Here is a summary:
09/14/2014 09/07/2014 09/14/2014 09/07/2014
CORN 22 22 52 52
SOYBEANS 19 19 53 53
As you can see, the crops held steady this week with the share rated Good/Excellent at nearly 3/4 of the entire corn crop and 72% for the bean crop. These are superb numbers. Last Friday, frost issues heading into the weekend propped up both markets and enabled them to shrug off the extremely bearish numbers from USDA in last week's Supply and Demand report.
With the frost damage minimal at best, the conditions index and more importantly at this point, the maturity ratings are going to come back into focus.
What a difference a single week can make for maturity.
I have been commenting recently about the lag in maturity of the crop with my thesis being that the outstanding growing conditions, ample moisture and mild temperatures, have kept more energy heading into the ears ( kernels) and pods respectively instead of the plants following their more usual process of beginning to shut down. That I believe is going to lead to heavier/larger kernel fill and the same with pod filling ( heavier/larger beans).
This week however both crops took some nice jumps in their maturity process. Corn is 82% dented now compared to last week's 69% and the 5-year average of 85% so it made excellent progress in that regards. A full 27% is mature compared to 15% last week and the 5-year average of 39%.
The extreme northern tier states are the areas in which the crop is the most behind but that is to be expected. It is also the reason that we got that burst of shortcovering when meteorologists began inserting frost into the forecast last week ( in those same northern tier areas). With recent forecasts showing a more seasonal trend in temps, we should begin to see some catching up on that maturity level pretty quickly now. By the latter half of this week, most of the corn belt will be enjoying some very nice warm temps.
By the way, 4% of the corn crop has been harvested. That compares to last year's number at 4% and the 5-year average of 9%.
For beans, 24% of the crop is now dropping leaves compared to 12% last week and the 5-year average of 32%. Not too bad!
I do not see anything in particular in these reports that would lend much if any support to the bull cause at the moment mainly because the forecasts that I see are not putting in any hard frosts for some time.
Today's blip up was the result of traders looking ahead to tomorrow's USDA acreage numbers ( from a different division with the USDA) trimming some off of the recent numbers we just got. My own view is that anything they come up with is going to be too small, ( if at all ) to change the perception of an enormous crop coming very soon. We will just have to wait and see.
I am more and more of the view that the last straw that the bulls are going to be able to hold to is an early killing frost, and while these weather forecasts are always varying on us, odds are lessening. Another week or two of nice warm days is going to really push this crop towards its final stage of harvest.
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