April WASDE Big for Corn

The March 31 USDA reports resolved some questions for the corn market, but left a couple of items hanging. The April 9 supply and demand tables will give the report some true balance.

Most traders saw last week’s USDA reports as a bad sign for the price of corn. The acreage figure was on the high end of trade expectations and the grain stocks number appears to show a slower than estimated pace of consumption. University of Illinois Ag Economist Darrel Good has a different take.
Quote Summary - Taken at face value the corn stocks number implies less feed and residual usage during the first half of the marketing year than the trade expected. It is about 69 percent of USDA’s projection for the year, 5.3 billion bushels. Over the last four years the first half feed use has been 74 percent and if the market assumes the actual uses is factually 74 percent then the 5.3 billion is not reachable.
However, Darrel Good goes on, if you look at the history prior to the past four years, which he considers anomalous, first half feed usage averaged something between 65 and 68 percent - not 74 percent .
Quote Summary - If we are on that path this year, then 5.3 billion bushels is still reachable, and we might do even more given the expansion in livestock numbers. Broiler numbers are up 3 to 4 percent. The winter pig crop is 7 percent larger than last year. It mens core feed demand should be very robust the last half of the marketing year.
Clearly says the ILLINOIS ag economist the market did not interpret USDA’s Grain Stocks report in this fashion. It, he says, likely expects the April 9 WASDE estimates to show a lower feed usage number and consequently an increase in the year ending stocks for corn.
Quote Summary - Personally, I wouldn’t be surprised if the WASDE number is a bit lower in the April report. They may come down 100 million bushels on the feed and residual use projection and put all of that into the projected year ending stocks number. I think that is the way the market is leaning. Unfortunately, we won’t get another real read on that until we get the June Grain Stocks report three months from now.
Between now and then the trade will mostly forget about old crop corn feed usage as it concentrates more energy on divining how the 2015 corn harvest will affect the price of corn.