CBOT corn prices strengthened by 2% last week


During April 05-12, CBOT corn prices strengthened by 2%. The US corn spot prices rose by USD 3/MT, while Argentinean corn strengthened to USD 194/MT (May delivery), reports UkrAgroConsult.

CBOT price growth was supported by weather factor in the USA, low temperature conditions persisted in the Corn Belt of the country. Market participants concerned about even greater reduction of corn sowing area in the 2018/19 season than the USDA forecasted, and expansion of soybean acreage. Corn sowing campaign progressed to 2% of the plan (3% last year). The prices may continue to grow this week, as meteorologists forecast winter weather conditions to persist in the near future.

The USDA April report did not surprise market participants. The agency experts lowered their production estimates for Argentina to 33 MMT (-3 MMT, compared to the previous forecast), which is slightly higher than the forecast of the Grain Exchanges of Buenos Aires and Rosario, which amounts to 32 MMT. Harvesting in Argentina is 25% completed (18% last year). The USDA lowered Argentinean corn exports forecast by 1 MMT to 24 MMT.

For Brazil, USDA experts lowered the production forecast to 92 MMT (-2.5 MMT). The market closely follows the weather patterns in Brazil. The development of soil drought in the northeast and south of the country appeared to be an additional CBOT bullish driver. Reduction of the second corn crop in the country can provide an additional support to world prices, given the problems with the crop in Argentina. According to Conab's latest estimates, the planted area of the second corn crop is 4.6% lower than last year, and the total production estimate is 9 MMT lower than last year (88.6 MMT). 50% of corn plantings entered the pollination stage. The USDA lowered the forecast of Brazilian corn exports by 2 MMT to 33 MMT.

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