Is U.S. weather, acreage uncertainty enough to push corn prices higher?

Is U.S. weather, acreage uncertainty enough to push corn prices higher?

Corn continues its lackluster ways. From a technical perspective, old-crop contracts appear to be a bit weaker than new-crop contracts. In fact many technical guru's are closely monitoring the MAY15 contract as it begins to approach the late-January technical low set at $3.73^6. The new-crop DEC15 contract seems a bit more stable and content trading between $3.80 and $4.20 per bushel.

The trade is obviously still uncertainty about overall upcoming U.S. corn acreage and if abnormal planting conditions will eliminate some of the total acreage. From a yield perspective it seems like most sources are content at this point in using a number between 160 and 170 bushels per acre. 

Planted acres are going to be the main focus between now and mid-May, essentially the next 60-days. I continue to suspect any number above 89 million will be digested as bearish and numbers below 89 million will be digested as bullish. For what its worth, the planting down South is starting off a little rocky. I heard the USDA recently reported Louisiana having no corn planted vs. a 5-year average of 20% planted by this time. Texas had just 11% planted vs. a 5-year average of around 25% planted.

Bottom-line, there's really nothing excitingly bullish in the balance sheet, but the trade is eager to see what type of planting conditions U.S. producers will be forced to deal with. This uncertainty may  temporarily prove to be enough to keep some type of price floor in place for new-crop contracts.

On the flip-side, bears are talking about a larger crop being harvested in Argentina and the current USDA estimate possibly needing to be raised higher by 1-2 MMTs. The bears are also talking about warmer than normal temps here at home, especially in the northern parts of the Corn Belt, where it may lead to fewer preventive plant acres this season and a much quicker pace to early planting.  

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TAGS: Corn
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