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Back to normal with USDA reports

10/24/2013 @ 3:03pm

Harvest is progressing this fall, interrupted by sprinkles -- and snowflakes! The corn harvest should pass 50% and strong yield reports continue. Bean harvest is slowing. Recovery from the government shutdown has begun. All the different pieces of the federal government are announcing their plans to issue back data and to catch up to a more normal schedule. 

The USDA said the November monthly reports will be issued as scheduled and the October reports are cancelled. It will take another week to catch up on the export sales reports. This morning, the report dated 10/3 (which should have been released 10/10) was out and showed larger corn and meal sales than expected. Bean sales were large, but about in the middle of the expected range. 

Sometime Thursday or Friday afternoon, the USDA will apparently catch up by releasing daily sales announcements. These are any large sales (over 100,000 tons) that the USDA should have released during the shutdown. The report everyone is waiting for is the October 31 report, which will have total sales for three weeks. 

While corn and wheat prices have been relatively quiet for the week so far, the soybean market has continued to rally. Market participants are more convinced that strong export sales continue for soybeans. Plus, the crop size for corn is much more comfortable for the market than soybeans. 

Until the USDA helps to answer these questions, the push and pull of crop size/supply and exports/demand will continue. What surprise will the data or the news provide to push prices out of the current price range?

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