent increase from January 2016. Canada was the No. 2 supplier, followed by Brazil.

Brazilian bean shipments
Brazil shipped a record 1.2 MMT of soybeans during January, according to Thomson Reuters trade flow data, and shipments are on track to hit another record this month. The nation shipped 3.8 MMT of soybeans through Feb. 21, according to the Williams Brazil Soya Complex Vessels Line-Up Report, and another 3.0 MMT were currently loading or expected to load before month’s end. The anticipated February exports of 6.8 MMT would easily surpass last year’s 3.9 MMT and 2015’s 2.2 MMT. Most of these ships are destined for China.