KSU Weekly Grain Market Analysis: A “360 View” of Grain Markets on USDA Grain Stocks and Prospective Plantings Day

Grain market summary notes, charts and comments supporting the Grain Market Update presented in the KSU Agriculture Today radio program to be played on Friday, March 30, 2018 are available on the Kansas State University www.AgManager.info website at the following KSU web address:

http://www.agmanager.info/sites/default/files/pdf/KSRN_GrainOutlook_03-30-18.pdf

The recorded radio program was aired at 10:03 a.m. central time, Friday, March 30, 2018 on the K-State Radio Network (KSU Agriculture Today Radio) – web player available. A copy of the March 30th recording is available at the KSU Agriculture Today website.

Following are sections of the Working notes for this week’s radio program up on the KSU AgManager.info website…

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2018 Soybean Market Situation & Outlook – Salina, KS on January 23, 2018

Following are the slides from a presentation on “Soybean Market Outlook in 2018” presented to 150 people at a “Kansas Soybean School” in Salina, Kansas held on January 23, 2018.   The workshop was sponsored by the Kansas Soybean Commission (http://kansassoybeans.org/) and K-State Research and Extension.

Following are the slides and key points presented by Extension Agricultural Economist Daniel O’Brien of the Department of Agricultural Economics at Kansas State University titled “Soybean Market Outlook in 2018“.  This presentation is available on the KSU AgManager.info website (http://www.agmanager.info/) at the following web address:

http://www.agmanager.info/grain-marketing/presentations

 

 

Corn and Grain Sorghum Market Situation & Outlook – Amarillo, Texas on January 24, 2018

Following are the slides from a presentation on “Feedgrain Market Outlook in 2018” presented by teleconference to a “Feedgrain Marketing Plan Workshop” in Amarillo, Texas held on January 23-24, 2018.   The workshop was sponsored by Texas Agri-Life Extension.

Following are the slides and key points presented by Extension Agricultural Economist Daniel O’Brien of the Department of Agricultural Economics at Kansas State University titled on “Feedgrain Market Outlook in 2018”.  This presentation will also be available on the KSU AgManager.info website (http://www.agmanager.info/) at the following web address:

http://www.agmanager.info/grain-marketing/presentations

 

 

KSU U.S. Sorghum and World Coarse Grain Market Outlook in Late-December 2017

An analysis of U.S. and World Grain Sorghum & World Coarse Grain Market Outlook following the USDA’s December 12th USDA Crop Production and World Agricultural Supply Demand Estimates (WASDE) reports is available on the KSU AgManager website  (http://www.agmanager.info/).

This article also examines the USDA’s Long Term Agricultural Projections in regards to U.S. grain sorghum market outlook in “next crop” MY 2018/19.  The USDA’s Long Term Agricultural Projections can be found at the following web address:

https://www.usda.gov/oce/commodity/projections/

Following is a summary of the article on “U.S. Grain Sorghum and World Coarse Grain Market Outlook” with the full article and accompanying analysis on the KSU AgManager website to be available shortly at the following web address:

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

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Summary

A. Grain Sorghum Market Overview

In the December 12th Crop Production and World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) reports, the USDA forecast that the 2017 U.S. grain sorghum crop would be 356 million bushel (mb).  This projection of 2017 U.S. Grain Sorghum production combined with a large 2017 U.S. Corn crop of 14.578 billion bushels (bb) have caused U.S. feedgrain markets to focus on “large feedgrain production and supply” scenarios – and have brought continued pressure to both U.S. grain sorghum and corn market prices.  Just as with U.S. corn, wheat, and soybeans, current cash bids for grain sorghum are below full economic cost of production in most instances.  However, higher than anticipated 2017 grain sorghum yields at many Kansas locations may help lower cost of production per bushel and help to mitigate low grain sorghum prices to some degree. 

Strong exports of U.S. grain sorghum during November-mid December 2017 have had a tangible, positive impact on grain sorghum prices in Central and parts of Western Kansas.  China and Japan have been the main  export buyers from the U.S., while purchases from Mexico have declined to date in the “new crop” 2017/18 marketing year.  In response, the USDA raised its’ U.S. Grain Sorghum export projections sharply – up 50 million bushels (mb) to 260 mb for this marketing year ending August 31, 2018.  And in a textbook example of economic “crowding out” – this strong foreign export demand for U.S. grain sorghum has raised domestic prices and is causing a projected shifting of usage away from U.S. domestic livestock feeding and ethanol production in “new crop” MY 2017/18.

