April 2018 Corn Prices Recap

April was a critical month for corn prices as farmers begin planting across North America and focus their attention on moving old crop to make way for the next harvest. The month of April was dominated by talk about the repercussions of a trade war by the U.S. and China, questions about U.S. export potential, and a focus on the size and quality of Argentina’s 2017/18 crop.

On Monday, the USDA ended the month by providing an update on U.S. planting progress. The agency said that U.S. farmers have planted 17% of corn acres. The report was bullish for corn prices, as trade expectations ranged from 18% to 20%. However, it’s worth noting that farmers made up a lot of progress from last week. For the week ending April 22, just 5% of the crop had been planted.

The 17% figure is still 10 percentage points behind the 5-year average.

Here’s a breakdown of the action on the contracts that we were watching this month:

  • May 2018: +1.2% or 4.7¢ to $3.925 USD / bushel
  • July 2018: +1.1% or 4.5¢ to $4.008 USD / bushel
  • Dec 2018: +1.1% or 4.5¢ to $4.160 USD / bushel
  • Mar 2019: +1.2% or 5.2¢ to $4.235 USD / bushel

April was a very busy month for our analysts, as we covered daily market trading and turned our focus to a wealth of data that emerged from agencies and analysts around the globe.

This month we have talked about US trade policy, ethanol production, and acreage forecasts.

Specifically, we explored:


Be sure to sign up for your free 3-week trial at GrainCents as this month could be the most impactful for how and when you price your corn for the rest of 2017/18 old crop supply, as well as a significant portion of your 2018/19 new crop production.


About the Author
Garrett Baldwin

Garrett Baldwin is a content strategist and editor at FarmLead. He covers the global grain markets and public policy issues related to the agricultural industry. He is a graduate of the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University. He also holds a Master’s Degree in Economic Policy from The Johns Hopkins University, an MS in Agricultural Economics from Purdue University, and an MBA in Finance from Indiana University.

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