The following quotations for May and July as indicated were posted by the CME at 11H30 on Monday May 6th together with values from Thursday the previous week in parentheses. Following the White House decision to impose tariffs on imports from China over the weekend all commodities but especially soybeans fell on anticipation of a negative response from China and a possible disruption in negotiations. Premature optimism that motivated increases two weeks ago apparently offset the negative effect of the release of the USDA Grain Stocks Report on Friday March 29th

The absence of any definitive news regarding finalization with China and numerous conflicting statements by White House spokespersons and especially the most recent threatening tweets is disconcerting to the commodities market and

contributes to fluctuation in prices.



Corn (cents per bushel)

May 355 (362)

July 363 (370)

Soybeans (cents per bushel)

May 815 (830)

July 827 (843)

Soybean meal ($ per ton)

May 290 (292)

July 296 (297)

Changes in the price of corn, soybeans and soybean meal this past week were:-


Corn: May quotation down 7 cents per Bu           (-1.9 percent)

Soybeans: May quotation down 15 cents per Bu  (-1.8 percent)

Soybean Meal: May quotation down $2 per ton.   (-0.7 percent)

  • For each 10 cent per bushel change in corn:-

The cost of egg production would change by 0.45 cent per dozen

The cost of broiler production would change by 0.25 cent per pound live weight

  • For each $10 per ton change in the price of soybean meal:-

The cost of egg production would change by 0.40 cent per dozen

The cost of broiler production would change by 0.25 cent per pound live weight


The most recent USDA Crop Progress Report for the week ending April 28 th noted that 15 percent of the corn crop had been planted, compared to a five-year average of 27 percent. Three percent of the corn crop has emerged compared to the five-year average of 5 percent.

Three percent of the soybean crop has been planted, half the five-year average.

The March 29th USDA Grain Stocks Report, issued Quarterly confirmed a 3.2 percent decline in corn stocks in all positions to 8.60 billion Bu. compared to the March 2018 report. Farm storage represented 59.6 percent of this total, 2.5 percent higher than for the corresponding period in 2018.

Soybean stocks increased by 28.7 percent from March 2018 to 2.716 billion Bu. in March 2019. On- farm storage attained 1.270 billion Bu. representing 46.7 percent of all stocks. On-farm storage was 48.5 percent higher in March 2019 compared to 2018 reflecting the intent of farmers to hold stocks in anticipation of a rise in price following resumption of exports to China.

Negotiations with China were apparently making progress as denoted by shuttles between Beijing and Washington that continued in Beijing on April 30th but without any disclosure of specifics. Some concessions have been made by China on coercive trade practices and dispute resolution as amplified by President Xi addressing participants in a Belt and Road Conference this past Week. The pace of achieving resolution is however too slow for the White House hence the threat to actually impose tariffs previously placed on hold.

From an agricultural perspective the question of delays by China in approving new GM cultivars has yet to be settled. No date has been set for a summit to sign a trade deal. Prices will be influenced by the trend in stock levels, area to be planted in 2019 and early crop progress in the face of possible flooding.

The March 28th USDA projection of plantings based on farmers' intentions suggest that an additional 3.66 million acres will be planted to corn compared to 2018. This increase will be offset by a reduction in soy acreage by 4.58 million acres.

According to the April 9th 2018 WASDE Report #587, 81.7 million acres of corn will be harvested in 2019 to produce 14.42 Billion bushels. The soybean crop is projected to attain 4.54 Billion bushels from 88.1 million acres harvested. The levels of production for the two commodities are based on preliminary pre-planting projections of yield and acreage. Ending stocks were revised based on anticipated domestic use and exports.

See the WASDE posting summarizing the March 8th USDA-WASDE Report #587 under the STATISTICS tab documenting price projections and quantities of commodities to be produced, used and exported from the 2019 harvest.

Unless shipments of corn and soybeans to China resume in volume, as anticipated, the financial future for row-crop farmers appears bleak despite the release of two tranches amounting to $8 billion as "short-term" compensation for producers of commodities.