US corn futures could skyrocket

US corn futures could skyrocket


Agribusiness
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US corn futures could rise as high as US650c/bu under a scenario outlined by veteran US grains industry analyst Dave Hightower.

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US grains industry analyst Dave Hightower believes a scenario where corn futures rise more than 50pc in coming months is possible.

US grains industry analyst Dave Hightower believes a scenario where corn futures rise more than 50pc in coming months is possible.

RESPECTED US grain marketing analyst Dave Hightower has flagged a whopping 57 per cent rise in US corn futures is possible given the loss of crop to wet weather.

In his Hightower Report newsletter, Mr Hightower said Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) corn futures could rise as high as US650 cents a bushel based on a record low stocks to use ration of 4.5 per cent, caused by lost yield due to the delayed start to the season in the sodden Midwest.

This would mark an incredible rise from current values, with the July CBOT corn contract currently sitting at US413c/bu.

However, Mr Hightower pointed to a host of data to suggest the US corn crop is in uncharted territory.

As of June 2, the US corn crop is just 67pc planted, down from the 10 year average of 95pc, meaning over 12 million hectares need to be planted.

"This is the slowest pace of planting since records began in 1980," Mr Hightower said.

While corn is not an important crop in Australia, a rise in corn futures would do the heavy lifting in pushing up grain prices overall, both in coarse grains, where prices are closely linked to corn, and in wheat, which can be a substitute for corn in certain applications.

In terms of the spread of the wet weather, Mr Hightower said eastern corn belt states were the major problem, in particular Illinois.

Mr Hightower said the corn planting window was rapidly closing, meaning he expected total planted hectares to be well down on previous projections.

Reports out of Illinois say that while there is still crop in the ground, there was little room for error if even average yields are to be achieved.

But it is not just corn that has been hit by the wet weather.

While the major headlines have been around the delays to corn plantings, some international analysts are also concerned about the wheat crop.

In particular, given the rain on near mature crops, there are worries about crop quality.

However, there has been little move in wheat futures to reflect this, nor has the spread between Kansas City, traditionally used for hard wheat grades, and Chicago wheat futures lessened.

The industry is now on the lookout for this week's US Department of Agriculture (USDA) World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) report.

The USDA's sophisticated crop monitoring systems are expected to be able to best shed light on the true extent of production issues in the US.

The story US corn futures could skyrocket first appeared on Farm Online.

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