Shocker USDA reports leave questions for traders

WINNIPEG (CNS Canada) – Two much anticipated reports from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) sent markets soaring and left traders speechless in the last trading day before the Easter holiday.

The USDA released its quarterly grain stocks and prospective plantings reports at 11 a.m. CDT on March 29. Traders had been expecting corn acreage to be at 80.3 million acres and soybeans at 90.9 million. Instead the USDA set corn at 88 million acres and soybeans at 89 million acres.

“The question is with all wheat and cotton (plantings) only up 2.2 million acres, where’s all this acreage? So that’s going to be a question people will be thinking this long weekend,” said Scott Capinegro at Highland Trading.

Corn, soybean and wheat stocks were increased which was bearish for the market, according to Capinegro. Corn stocks as of March 1 were at 8.89 billion bushels, soybean stocks at 2.11 billion bushels and wheat stocks at 1.49 billion bushels.

Chicago Board of Trade markets rose when the reports were released. The May soybean contract jumped roughly 35 cents per bushel, the May corn contract rose 11 cents per bushel, while the May wheat contract climbed 11 cents per bushel.

“There was some gaps in corn that needed to be filled, they were filled today. We’ll see if we close over them. We’re trading about two, two and a half cents above it right now,” Capinegro said.

When all was said and done the markets posted solid gains on the day. May soybeans closed at US$10.4425 per bushel, corn at US$3.8775 per bushel and wheat at US$4.5175 per bushel.

With the USDA reports released, attention will now shift to weather on the United States Plains. There has been some wetness in the Mississippi Delta region, with forecasts calling for a cooler, wet April.

“(The weather will) start to take attention probably the next 10, 12 days when we get the first week of April out of the way. That’s about it,” Capinegro said.

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