Monday, March 31, 2008

Nebraska Corn Growers Planting 6 Percent Less Acres Than Last Year

Citing a report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Nebraska Farmer reported that farmers in the state would be planting about 6 percent less acres in corn this year than in 2007. Last year there were 9.4 million acres planted, against the 8.8 million projected for 2008.

Nationwide, the USDA said overall corn planting will probably fall from the 93.6 million acres planted last year, to 86 million in 2008, an eight percent drop. Last year's 93.6 million was the largest amount of acres in corn in the U.S. since 1944.

The factors influencing the Nebraska market were higher corn production costs and the higher prices of competitive crops at the time the survey was taken, said Don Hutchens, executive director of the Nebraska Corn Board.

“Corn and soybean markets have fluctuated considerably this spring, and this will likely continue,” Hutchens says. “Although interesting to watch, it can make it more difficult to predict things like planting intentions because each producer calculates the best marketing opportunity for their operation, and those calculations can change. As markets change following this report, what producers intend to plant may change along with them.”

Friday, March 28, 2008

The Latest Corn News

Corn News from around the Internet


Farm Lobby Beats Back Assault On Subsidies
With grain prices soaring, farm income at record highs and the federal budget deficit widening, the subsidies and handouts given to American farmers would seem vulnerable to a serious pruning.


Corn choice could be key to consumers

As spring planting nears, farmers are making a choice that could affect what Americans pay for everything from car fuel to chicken wings.


CBOT Corn Review: Bounce From Losses On Bullish Acres Talk

Chicago Board of Trade corn futures ended higher Friday, rebounding from earlier session losses on bullish acreage outlooks for Monday'splantings report and supportive underlying fundamentals.


Huge U.S shift away from corn to soy acres

Record-high soybean prices are expected to lure U.S. farmers to make a huge shift away from corn production in 2008 and if the current cold, soggy weather pattern persists in key corn states, corn plantings may be cut even more dramatically than analysts now expe


Glo orders NFA to have corn sold in its outlets, supply watched

BEFORE the supply of corn grits runs out, President Arroyo ordered the Department of Agriculture (DA) to find out if local distributors have been hoarding it or if it is distributed unevenly.


Corn farmers anxious to get back into fields

Recent rains and flooding have many Arkansas farmers cooling their heels. They would like to be preparing their land for planting corn, but weather-related problems have delayed tillage operations.


South Africa Raises Corn Crop Estimate by 1.7 Percent

South Africa, the biggest corn producer in Africa, raised its corn crop forecast for this season by 1.7 percent.


Romania Intends to Join other European Union Members in Banning Monsanto Corn

Romania was a large believer in and producer of GM crops before it joined the European Union last year. Now they had a revival and have joined the anti-GM religion, and are looking to ban growing the crop within its borders. It would be the latest setback to the biotechnology industry. Six other EU members have bans in place.

Romanian environmental minister Attila Korodi called for a moratorium on planting the Monsanto GM corn named MON810, with the possibility of instituting a ban on April 15.

The tool Romania will use to justify the ban would be studies used by France and Hungary that allege there is some type of negative effect on the environment.

But as Europabio, a representative of the biotech companies says, “The specific biotech maize has also been the subject of thorough scientific reviews by scientific communities around the world and has received positive approvals by the world’s most robust approval systems, as well as EFSA.”

They added that the bans were totally baseless and would harm farmers.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Corn Futures Will Continue to Rise because of Several Factors

Corn futures on the Chicago Board of Trade finished higher on Wednesday, with a number of factors continuing to contribute to its rise.

Future contracts for May increased to $5.52 1/4, up by 7 1/2 cents; July contracts finished at $5.65, and increase of 8 cents; December contracts ended at $5.68 1/2, an increase of 8 3/4 cents.

While speculators played some role in the increase, as consumer confidence reports and the dollar starting to drop again have brought them back to commodities, after their exodus last week.

Other drivers that should guarantee continuing price increases are the midwest corn fields which are being held back from being planted because of wet fields; and forecasts are it'll continue getting rain over the next week, further slowing the planting season - especially in the southeastern portion.

Overall consensus by analysts from a Dow Jones Newswires' survey are the number of acres planted in corn this year will fall by 6.2 million acres to 97.387 million. That's down from the 93.600 million acres planted in 2007.

Other bad weather news is the the northern half of the midwest could be hit with up to 2 inches of rain, which will cause them to delay corn planting, making the harvest even further off.

If this keeps on much longer, the price of corn will probably continue to go up, as there could be anticipated times of low supply.

Of course the ethanol issue continues to rear its ugly head as the battle for corn, acreage and planting other crops like wheat continues on, reeking havoc in American agriculture and the price of food.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Argentina Farmer Strike Causes Corn to Rise to Allowed Limits

After an export tax increase in Argentina, farmers protested by blocking ports and asserting they'll plant less crops this year than in the past - including corn.

The strike shut things down so completely that only 19 trucks entered the port of Rosario, according to reports, when a usual day in March can have up to 6,000 trucks delivering goods to the port. Rosario accounts for about 60 percent of the grain exported out of Argentina.

The protest is actually in reference to increases in export taxes on soybeans and sunflowers seeds, which was increased to around 44 percent from the 35 percent last week.

As a result, the possibility that exports for Argentina could be cut back, caused prices to rise as high as they're allowed for corn by the Chicago Board of Trade.

May delivery of corn futures rose by 20 cents, to reach $5.4475 a bushel, or 3.8 percent.

Over the last year, corn prices have risen by 35 percent and attained a record on March 11 of $5.795 a bushel.

Another factor causing the increase of corn prices is the weather in the U.S., which has been extremely wet in the eastern portion of the midwest, which is causing farmers to delay planting. It looks like the wet conditions will continue on for some time in some parts of this region of the country.

Finally of course, the artificially created market for ethanol continues to put pressures on corn prices, as the unproven fuel continues to reek havoc in the markets.

All this combined makes the price of corn likely to continue increasing in price over the next several months.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Chinese Corn Oil Company Raises Capital on NYSE Euronext's Alternext Exchange

The NYSE Euronext (NYSE: NYX) has been a magnet for Chinese mainland companies, as 44 of them have listings with the exchange. The total value of those combined companies are $1.5 trillion. There are 58 companies overall from the Chinese region.

The first company from mainland China to raise funds on the exchange is the China Corn Oil company, which specialized in corn oil. They raised $7.8 million. Raised through a private placement, now China Corn Oil will have direct access to the exchange

NYSE Euronext's Alternext exchange caters to smaller and mid-sized companies.

Friday, March 21, 2008

USDA's Prospective Plantings Report for Corn to be Released Soon

Those watching the commodity corn market should remember that the USDA's Prospective Plantings report is scheduled to be released on March 31.

History has shown that many times the futures market makes a lot of swings leading up to the release of the report; with speculation and rumors generating the swings.

On the other hand the elevator markets are usually less volatile, and trade on the realities of supply and demand rather than the unknown.

In other words, we need to be cautious during this time, and resist the temptation to follow the speculators.

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