GrainCents 2018 Corn Prices, Market Outlook

Last week, I noted in FarmLead’s 2017 review of corn prices that last year marked a challenging time for corn producers in North America. Opportunities to sell crop were limited, and price declines have been part of a broader long-term trend.

Going into 2018, corn prices will look to find their first annual gain in six years.

Back in 2012, at the onset of the last La Nina system, corn prices popped higher than $8.00 per bushel.

Today, these prices are just a dream, and American farmers have noticeably turned away from corn in favor of soybeans.

In this in-depth assessment of the 2018 corn market, we explore the bullish and bearish factors impacting domestic corn prices. This list includes:

• Global macroeconomic conditions and rising geopolitical instability;
• U.S. corn competitiveness with the Federal Reserve planning additional interest rate hikes;
• Global ethanol demand in a period of increasing political mandates;
• Weather volatility, La Nina, and the recent Polar Vortex pummeling the United States; and,
• When you should be selling corn in 2018 (and why!).

GrainCents Corn Subscriber Benefits

Our current corn factors page on GrainCents features 11 factors that categorize as either bearish, bullish, or just noise for the complex.

But for this report, we’ve expanded this coverage to 15 individual factors to help our readers get a more complete picture of where corn prices are heading and when to sell their grain.

You can easily read how we view and make sense of the grain markets here.

GrainCents corn readers also see our sales position for 2017/18 old crop and 2018/19 new crop.

It’s 2018 though so let’s dig into what FarmLead is expecting this year for corn prices.

 

When Should You Sell Corn? And At What Price?

Before digging deeper, make sure to set up your FarmLead Price Discovery for corn to make sure you’re aware of what cash corn prices are doing around you.

Moving forward, as I noted in a recent article in GrainCents, Wall Street is all over the place when it comes to price forecasts for corn in the year ahead.

When this much variability exists in price forecasts, we have to….

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2018 Macroeconomic Outlook

We begin our assessment of the 2018 corn market with a glimpse into economic conditions.

Global economic growth will likely…

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Increased Feed Demand in North America

The combination of drought and higher feed prices fueled a sharp decline in animal herds in recent years.

In what is also good news for…

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Weather Outlook/La Nina

In conversations with meteorologists and having read everything I can by agricultural analysts around the globe, the sentiment on La Nina is as follows:

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Planted Corn Acres

The moniker King Corn may no longer be applicable in 2018.

It’s widely expected that…

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Ethanol Demand

Last week, to end the 2017 calendar year, U.S. ethanol production hit an 11-week low.

That sounds bearish doesn’t it?

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Global Corn Stocks

In 2010/11, global corn stocks ended the crop year at 122.6 million tonnes.

Six years later, corn inventories at the end of the 2016/17 crop year topped 227 million tonnes.

The increase was mainly due to…

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Brazilian and Argentine Crop/Stocks Size

Despite the weather conditions in South America, the world is still awash in corn.

Analysts may look at…

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NAFTA Uncertainty in the Era of Trump

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has admitted that the ongoing NAFTA negotiations are keeping him up at night.

The two-decade old trade agreement between the United States, Canada, and Mexico is facing renewed pressures after the following of President Donald Trump.

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Lagging Export Figures

Through the end of December, US corn export sales were sitting at a little over 16 million tonnes, with actual shipments of 10.66 million tonnes.

The problem is that…

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Geopolitical Events

The international equity and commodity markets withstood a string of geopolitical threats throughout 2017.

This year, in 2018, will….

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Volatility in Yield Estimates

During the annual Farm Journal Crop Tour, FarmLead’s Doug Kirk summed up the entire assessment of U.S. crop production in one term: Variability.

From county to county and state to state, yields…

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Chinese Ethanol Demand

A few months ago, China announced that it was bolstering its own Renewable Fuel Standard.

This had…

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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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