Views on commodities and energy
Fireworks likely from USDA, CBOT grain deliveries
The stage is set for plenty of fireworks in the coming week for U.S. grain markets.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture will release two key reports on Tuesday morning. One will reveal how many soybeans are still in U.S. storage bins as of June 1. The second will report how much corn, soybeans and spring wheat farmers planted this season after an unusually wet spring in the eastern Midwest, a bellwether for world grain exports each year.
“The one that has the potential for immediate fireworks going into the Fourth of July is the soybean stocks,” said Don Roose, an analyst with U.S. Commodities in West Des Moines, Iowa.
Typically, stocks levels at this time of the season do not garner such huge attention. USDA’s acreage numbers released on June 30 tend to steal the show, since so much guesswork has been done for months on when, where and what farmers plant.
But this year’s outlook for U.S. soy stocks on hand to hit a 32-year low before the September harvest amid strong Chinese soybean demand is keeping the heat on soybean figures.
“Any time you get into a tight-balance-sheet years there is plenty of uncertainty in the quarterly stocks numbers for beans. That could be the biggest unknown or uncertainty going into this report: the bean stocks,” said Randy Mittelstaedt, an analyst with Chicago brokerage R.J. O’Brien.
Analysts are estimating that USDA will report June 1 U.S. soybean stocks at 559 million to 620 million bushels — down from a year ago when June 1 stocks were 676 million bushels.
But the acreage numbers could also spark some excitement given the unusual planting season across the heartland. Heavy rains pounded the southeastern Midwest, where some 6 million acres intended for soybean were yet to be planted last week with fields too wet to seed. Late planting — which also hurt corn seeding — puts yield losses in greater play.
USDA in March said total intended plantings forecast for major U.S. row crops — corn, soy, wheat, cotton — were down about 4 million acres from 2008. Higher prices since then has some private analysts expecting bigger plantings on Tuesday.
“Is it an outlook-altering report? That’s the question,” said Dan Cekander, a grains analyst with Newedge USA, LLC.