While noted prognosticator Punxsutawney Phil failed to see his shadow last week, no one needs a rodent to tell you the outlook for commodity prices is bullish.
Sandwiched in between January's final production numbers and the much-anticipated prospective plantings report, due at the end of March, are the usually benign February estimates on global supply and demand.
While traders were already anticipating this week's World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates, prices still moved sharply higher.
Tighter coarse grain stocks highlighted USDA's World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates report.
Domestic wheat stocks remained even with last month's projections at 818 million bushels while world supplies were slightly reduced.
U.S. soybean stock estimates also remained even with last month holding at 140 million bushels.
While small grains and oilseeds held their own the big story was in coarse grains. USDA officials reduced corn ending stocks from 745 million bushels to 675 million bushels – a 15-year low.
One factor sited for the reduced supply was an increased use for ethanol production. According to USDA estimates, nearly 40 percent of the U.S. corn crop went for the creation of the biofuel.
The Renewable Fuels Association took exception with USDA's numbers. Officials with the ethanol promotion group stated the government may be overestimating how much corn is being used for ethanol production and underestimating how many bushels are being used to make each gallon of the biofuel.
Though considered to be neutral for wheat the trade responded to the report with small grain and oil seed prices moving higher for the week. However, the coarse grain news brought out the bulls in the corn pit with both the nearby and deferred contracts climbing over $7.00 for the first time since mid-2008.