Mark's Market Talk for April 15, 2024

Apr 15, 2024

Here we are mid-April and planters have been running for a good week and the crop is going into the ground in a big hurry. Farmers are saying the soil conditions are great for planting. It appears we have enough moisture to get the crop up and growing. Past that we will need timely rains to see us through to harvest. Last week was another roller coaster ride in the markets. We traded mostly down headed into Thursday’s supply and demand report. The USDA did not make any wild adjustments to the stocks and usage report, but the report was somewhat negative as it raised the ending stocks just a little. The biggest news from this report was the difference in the expected South American yields between the USDA and the South American equivalent Conab as the USDA expects better SA yields than Conab does. For Brazilian beans this difference is 300 million bushels, and the corn difference is over 500 million bushels. Even if they are both half right, or half wrong, the real numbers will have an effect. Last Thursday the funds were still short about 263,000 corn contracts and 140,000 bean contracts. They probably bought some back Friday as corn and beans both were higher due to increased tensions in the Middle East. Friday’s rally helped soften the losses from earlier in the week and corn ended the week down a penny while beans were 11 cents lower. Basis levels for old crop grain remain strong. Corn levels improved last week as farmers who have been slow sellers are now busy planting corn and not taking time to sell corn. The planting season started early this year and should it get mostly done in April the owners of these old bushels will start looking for a home for them. Basis levels could change in a hurry to the wider side if end users suddenly have big bushels coming their way. Prices are not anywhere near where we had hoped they would be right now. However, holding everything you have into summer may be like playing Russian roulette with more than one bullet in the gun.