About The Author

Bill Moore

William Moore's market views are centered around his many relationships with Agricultural producers. His weekly newsletter, AGMASTER, provides a blend of fundamental & technical information used to make prudent hedging decisions. Contact Mr. Moore at (312) 264-4337



Who saw that coming? In a year of historic flooding in the midwest, the USDA jacked up corn acres by 3.5MA over 2018 & reduced bean acres by 4.5MA! In addition the #’s basically buried the corn mkt- maybe just a few weeks before a trade resolution! So maybe those “big fund shorts” are right after all?? We’ll see!!


  1. EXPORTS – Mon inspections were 857,970 (600-950) & Thur sales were a woeful 198 (500-800) On Fri – 816,000 MT to China
  2. USDA PROSPECTIVE PLANTING & QTLY STOCKS – was issued today at 11am – and incredulous producers & traders reacted “in shock”  to numbers that reflected just the opposite of what the current flooding would suggest – that is – more corn & less beans – still this is just an “early estimate” but perplexing nonetheless!! Qtly Corn stocks – 8.665    BB      ( avg- 8.335)  Acres –  84.617 MA     ( avg – 86.169)
  3. TRADES TALKS -are continuing with this past week taking place in Bejing & the upcoming week in Washington DC – positive rhetoric abounds but still no firm deal yet with the mkt growing increasingly impatient
  4. PLANTING DELAYS – have already occurred in the south but up in the midwest, it’s too early to make any judgments – but should the weather patterns continue like we’ve had, there could be issues
  5. SOUTH AMERICAN PRODUCTION -Brazilian harvest is well along & Argentine harvest will soon commence  – this week the currencies of both countries dropped hard, encouraging selling by both!
  6. RECORD STOCKS – we have plenty of beans around & this seems to stop promising rallies in their tracks

Lack of a firm trade agreement & a bearish USDA report today together forced May beans down to a 4-month low close at 884 – off 20 cents for the week! There is also a general perception that the excessive flooding this Spring will force some corn acres to beans – even if this idea was contradicted by today’s report!




May Corn got blindsided by a USDA report that no one saw coming! With historic flooding in the midwest, conventional wisdom had some kind of corn-to-bean switch eventually happening but the USDA didn’t see it that way – instead RAISING corn acreage By 3.5 MA!  We’re not sure where that came from – but as they say – YOU CAN’T FIGHT CITY HALL! Unless the Spring weather does a 180, we don’t see corn acreage exceeding 2018! Of course all this speculation about “planted acreage” when hardly anything is in the ground yet – is just “so much talk”! But it sure got the market’s attention!


  1. EXPORTS – Mon inspections were 995,997 (700-950) & Thur sales were 990,000 (700-1,200) – otherwise pretty quiet after last week’s China purchase of 300,000 MT of US corn – the first such purchase in 5 years!
  2. USDA REPORT – offered up “double jeopardy” with more acreage 92.792 MA (avg -91.332) & more stocks 8.665 BB ( avg -8.335) than expected the survey yielding these numbers ended Mar 1 – so hardly an accurate reflection of conditions since early March – but the mkt didn’t seem to care plummeting 17 cents anyway!
  3. BIG SHORT FUND POSITION – has often been mentioned in a cautionary way as to – what would happen if some “good news” came down the pike! Well the shorts sure got the last laugh today!!
  4. WEATHER PREMIUM?? Zilch – nada! For now! Sometime, the mkt might take into account if there are any weather glitches ahead!

I along with other grain analysts were totally gobsmacked by today’s USDA Planting & Stocks Report – it seemed so counter-intuitive to the current weather fundamentals, we’re not sure what to make of it! The surveys for this report stopped Mar 1 and this report is only an estimate as  most corn is 3-4 weeks away from being planted! So we’ll see how the mkt reacts next week!!


The May wht contract fared the best of all the grain complex after the bearish bombshell that was Friday’s USDA Planting & Stocks report assaulted the mkt on Friday at 11am!  The reasons were two-fold – first earlier export activity – 120,000MT to Egypt & 150,000MT to Iraq – and second, the USDA #’s were much tamer for wht than they were for corn & beans! Total acreage was 45,754 (avg – 46,915)  and stocks came in at 1.591 – just over the average guess of 1.555!  Wht is cheap enough historically to make a nice upmove – with a little help from corn & beans!!


Indeed, there was a perception that June Cat had topped out but were being held up by a super-strong June Hog mkt!  The Cat had been victimized by a bearish Cattle-on-Feed report, bearish weather and the biggest first-to-second quarterly production increase in 10 years! When the hog complex started to weaken this past week due to disappointing export sales, the cattle went with it – breaking $6.00  (125-119)! But now, the break may have been overdone as  June Cat are at a stiff discount to cash!


The red lights should have been flashing very brightly – a week ago – last Friday when June hogs were trading at a 1625 point premium to cash when normally It’s at a 270 point discount! But when a mkt is going up, you often think it’s forever!  But this week, the MOMENT OF TRUTH was realized – when a lack of new China buying, a neutral Pig Crop Report & an extreme “overbought mkt” triggered a sudden & massive correction Of $7.00 (95.50 – 88.50) in just a few days!  The mkt was way overdue & should consolidate now – awaiting more Chinese buying and/or a trade agreement!



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