& Awards, Ag
Ag News Elsewhere
(fresh daily from the Web)
Weekly outlook on soybean
URBANA -- Soybean prices are
expected to continue to be well-supported by a combination of 2003
supply concerns and a high rate of exports, said a University of
Illinois Extension marketing specialist.
"These factors will likely more than
offset the effect of a slowdown in the rate of domestic processing
of soybeans," said Darrel Good. "The slower rate of processing has a
more positive impact for soybean meal prices than for soybean oil
prices, due to the relative product yield from the 2002 crop.
"For the period September through
November 2002, the average oil yield per bushel of soybeans
processed was 11.35 pounds -- 0.21 pounds, or 1.9 percent, higher
than the average yield of a year ago. On the other hand, the average
meal-plus-hulls yield was 47.12 pounds -- 0.37 pounds, or 0.8
percent, lower than the average yield of a year ago."
Good's comments came as he reviewed the
rebound in soybean prices after a sharp decline following the
bearish information in the USDA's Jan. 10 reports. March futures
traded to $5.44 following the report but settled at $5.69 on Jan.
24. November futures recovered from a low of $5.025 to settle at
$5.285 on Jan. 24. The average spot cash price in central Illinois
declined to $5.41 on Jan. 16 but rebounded to $5.615 on Jan. 24.
That price was 14 cents below the early January high.
"The recovery has been mostly driven by
higher soybean meal prices, but a number of other factors have
contributed," said Good.
These include projections of a decline
in U.S. soybean acreage in 2003, drought conditions in important
producing areas of the United States, thoughts that widespread low
temperatures are driving domestic meal feeding higher, hot weather
in parts of Argentina and a rapid pace of U.S. export sales.
More information about prospective
acreage and yields in the United States in 2003 will be revealed
over the next few months, as the USDA releases its "Prospective
Plantings" report on March 31 and spring weather prospects become
"There are three sources of information
about the pace of U.S. soybean exports: the USDA's weekly 'Export
Inspection' report, the USDA's weekly 'Export Sales' report, and
monthly estimates by the Census Bureau," said Good. "The Census
Bureau figures are the official estimates and are reflected in the
USDA's historical supply and consumption estimates.
[to top of second column in
"It is not uncommon for these three
sources to have different estimates. This year, however, there is a
very large difference in the estimates of soybean exports from these
sources. Census Bureau estimates are only available for the first
three months of the 2002-03 marketing year -- September, October and
November 2002. Cumulative exports for those three months are
reported at 297.6 million bushels -- 50 million bushels, or 14.6
percent, less than during the same three months last year."
In contrast, Good noted, the USDA
"Export Sales" report showed cumulative exports during that period
at 317 million bushels -- 18 million bushels, or 5.4 percent, less
than indicated for the same three months last year. Finally, the
USDA's "Export Inspection" report showed cumulative shipments
through November 2002 at 339 million bushels --16.8 million bushels,
or 4.7 percent, less than during the same period last year.
"A large difference among export
estimates has occurred before, most recently in 1998-99," said Good.
"In that year, the difference resulted in the USDA carrying a very
large estimate of residual use of soybeans in the supply and
consumption balance sheet. It will be important to see if the Census
Bureau estimates continue to fall below those from the USDA and, if
so, how the difference is resolved."
The other issue regarding U.S. soybean
exports is the large outstanding sales to China. As of Jan. 16,
2003, the USDA "Export Sales" report indicated that 123.5 million
bushels of U.S. soybeans had been shipped to China since Sept. 1,
2002. That is 21.6 percent more than cumulative shipments at the
same time last year. Unshipped sales to China on Jan. 16 totaled
97.2 million bushels, four times as large as unshipped sales of a
"Until those soybeans are shipped,
there is always some concern that the sales could be canceled. That
concern is most prevalent at this time of the year, as the South
American harvest gets under way," said Good.
March 2003 futures may find some
technical resistance in the gap left following the Jan. 10 USDA
reports and at the pre-report high of near $5.85.
should provide support," said Good. "November futures prices have
already exceeded the pre-report high. Fundamentally, a prospect for
a large South American harvest is still the most limiting price
factor at the current time."
of I news release]
URBANA -- Corn and soybeans
are likely to trade in a relatively narrow range, perhaps into
March, said a University of Illinois Extension marketing specialist.
"Producers may need to maintain some
patience in pricing additional quantities of 2002 crops and 2003
crops until the market has had a chance to react to spring acreage
and weather prospects," said Darrel Good.
Good's comments came as he reviewed the
outlook for the markets in the wake of Jan. 10 USDA reports.
Attention will now focus on prospects for the upcoming Northern
Hemisphere crop season.
"Most of the focus will be on the
United States," he said. "Stocks of U.S. crops are expected to be
adequate, but small, going into the 2003 harvest seasons. The
relatively small inventories mean that the size of the 2003 crops
will have very important price implications."
Good noted that two topics will likely
dominate market conversation this winter -- soil moisture conditions
and planted acreage prospects.
