KSU Wheat Market Outlook in October 2016 – Strong U.S. Hard Red Winter Wheat Exports Provide a Positive Market Signal

An analysis of U.S. and World wheat supply-demand factors and 2016-2017 price prospects following the USDA’s October 12th Crop Production and World Agricultural Supply Demand Estimates (WASDE) reports, and the market actions that have followed those reports are available on the KSU AgManager website (http://www.agmanager.info/default.asp).

Following is a summary – with the full analysis-article for Wheat to be found at this web location:

http://www.agmanager.info/wheat-market-outlook-october-2016

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Summary

Overview

Since the USDA’s October 12th Crop Production and World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) report, U.S. and World wheat futures market prices have traded higher – with CME DECEMBER 2016 Kansas HRW Wheat futures gaining approximately $0.25 per bushel through Thursday, October 20th.   Results of the USDA September 30th 2016 Small Grains Summary report were fully incorporated into the October USDA estimates.

For the “current crop” 2016/17 marketing year, the USDA projected:

1) World wheat total supplies of 984.1 million metric tons (mmt) and total use of 735.7 mmt – both at record high levels,

2) that World wheat exports are trending higher with 174.7 mmt in the “current” marketing year – up from 172.0 mmt last year, and up from 164.4 mmt two years ago,

3) World wheat ending stocks at a record high 248.4 mmt compared to 239.7 mmt last year, and 216.1 mmt two years ago, and

4) World wheat percent ending stocks-to-use (S/U) of 33.76% – up marginally from 33.69% last year, and from 30.60% two years ago – up to their highest level in 15 years (since MY 2001/02).

Perspective on Current “Large Supply – Low Price Scenario” vs MY 2007/08

For a perspective on how historically large World total wheat stocks and World wheat percent stocks-to-use are, the 34-year low in World wheat ending stocks of 128.0 mmt and at least a 57-year low in percent ending stocks-to-use of 20.8% S/U both occurred in MY 2007/08, the last major World wheat “short crop” marketing year.  The numbers for MY 2007/08 compare to projections of 248.4 mmt ending stocks and 33.8% ending stocks-to-use projected for “current” MY 2016/17.  The “large crop-over supply-low price” situation that now exists in World and U.S. wheat markets continues to have a strong prevailing negative influence on World wheat prices.

Positive Wheat Market Factors Not Necessarily Being Accounted for 

However, the broader large crop-over supply-low price” situation in the World wheat market may be “masking” or “obscuring” at least a couple of other important market issues.

First, while the quantity of wheat available in the World is plentiful, the available supply of high protein milling wheat is less so.  This factor may help exports of both U.S. Hard Red Spring (HRS) wheat (higher protein – good quality) and U.S. Hard Red Winter (HRW) wheat (moderate protein – good quality) relative to World wheat export competitors.  As evidence of this, exports of U.S. HRW wheat are running ahead of the pace needed to meet USDA projections – raising the possibility of improved U.S. HRW prices in coming months – helped by both low prices and acceptable protein and quality.

Second, while the supply of wheat in World markets overall is growing, the supply of wheat in the “World Less China” is projected to have actually “contracted” or “diminished” in “current crop” MY 2016/17 compared to a year ago – to the tightest supply situation since MY 2013/14.

Relying of Future Supply-Shortfalls to “Adjust” the Market

Even so, given the broader World wheat market’s current focus – it is likely that significant World wheat production problems and/or trade disruptions would need to occur in coming months and early in year 2017 in order to have wheat prices recover significantly by spring-summer 2017.  Ongoing strength in the U.S. dollar exchange rate – although it has been “moderating” in recent months – also is a serious negative factor that is limiting U.S. wheat exports.  These factors have resulted in higher U.S. wheat ending stocks and % ending stocks-to-use, and have caused U.S. and Kansas wheat cash prices to fall sharply – down to the marketing loan rate in most of Kansas.

