We have seen December corn futures go from contract low to contract high in 11 market sessions.

This is the highest front month corn has traded since the week of June 17, 2016. Tuesday's USDA crop progress report revealed only 58% of corn has been seeded nationwide. The planting progress is the slowest in history. The funds who were record short contracts of corn have gone from 340,000 contracts short to an estimated 15,000 contracts short. There are 99 million acres estimated to be planted in the Midwest.

There is a wire story out that reports China puts U.S. soybean purchases on hold as the tariff war escalates. China confirmed a new African swine fever outbreak in southwestern Yunnan Province on Wednesday. The country's weather bureau said hot, dry weather across Australia's east coast is expected for at least another three months. This forecast threatens to sharply curtail agricultural production.

South American selling has been heavy on the current corn market, and their producers are poised to take advantage of this situation by selling their very large current crop, and possibly shifting acres to first crop corn to harvest next year.

The market seems convinced that this year's corn and soybean crop will be shortened and needs to ration demand to balance available supplies.  Higher prices do provide producers with an incentive to plant later than normal, but they need a window of opportunity, weather-wise, to enable them to do so. With the conditions of fields, it doesn't take much of a shower to keep planters out of the field, as you all are well aware of. 

Jim Gallagher
Grain Division Merchandising Manager