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Published July 01, 2013, 11:26 AM

USDA acreage bearish

By: Ray Grabanski, Agweek

Wheat

Wheat lost ground last week, with most of the losses coming in the winter wheat exchanges (because of harvest pressure). Minneapolis fared better, as slow planting progress and less wheat acres in Canada help limit losses. For the week ending June 27, September Minneapolis dropped 8.5 cents, September Chicago dropped 31.25 cents and September Kansas City dropped 34 cents.

Wheat started the week lower with pressure spilling over from the lower corn market. Additional selling was tied to a disappointing export shipments estimate. The winter wheat exchanges were the worst performers, extending the session losses because of better-than-expected yield reports. Minneapolis’ losses were limited by position squaring ahead of Statistics Canada’s acreage report. Early estimates are showing less wheat and more canola.

The June 25 session also showed wheat struggle, with much of the selling tied to the advancing harvest. A sloppy performance in corn added to the losses. Minneapolis did see some early session support from the Statistics Canada report. Statistics Canada estimated Canada’s total wheat acreage at 25.9 million acres, up 9 percent from last year. Spring wheat acres are estimated at 19.1 million, an increase of 13 percent from last year. Position squaring ahead of the June 28 U.S. planted acreage report and quarterly grain stocks report was also seen.

Wheat traded in a mixed fashion June 26 and 27. The winter wheat contracts were under pressure from harvest progress, as yield estimates in Kansas City are coming in better than expected. Minneapolis was able to limit its losses from production concerns, as planting progress continues to lag behind the five-year average. Additional market activity was centered on position squatting ahead of the acreage and quarterly grain stocks reports. Early trade estimates have wheat’s quarterly grains stocks at 750 million bushels, compared with 743 million for last year. Wheat’s planted acreage estimate has all wheat acreage at 55.75 million, compared with 56.4 million in March. Spring wheat acreage is estimated to be at 12.12 million, compared with 12.7 million in March.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s quarterly grain stocks report was friendly for wheat, as stocks were slightly tighter than expected. USDA estimated wheat stocks as of June 1 at 718 million bushels, compared with expectations of 745 million and 743 million for last year at this time. The planted acreage estimated had mixed news for wheat. The all wheat acreage estimate was at 56.5 million, 600,000 acres more than expected, but only 9,000 more than estimated in the March report. Spring wheat acreage was estimated at 12.3 million, 17,000 acres more than the traded expected, but 400,000 less than expected in March.

As of June 23, 96 percent of the nation’s spring wheat crop was planted, compared with 92 percent the previous week and 99 percent for the five-year average. Ninety percent of the nation’s spring wheat was emerged, compared with 84 percent the previous week and 97 percent for the five-year average. Spring wheat’s crop condition rating improved 2 percent to 70 percent good to excellent, 25 percent fair and 5 percent poor to very poor. Winter wheat harvest is estimated at 20 percent complete, compared with 11 percent the previous week and 37 percent for the five-year average.

Corn

The corn market was choppy last week as traders looked forward to the quarterly USDA report. The weather was also non-threatening and the longer-term forecast looks favorable for development of the crop. As of noon on June 28, the July contract gained 6 cents and December was down 44 cents for the week.

Corn traded lower to start the week. Weakness came from the negative outside markets. The export inspections were poor and at a five-month low. The futures were lower again on June 25 from an improvement in corn’s crop condition rating. Weather forecasts are expected to be non-threatening in the next two weeks for most of the Corn Belt, as it will be cooler and drier. The futures were slightly lower again on June 26, with a favorable long-term weather forecast for crop development

New crop corn closed lower for the sixth day in a row June 27. Traders were positioning ahead of the USDA report, which was bearish for corn. Traders expected a drop in planted acreage as a result of the wet planting season, but USDA actually increased the planted acreage estimate to 97.38 million, 2 percent more than traders expected and about equal to the March estimate. This is the largest acreage number since 1936. The bright side of the report was that stocks were below estimates at 2.76 billion bushels.

The crop progress report showed 96 percent of the corn is emerged versus 100 percent one year ago and a five-year average of 100 percent.

Soybeans

Soybeans traded with gains last week with most of the support coming from strong old crop demand, as well as position squaring ahead of USDA’s reports. For the week ending June 27, July soybeans were up 55.25 cents, while November was 1.75 cents higher.

