It’s been a tough week all around in the commodity markets. Planting delays continue to cause concerns, but it is simply too early for that alone to provide much support.
The corn crop is now 6% planted nation-side, compared with a 5-year average of 12%. The forecast for the Upper Corn Belt is not favorable for much progress next week, either, but futures are trading at contract lows regardless. The export outlook remains weak, and export sales commitments are currently down 41.7% from this date a year ago. The Brazil crop is likely to be large and will add further competition in the global marketplace.
Soybeans have also taken a hit this week, and November is now looking at a possible retest of support at $8.79. Sales commitments are behind the pace needed to reach the USDA projected export total for 18/19, and unshipped commitments are up 13/6% from a year ago. With Argentina and Brazil harvests in full swing, that is unlikely to change much. We could see further downward revisions in that export total, with ending stocks creeping even higher than the 895 million bushels currently forecast.
Rice, Cotton & Livestock Ups & Downs
The rice crop is also off to a slow start. Nationwide, 31% of the crop is in, compared with a 5-year average of 47%. In Arkansas, 24% is planted, with a 5-year average of 51%. Rice futures have seen weakness this week, but so far May has found support at $10.10.
Cotton futures have fared a bit better this week, with a solid export report again this week to help provide support. December continues to find support at 73 cents for the time being.
Livestock futures have also had a tough week, as both live cattle and lean hog futures settled limit-down on Thursday. The losses were mostly technically driven, but cash cattle prices have also fallen, with that weakness carrying over into the futures markets. A disappointing export sales report contributed as well.