Corn stocks up 10%, planting intentions down 4%

By Jason Sagebiel, Intl FCStone | April 03, 2017

During the month of March, the market stayed relatively quiet, working its way lower after a spike high was observed on Feb. 28. The move higher was fueled by rumors surrounding potential changes to the Renewable Fuel Standard that were not realized. The market continued to unwind longs and prices eroded with new shorts entering the market. During the month, May corn traded a high of 383 to a low of 354 ¼.  The March USDA report did not offer any revelations. The U.S. corn balance table remained unchanged with a carryout of 2.320 billion bushels.  Global corn carryout increased from 217.56 mmt to 220.68 mmt.  This was due to production increases in Brazil, Argentina and South Africa.  Argentina and Brazil corn exports are expected to be 25.0 mmt and 31.0 mmt respectively compared to 21.7 mmt and 14.2 mmt a year ago.  China’s corn carryin remained unchanged compared to previous projections at 102.31 mmt vs. 110.77 mmt a year ago. 

Corn stocks as of March 1 totaled 8.62 billion bushels, up 10 percent from a year ago.  This was just slightly higher than the trade estimate. This stocks number would indicate that corn disappearance during December to February was 3.77 billion bushels compared to 3.41 billion during the same time-period a year ago.  Therefore, one would expect to observe a greater ending stocks number in the April report.

Per the March intentions report, corn planted area for all purposes in 2017 is estimated at 90.0 million acres, down 4 percent or 4.0 million acres versus a year ago and below the average trade estimate of 90.969 million acres. The biggest decline in corn acres versus a year ago was Iowa. See the accompanying illustration.

Comments in this article are market commentary and are not to be construed as market advice

May Corn Futures


May futures

Close in bu

Close in tons

3/31/2017

 $                3.6425

 $               130.09

2/28/2017

 $                3.7375

 $               133.48

3/31/2016

 $                3.5150

 $               125.54