Mark's Market Talk

Apr 17, 2023

Think back about 3 weeks and we were looking at cold and wet conditions thinking it could be a late season. Now fast forward to today and we have seen some of the best planting weather southern Iowa could hope for in early April. The planters have rolled hard in our area, and we are off to a good start. Now living where we do, we can never take the weather for granted, we just have to take advantage of what mother nature gives us. The board of trade is acting just a little confused as they are looking at varying degrees of planting progress and an April report that was released last week that made no sense to anyone. The USDA reported tightening stocks in both corn and bean inventories in their March 31 stocks report. 10 days later they released the April WADSE report, and they ignored the earlier report and left ending stocks where they were in early March. It appears they want the corn ending carryout number to stay above 1.5 billion and the beans above 200 million bushels. The difference in these 2 back-to-back reports leaves us wondering where they get their information to start with. Now that planting season has started, we will trade planting progress and US weather through the summer months. We still have a lot of areas showing some type of drought and now we are seeing near record high temperatures, so the price volatility we have seen for over 2 years will certainly continue. Old crop basis levels remain strong, especially in corn. This confirms the thought that stocks are tighter than originally thought. We may continue to see hot quick ship bids throughout the summer. Last week May corn was 23 cents higher while the December contract was 3 higher. China bought corn again last week and now it appears we may reach our export goal for the year. Ethanol margins are better now than they were last winter, so processors are pushing back to full strength on production. May beans were 8 cents higher last week while the Nov was 8 cents lower. Here too it is a case of nearby demand pushing the old crop contracts while early planting is weighing on new crop prices. It is a long time till harvest, but we must follow these markets daily and pick some targets to not only finish marketing the 22 crops but also get some 23 sales on the books. Be safe as you are out there working to get another crop in the ground.