Grain futures have fallen victim to the latest weather forecast for US growing regions. A drier outlook for the next fortnight has raised hopes of a rapid increase in the progress of corn plantings, resulting in a sharp sell-off in corn, wheat and soybean markets. Wheat finished the session down 18USc to close at 702 USC/bu, corn lost 24USc to close at 636 USc/bu, while soybeans lost 18USc to finish at 1369 USc/bu. The improved prospects for corn plantings has come at a crucial stage for the crop, with a rule of thumb suggesting crop planted later than May 10 begins to incur yield penalties. This week’s USDA crop progress report has only 12% of the crop planted, well behind last year’s progress of 69% and the 5 year average of 47%. A drier run over the next couple of weeks will go a long way in salvaging what was anticipated in being a record corn crop this season, however as we have already experienced over the last few weeks any slight change in the forecast can have a dramatic impact on the fortunes of the market. The winter wheat crop continues to battle also, with 39% of the crop currently rated poor-very poor, however reports of a near record wheat crop to come out of India have contributed to the commodities fall.

Cotton on the other hand has managed another strong performance, increasing 96 points on July to come out of the volatility experienced last week better overall, closing at 87.39 USc/lb. While much of the volatility last week was speculator driven, the planting report has highlighted the slow pace of sowing of cotton with only 17% in the ground compared with 35% last year. The US is also still managing to maintain a strong export pace into China at the moment which has also been supportive.

Domestically, the continued dryness experienced across the east coast should limit the large losses experienced in futures values. Demand for all feed grades remains strong across buyers, with homes available for destinations from the North to the plains. Also strong numbers can be found in the system for most grades, particularly APW and ASW both Brisbane and Newcastle track, while premiums can be found for certain sites. Please call if interested in pricing a parcel. With sorghum harvest continuing into May price, has firmed over the last fortnight, with strong demand still available for prompt homes along with pick up or delivery delayed to June/July. Track numbers have also pushed in to the $270s. We continue to have strong demand for any mungbeans that are being harvested at the moment, please give the office a call to discuss pricing options. ECOM have a strong appetite for 2014 Cotton, having made recent sales to end users.