USDA U.S. Wheat Supply/Demand Forecast for “Current Crop” MY 2016/17

The USDA projected 2016 U.S. wheat plantings of 50.154 million acres (ma) – down 4.845 ma (-8.8%) from 2015.  The USDA also forecast 2016 harvested acres of 43.890 ma which would be down 3.428 ma (-7.2%) vs 2015.  Based on record high projected 2016 U.S. wheat yields of 52.6 bu/ac (up from 43.6 bu/ac in 2015), 2016 U.S. wheat production is forecast to be 2.310 bb (vs 2.062 bb in 2015), with total supplies of 3.410 bb (up from 2.927 bb in “old crop” MY 2015/16), and total use of 2.272 bb (up from 1.952 bb in “old crop” MY 2015/16).

Given these numbers, the USDA projected “current crop” MY 2016/17 ending stocks of 1.138 bb (vs 976 mb a year ago), with percent ending stocks-to-use of 50.09% S/U (vs 50.0% last year and 37.2% the previous year).  U.S. wheat average prices are projected to be in the range of $3.50 to $3.90 (midpoint = $3.70 /bu) – down from $4.89 /bu in “old crop” MY 2015/16 and $5.99 /bu in MY 2014/15.   It is assumed by Kansas State University that these USDA projections for “current crop” MY 2016/17 have an 80% probability of occurring.

Alternative KSU U.S. Wheat S/D Forecast for “Current Crop” MY 2016/17

As an alternative to the USDA’s projection, one potential KSU-Scenario for U.S. wheat supply-demand and prices is presented for “current crop” MY 2016/17 – and is given a 20% probability of occurring.  Assuming the same 2016 acreage, yields, imports, and production as USDA, as well as food and seed use, the alternative scenarios assumes a) higher U.S. wheat exports (1.125 bb vs 975 mb by USDA), and b) lower feed and residual use (240 mb vs 260 mb by USDA).

The resulting KSU “Higher Exports with Spring 2017 U.S. Wheat Development Problems” Scenario (20% probability) assumes for “current crop” MY 2016/17: 2.310 bb production, 3.410 bb total supplies, 1.125 bb exports, 240 mb feed & residual use, 1.008 bb ending stocks, 41.97% S/U, & $4.35 /bu U.S. wheat avg. price.

KSU U.S. Wheat S/D Forecasts for “Next Crop” MY 2017/18

Two alternative KSU-Scenarios for U.S. wheat supply-demand and prices are presented for “next crop” MY 2017/18.  These scenarios assume a 5% decline in U.S. wheat planted and harvested acreage in 2017 (with a 7% decline for U.S. winter wheat, and no changes for other spring wheat and durum wheat classes.  These KSU projections also assume at least a continued moderation in the value of the U.S. dollar during the “next crop” 2017/18 marketing year, with some improvement in U.S. wheat exports as a result.

KSU Scenario A) “Trend Yield, Moderately Higher Exports” Scenario (65% probability) assumes for “next crop” MY 2017/18: 47.624 ma planted, 41.696 ma harvested, 47.0 bu/ac trend yield, 2.063 bb production, 3.326 bb total supplies, 1.000 bb exports, 250 mb feed & residual use, 2.286 bb total use, 1.040 bb ending stocks, 45.49% S/U, & $4.10 /bu U.S. wheat average price; and

KSU Scenario B) “Lower Yield, Average Exports” Scenario (35% probability) assumes for “next crop” MY 2017/18: 47.624 ma planted, 41.696 ma harvested, 43.6 bu/ac lower yield, 1.914 bb production, 3.177 bb total supplies, 980 mb exports, 240 mb feed & residual use, 2.256 bb total use, 921 mb ending stocks, 40.82% S/U, & $4.50 /bu U.S. wheat average price.

