What is in this article?:
- Corn, a classic collapsing market, Brock says
- Fundamentals suggest lower prices
Farmers everywhere are reporting excellent corn crops this year. Could it drive average yield to record levels?
DAVID AND LEAH CARR, Mascot Planting Co., Clarksdale, Miss., visit with Richard Brock, left, during Decisions 2014, a seminar held in Destin, Fla.
If you’re expecting to read about the prospects for a sudden recovery in corn prices, you might ought to turn the page – it’s not likely to happen.
In fact, corn futures prices could have a “2” in front of them at some point in the 2014-15 marketing year, should the United States continue to move toward harvesting a bumper crop, says grain analyst Richard Brock, speaking at Decisions 2014 summer seminar, held recently in Destin, Fla.
An informal survey of producers attending the seminar supported the perception that a huge bounty of corn is growing on the U.S. countryside. Most described their crops as excellent, many said they were headed toward 200-bushel-plus yields. Terms like outstanding and “the best I’ve ever seen,” were not uncommon.
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Brock says he’s heard it everywhere he’s spoken this year. It seems every farmer is having a great corn year. And that’s one reason why he wouldn’t be surprised to see average U.S. yields of around 180 bushels per acre. Currently, USDA pegs U.S. corn yield at 165 bushels per acre, an increase of 6.5 bushels over last year’s crop. “We have a high probability we’re going to have a huge crop this year,” said Brock, whose official estimate of yield is 169 bushels.
Weather could impact further development of the crop and its removal from the field. On the other hand, much of the corn is out of danger from most of the stresses a typical season might deliver and is in excellent shape. According to crop condition reports, U.S. corn in the good to excellent category is above 76 percent, the highest since 2004.
Unfortunately, the market is also fully aware of the promise of this season’s crop, which is why Brock believes what he has characterized for the last two years as the biggest bear market in the history of the corn market is just getting started.
“The last two bear markets in corn declined by 68 percent and 62 percent. If the present market declines by 62 percent, it takes nearby futures to $3.21. If it declines by 68 percent, it takes them to $2.70. We’re getting there quickly. I think the futures market will bottom between $2.70 and $3.21 by the end of August.”