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Apr 16, 2020

Grain Update - April 2020

By Kyle Leary - Grain Marketer

Grains continue to try and catch their footing as ethanol demand continues to erode and a bearish March planting intentions report.  The USDA shocked the corn market by printing a 96.99 million acre estimate for the 20/21 crop. This was 2.66 million acres above the average trade estimate and 7.29 million above last year. 

Many in the industry are saying this is the highest corn acreage number we will see all year as this was an estimate from the beginning of March before the ethanol fallout.  Unfortunately, even a 4 million drop in acres would still leave us with a 2.67 billion bushel carryout. The ethanol industry continues to struggle with the lack of demand. Many plants have shut down temporarily and those that are still running are running at a slower pace.  Ethanol output has dropped from 1,050K barrels per day in late February to 570K barrels per day this past week.

Beans have been pulled lower by the corn market and the thought of acreage switching from corn to beans.  The USDA March intentions pegged bean acreage at 83.51 million, 1.35 below the average trade estimate and 7.41 above last year. The bright side for beans has been an outstanding crush demand. With the lack of DDGs available, the demand for soybean meal has dramatically increased. NOPAs March crush report came in at 181.4 million bushels, almost two million bushels above the highest trade estimate and a record NOPA figure for any month by more than four million bushels.

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