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KSU Corn Market Outlook in October 2016: Strong Demand holds Kansas Corn Prices Above Marketing Loan at Harvest

This article provides an analysis of U.S. and World corn supply-demand factors and price prospects for both the “new crop” 2016/17 marketing year following the USDA’s October 12, 2016 USDA Crop Production and World Agricultural Supply Demand Estimates (WASDE) reports.

Following is a summary of the article on “Corn Market Outlook in October 2016″ with the full article and accompanying analysis soon to be available on the KSU AgManager website (www.AgManager.info) at the following web address:

http://www.agmanager.info/grain-marketing/grain-market-outlook-newsletter/corn-market-outlook-october-2016

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Summary

Overview

Since the USDA’s October 12th Crop Production and World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) reports, DEC 2016 CME corn futures has trended higher from a close of $3.37 per bushel on the day of the report, to a high of $3.58 ¾ on October 14th, before closing at $3.53 ¾ on October 18th with nearly 50% of the U.S. corn harvest complete.  The USDA’s forecast of a record large 2016 U.S. corn crop over 15 billion bushels (bb) and ending stocks of near 2.3 bb have continued to be the primary focus of the U.S. corn market.

Cash Corn Markets in Kansas vs Marketing Loan Rates

Cash corn prices in Kansas have declined to near or below $3.00 per bushel, but have not fallen as low as marketing loan rates.  For example, on October 19th, cash corn prices near Salina, Kansas in the central part of the state ranged from $2.81 to $2.95 per bushel –above the Saline County marketing loan rate of $2.05 per bushel.  Similarly, cash corn prices near Garden City in southwest Kansas ranged from $3.02 to $3.05 per bushel – above the Finney County marketing loan rate of $2.19 per bushel.  Although fall harvest is approximately 75%+ completed in Kansas with the situation of large supplies and tight storage availability to deal with in local grain markets, it is an encouraging signal for corn demand that cash corn prices have not fallen down to loan rate – price support levels.

Other Corn Market Factors in 2017

Other market factors to consider that could affect the U.S. corn market in what remains of 2016 through mid-2017 include: 1) the pace and timing of U.S. farmer marketing of the 2016 corn crop – much of which will be placed in storage after fall harvest, 2) anticipation of continued strong use of “new crop” 2016 U.S. corn in domestic U.S. ethanol production and livestock feeding, 3) at least moderate strength in U.S. corn exports – driven partly by a poor harvest and lack of exportable supplies in Brazil in 2016 as well as other World corn market factors, and 4) the always present possibility of broader U.S. and Foreign economic and/or financial system disruptions impacting grain, energy, and other commodity markets in later 2016 and 2017.

For example, unanticipated U.S. financial policy announcements by the U.S. Federal Reserve could affect U.S. interest rates which could affect U.S. corn exports.  Also, World geo-political events could provide an unanticipated “shock” to U.S. and World energy and grain markets – with the impact on the direction of U.S. and World corn markets being difficult to anticipate.

USDA Supply-Demand Forecast for “New Crop” MY 2016/17

With USDA projections of 2016 U.S. corn plantings of 94.490 ma (up 6.491 ma from 2015), harvested acres of 86.836 ma (up 6.087 ma from 2015), record high projected yields of 173.4 bu/ac (vs 168.4 bu/ac in 2015 and the previous record high of 171.0 bu/ac in 2014), 2016 U.S. corn production is forecast to be a record high 15.057 bb – up from 13.601 bb in 2015, the current record of 14.216 bb in 2014, and 13.829 bb in 2013.

With forecast “new crop” MY 2016/17 total supplies of 16.845 bb (record high), total use of 14.525 bb (record high), and projected ending stocks of 2.320 bb (15.97% S/U) – up from 1.738 bb (12.72% S/U) in “old crop” MY 2015/16 and the highest since 4.259 bb (54.90% S/U) in MY 2004/05 – U.S. corn prices are projected by the USDA to be in the range of $2.95-$3.55 (midpoint = $3.25 /bu) – being down from $3.61 /bu for “old crop” MY 2015/16. This scenario is given a 70% likelihood of occurring by KSU Extension Ag Economist D. O’Brien.

