Commodities Report
April 10, 2018

 

 

Close April 10

April 3

2 week change

Dec Corn

4.14

4.12

+ .02

Nov Soybeans

10.48

10.42

+ .06

July Wheat

5.09

4.74

+ .35

June Hogs

75.05

71.65

+ 3.40

June Cattle

102.10

99.65

+ 2.45

Cdn $

79.51

78.13

+ 1.38

US $ Index

89.64

90.21

- .57

Crude oil

65.54

63.42

+ 2.12

Gold

1343

1336

+ 7

US 10 Year Notes

120-23

120-28

- 5

TSX Stocks

15265

15133

+ 132

USDA released their monthly demand/supply report on April 10. There were no major surprises in the report, so prices quickly went back to trading North American weather, which has been supportive to price.

The US corn carry out (CO) was raised 55 mln bu., to 2.182 bln. due to a decrease in feed use. The number was very close to expectations. The world CO was guessed at 197.3 bln bu., and came in at 197.8, so no surprise there either.

The US soybean CO was 24 mln bu less than expected at 550 mln bu.. This would, however, be the second largest ever, so hardly bullish. 2006/07 had a final CO of 574 mln. The world soybean CO was lower than expected at 90.80 mln mt., compared to traders’ thoughts of 92.95 mln.

The lower world CO was due to USDA lowering Argentina’s soybean crop more than expected, to 40 mln mt. Last month, they estimated 47 mln.  Brazil’s soy crop was raised 2 mln mt to 115 mln., offsetting some of the Argentine losses.

Wheat numbers were a bit negative. The US CO was pegged at 1.064 bln bu., versus 1.036 expected. The world CO was 3 mln mt more than expected at 271.2 mln mt. There’s lots of wheat in the world.

So back to the weather. The US hard red wheat areas (Kansas, Okla etc) are in one of their worst droughts in decades. Only 30 percent of US winter wheat is in good or excellent condition. Meanwhile in the hard red spring wheat areas (Dakotas, Minn. etc) there is still snow on the ground, delaying planting.

The US heartland has been cold and wet, and that is expected to continue for at least the next two weeks. Early planting usually leads to higher yields, but that likely won’t be the case for most US growers this year if the forecasts are right.

This should support corn futures more than soybeans, but that often hasn’t been the case lately. The tariff talk should have had a more negative effect on soybeans than corn also, considering the amounts China buys of each. Soybeans remain amazingly resilient.

China’s President seems more conciliatory towards trade after Trump’s bold advances. They announced they will lower import tariffs, particularly on cars. They will also do more to protect intellectual property rights and encourage more foreign investment.

It appears the China leadership is acknowledging that the playing field isn’t exactly level, which was Trump’s argument all along.  Although the verbal volleys were disruptive to markets and increased volatility, perhaps some real good can result from the debate.

 

The Canadian dollar has rallied 3 cents from the March 19 low, hurting basis.  Stronger commodities (energies and metals) are contributing to the CAD price rise. There is also talk that the NAFTA negotiations are progressing better than expected, and an agreement may be in place by May. 

- Frank Backx, Hensall Co-op Grain Marketer