Soybeans traded lower through much of the day June 24 before a late push to close mostly higher and near the highs of the day. June 24 export inspections were bullish, coming in above the amount needed to keep pace with USDA’s projection.

Soybeans traded higher June 25, as old crop supplies remain tight and late planting concerns linger. The June 24 crop progress report saw planting progress below market estimates, and wet conditions will make planting the final 5 percent of the crop difficult. The July contract was the leader, as commercial demand for old crop continues and the basis remains strong. Statistics Canada released a report June 25, increasing soybean acreage to 4.59 million acres, up from 4.15 million acres last year.

Soybeans traded mixed on June 26 and 27 ahead of USDA’s acreage and grain stocks reports. Strong support was seen in the July contract, tied to tight old crop supplies and short position liquidation. November was lower both days with a more favorable five-day forecast. June 27 export sales were bullish, coming in above the amount needed to reach USDA’s projection. USDA announced a sale of 172,500 metric tons of soybeans to unknown destinations for 2013 and 2014 delivery.

USDA released the June acreage report June 28. Soybean acreage was pegged at 77.73 million acres, compared with 78.02 million expected and up from 77.13 million acres in March. The June quarterly stocks report pegged soybeans at 435 million bushels, compared with 441 million expected and 998 million in March.

Planting progress as of June 23 had 92 percent of the U.S. soybean crop planted, compared with 85 percent the previous week and the five-year average of 95 percent. Soybean emergence as of June 23 was at 81 percent, compared with 66 percent the previous week and the five-year average of 89 percent.

Barley

USDA estimated barley stocks as of June 1 at 80.3 million bushels, an increase of 34 percent from last year. Barley acreage for 2013 was estimated at 3.48 million, 4 percent less than expected in March.

As of June 23, 93 percent of the nation’s barley had been planted, compared with 92 percent the previous week and 98 percent for the five-year average.

June 27 cash feed barley bids in Minneapolis were at $4.95 per bushel, while malting barley bids were $7.

Durum

USDA estimated durum stocks as of June 1 at 23.5 million bushels, a decline of 8 percent from last year. Durum acreage for 2013 was estimated at 1.54 million, 10 percent less than traders expected and 12 percent lower than expected in March.

As of June 23, 93 percent of North Dakota’s durum crop was planted, compared with 88 percent the previous week and 91 percent for the five-year average.

Durum emergence was at 81 percent, compared with 76 percent the previous week and 88 percent for the five-year average.

Cash bids for milling quality durum were at $8.25 per bushel in Berthold, N.D., while Dickinson, N.D., bids were at $8.20.

Canola

Canola futures on the Winnipeg exchange closed the week ending June 27 with $14.30 (Canadian) losses. Canola started the week sluggish as a result of position squaring ahead of Statistics Canada’s acreage report. But this was overshadowed late in the session by spillover support from a higher U.S. soybean market. Late week pressure was from improving crop conditions and reports of a near-complete planting season. Pressure was also from traders rolling position out of July and into future contracts (July is in delivery).

Canola acreage for 2013 was estimated at 1.31 million, 21 percent less than expected in March. North Dakota canola acreage is expected to be 860,000, a decline of 30 percent from the March intentions.

As of June 23, 85 percent of North Dakota’s canola crop had been planted, compared with 71 percent for the previous week and 96 percent for the five-year average. Emergence was at 64 percent, compared with 54 percent for the previous week and 93 percent for the five-year average.

June 27 old crop cash canola bids in Velva, N.D., were at $26.11 per hundredweight, while new crop bids were $23.54.

Dry beans

As of June 23, 88 percent of North Dakota’s dry bean crop had been planted, compared with 66 percent the previous week and 99 percent for the five-year average.

Minnesota producers reported planting progress at 95 percent complete, compared with 86 percent the previous week and 100 percent for the five-year average.

Sunflowers

All sunflower acreage for 2013 was estimated at 1.567 million, 7 percent less than estimated in March. Oil sunflower acreage is estimated at 1.268, 9 percent less than in the March intentions report.

As of June 23, 78 percent of the nation’s sunflower crop had been planted, compared with 55 percent the previous week and 89 percent for the five-year average.

June 27 old crop cash sunflower bids in Fargo, N.D., were at $22.80 per hundredweight, while new crop bids were $23.35.

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