Alternative KSU Forecasts for “New Crop” MY 2016/17

Two alternative KSU-Scenarios for U.S. corn supply-demand and prices are presented for “new crop” MY 2016/17, each gauging the likelihood of lower U.S. corn yields and production than projected by the USDA in the October 12th USDA WASDE report.

KSU Scenario A) “172.5 bu/ac – 14.979 bb” Scenario (25% probability) assumes: 94.490 ma planted, 86.836 ma harvested, 172.5 bu/ac yield, 14.979 bb production, 16.717 bb total supplies, 14.525 bb total use, 2.192 bb ending stocks, 15.09% S/U, & $3.35 /bu U.S. corn average price for “new crop” MY 2016/17;

KSU Scenario B) “171.0 bu/ac – 14.849 bb” Scenario (5% probability) assumes: 94.490 ma planted, 86.836 ma harvested, 171.0 bu/ac yield, 14.849 bb production, 16.637 bb total supplies, 14.525 bb total use, 2.112 bb ending stocks, 14.54% S/U, & $3.45 /bu U.S. corn average price for “new crop” MY 2016/17;

World Corn Supply-Demand

Record high World corn production of 1,025.7 million metric tons (mmt) is projected for “new crop” MY 2016/17, up from 959.1 mmt in “old crop” MY 2015/16, and up from 1,014.4 mmt in MY 2014/15.

Record high World corn total supplies of 1,235.7 mmt are projected for “new crop” MY 2016/17, up from 1,168.1 mmt in “old crop” MY 2015/16, and from 1,189.7 mmt in MY 2014/15.  World corn exports of 143.8 mmt are projected for “new crop” MY 2016/17, up from 119.5 mmt in “old crop” MY 2015/16, and from 141.7 mmt in MY 2014/15.  Projected World corn ending stocks of 216.8 mmt (21.3% S/U) in “new crop” MY 2016/17 are up from 210.9 mmt (21.9% S/U) in “old crop” MY 2015/16, and from 208.9 mmt (21.3% S/U) in MY 2014/15.  Although World corn ending stocks are projected to be a record high in “new crop” MY 2016/17 at 216.8 mmt, World corn percent ending stocks-to-use in “new crop” MY 2016/17 are forecast to actually decline to 21.3% – indicative of expected continued strong World demand for corn at low prices – especially in Europe where grain production has been hampered by extreme weather conditions.

Brazil Corn Supply-Demand

Brazil corn production in “old crop” MY 2015/16 (1st crop harvested in January-May 2016, 2nd crop harvested in May-August) is estimated to be 67.0 mmt, down 18.0 mmt (down 21.2%) from 85.0 mmt in MY 2014/15.  This shortfall in Brazilian corn production in 2016 has provided support for U.S. corn exports and even ethanol production (via exports). However, expectations of a record large 2016 U.S. corn crop have had a predominant negative impact on U.S. corn market prices through late summer and early fall.  Brazilian corn production is forecast by the USDA to rebound back to 83.5 mmt in MY 2016/17 (2017 production).  Uncertainty about Brazilian corn production prospects in 2017 could be a major factor impacting U.S. and World corn prices in the coming spring and summer months of 2017.

China Corn Supply-Demand

China corn production in “new crop” MY 2016/17 (harvested in September-October 2016) is estimated to be 216.0 mmt, down 8.6 mmt (down 3.8%) from 224.6 mmt in MY 2015/16, but marginally higher than 215.65 mmt in MY 2014/15.  A major focus in World corn markets is on the size of Chinese ending stocks and on recent changes in China’s domestic corn stock management policies.  Ending stocks of corn in China are projected to be 103.7 mmt (45.9% SU) in “new crop” MY 2016/17, down from 110.7 mmt (50.9% S/U) in “old crop” MY 2015/16, but up from 100.5 mmt (49.7% S/U) in MY 2014/15.  Over the last three marketing years, percent ending stocks-to-use of corn for China ranging from 49.7% to 50.9% are the highest since MY 2002/03 (51.6%).  During the interim MY 2003/04 to MY 2013/14 period, Chinese corn percent ending stocks-to-use averaged 30.5%, ranging from 25.2% to 39.1%.

