Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Opening Comments - Morning Comments - Day ahead of USDA report

Below is a forward from our main Country Hedging contract.  It has some of his thoughts on the crop report that will be out in the a.m.

As for markets today we should see some consolidation ahead of the report in the a.m. perhaps a little position squaring.  However we do have weak outside markets and overnight markets that where weaker.

In the overnight session beans lead the way down off about 15 cents on the old crop, KC wheat was down 4, MPLS 2-3, CBOT wheat down 4, and corn was off 3-4 cents.  At 9:00 outside markets are weak; but slightly off of their lows; presently gold is off a little over 21 an ounce, the equities are weaker with the DOW off about 100 points, crude down about 1.20 a barrel, and the US dollar stronger up nearly 400 at 80.134.

With the risk off type of environment you see beans leading the way probably because of the huge fund length and the fact that now the charts look like a top is in; which happens a lot after the fact in our business.  Keep in mind that longer term if you look at some of the projections below new crop beans probably have some potential.

I think that the numbers below show some huge possible risk; hopefully it isn’t realized; but the risk has to be considered huge if we look at corn carryout projections for next year.  The average estimate is for 2012/13 to double this year’s carryout and when I went back and looked at the last time we had a 2 billion bushel carryout or so we had prices get under 2.00 on the futures.  Obvisouly a lot has changed since then; but that is simple scary.

Now my personal opinion is that we a long way to go before we have a crop made; plus the USDA has a tendency to adjust demand with supply and vice versa and the fact that they already have said some of this coming years crop will be used to help off set the tight old crop balance sheet.

Basis for corn has been hot; but feels very top heavy.   I have seen 3 local ethanol plants start to inquire about replacements to corn; such as milo and wheat.  Keep in mind the old saying that high prices cure high prices; just as low prices cure low prices. 

For wheat the above sentence is really about the only good thing we seem to have going; and uncertainy to our spring wheat crop.  Demand seems to have picked up a little bit with the lower prices and the outlook for acres in the coming year is rather poor.  There is a little talk of some dry weather in parts of Europe and Russia area; but nothing super major yet.

With the report out in the morning don’t be afraid to get some sort of protection or comfort level incase we see the train wreck that seems to be possible for new crop corn.

Please give us a call if there is anything we can do for you.

Grain Merchandiser
Midwest Cooperatives
605-295-3100 (cell)
605-258-2166 (fax)

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From: Fitch, Joseph
Sent: Wednesday, May 09, 2012 8:31 AM
Subject: Morning Note

Good Morning,

Overnights are showing continuing uncertainty because of Europe and the liquidation of the fund long in soybeans and meal.  Germany is talking about a graceful exit for Greece from the Euro and Spanish yields on debt are making new highs above 6% interest. 

Rumored corn deliveries didn’t happen.  South American bean and meal basis was said to be up strongly on yesterday’s futures decline.  Brazil is thought to have connected on two June/July cargoes, which reinforces the idea that Brazil is taking advantage of the inverse now – leaving more room for the US to fill late summer bean exports and meal exports.  New crop is still all about US beans, with no export competition. 

Tomorrow morning we will see the May S&D from the USDA.  Below I’ve included my thoughts about the report. 

Here are the full rundown of estimates according to Reuters.

Corn –
1.       Old crop
a.       Exports have picked up, but shipments are still behind the pace needed to get to the USDA’s numbers.  It seems likely that the USDA will leave any changes to exports until later S&Ds.  One issue to consider is the unshipped bushels to China.  For now we can assume that these bushels will get shipped, but every week where there aren’t shipments is a little bit more unnerving.
b.      Ethanol is could be raised slightly if at all.  Current USDA estimates are for 5000 mb.  Although the pace has slowed it hasn’t slowed enough to get to 5000.  We will need to see more signs of downtime and slower production, otherwise the market’s guess of 5025 and 5050 is more accurate. 
c.       Feed is expected to be steady on this report.  Waiting for new stocks data, I’d assume.  There is still a lot of wheat feeding that is going on. 
d.      Ending stocks steady to down 25 mb.  Although that sure doesn’t feel like it is small enough with the basis levels.
2.       New crop
a.       Yield estimates will likely increase from the USDA’s outlook of 164 to something like 165-167 based upon the quick planting progress, although we are a long way from guaranteeing trend or greater yields.  This hasn’t worked in the last number of years so maybe they shouldn’t raise the yield early for once. 
b.      Acreage historically doesn’t change for now.
c.       Feed/residual should bounce higher on a bigger corn crop, but estimates of winter wheat production could limit any major increase.  I see guesses of 5.2 bb and smaller.  Current year is 4.6 bb.  This one has a lot of factors, but guess 5.0 bb.
d.      Exports should rebound on cheaper prices and the expectation of expanding Chinese demand so 1.9 bb.  This number could jump over time if the Black Sea wheat production declines come to fruition.
e.      Ethanol will likely be raised because of cheaper corn prices and everything, but I think that we might only be taking a smallish jump in usage given the heavy stocks situation and my guess that US gasoline consumption isn’t going to ramp up.  So guess 5.1 bb.
f.        Ending stocks should be around 1.8 billion.

Soybeans –
1.       Old crop
a.        Exports should be revised higher by 25-50 mb. due to South America and Chinese demand recently.
b.      Crush should be steady.
c.       So ending stocks should 200-225.  So right in line with the market guess.  There are some reputable guesses that are closer to 150 mb by the end of the year. 
2.       New Crop – one word of caution here: the USDA is going to have to show some pretty small usage numbers to start with because of the acreage being unable to change on this report.  They usually don’t want to go below 4.5% stocks/use.  So maybe these demand guesses are too early for the USDA to really show.
a.       Exports are all guesses on what happens in China.  Thoughts range between 58-62 mmt.  I am naturally suspicious and I think that the global economy plus rationing type prices puts us in the lower half of expectations.  US exports are going to be good because of the lack of competition and should jump to 1.5 bb or so.
b.      Crush might have some upside next year because of the smaller South American crops and the spat between Argentina and Spain.  My guess 1.75 bb.
c.       Ending stocks without any increase in acres (like you see on the May report) is going to show somewhat tight at 160-170mb.

Wheat -
                Changes in the wheat balance sheet are likely to be an expansion in export estimates for SRW, HRS, and for White wheat.  Ending stocks should be down 25 mb or so. 
                New crop wheat is going to see a above average yield and some bump in domestic usage as feeding should be incorporated.  This is unlikely to be a major wheat report.  As you notice above the average carryout estimate for 12/13 is almost exactly the same as the guess for 11/12.  So the additional production from the larger HRW crop is thought to be absorbed.  World wheat is likely to be tighter than it has been recently with production declines thought likely in EU, Russia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, and Australia.  India had a better crop and could be upgraded.

I still think that spring wheat acreage is tight a little tight here and in Canada given a lower protein character to HRW.  SRW acreage could be smaller as acreage is said to have been plowed up.

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