"Moisture conditions have the most
immediate implications for the winter wheat crop," he said.
"However, lack of precipitation in large parts of the United States
this past fall and so far this winter has triggered early weather
talk for spring-planted crops as well. The Palmer Drought Index
shows that dry conditions are prevalent in much of the Rocky
Mountain States, the upper Plains, Nebraska, and in parts of Kansas,
Iowa, Missouri, northern Illinois, northern Indiana and Michigan.
Dryness is also noted in parts of the Southeast.
"The National Weather Service outlook
for the period February through April projects drier-than-normal
climate across the Ohio Valley, Great Lakes region and the Pacific
Northwest. For the Southeast, the projection is for a dry February
and wetter-than-normal climate in March and April."
Good said that the 90-day forecast is
based, in part, on prospects for a weakening El Nino episode. With
the lack of other significant fundamental developments, weather
conditions may provide a lot of fuel for conversation over the next
two months. For corn and soybeans, current moisture conditions
obviously have little significance. Spring and summer weather will
be an important price factor, as it always is.
The USDA's winter wheat seedings report
revealed a 2.5-million-acre increase in winter wheat seedings in the
fall of 2002. The increase totaled 700,000 acres in Kansas, 500,000
in Oklahoma, 300,000 in Montana and 200,000 in Texas. The increase
in the eastern Corn Belt totaled 550,000 acres. Seedings declined
about 280,000 acres in the South and Southeast.
[to top of second column in
"Part of the increase in winter wheat
seedings may be offset by declines in spring wheat acreage,
depending on relative prices over the next few months," said Good.
"One popular private forecaster has projected a 700,000-acre
decrease in the total of spring and durum acreage in 2003.
"That same firm has projected that U.S.
corn acreage will increase by nearly 2.7 million acres and that
soybean area will decline by 1.1 million acres. That firm believes
that total acreage of corn, soybeans and wheat will increase by 3.35
million acres in 2003. It is not clear how that increase will
Good noted that a number of factors
will influence the magnitude of total crop land acreage and the mix
of that acreage by crop in 2003. These include the extent of weather
damage to winter wheat, relative prices of spring-planted crops and
spring weather conditions. The USDA will release the results of its
"Prospective Plantings" survey on March 31.
"Corn and soybean prices appear to have
established support levels following the price declines immediately
after the Jan. 10 USDA reports," said Good. "July corn futures have
found support near $2.35. It is probably important for the rate of
corn export sales to increase if that support level is to hold. The
early January high just above $2.50 may be difficult to penetrate
prior to spring. More volatility is likely from March forward, as
spring-summer weather conditions unfold."
Good said the soybean market remains
inverted, with March futures finding support near $5.44 and July
futures finding support near $5.35.
"A high rate of export sales continues
to provide fundamental support for soybean prices, but the absence
of significant problems in South America tends to keep a lid on
prices," said Good. "March and July futures traded to $5.85 and
$5.74, respectively, in early January.
"It may be
difficult to challenge those levels if South American conditions
remain favorable. There is some conversation about potential disease
problems in the wetter areas of Brazil."
of I news release]
district celebrates 50 years
Reserve tickets for annual meeting by Jan. 30
The Logan County Soil and
Water Conservation District has scheduled its annual dinner meeting
for Thursday, Feb. 6. The event will be at the Knights of Columbus
Hall on Limit Street in Lincoln. Featured speaker for the evening
will be Brad Harding, ag specialist for CBS Channel 31 "News at
The smorgasbord meal will be served at
6 p.m. A social time from 5:30 to 6 p.m. will precede the dinner.
To celebrate its 50 years as a
conservation district, past directors and staff will be recognized
for their past service. County FFA chapters and their instructors
will also be recognized for their past year's accomplishments.
There will be a short business meeting
with election of directors. Terms of two directors, Duane Wibben of
Hartsburg and Dean Sasse of Atlanta, will be expiring.
Cost of tickets for the evening is $5
per person if purchased by Jan. 30 and $9 per person after that
Stop by the
district office at 1650 Fifth Street Road to purchase your ticket or
call 732-2010, Ext. 3 for more information. District directors also
have tickets available.
The Lincoln/Logan County
Chamber of Commerce will award two scholarships to high school
seniors or college students from Logan County who are studying or
will study agriculture for future careers in ag-related businesses.
Scholarship winners will be chosen
based on their commitment to agriculture as a future career,
academic performance, involvement in extracurricular activities,
financial need and work experience. The committee is particularly
interested in candidates who will return to the Logan County area to
pursue their careers.
Applications are available from the
Lincoln/Logan County Chamber of Commerce -- (217) 735-2385;
303 S. Kickapoo St., Lincoln, IL 62656 -- or at any high school in
applications are due to the Lincoln/Logan County Chamber office in
Lincoln by Friday, Feb. 28. Applications will be reviewed soon
afterward, and winners will be notified of their award. Winners will
be recognized at the Logan County Ag Day breakfast on Wednesday,