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“Soybean Market Outlook for 2017” Presentation at KSU Ag Lender’s Conferences, October 4-5, 2016

As part of the Kansas State University Agricultural Lenders Conferences to be held on Tuesday, October 4th in Garden City, Kansas and on Wednesday, October 5th in Manhattan, Kansas, a “Grain Market Outlook in 2017” presentation will be given by Daniel O’Brien, KSU Extension Agricultural Economist.

Following are the full set of slide for the first part of that presentation pertaining to Soybean Market Outlook for 2017.

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“Wheat Market Outlook for 2017” Presentation at KSU Ag Lender’s Conferences, October 4-5, 2016

As part of the Kansas State University Agricultural Lenders Conferences to be held on Tuesday, October 4th in Garden City, Kansas and on Wednesday, October 5th in Manhattan, Kansas, a “Grain Market Outlook in 2017” presentation will be given by Daniel O’Brien, KSU Extension Agricultural Economist.

Following are the full set of slide for the first part of that presentation pertaining to Wheat Market Outlook for 2017.

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“Corn and Grain Sorghum Market Outlook for 2017” Presentation at KSU Ag Lender’s Conferences, October 4-5, 2016

As part of the Kansas State University Agricultural Lenders Conferences to be held on Tuesday, October 4th in Garden City, Kansas and on Wednesday, October 5th in Manhattan, Kansas, a “Grain Market Outlook in 2017” presentation will be given by Daniel O’Brien, KSU Extension Agricultural Economist.

Following are the full set of slide for the first part of that presentation pertaining Corn and Grain Sorghum Market Outlook for 2017.

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KSU Soybean Market Outlook in September 2016 – Positive U.S. Crush and Exports Offer Hope to Soybean Market

An analysis of U.S. and World soybean supply-demand factors and 2016-2017 price prospects following the USDA’s September 12th Crop Production and World Agricultural Supply Demand Estimates (WASDE) reports either is available on the KSU AgManager website (http://www.agmanager.info/default.asp).

Following is a summary of the article on Soybean Market Outlook – with the full article and accompanying analysis available on the KSU AgManager website at the following web address;

http://www.agmanager.info/soybean-market-outlook-september-2016

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Summary

Market Overview

Since the USDA released its World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) report on September 12th, soybean futures prices have moved both higher and lower within approximately a $0.50 range.  From the September 12th close of $9.64 ¼, 2016 when CME NOV 2016 soybean futures prices have traded from a low of $9.40 ½ on 9/14 to a high of $9.94 on 9/20, before closing at $9.49 ¼ on 9/27/2016.

Since 2014, World soybean market prices have been limited by a developing “large crop – low price” supply-demand regime, caused by consecutive record World soybean production years for 2014 and 2015, with large but not record crop in South America and a record high in the United States.  Lower than expected 2016 production in Brazil has led to record high U.S. soybean export trade prospects in “new crop” MY 2016 (starting 9/1/2016).

World Production, Ending Stocks & % Stocks-to-Use

Longer term, from MY 2008/09 to projected “new crop” MY 2016/17, the USDA forecasts a strong upward trend in World soybean production (up 7.0% annually) which will have “out-paced” the increase in World soybean use (up 6.0% per year) if it holds true.  However, the shortfall in South American’s soybean production in “old crop” MY 2015/16 has at least temporarily interrupted these trends, and has caused projected World soybean ending stocks and percent ending stocks-to-use to fall since MY 2014/15.

