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Article / 27 March 2018 at 13:27 GMT

Grain markets looking to acreage and stock reports for direction

Head of Commodity Strategy / Saxo Bank
Denmark
  • Thursday's Prospective Plantings will give solid expectations of crop size
  • The report tracks US farmers' plans for corn, wheat and soybeans
  • It covers acreage plans for each crop for the coming crop year
soybeans
 Soybean acreage may exceed that of corn for the first time since 1983. Pic: Shutterstock

By Ole Hansen

The US Department of Agriculture will release its quarterly stocks report together with its annual Prospective Plantings on Thursday at 16:00 GMT. This latter report, which is sometimes referred to as the Planting Intentions report, is released at the end of March each year and it is based on a survey the USDA conducts with farmers around the country on how many acres they expect to plant of each crop. The report provides the market with a solid expectation of the size of each crop for the coming crop year.

The report is a projection with farmers only just beginning the sow and as such the result can be altered over the coming weeks due to weather and price developments among the major crops of corn, wheat and soybeans. A weather delayed beginning to the planting season often tend to favor soybeans due to its slightly later planting cycle. 

USDA Stocks and acreage report

Quarterly stocks: 

Reuters reports that the corn estimate of 8.7 billion bushels would represent the largest-ever March stocks in records dating back to the 1920's. A reflection of last years bumper US harvest. 

For soybeans the 2.03 billion bushels would be the largest ever in records dating back to the 1940s while the 1.49 billion bushels in wheat would be down 9.7% from a year earlier. 

Prospective planting:

Farmers typically favour corn over soybeans but as soybean economics looking better at current levels the market is expecting to see the soybean acreage exceed that corn for only the second time since 1960 and the first time since 1983.

Fund positions on March 20
Speculative positioning in grains and beans






















Short video from @CMEActiveTrader
What’s a bigger deal for the USDA’s Prospective Plantings report: South American weather or trade tensions with China? David Hightower & Dr. Bill Tierney discuss these topics in this short video

– Edited by Clare MacCarthy

 

Ole Hansen is head of commodity strategy at Saxo Bank





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