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Planting, Stocks Reports Bearish For Beans

posted on April 2, 2004

It may be the first week in April but commodity traders already are thinking about July and August weather. That's because two major reports released by USDA this week set the stage for a classic weather market come summer.

Planting, Stocks Reports Bearish For Beans The two midweek reports released by USDA were much anticipated by the trade. Indeed, the pits had been active for more than a week on private estimates of both quarterly stocks and 2004 planting intentions.

In broad terms, the government reports were bearish for soybeans and neutral to friendly for corn.

First, the planting intentions report: It showed a projected 79 million acres of corn in 2004, slightly less than the average trade guess ... but slightly more than 2003 seedings.

USDA predicts a record 75.4 million acres of soybeans will be planted this year. That's above what the trade expected and more than two million acres above the 2003 total. That news was more bearish for old crop beans than new crop, as the spread between the two crops begins to unwind.

Planting projections for all wheat crops was close to the trade guess, though down sharply from 2003. Cotton acreage of 14.4 million acres was well above both trade expectations and 2003 seedings.

As for the quarterly stocks report, it showed continued heavy usage for both soybeans and wheat. The soybean carryover was pegged at 906-million bushels, the lowest March 1 figure in 15 years.

Wheat stocks were placed at just over a billion bushels. And supplies of corn now stand at 5.27-billion bushels.

The continued tight carryover, especially in beans, sets up a classic weather market for the coming summer, during which time crop prices could be ultra-sensitive to climate changes.

Tags: agriculture crops markets news USDA