Grain markets turn to WASDE for guidance

Commodities 6 minutes to read

Ole Hansen

Head of Commodity Strategy

Summary:  All four major crop contracts have turned lower ahead of today’s WASDE report which undoubtedly is going to provide some additional volatility.


Following one of the most spectacular short-covering rallies on record, US grain and soybean markets are now trading softer ahead of the monthly crop report from the US Department of Agriculture set for release today at 16:00 GMT. The World Agriculture Supply and Demand Estimate, or WASDE, report will provide the markets with the government’s latest estimates for how much output has been lost after months of rains and floods delayed or even cancelled planting across US growing areas.

Last week a small letup in the rain allowed farmers to make a final push to get as much corn in the ground while the progress for later planted soybeans also picked up. Some losses will occur, and today’s report will give us the first clues about the impact on yield, production and stocks at the end of the current 2019-20 season.
Fund positioning
Source: Bloomberg
A dismal planting season due to heavy rains throughout the US grains belt helped trigger a significant rally during the past month. Corn saw the biggest move due to a combination of a record short positions being held by funds and a record slow planting pace. Soybeans, which can be planted later, have so far been 60% completed and the rally has been less violent than the one that lifted corn due to ongoing Chinese demand concerns.

Wheat, meanwhile, has also turned lower following an initial scare about wet weather damage to the winter crop. The condition of the emerging spring wheat crop has been rated at 81% "good to excellent". Adding to the pressure on wheat have been reports that major competitors led by Russia expecting a significantly higher yield this summer compared with last year's drought-reduced output.
Grains
The spectacular race to cut shorts in US grains futures continued in the week to June 4. In just three weeks, funds have bought a record 510k lots of soybeans, wheat and not least corn, with funds having moved from a record short in April to a net-long of 108k lots last week. 
Grains
All four major crop contracts have turned lower ahead of today’s WASDE report, which is undoubtedly going to provide some additional volatility. This is particularly likely in corn where the recent stampede to get long could trigger some long liquidation should the estimates turn out to be less bullish than expected. 
Grains
Source: Saxo Bank
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