As this trend toward larger supplies has “abated” in “old crop” MY 2015/16 and for projected “new crop” MY 2016/17, U.S. and World soybean prices have received at least moderate support.  Since World soybean ending stocks of 62.0 mmt (22.4% S/U) in MY 2013/14, stocks grew sharply in MY 2014/15 to 78.5 mmt (26.1% S/U), but have since declined to an estimate of 72.9 mmt (23.0% S/U) in “old crop” MY 2015/16, and are forecast to decline further marginally to 72.2 mmt (22.0% S/U) in “new crop” MY 2016/17.

Key Focus in 2017 on Weather in South America and the U.S.

A key World soybean market issue will be to find out if 2017 weather or disease problems in South America end up driving southern hemisphere soybean production low enough to alter the existing “large supply – buyer’s market” situation that has existed in U.S. and World soybean markets in recent years.

Markets will also be focusing on the degree to which the record large 2016 U.S. soybean crop will “rectify” this short run trend toward lower World soybean ending stocks and lead to a re-establishment of the “large supply – low price” situation in fall 2016 that had existed during the 2014-2015 time period.

USDA U.S. Soybean Supply-Demand Forecast of “Old Crop” MY 2015/16

The USDA raised its forecast of U.S. soybean exports and sharply tightened ending stocks to use in “old crop” MY 2015/16.  With a projection of U.S. total supplies at 4.145 bb and domestic crush at 1.900 bb, the USDA forecast U.S. exports to be 1.940 bb – up 60 mb from August. With this change, total use increased 60 mb to 3.949 bb, with ending stocks declining to 195 mb (down 60 mb.

Ending stocks-to-use are projected at 4.94% – down from 6.56% in August, and 9.225% in July, and essentially equal to 4.95% in MY 2014/15, but still above the record low of 2.65% in MY 2013/14.  The USDA forecast “old crop” MY 2015/16 U.S. soybean average prices to be $8.95 /bu – down from $10.10 in MY 2014/15, $13.00 in MY 2013/14, and the record high of $14.40 in MY 2012/13.

USDA Forecast for “New Crop” MY 2016/17 (65% LikelihoodKSU)

The USDA left unchanged its projection of 2016 U.S. soybean plantings of a record high 83.688 million acres (ma) – up from 82.650 ma in 2015.  Forecast 2016 harvested acres of a record 83.037 ma is also up from 81.814 ma in 2015.  With record high projected yields of 50.6 bu/ac (up 1.7 bu from August), 2016 U.S. soybean production is projected to be a record high 4.201 bb – up from 3.929 bb in 2015 and 3.927 bb in 2014.   With forecast “new crop” MY 2016/17 domestic crush at a record 1.950 bb (up 10 mb) and exports at a record 1.985 bb (up 35 mb), projected total use equals 4.061 bb (a new record high ahead of 3.949 bb in “old crop” MY 2015/16 and 3.862 bb in MY 2014/15).

Given these results,  ending stocks are forecast to be 365 mb (8.99% S/U), while U.S. soybean prices are estimated by the USDA to be in the range of $8.30-$9.80 (midpoint = $9.05 /bu) – up from the $8.95 /bu in “old” MY 2015/16.  This USDA projection is thought to have a 65% probability of occurring according to Kansas State University Extension.

Alternative KSU Forecast for “New Crop” MY 2016/17 (35% LikelihoodKSU)

An alternative KSU-Scenario for U.S. soybean supply-demand and prices is presented for “new crop” MY 2016/17.  In this market perspective U.S. soybean domestic crush is projected to be 2.000 bb – up 50 mb from the USDA’s projection.  Also, U.S. soybean exports are forecast to be 2.035 bb – also up 50 mb from USDA estimates.  Taken together, U.S. soybean total use is forecast to be 4.161 bb – up 100 mb from USDA.

