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Harvest, USDA set price tone

Early yield reports have replaced weather forecasts as the leading talking points for farmers and traders. “What have you heard for yields?” is the most popular question. 

The yield reports are telling the market the corn crop will be about as expected. There is still an acreage question to answer, but the yield question is being answered now. The Southern states and the southern portion of the Corn Belt seem to report very large yields. Yield reports from the hardest-hit drought areas are scarce but not causing concern.   

When harvest is going full-steam, the market will be interested to see the amount of farmer sales off the combine. Right now, it appears farmers do not have much, if any, of their crops forward sold. Many have had a tough time adjusting from $7.00 corn to under $5.00 corn. Putting the crop into storage is certainly an option and could mean harvest pressure is light. The price problem may just be deferred, as sizable sales will then occur in January-March, as farmers pay bills, taxes, and cash rent.   

The statistical reports over the next several days include Friday afternoon’s Hogs and Pigs report. On Monday, the USDA will release the final wheat crop size and the Grain Stocks numbers. Whatever the USDA comes up with for corn and soybeans, the numbers will be the final carryouts for the 2012-13 crop year. 

Estimates include:

  • All hogs and pigs          98.6%

  • Kept for marketing       101.5%

  • Kept for marketing       98.3%

  • All wheat crop              2,108

  • Corn stocks                  681

  • Soybean stocks            124

  • Wheat stocks               1,913

One day later, Tuesday, the market’s emphasis will shift to the current crop situation with the first pre-report estimate before the October 11 crop report.  Everyone will be waiting for the USDA to finally answer the acreage question.  Will anyone will be happy with the USDA’s answer?

The risk of loss in trading commodities can be substantial. You should therefore carefully consider whether such trading is suitable for you in light of your financial situation. 

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