The USDA also released Long Term Agricultural Projections on November 28th that anticipate both an increase in U.S. grain sorghum average prices to $3.30 per bushel (equal to the U.S. corn price forecast), and a 1 million acre (+17%) increase in grain sorghum planted acreage in the “next crop” 2018/19 marketing year.  

B. Kansas Cash Grain Sorghum Prices

On December 26th cash grain sorghum price bids at major grain elevators in Western Kansas were in the range of $3.08 – $3.31 /bu – with basis levels $0.45 to $0.22 /bu under CME MARCH 2018 corn futures.  The high bid of $3.31 /bu was in Colby, where the corn price that same day was $3.00 /bu ($0.53 under MARCH).  

Central Kansas cash grain sorghum price bids ranged from $3.17 ½ to $3.48 /bu with basis $0.35 to $0.05 / bu under.  The high bid of $3.48 /bu was in Salina, where the highest corn price was $3.09 ¾ /bu ($0.43 under MARCH).

In East Central Kansas at Topeka, the highest reported grain sorghum price bid was $3.87 ½ /bu (basis = $0.35 over MARCH 2018 corn) – compared to the highest corn bid of $3.09 ¾ /bu ($0.43 under MARCH). 

Kansas ethanol plant price bids for grain sorghum on Dec. 26th ranged from $3.42 to $3.57 /bu, with basis $0.10 under to $0.05 over.  Ethanol plant corn bids were $3.32-$3.79 /bu, with basis $0.20 under to $0.27 over.

C. Market Factors for U.S. Grain Sorghum & Other Feedgrains in 2018

1) Whether the recent strength in U.S. Grain Sorghum exports to China and Japan continues through Spring-Summer 2018 will be THE key factor in grain sorghum price prospects for at least the first half of the year.  IF the recent pace of U.S. grain sorghum exports were to continue at the levels of November-early December 2017 through August 2018, then total U.S. grain sorghum exports would end up being over 300 million bushels in “new crop” MY 2017/18 by KSU estimates. 

2) Usage of U.S. grain sorghum for ethanol production and livestock feeding is likely to be “crowded out” by strong sorghum exports in “new crop” MY 2017/18 – should they continue at their current pace through Spring-Summer 2018.   However, there are ample to abundant supplies of low priced U.S. corn available for these domestic U.S. feedgrain usage industries to use without interruption.  This is occurring when continued strong domestic U.S. fuel ethanol use and livestock feeding of the 2017 crop U.S. feedgrains are anticipated for the remainder of the “new crop” 2017/18 marketing year.

3) Given the pace of U.S. grain sorghum exports, it is likely that there will be reduced grain sorghum storage  beyond the Winter months – as attractive pricing opportunities perform their “demand pull” effect upon farmer’s marketing actions.

4) Higher U.S. grain sorghum prices relative to competitive feedgrains will likely “draw” increased 2018 U.S. grain sorghum planted acreage – as projected by the USDA in its Long Term Agricultural Projections.  The question may be “Just how many more acres of grain sorghum will U.S. farmers plant in 2018?”   It is possible that higher acreage and good growing conditions could bring about an increase in 2018 U.S. Grain Sorghum production to 450-500+ million bushels – much larger than the USDA’s 2018 forecast of 384 mb. 

D. USDA Forecast for “Next Crop” MY 2018/19 & “New Crop” MY 2017/18

In its November 28th Long Term Agricultural Projections, the USDA projected 2018 U.S. Grain Sorghum plantings of 6.700 million acres (ma), up 17% or ≈ 1 ma from 5.709 ma in 2017.  Harvested acres U.S. grain sorghum in 2018 are projected to be 5.700 ma, up from 5.049 ma in 2017.   Average yields in 2018 in the U.S. are forecast at 67.3 bu/ac, down from 70.4 bu/ac in 2017.  As a result, 2018 U.S. Grain Sorghum production is forecast to be 384 mb – up from 356 mb in 2017, but down from 480 mb in year 2016 and 597 mb in 2017.  

Forecast “next crop” MY 2018/19 U.S. Grain Sorghum total supplies are 405 mb (vs 391 this marketing year, and 519-620 mb the 2 years before).   United States’ Grain Sorghum exports are projected to be 230 mb in “next crop” 2018/19 – down from 260 mb in “new crop” MY 2017/18, and less than 241 mb in MY 2016/17.  Total use of U.S. Grain Sorghum in “next crop” MY 2018/19 of 370 mb is unchanged from “new crop” MY 2017/18 – but down from 485-583 mb the two previous years. 

