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News Flash: May 15, 2014

CORN

Corn Slumps as USDA Projects Bigger Crop, Supplies

The USDA forecast a record corn crop this autumn and said global supplies next year would be higher than analysts predicted. Farmers will harvest 13.935 billion bushels of corn this year, slightly higher than last year’s record crop, the government estimated in a monthly report on supply and demand. The forecast assumes that the weather will be normal this summer in the Farm Belt, the agency said. Soybean prices climbed after the USDA reported that stockpiles before the harvest will be tighter than analysts had expected. Inventories at the end of August will total 130 million bushels, below the government’s previous estimate of 135 million. Wall Street Journal

USDA: US corn yields to offset lesser acreage

U.S. corn growers may surpass last year’s record production despite lesser acreage devoted to the grain, but corn prices later in the year could edge lower, a federal report forecast Friday. The USDA’s first World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates report of the year envisions the nation’s farmers producing 13.9 billion bushels of corn this year, up slightly from last year’s record. Higher yields were expected to offset the lesser acreage devoted to corn. U.S. soybean production also is expected to be high, increasing by 346 million bushels to reach a record 3.64 billion bushels. Associated Press

SOYBEAN

WASDE: Soybean Production to Increase 11%

U.S. oilseed production for 2014/15 is projected at 107.9 million tons, up 11 percent from 2013/14. Higher soybean production accounts for most of the increase. Soybean production is projected at a record 3.635 billion bushels, up 346 million from the 2013 crop on record yields and harvested area. Yield is projected at a trend level of 45.2 bushels per acre, up 1.9 bushels from 2013. Ag Web

PALM

Palm Oil Imports by India Increase for First Time Since December

Palm oil imports by India, the world’s biggest buyer, advanced in April for the first time in four months as traders boosted purchases to replenish stockpiles before the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan. Shipments of crude and refined palm oils advanced 6.5 percent to 519,222 metric tons from a year earlier, the Solvent Extractors’ Association of India said. Rising demand for the cooking oil before Ramadan, which starts in June this year, may cut inventories in Malaysia and Indonesia, the biggest suppliers. That may increase prices in Kuala Lumpur, which have dropped 11 percent from an 18-month high in March. Futures traded at 2,600 ringgit ($807) a ton on the Bursa Malaysia Derivatives this week. Prices reached 2,916 ringgit on March 11, the highest since September 2012. Cooking oil stockpiles at ports and scheduled shipments dropped to 1.17 million tons on May 1 from 1.20 million tons a month earlier after imports fell in the January to March period, data revealed. Bloomberg

CANOLA

Canadian Canola

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Farmers Feeling Crushed

The rail delays that slowed shipments of grains in North America over the winter continue to impact western Canada, hurting canola farmers while providing grain processors with an abundance of cheap seed for vegetable oil and livestock feed. Bolstered by optimal growing conditions and new seed technology, Western Canadian farmers’ grain crops hit new records last year. However, most farmers weren’t able to ship their grains out to ports or to the U.S. due to the harsh winter and increased traffic from other commodities on the congested Canadian rail network. Wall Street Journal

Where’s the Fertilizer? Some Farmers Grow Worried

Major railroad delays that have interrupted shipments of new cars and coal in the U.S. are threatening to keep some farmers in the upper Midwest from planting their crops on time. The rail snarls have created a backlog in fertilizer supplies, raising fears that farmers in the Dakotas, Minnesota and Wisconsin won’t have adequate nutrients to sow corn, and other grains. North Dakota State University researchers this month estimated the state’s farmers lost $67 million in revenue since the start of the year because of delayed rail shipments of grain and soybeans. Wall Street Journal

Morning markets: canola futures extend rally. Can it last?

July futures in the last session managed a fifth positive close, in a rally with a 6 percent gain. The recovery in canola futures to their best close in six months has been spurred by concerns of sowing delays in Canada, the major grower of the rapeseed variant. Much of Canada’s main growing region, is suffering from the same damp and cold conditions preventing corn sowings in the US Midwest states such as Minnesota, Michigan and North Dakota. “Cold and wet weather in Canada is keeping producers out of the fields,” said Sterling Smith at Citigroup, adding that “this is adding to producers’ reluctance to sell”. A weaker Canadian dollar has also fuelled the recovery in canola, which has now bounced 23 percent from a low three months ago. Weather is expected it to approve as the jet stream is expected to build up a warm ridge of high pressure over western North America influencing the weather in Alberta and Saskatchewan. This would be ideal for warming and drying fields, and advancing planting. Agrimoney