December 18, 2015. That’s the last time corn was trading for higher than $4 per bu. Farmers have spent a lot of time since then wondering and worrying when it would make it back.
The wait is over. Dec. ’16 contracts rallied steadily through the month of April, gaining about 27 cents the first 19 days of the month before making a big push on April 20, briefly topping $4 before settling just under at 399-2 to end the day.
Grain marketers such as Dan Hueber are happy to see this positive market movement, but they’re more interested to know if the rally can hold.
“It would appear that this advance has reached what I would deem a blow-off stage and I believe will exhaust this week,” Hueber says. “As of yet, there is nothing in the underlying fundamentals that would suggest we can extend this advance much further.”
Kevin McNew, manager of Grain Hedge, argues that fundamentals aren’t dramatically different than they were this time last year, when corn futures were closer to $3.50 per bu.
“U.S. planting seems near ideal, Brazil's currency will likely revert to its lows once the economic realities sink in that new political leadership won't change the economy, and we still have massive stockpiles of grain,” he says.
Angie Setzer, vice president of Grain Citizens, is a bit more bullish – at least for now. That’s due to a mix of factors currently playing out, she says.
“I think there will continue to be a strong pace to exports the last half of the marketing year that no one was really expecting to see,” she says. “Wetter-than-normal conditions expected in the Corn Belt over the next couple of weeks may reintroduce the planting delay narrative to the market as well.”
Will corn prices continue to gain ground, or have they peaked for now? Weigh in with your thoughts on the comments below.