Monday, April 30, 2018

Grain Futures: Where We're At, Where We're Going

"In the spring of 1315, unusually heavy rain began in much of Europe. Throughout the spring and summer, it continued to rain and the temperature remained cool. These conditions caused widespread crop failures. The straw and hay for the animals could not be cured and there was no fodder for the livestock. The price of food began to rise. Food prices in England doubled between spring and midsummer. Salt, the only way to cure and preserve meat, was difficult to obtain because it could not be evaporated in the wet weather; it went from 30 shillings to 40 shillings."The Great Famine of 1315-1317
Although we were on top of the forces that seem to be coming into play in the row crops and wheat markets.
We missed a trick by not pointing out one of the classic chart patterns then developing in wheat:

That's a real live cup-and-handle with the declining handle taking pretty much the entire month of March to play out, a stronger set-up than the similar action in corn:

where the handle only had a couple weeks to shake out longs.

Crops are late going into the ground across huge swaths of the corn belt with wheat a bit more timely
From AgWeb, April 30:

Heavy Rains Expected in the Midwest
HeadlinesDec 18 corn pushed to new highs at $4.17 in the overnight session. Nov 18 soybeans traded to $10.57 ¾, just 3 cents away from the April 2nd highs. Planting delays TW in Midwest and dry conditions in S. Brazil lift grains.

Midwest Weather 
Heavy rains are expected in the Midwest by the middle of the week which will stall planting progress. The Delta is expected to receive little additional rain which should allow for planting progress. Temperatures are expected to be above normal this week across the Midwest which will help with wheat growth and corn germination.

KC Wheat Weather
Rains should benefit northern and eastern plains. Dryness is expected to persist this week in W. Kansas, SE Colorado, W. Oklahoma and the Panhandle of Texas. The dryness will continue to stress the already struggling wheat crop. Wheat crop is at jointing stage in KS and at heading stage in OK and TX.

South America
Rains were limited in S. Brazil over the weekend. No significant rains are forecast in S. Brazil this week which will stress the crop during pollination.  Arg. rains slowed harvest in northern Buenos Aires and Entre Rios this weekend. More rains are expected to bring moisture to central growing region and slow harvest progress.  Arg. soybean harvest is 54% complete. Arg. corn harvest is 30.9% complete.... 
And what does all this mean?
The May WASDE Report looks to be the most important (and potentially market moving) report of the last few years. If growing degree days begin to catch up to average over the next 10 days, corn collapses as wheat stays relatively stronger.
Stay tuned.
Wheat up 11'2 (2.26%) at 509'6
Corn up 3'4 (0.88%) at 402'0