Shipping Ports to Close?

Good Morning from Allendale, Inc. with the early morning commentary for March 27, 2020.

Grain Markets are mixed with wheat and soybeans higher and corn lower as traders continue to gauge how the coronavirus will impact the movement of product, and demand. This all comes as USDA get’s set to release their big Prospective Plantings and Grain Stocks reports early next week.

Argentine port workers have asked the government to suspend grain exports and all operations in ports for 15 days to help in the fight against coronavirus and keep workers healthy.

Average estimates for next Tuesday’s Prospective Plantings and Grains stocks reports have been released by newswires. The Bloomberg poll shows corn acreage at 94.1 million, soybeans 85.0, and all-wheat 45.0. USDA’s Feb Ag Forum numbers were 94 million for corn, 85 million for soybeans and 45 million for all-wheat, so almost no change is expected.

Grain Stocks are estimated at 8,134 million bushels of corn, 2,228 million bushels of soybeans, and 1,430 million bushels of wheat. The reports will be released on Tuesday the 31st at 11:00 AM CDT.

Weekly export sales for the week ending March 19th reported corn sales of 1,905,600 tonnes (1,814,200 old crop, 91,400 new), soybeans 904,900 (almost all old crop), and 1,106,500 tonnes of wheat (740,100 old, 366,400 new). The report did include some of the Chinese purchases discussed last week.

The International Grains Council estimates record-breaking world grain production this year. They see world corn production at 1.16 billion tonnes, up from last year’s 1.12 billion. World wheat production is estimated at 768 million tonnes, up from last year’s 763 million.

Yesterday’s Hogs & Pigs report had All Hogs at 104.0% of last year, Kept for Breeding 100.4%, and Kept for Marketing 104.3%. Bottom line, more hogs alive and coming down the pipeline than expected. On the positive side, a much smaller breeding herd than expected. Producers are finally planning a cut in production, finally. Dec/Feb farrowings were +1.9%. Next two quarters, Mar/May and Jun/Aug, -0.4% and -4.3%.

Weekly pork export sales report showed 38,600 tonnes of pork sold from 3/13 – 3/19. That was quite positive at 82% over last year. This specific period is not a large one seasonally. Also positive, 9,500 tonnes of that were sold to China. The 14,500 tonnes of beef exports reported on the weekly report was the third lowest of the year. This specific week is a typically low one of the year.

Actual Slaughter report updated the trade on meat production statistics for the week ended 3/14. Steer weights rose 1 lb. to a 904 lb. carcass. Heifer weights rose 5 lbs. in this week to 835.

Dressed beef values were lower with choice down 1.73 and select down .92. The Feeder cattle index is 128.50. Pork cut-out values were down 1.42.

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