FarmLead Breakfast Brief
Wednesday, February 1st, 2017
“Don’t expect to build up the weak by pulling down the strong.”
– Calvin Coolidge (30th US President)
Due to travel restrictions, there are no futures data this morning but click here to view them yourself
Grains this morning are mixed as the market takes into account decent growing conditions in South America and with China being on holiday this week, there’s less outside action in the markets. The U.S. Dollar pulled back a bit yesterday but fundamentals weighed a bit too heavy and there’s been some strong farmer selling as of late, keeping things in check. CHS is forecasting that EU rapeseed production will climb almost 7% from last year to 21.5M tonnes (previous record of 24.3M tonnes was set in 2014). Commerzbank points out that there’s no signs of major winter wheat crop damage in the Black Sea thanks to sufficient snow cover. That being said, they think that “unlimited build-up of stocks cannot be expected” and so are expected wheat prices to clime about 10% this year (in line with our thinking here at FarmLead), but are pulling back on expectations of soybean prices to $9.50 USD / bushel as large South American supplies, combined with another likely large U.S. harvest, it’s hard to be bullish.
Via their daily CME Group South American report, AgResource is forecasting Brazil’s soybean exports for the month of January was a record 1.95M tonnes and almost 5 times the 395,000 traded in January 2016! Given the pace of exports and ship lineups (almost double the amount compared to a year ago), AgResource is expecting February exports to come in at 4.5M tonnes, another record and more than double that of February 2016. In Argentina, drier weather combined with timely rains is helping crops with most analysts agreeing that growing conditions are becoming more favourable (AKA the hysteria around Argentina’s soybean crop being doomed is starting to fade).
The USDA came out and updated their US winter wheat crop conditions as rain and show over the past month have help stave out much quality concerns. While no one is expecting the big yields that came up last year, winter wheat crop conditions aren’t too far behind last year at this time of the growing season, with the northern Plains seeing a bump in good-to-excellent (G/E) numbers whereas only 29% of Texas’ crop is rated G/E, 33% in Oklahoma, and 44% in Kansas. Something worth mentioning is that, as pointed out by Tregg Cronin of Halo Commodity Co., Minneapolis long positions held by funds are the 4th largest on record, meaning that things might be overbought and are poised to pull back.
Finally, in its first forecast of the 2017/18, Canada’s Ag Ministry, the AAFC, is expecting wheat production in Canada to hit 29M tonnes, technically down 2.6M tonnes from last year’s surprise but still the 4th-largest crop in the past 20 years. The biggest hit will be seen in durum though with production dropping 25% to 5.8% tonnes as acreage is expected to fall 15%, whereas spring wheat acres are expected to bump up 6%. While we all know soybean acres will be up, meaning another record year of production, oats acres also expected to be higher thanks to higher prices and decent movement. Canola will be the big one to watch though as the AAFC is expecting 21M acres to get seeded, meaning a record crop is very possible. While demand has been strong, expectations are that at least 2M tonnes will be carried forward by the end of the 2017/18 crop, and with other competition from increased palm oil and soy oil supplies, prices are expected to pull back from current levels.
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