Ending stocks of U.S. Grain Sorghum in “next crop” MY 2018/19 are projected to be 35 mb (9.46% Stocks/Use) – up from 21 mb (5.68% Stocks/Use) in “new crop” MY 2017/18.  

The season average price for U.S. Grain Sorghum in “next crop” MY 2018/19 is projected to be $3.30 /bu – up from $3.10 /bu in “new crop” MY 2017/18. 

This scenario for “new crop” MY 2017/18 is given an 80% likelihood of occurring by KSU Extension Agricultural Economist D. O’Brien.

E. Alternative KSU Supply-Demand & Price Forecast for “New Crop” MY 2017/18

Two (2) alternative KSU projections for “new crop” MY 2017/18 U.S. Grain Sorghum Total Use include the following forecasts:

1) “Higher Exports” scenario (10% probability) for “new crop” MY 2017/18: 2017 Planted / harvested acres of 5.519/4.812 ma, 2017 production of 339 mb, total supplies of 339 mb, exports of 290 mb, total use of 359 mb, ending stocks of 13 mbb, 3.62% ending stocks-to-use, and $3.40 /bu U.S. average price.

2) “Lower Exports” scenario (10% probability) for “new crop” MY 2017/18:  2017 Planted / harvested acres of 5.519/4.812 ma, 2017 production of 339 mb, total supplies of 339 mb, exports of 230 mb, total use of 350 mb, ending stocks of 23 mbb, 6.57% ending stocks-to-use, and $3.00 /bu U.S. average price.

F. World Coarse Grain Supply-Demand

The USDA projected that “new crop” 2017/18 marketing year World Coarse Grain total supplies of 1,586.3 mmt will be down 2.0% from 1,618.7 mmt in “old crop” MY 2016/17, but still up 5.2% over 1,507.35 mmt in MY 2015/16.   Projected World Coarse Grain total use of 1,354.1 mmt in “new crop” MY 2017/18 is down marginally from “old crop” MY 2016/17, but up 7.9% over 1,254.9 mmt in MY 2015/16.   “Coarse Grains” include grain sorghum, corn, barley, oats, rye, millet, and mixed grains.

World Coarse Grain ending stocks are forecast to decline, with the USDA projecting ending stocks of 232.2 mmt in “new crop” MY 2017/18, down 11.5% from 262.4 mmt in “old crop” MY 2016/17, and down 8.0% from 252.4 mmt in MY 2015/16.  Although World Coarse Grain ending stocks are projected to be the eighth highest on record in “new crop” MY 2017/18 at 232.2 mmt, World Coarse Grain percent ending stocks-to-use in “new crop” MY 2017/18 are forecast to actually decline to 17.15% – to the lowest level since 17.12% in MY 2013/14.  This is indicative that strong World usage for coarse grains at low prices is expected to continue.  

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KSU Ag Econ “Corn & Grain Sorghum Market Outlook for 2018” Presentation

Following is a presentation on “Corn & Grain Sorghum Market Outlook for 2018”.  This information was given as part of a larger “Grain Market Outlook for 2018” presentation given by Kansas State University Extension Agricultural Economist Daniel O’Brien at a Farming for the Future meeting in Pratt, Kansas on December 14, 2017.

Additional Farming for the Future conferences in Kansas are planned for December 19th in Salina, January 10th in Scott City, and January 11th in Emporia.  Registration information can be found at the following web address:

http://www.agmanager.info/events/farming-future

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The full “Grain Market Outlook for 2018” presentation is available online at the KSU AgManager website at the following web address:

http://www.agmanager.info/sites/default/files/pdf/AGEC520_GrainOutlook_10-19-17.pdf

Information on Wheat, Soybean & Cotton supply-demand and market outlook will be provided in succeeding posts.

Following is information on “Corn and Grain Sorghum Market Outlook for 2018”:

 

KSU Weekly Grain Market Analysis: Focus on Grain Sorghum and USDA Stocks/Small Grains Reports

Grain market summary notes, charts and comments supporting the Grain Market Update presented in the KSU Agriculture Today radio program to be played on Friday, September 29, 2017 are available on the Kansas State University www.AgManager.info website at the following KSU web address:

http://www.agmanager.info/sites/default/files/pdf/KSRN_GrainOutlook_09-29-17.pdf

The recorded radio program was aired at 10:03 a.m. central time, Friday, September 29, 2017 on the K-State Radio Network (KSU Agriculture Today Radio) – web player available. A copy of the August 4th recording will be available at the KSU Agriculture Today website.

