Grain Marketing Highlights

Carl German, Extension Crops Marketing Specialist;

 USDA Releases Planting Intentions and Quarterly Grain Stocks Reports
U.S. farmers intend to plant 86 million acres of corn for all purposes in 2008, down 8 percent from last year. If realized, ending stocks for the ’08/’09 marketing year are projected to decline on the order of 600 to 700 million bushels from the ’07/’08 marketing year, estimated at 700 to 800 million bushels. Quarterly corn stocks were reported at 6.860 billion bushels, up 13 percent from March 1, 2007 and below the low end of pre-report trade estimates.

 U.S. soybean acreage was reported at 74.78 million acres, projected to increase 18 percent from last year. If realized, ending stocks of U.S. soybeans for the ’08/’09 marketing year will rise by about 84 million bushels to total 224 million bushels by the end of the ’08/’09 marketing year, as compared to 140 million bushels projected for the current marketing year. Quarterly soybean stocks, reported at 1.428 billion bushels, are down 20 percent from a year ago and above the high end of pre-report estimates.

 U.S. wheat acreage, already known, was reported at 63.8 million acres, an increase of 6 percent or about 3.4 million acres more than last year. If realized, ending stocks for all wheat are projected to increase by about 12 million bushels year-to-year (’07/’08 to the ’08/’09 marketing year). Quarterly wheat stocks, reported at 710 million bushels were less than last year’s 857 million bushels but above pre-report expectations.

The markets are expected to remain volatile. Long-liquidation is said to be occurring in today’s trading for soybean and wheat futures. The weather market may already be starting considering that it is currently too wet and too cold in many parts of the country to begin corn planting, including the Corn Belt. Of course, even fewer acres of corn, due to delayed plantings, would send shock waves through the system resulting in higher corn prices. Fewer corn acres would translate into more bean acres and lower bean prices. Perhaps the only sure thing at this stage of the game is that commodity traders will be paying close attention to planting progress reports to gage how many corn acres actually go into the ground this spring.

 For technical assistance on making grain marketing decisions contact Carl L. German, Extension Crops Marketing Specialist.