Corn export numbers were stronger than expected across the board: Corn export sales of 1,478,500 MT for 2013-14 and 509,200 MT for 2014-15 reported (with Japan, South Korea and Mexico big buyers). Ethanol production ticked back slightly for the week ending Dec. 20 at 926,000 barrels per day vs. 928,000 the previous week. Keep in mind this is still extremely strong and much higher than the 834,000 we were producing a year ago. Ethanol stocks jumped slightly from 15.6 million to 15.7 million barrels but are still down sharply the 20.3-million-barrel stockpile we were sitting on last year at this time. Year over year these are strong numbers and the ethanol margins are some of the best ever.
The trade is pricing in an expected increase in production for the January USDA report and then a possible record crop projected in the February Outlook Conference. Corn prices (despite strong exports and ethanol) continue their downhill struggle, as price in the MAR14 contract has still not traded above $4.50 since late October. The bulls aren't getting any help as U.S. production jumps some 30% compared to last year and sets a NEW all-time record high. Lets also keep in mind China's recent rejection of U.S. corn and now DDGs aren't helping matters. Click here for my daily grain comments.....