Planting season is progressing and the war in Ukraine isn’t, or at least it isn’t looking to be near an end. For the grain markets that is a mixed bag, according to Karl Setzer, a market analyst at Agrivisor.
On the domestic front, the USDA’s May WASDE report surprised some analysts by including an increase of projected corn yields in the United States to 177 bushels per acre. And while corn planting is clearly running behind schedule, the corn that is planted is emerging quickly. Setzer says the market may start to look more at emergence than planting because the fields are emerging so quickly.
And China continues to buy some old-crop soybeans. That is good news, Setzer says, but there is still some concern about when China will want shipment of that grain. If it doesn’t get shipped before the fall harvest that could hurt the market.
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In Ukraine the war continues to rage. And while the No. 1 concern there is about the people and the loss of life, the fact the Ukrainians continue to hold their own has meant the market is looking at how much Ukraine may be able to produce and ship. Last year’s crop was in the 46 million metric ton range for corn in Ukraine. The latest projections estimate the 2022 crop there at 32 million metric tons.
But Setzer cautions that even if that war were to end today it would take time to get agriculture going again and to find a way to ship the grain out of the Black Sea ports.
For farmers here, the futures market and the basis has generally been strong. The market is clearly sending the message to farmers that they should sell old-crop grain now, rather than waiting until fall, Setzer says.
And for many farmers it might make sense to look at the idea of marketing some 2022 or 2023 corn and beans right now.