Following are sections of the Working notes for this week’s radio program up on the KSU AgManager.info website…

KSU U.S. Sorghum and World Coarse Grain Market Outlook in Late-September 2017

An analysis of U.S. and World Grain Sorghum & World Coarse Grain Market Outlook following the USDA’s September 12th USDA Crop Production and World Agricultural Supply Demand Estimates (WASDE) reports is available on the KSU AgManager website  (http://www.agmanager.info/).

Following is a summary of the article on “U.S. Grain Sorghum and World Coarse Grain Market Outlook” with the full article and accompanying analysis on the KSU AgManager website to be available shortly at the following web address:

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

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Summary

Overview

Since the September 12th Crop Production and World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) reports, the USDA forecast that the 2017 U.S. grain sorghum crop would be 371 million bushel (mb).  This projection for U.S. grain sorghum combined with a large 2017 U.S. corn crop of 14.184 billion bushels (bb) have caused markets to focus on “large feedgrain production and supply” scenarios, bringing continued to pressure both U.S. grain sorghum and corn market prices.  Just as with corn, wheat, and soybeans, current cash bids for grain sorghum are below cost of production in most instances – although to a degree anticipated high yields in 2017 at many locations may help lower cost of production per bushel and help to mitigate low grain sorghum prices to some degree.

Since September 12th, corn futures prices have trended essentially sideways.  On Tuesday, September 12th – the day of the report – CME DEC 2017 corn futures opened at $3.57, but then traded as low as $3.45 ½ before closing at $0.06 lower at $3.51 ½.  Since that day, DEC 2017 corn at first trended higher, but since has moved generally sideways to close at $3.54 on September 27th.

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Cash Grain Sorghum Market Prices in Kansas

On Wednesday, September 27th cash grain sorghum price bids at major grain elevators in Western Kansas were in the range of $2.84 – $2.96 /bu – with basis levels $0.70 to $0.50 per bushel under CME DEC 2017 Corn futures.  As low as these prices were, they were still markedly higher than county FSA marketing loan rates of $1.76-$1.90 per bushel.  Similarly, Central Kansas cash grain sorghum price bids were in the range of $2.89 – $3.14 /bu with basis levels $0.65 to $0.40 per bushel under DEC 2017 Corn, but still above local FSA loan rates of $1.85-$1.93 /bu..  At Topeka in East Central Kansas, a bid was reported of $3.14 /bu (basis = $0.40 under).

Kansas ethanol plant price bids for grain sorghum ranged from $3.14 ¼ to $3.37 ¼ , with basis at $0.35 to $0.15 under DEC 2017 Corn futures. This higher ethanol bid relative to other Kansas cash grain sorghum price bids is indicative of both strength in ethanol industry profitability AND that grain sorghum is a competitive feedstock for ethanol production at Western Corn Belt plant locations.

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Market Factors for U.S. Grain Sorghum / Feedgrains in 2017-2018

1) The pace and timing of U.S. farmer marketing of the 2017 grain sorghum and corn crops – much of which may end up being placed in storage after the 2017 fall harvest and likely will be held for sale through the winter into at least early spring 2018

2) Anticipation of continued strong domestic U.S. fuel ethanol use and livestock feeding of the 2017 crop U.S. feedgrains through the “new crop” 2017/18 marketing year.

3) At least moderate strength in U.S. grain sorghum exports – with the possibility that prospects for a smaller 2018 South American feedgrain harvest that may help U.S. exports of grain sorghum and other feedgrains.

4) The possibility in late 2017-2018 of broader U.S. and Foreign economic and/or financial system disruptions impacting grain, energy, and other commodity markets.  The impact on the direction of U.S. and World grain sorghum and corn markets from these potential disruptions is difficult to anticipate or predict.

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USDA Supply-Demand Forecast for “New Crop” MY 2017/18

The USDA has projected of 2017 U.S. sorghum plantings of 5.987 ma, harvested acres of 5.311 ma, and yields of 69.8 bu/ac (vs 77.9 bu/ac in 2016 and 76.0 bu/ac in 2015), resulting in a 2017 U.S. grain sorghum production of forecast to be 371 mb.  This size of a 2017 U.S. grain sorghum crop is the lowest in five years, being down from 480 mb in 2016, 597 mb in 2015, 433 mb in 2014, and 392 mb in 2013.

