There was a major market mover in Friday’s USDA reports and it wasn’t the corn or soybean stocks numbers. The surprise came from the planted acreage report with the corn number of 97.4 million acres over two million higher than the average for trade estimates prior to the report. Minutes after the release analyst and broker Bob Utterback told HAT that the market has to trade based on what’s in the report even though it doesn’t trust the number.
“USDA actually increased both corn and bean acres,” he explained. “I think the highest corn number since 1938 was planted. If you believe these numbers it’s suggesting that the damage that we’ve seen in Iowa, South Dakota, North Dakota and other areas is not even reflected or we started out with 100 million acres planted and we’re just coming down. I think this is where the real distrust will be in the report is that USDA’s numbers are not reflecting but you have to trade them as reality so now that’s why the market had almost a 40 cent trading range. It went up from 5.40 down to 5.11 in basically a minute and a half. Great volatility.”
Utterback is with Utterback Marketing Services based in Indiana and he said this report will have a large bearing on farmer attitudes.
“Most people were very bullish. End users were very bullish going in and I think everybody was looking for higher values. And so this is really going to hurt a lot of guys’ attitudes on the market. I think farmers are now going to sit on grain. They’re not going to sell it, and we could have a lot of corn next spring/summer still un-priced in the marketplace.”
In a Thursday discussion with HAT Purdue’s Chris Hurt raised the idea that USDA might want to do a follow up survey in states with large delays in planting to try to get a more accurate acreage number. Is Utterback now in that camp?
“Absolutely. To maintain their credibility in the marketplace I think they really need to come out with an amendment and basically go out and do re-survey and really spend some energy on it because they have a real credibility problem now with American farmers.”