Grains were little changed over the past week. Active planting progress was offset by the positive influence of stronger outside markets, which are responding to a likely improvement in the devastating affects of the virus.
88 percent of US corn is planted and 65 percent of their soybeans are in the ground. Normally they are at 82 and 55 percent now. The Northern Plains are the only area behind, and many acres there could go into the prevent plant program.
Large speculators are aggressively selling corn futures again, and hold their second largest short position ever. The only time they were more bearish was last spring. Then planting got delayed, and they covered, causing a 5 week price rise of $1.28. This is unlikely this year.
China is buying more soybeans and record amounts of pork. They are building food reserves, and why wouldn’t they, with prices near their lowest levels in 10-15 years. It seems to me that Trump standing up to China has benefited them more than the US has gained.
Ontario planting progress has been under the best conditions in many years. Farmers sure appreciate planting into dryer soil conditions. With the recent heat, much of the corn is emerging. Most of the soybeans will likely be planted by the end of May.
The weather has allowed the Ontario winter wheat crop to move along quickly, with very few stresses. Yields in areas I travel (which isn’t far though) look to have above average yield potential. Wheat prices have dropped lately, but a fair bit of wheat was contracted at better prices.
The Canadian dollar fell hard in March, but has rallied 4.2 cents since the low on March 16. This is not what Ontario needs right now. Basis levels on crops and livestock are taking a hit, and with Chicago prices also in the tank, farm income will suffer.
Outside markets have been firm. Crude oil keeps rallying, as demand is slowly picking up. Stock markets have been amazingly strong considering the damage that has been done to the economy. The Nasdaq in the US, which is weighted towards technology, is the leader.
All the liquidity that governments around the world are putting into the financial system has to go somewhere. The US is still considered the “safe haven”, so much of that is flowing to US stocks.
It is estimated that 85 percent of the wealth in the US stock market is held by 10 percent of the population. This trend has been growing for years, and the pandemic has accelerated it drastically. Somehow it doesn’t seem fair when so many people are hurting right now.
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