Corn prices got
some support last week on a wet forecast for the US Midwest, with ideas that it
would delay planting, but it appears that investors are no-longer buying that
It is true that US crop data showed planting is lagging last
year, particularly in the Midwest.
Across the US, corn planting is now 6% complete, lagging the
average pace of planting by three points, and last year's pace by five points.
Corn planting in the Delta region is nearly complete, but is
lagging across the Corn Belt, particularly in Missouri, where plantings are
lagging last year by 33 points, at 17%.
Warm temperatures to
And conditions in the near future are likely to continue slowing
But markets turned lower, on ideas that delays are not going
to be a severe as thought late last week, and not something to worry about.
"Wet weather across most of the Midwest over the next week
should slow planting, but northern Illinois and south-eastern Iowa may miss out
on the heaviest rains, which could limit delays in those locations," said Kyle
Taply, at MDA Weather Services.
"Above normal temperatures in most areas will favour corn
germination," Mr Taply.
'Tough story to buy'
"While the conditions for corn planting over the next couple
of weeks aren't ideal, I do think that the slow planting pace story is a tough
one to buy at this time," said Brian Henry, at Benson Quinn Commodities.
" If the forecast through the first week of May doesn't show
better potential for planting, the market will likely have to respond to some
degree," Mr Henry noted.
But he pointed out that "the 6 to 10 day forecast looks OK
for the bulk of the country".
"Obviously, there is little interest in buying a US delayed
planting rally," agreed Darrell Holaday, at Country Futures.
May corn futures finished down 1.3%, breaking back below the
200-day moving average, at $3.61 ¾ a bushel.
Chinese soy complex
weighs on Chicago
also came under pressure, after a sell-off in the Chinese soy complex based on
ideas of higher production there.
Markets are still absorbing bearish data on March soybean
crushing released in the previous session.
And if US corn plantings can be done in a timely fashions,
as investors are assuming, then there is a better chance of soybean planting
being completed in the optimum window as well.
May soybean futures finished down 0.8%, at $9.46 a bushel.
Weaker dollar raises
improved from last week, as expected, with winter wheat progress ahead of the average
But the effect of prices was limited by the previous session's
sell-off, which factored in that bearish news.
And export hopes helped keep markets steady, as Kevin
Stockard CHS Hedging, suggested that "the recent break in futures and lower
dollar should make us competitive in exports markets this week".
May Chicago wheat futures finished up 0.4%, at $4.22 ½ a
Sugar finds traction
bounced back from near-on-year lows touched earlier in the session.
Conab forecast Brazilian Centre South production to ease
slightly, despite mills favouring sugar over ethanol, thanks to lower cane area
Sao Paolo state.
July raw sugar settled up 1.9%, at 16.83 cents a pound.
ICE confirmed 137,500 tonnes of white sugar were delivered
against the expiring May contact last week, all going to trader to ED&F
August white sugar futures settled up 1.2%, at $475.90 a
despite big consumer stocks
Coffee prices rose despite Green Coffee Association data released
late on Monday, which showed US green coffee stocks in March at highest level
since at least 2001.
"It is so far, the evidence of these North American stocks
that accompany similar reports of relatively high levels of stock being held
within Europe and Japan, that continues to side-line the many forecasts of
deficit global coffee supply for the coming year," said South African trade
house I&M Smith.
But I&M Smith suggested that the forecast tightening
producer bloc coffee supply is "related to the assumption of perfect weather
conditions, which is often an unlikely scenario and does leave the markets open
to a potentially sharp speculative reaction to any unforeseen weather issues
developing for any of the main producer blocs over the coming months".
coffee settled up 1.4%, at 145.55 cents a pound, the highest for the second-month
contract since March 22.
May robusta futures
settled up 0.8%, at $2,190 a tonne.