Corn closed the week $.10 lower. Last
week, private exporters announced a sale of
126,000 metric tons of U.S. corn to South
Korea and 106,680 mt of U.S. corn to Japan.
In the weekly export sales report, corn
sales were 19.9 million bushels versuss 18
mb needed weekly to hit the USDA forecast
of 1.7 billion bushels.
The March supply/demand report typically
provides little direction for the trade with
major moves saved for the quarterly stocks
and acreage report at the end of the month.
Corn stocks came in unchanged from February
at 801 mb. Informa, a closely watched
crop forecaster, pegged U.S. corn plantings at
95.513 million acres, up 0.8 percent from its
January estimate of 94.748 million acres.
Farmers planted 91.9 million acres in
2011, according to the USDA.
Corn, on the weekly charts, remains
trapped between a sideways trading range
since the end of September. A break above
resistance of $6.65 should ignite significant
Strategy and outlook: Producers should
have 50 percent of 2011/12 crop production
sold. Producers should make a 30 percent
sale at $6.73. New crop sales should begin at
$6.05 with a 20 percent sale.
Soybeans closed the week $.04 3/4 higher
from last week. Last week was a strong
week for soybean sales. Private exporters reported
a sale of 165,000 mt of soybeans to
In the weekly export sales report, soybean
sales were 60.5 mb versus 7.8 mb needed to
reach the USDA forecast of 1.275 bb.
Soybeans stocks came in unchanged from
February at 275 mb. Informa projected soybean
plantings at 75.128 million acres, up
from its January forecast of 74.568 million.
Farmers planted 74.976 million acres in
have 80 percent of the 2011/12 crop production
sold. Producers have been making incremental
sales on rallies. Producers should
finish up 2011/12 sales on a rally into resistance
at $14.12 by selling the final 20 percent
of their inventory.
Producers should sell 20 percent of the
2012/13 production at
$13. 65 on a hedge to arrive
contract against the
Live cattle ended the
week $3.92 lower while
feeder cattle ended $5.47
lower. Last week, cash cattle
trade was reported in the
North at mostly $203, $3
lower compared to last
week, while trade in the South was $127, $3
lower compared with the previous week.
USDA forecasted U.S. beef exports to increase
over the forecast period, gaining 14.2
percent from 2011 levels. That increase
would be more impressive if the U.S. industry
did not have to backfill a projected significant
reduction in beef exports in 2013 when
lower cattle numbers will limit the amount of
product available for both domestic consumption
Strategy and outlook: Producers are
hedged 50 percent of all production months
– April at $128.62; June at $126.65 and
August at $126.45.
Feed costs should be covered in corn futures/
options or cash product through July,
LEAN HOGS ANALYSIS
Lean hogs closed the week $2.60 lower.
The average Iowa-Minnesota hog weight for
last week was estimated at 276 pounds versus
275.9 lbs the previous week and 273.1
lbs last year. The USDA said the projected
increase of 503,000 metric tonnes for U.S.
pork exports is more than twice the increase
of the other five listed exporters combined.
The U.S. accounted for 35.6 percent of the
total exports of the six listed exporters in
2011. That share increases to 39.2 percent
by 2021 in USDA’s forecasts.
Strategy and outlook: Producers have extended
hedge coverage to 50 percent in all
months of production. April is hedged at
$94.55; June is hedged at $100.60; July is
hedged at $98.92 and August is hedged at
All feed costs should be locked in as well.
Brian Hoops is president and senior market
analyst of Midwest Market Solutions Inc. Midwest
Market Solutions is a full-service commodity brokerage
and marketing advisory service, clearing
through R.J. O’Brien. He can be contacted at
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