U.S. planting got off to a quick start, according to the USDA planting progress reports, but may be slowing down after storms and possible flooding along the Mississippi and Missouri rivers have kept some farmers out of the field.
As of April 17, U.S. corn was 8% planted, three points ahead of the five-year average, while soybeans were 4% planted, three points ahead of the average. States such as Iowa, Illinois and Missouri were also ahead of their typical pace, with Missouri at 30% of corn planted (8% is the average) and Illinois at 10% of corn planted (3%)
“Planting progress got off to a good start, but it is expected to slow down between now and the end of the month with cooler temperature forecasts,” said Ted Seifried, vice president and chief market strategist of Zaner Ag Hedge. “It’s not enough to make us worry about delayed planting quite yet, but something worth monitoring.”
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Corn export sales are sticking below expectations still, Seifried said, despite a run of big sales to China a few weeks ago. Export sales for old crop corn in the latest report, released April 20, were down 41% from the previous week and down 79% from the four-week average.
“Those cheaper premiums and cheaper prices in Brazil are starting to show up and affect our export sales,” he said.
The cheaper Brazilian corn prices are coming as the country prepares its safrinha corn crop, which tends to provide much of the country’s export supply. Expectations for that crop are high with good weather coming up.
“It’s fairly early in that growing season, so we will be watching that closely,” he said. “Brazilian corn prices for future shipments are at the lowest levels they’ve been at since 2020, which could provide a lot of problems for us going forward in terms of the U.S. shipments.”