July 15

Record rainfall this year has wreaked havoc with crop planting and with USDA forecasting. The June 28 acreage report from the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) pegged 2019 corn output at 13.9B bushels vs. the trade’s expectations of 13.3B. That’s because the NASS numbers were based on surveys of planting intentions taken in early June – but farmers never actually got those intended acres planted due to rain. The USDA then incorporated the NASS numbers into its July 11 WASDE report, and defied all logic by dropping its 2019/20 corn price forecast from $3.80 to $3.70/bushel. So, we will have to wait another month for a reality-based forecast. Meanwhile, traders ignored the USDA reports. Corn futures, which averaged $3.71 per bushel from Jan-May this year and were $4.12 just 2 weeks ago, are $4.49 and likely headed higher this summer.

Janet Cohen