Corn traders seem keenly focused on US planting pace along with nearby and longer-term weather forecasts. At this point, these both seem fairly unpredictable. The temps have varied greatly from north to south, with most seeing warmer temps but late this weekend, colder air and potential moisture, looks to persist. The 2014 planting is still in question but we just witnessed last year, is how quickly the crop can go in the ground. On Monday, the USDA will release their first crop progress report, which will include corn. It appears that the number that most seem to think we will average is right at the 5% mark of corn in the ground. A little better than last year of 2% but far below the 2012 number of 16%. The trade will certainly be inetersted in the weekly number and may provide market volatility, uncertainty and fear, over the next few weeks. South American production, however, is becoming a bit more definite. Just yesterday, CONAB again raised their Brazilian corn production estimate to 75.46 million metric tons vs. the USDA's current estimate of 72.0 million metric tons. I continue to sit at 50% sold/hedged in new-crop and believe there is still opportunity for higher prices. It might be the bears turn to step up to the plate, but I truly believe the bulls will be taking a few more swings before this game ends.
Planting 2014 Update