Ending stocks are forecast to be 265 mb – down 100 mb vs USDA #s, with % ending stocks-to-use estimated to be 6.37% – down from 8.99% S/U according to USDA projections.  Under this scenario, “new crop” MY 2016/17 U.S. soybean average prices would likely average $9.70 /bu – compared to the USDA’s midpoint projection of $9.05 per bushel.  This scenario is thought to have a 35% likelihood of occurring – compared to a 65% probability of occurrence for the USDA supply-demand and price projection for U.S. soybeans in “new crop” MY 2016/17.

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KSU Corn Market Outlook in September 2016: Comparing “Likely” USDA vs “Possible” KSU 2016 Corn Market Outcomes

This article provides an analysis of U.S. and World corn supply-demand factors and price prospects for the “new crop” 2016/17 marketing year following the USDA’s September 12, 2016 USDA Crop Production and World Agricultural Supply Demand Estimates (WASDE) reports is available on the KSU AgManager website:  http://www.agmanager.info/default.asp

Following is a summary of the article on “Corn Market Outlook in September 2016″ with the full article and accompanying analysis soon to be available on the KSU AgManager website at the following web address:

http://www.agmanager.info/grain-marketing/grain-market-outlook-newsletter

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Summary

Overview

Since the USDA’s September 12th World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) report, DEC 2016 CME corn futures first trended lower from a close of $3.39 ½ per bushel on the day of the report, to a low of $3.26 ½ on September 14th, before trending back higher to close at $3.40 on September 22nd with the bulk of fall harvest approaching.   The USDA’s continued forecast of a record large 2016 U.S. corn crop over 15 billion bushels (bb) and ending stocks of near 2.4 bb have continued to be the focus of the U.S. corn market.

Cash corn prices in Kansas have declined below $3.00 per bushel, but have not yet fallen to the marketing loan rate.  For example, on September 22nd, cash corn prices near Salina, Kansas in the central part of the state ranged from $2.63 to $2.80 per bushel – still above the Saline County marketing loan rate of $2.05 per bushel.  Similarly, cash corn prices near Garden City in southwest Kansas ranged from $2.80 to $2.98 per bushel – above the Finney County marketing loan rate of $2.19 per bushel.  When fall harvest begins in earnest it is possible that cash prices could fall to the loan rate in these areas due to tight local commercial storage.

Other market factors to consider that could affect the U.S. corn market in what remains of 2016 through mid-2017 include:

1) the pace and timing of U.S. farmer marketing of the 2016 corn crop – much of which will be placed in storage after fall harvest,

2) anticipation of continued strong use of carryover 2015 and new 2016 crop U.S. corn in domestic U.S. ethanol production and livestock feeding,

3) at least moderate strength in U.S. corn exports – driven largely by a poor harvest and lack of exportable supplies in Brazil in 2016, and

4) the possibility of broader U.S. and Foreign economic and/or financial system disruptions impacting grain, energy, and other commodity markets.  For example, unanticipated U.S. financial policy announcements by the U.S. Federal Reserve could affect U.S. interest rates, or geo-political events could occur that would “shock” World energy and grain markets.

USDA Supply-Demand Forecast for “New Crop” MY 2016/17

With USDA projections of 2016 U.S. corn plantings of 94.148 ma (up 6.149 ma from 2015), harvested acres of 86.550 ma (up 5.801 ma from 2015), record high projected yields of 174.4 bu/ac (vs 168.4 bu/ac in 2015 and the current record high of 171.0 bu/ac in 2014), 2016 U.S. corn production is forecast to be a record high 15.093 bb – up from 13.601 bb in 2015, the current record of 14.216 bb in 2014, and 13.829 bb in 2013.

With forecast “new crop” MY 2016/17 total supplies of 16.859 bb (record high), total use of 14.475 bb (record high), and projected ending stocks of 2.384 bb (16.47% S/U) – up from 1.716 bb (12.54% S/U) in “old crop” MY 2015/16 and the highest since 4.259 bb (54.90% S/U) in MY 2004/05 – U.S. corn prices are projected by the USDA to be in the range of $2.90-$3.50 (midpoint = $3.20 /bu) – being down from $3.60 /bu for “old crop” MY 2015/16. This scenario is given a 50% likelihood of occurring by KSU Extension Ag Economist D. O’Brien.