With forecast “new crop” MY 2017/18 total supplies of 399 mb, total use of 370 mb, and projected ending stocks of 29 mb (7.94% S/U), U.S. grain sorghum prices are projected by the USDA to be in the range of $2.50-$3.30 (midpoint = $2.90 /bu).   Ending stocks of 29 mb (7.94% S/U) in “new crop” MY 2017/18 compared to 37 mb (6.35% S/U) in “old crop” MY 2016/17, and 18 mb (4.10% S/U) in MY 2015/16.  This scenario is given a 50% likelihood of occurring by KSU Extension Agricultural Economist D. O’Brien.

U.S. grain sorghum prices of $2.90 /bu in “new crop” MY 2017/18 are only a “small relief” from the multiple-year downward price trend from the record high of $6.33 /bu in the drought year of MY 2012/13.  Since that record high, U.S. average grain sorghum prices have declined to $4.28 in MY 2013/14, $4.03 in MY 2014/15, $3.31 /bu in MY 2015/16, $2.85 /bu in “old crop” MY 2016/17, and to now to the forecast range of $2.50-$3.30 (midpoint – $2.90 /bu) in “new crop” MY 2017/18.

Note: This is a “large U.S. feedgrain crop” – “no major U.S. or Foreign crop problem” scenario.  Emerging production threats and the actual outcome of 2018 U.S. grain sorghum and corn production will play a large part in driving the U.S. grain sorghum market in the later months of “new crop” MY 2017/18.

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Alternative KSU Supply-Demand & Price Forecast for “New Crop” MY 2017/18

Three alternative KSU-Scenarios for U.S. grain sorghum supply-demand and prices are presented for “new crop” MY 2017/18.  Each scenario presents the likelihood of lower U.S. grain sorghum acreage, varying yields and alternative production outcomes than projected for “new crop” MY 2017/18 by the USDA in the September 12th WASDE report.

A – KSU “New Crop” MY 2017/18 Scenario #1) “Lower Acres – 69.8 bu/ac.” Scenario (15% probability) assumes: 5.468 ma planted, 4.850 ma harvested, 69.8 bu/ac trend yield, 339 mb production, 368 mb total supplies, 351 mb total use, 17 mb ending stocks, 4.95% S/U, & $3.05 /bu U.S. grain sorghum average price;

B – KSU “New Crop” MY 2017/18 Scenario #2) “Lower Acres – 75.0 bu/ac.” Scenario (25% probability) assumes: 5.468 ma planted, 4.850 ma harvested, 75.0 bu/ac trend yield, 364 mb production, 393 mb total supplies, 370 mb total use, 23 mb ending stocks, 6.22% S/U, & $3.00 /bu U.S. grain sorghum average price;

C – KSU “New Crop” MY 2017/18 Scenario #3) “Lower Acres – 75.0 bu/ac. – Higher Use” Scenario (10% probability) assumes: 5.468 ma planted, 4.850 ma harvested, 75.0 bu/ac trend yield, 364 mb production, 393 mb total supplies, 381 mb total use, 12 mb ending stocks, 3.15% S/U, & $3.15 /bu U.S. grain sorghum average price.

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World Coarse Grain Supply-Demand

The USDA projected that “new crop” 2017/18 marketing year World coarse grain total supplies of 1,578.1 mmt will be down 2.3% from 1,615.9 mmt in “old crop” MY 2016/17, but still up 4.7% over 1,507.2 mmt in MY 2014/15.   Projected World coarse grain total use of 1,347.8 mmt in “new crop” MY 2017/18 is down 0.5% from “old crop” MY 2016/17, but up 7.3% over MY 2016/17.   “Coarse grains” include grain sorghum, corn, barley, oats, rye, millet, and mixed grains.

World coarse grain ending stocks are forecast to continue to decline, with the USDA projecting ending stocks of 230.3 mmt in “new crop” MY 2017/18, down 2.0% from “old crop” MY 2016/17, and down 8.4% from MY 2015/16.  Although World coarse grain ending stocks are projected to be the fourth highest on record in “new crop” MY 2017/18 at 230.2 mmt, World coarse grain percent ending stocks-to-use in “new crop” MY 2017/18 are forecast to actually decline to 17.1% – to the lowest level in four (4) years.  This is indicative that strong World demand for coarse grains at low prices is expected to continue.

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