CME: Corn Plantings up Four Per Cent

US - According to USDA’s “Prospective Plantings” report released today, if actual planted corn acreage comes in at the announced 95.9 million acres, this would be the highest planting since 1937, writes Alan Levitt, on 30 March 2012.
calendar icon 2 April 2012
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Hay intentions are 3% higher than 2011, but still 4% lower than 2010, making 2012 the second lowest hay acreage on record. The additional corn and hay acreage is coming at the expense of cotton and soybeans. Projected plantings of those crops are down 11% and 1% versus 2011, respectively.

Additionally, the USDA’s “Grain Stocks” report released today estimated Mar. 1, 2012 corn stocks at 6.01 billion bushels, down 8% from Mar. 1, 2011. This news, coupled reduced soybean acreage, have grain markets trading higher with MAY corn up 40’0 per bushel and MAY Soybeans 47’4 per bushel higher.

Today’s reports appear to result in higher feed costs for dairy producers and more margin stress. For some producers, this stress will be mitigated by an estimated MILC payment of 72.09 cents per cwt in March 2012 (National Milk Producers Federation - as of 3/8/12).

The Class III price for March is $15.72, down 34¢ from February and $3.68 lower than a year ago. The Class IV price for March is $15.35, down 57¢ from February and $4.06 lower than last year.

NASS product prices released today for week ending Mar. 24 were higher than the previous week except for NDM. NASS prices: cheddar blocks $1.5135 (+1.80¢); barrels $1.5549 (+4.93¢); butter $1.4519 (+0.94¢); nonfat dry milk $1.3043 (-2.18¢); dry whey $0.6113 (+0.47¢).

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