KSU Forecasts for “New Crop” MY 2016/17

Three alternative KSU-Scenarios for U.S. corn supply-demand and prices are presented for “new crop” MY 2016/17, with each assuming a lower U.S. corn yields and production than the September 12th USDA WASDE report

KSU Scenario A) “Minor Crop Problems – 14.9 bb” Scenario (30% probability) assumes: 94.148 ma planted, 86.550 ma harvested, 172.0 bu/ac yield, 14.887 bb production, 16.653 bb total supplies, 14.450 bb total use, 2.203 bb ending stocks, 15.25% S/U, & $3.35 /bu U.S. corn average price for “new crop” MY 2016/17; 

KSU Scenario B) “Moderate Crop Problems – 14.5 bb” Scenario (15% probability) assumes: 94.148 ma planted, 86.550 ma harvested, 168.0 bu/ac yield, 14.540 bb production, 16.306 bb total supplies, 14.344 bb total use, 1.962 bb ending stocks, 13.68% S/U, & $3.50 /bu U.S. corn avg. price for “new crop” MY 2016/17;

KSU Scenario C) “More Serious Crop Problems – 14.2 bb” Scenario (5% probability) assumes: 94.148 ma planted, 86.550 ma harvested, 164.0 bu/ac yield, 14.194 bb production, 15.190 bb total supplies, 14.239 bb total use, 1.721 bb ending stocks, 12.09% S/U, & $3.80 /bu U.S. corn avg. price for “new crop” MY 2016/17;

World Corn Supply-Demand:

World corn production of 1,026.6 million metric tons (mmt) is projected for “new crop” MY 2016/17, up from 959.0 mmt in “old crop” MY 2015/16, and up from 1,013.6 mmt in MY 2014/15.

World corn total supplies of 1,235.9 mmt are projected for “new crop” MY 2016/17, up from 1,167.3 mmt in “old crop” MY 2015/16, and up from 1,188.9 mmt in MY 2014/15.  World corn exports of 139.8 mmt are projected for “new crop” MY 2016/17, up from 119.2 mmt in “old crop” MY 2015/16, but down from 141.7 mmt in MY 2014/15.  Projected World corn ending stocks of 219.5 mmt (21.6% S/U) in “new crop” MY 2016/17 are up from 209.25 mmt (21.8% S/U) in “old crop” MY 2015/16, and from 208.3 mmt (21.2% S/U) in MY 2014/15.

Brazil Corn Production Trends

Brazil corn production in “old crop” MY 2015/16 (1st crop harvested in January-May 2016, 2nd crop harvested in May-August) is estimated to be 67.0 mmt, down 18.0 mmt (down 21.2%) from 85.0 mmt in MY 2014/15.  This shortfall in Brazilian corn production in 2016 has provided some support for U.S. corn exports and even ethanol production (via exports). But expectations of a record large 2016 U.S. corn crop have had a predominant negative impact on U.S. corn market prices to date.  Brazilian corn production is forecast by the USDA to rebound back to 82.5 mmt in MY 2016/17 (2017 production).

China Corn Production & Ending Stocks Trends

China corn production in “new crop” MY 2016/17 (harvested in September-October 2016) is estimated to be 216.0 mmt, down 8.6 mmt (down 3.8%) from 224.6 mmt in MY 2015/16, but marginally higher than 215.65 mmt in MY 2014/15.

Most of the focus in World corn markets is on Chinese ending stocks.  Ending stocks of corn in China are projected to be 103.65 mmt (45.9% SU) in “new crop” MY 2016/17, down from 110.7 mmt (50.9% S/U) in “old crop” MY 2015/16, but up from 110.5 mmt (49.7% S/U) in MY 2014/15.

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