Market will worry about demand later Weekly Corn Review for May 11, 2016 By Bryce Knorr

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1 Market will worry about demand later Weekly Corn Review for May 11, 2016 By Bryce Knorr USDA didn t do much to help the corn market in its May 10 reports other than give soybeans a big lift. That could help stabilize corn, setting the stage for summer rallies. The little direct good news in USDA s analysis may be suspect. The agency provided a fairly bullish assessment of demand that may be tough to achieve. With luck, however, the trade won t question the details much until more questions about 2016 production are answered USDA cut 69 million bushels off its forecast of old crop carryout, boosting projected exports by 75 million bushels. Year-to-date sales and shipments are running at that pace but shipments lag by 5%. USDA is betting that a smaller South American crop will keep the pace strong through the summer, and then into the fall. The agency has over-estimated demand before, and may be doing it again. That may not matter, depending on how the rest of the spring and summer play out. For one, that record demand is based on a record crop of billion bushels. USDA as expected used its aggressive 168 bpa yield, which assumes normal growing season wheat. Acreage of 93.6 million is straight from the March 31 Prospective Plantings. Yield, and especially acreage, may be difficult to achieve. Weather and profits may shift some acres to soybeans. Yields depend on weather, but the shift out of El Nino at least raises potential for weather rallies this summer. My average crop forecast, which uses a more modest bpa yield and 91.5 million planted acres, projects a selling price target for futures around $4.15 to $4.50. That s not great, but with carry on storage and normal yields it holds out hope for a profit. If rallies don t come, losses of $80 to $115 an acre are possible. So it s important to feel comfortable selling if they do. That s why I recommended covering some of expected protection with a December $4/$5 bull call spread selling the $5 call, which caps prices, to help pay for the $4 call. This trade could still be possible for a cost of 15 cents or less if the market sets back into the end of the month. The danger is falling in love with all the talk about La Nina. Basing hopes solely on a fickle weather pattern that s impossible to predict even with a super computer is risky. So modest expectations are in order, with the call spread offering some protection. The big long-term question for corn is whether the commodity market in general has turned a corner. Money managers shift money around from asset to asset, which can help with rallies, especially from short covering. But really tightening supplies or boosting demand globally to change the price curve is another matter. USDA s forecast for a 14.4 billion bushel crop could always come true. So could a drought that triggers a major rally. Be prepared for both.

2 Corn Supply & Demand USDA Bryce's Forecast Area Small 2016 Medium 2016 Big Planted 87,999 93,601 87,999 90,000 91,500 93,601 Harvested 80,749 85,900 80,749 81,998 83,365 85,279 Yield Beginning stocks 1,731 1,803 1,731 1,835 1,835 1,835 Production 13,601 14,430 13,601 12,743 13,637 14,325 Imports Supply, total 15,386 16,274 15,383 14,604 15,500 16,189 Feed and residual 5,250 5,550 5,234 5,108 5,329 5,574 Food, seed and ind. 6,610 6,670 6,620 6,660 6,660 6,660 Domestic, total 11,860 12,220 11,854 11,768 11,989 12,234 Exports 1,725 1,900 1,695 1,382 1,667 1,849 Use, total 13,585 14,120 13,549 13,150 13,657 14,084 Ending stocks 1,803 2,153 1,835 1,455 1,842 2,103 Ave. cash price $3.60 $3.35 $3.39 $4.12 $3.68 $3.08 Stocks to use 13.3% 15.3% 13.5% 11.1% 13.5% 14.9% Ave. nearby futures $3.75 $3.74 $4.29 $3.78 $3.36 $3.74 $4.91 $4.13 $3.67 Top Third of Price Range to $3.99 to $5.33 to $4.49 to $3.98

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8 bu/acre Corn Yields Had Two Long Runs Actual Trend Source: USDA Corn yield risk from El Nino end El Nino shifts to La Nina El Nino shifts to neutral Average 100% 80% 88% 73% 60% 40% 20% 38% 50% 45% 24% 0% Below normal 5% below normal

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17 70 U.S. Corn Stocks/Use stocks/use Corn Demand Industrial Feed Exports million bushels

18 $7.00 $6.00 $5.00 $4.00 $3.00 $2.00 $1.00 $0.00 $1.00 $2.00 Illinois Ethanol Margins

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20 thousand barrels Monthly U.S. ethanol production and stocks 35,000 30,000 25,000 20,000 15,000 10,000 5, Source: USEIA Production Stocks thousand barrels Weekly Ethanol Production and Stocks Stocks Production /1/14 12/1/14 3/1/15 6/1/15 9/1/15 12/1/15 3/1/16 Ending stocks Daily Production thousand barrels/day

21 120 Chinese Corn Imports, Sep March (million bushels) Ukraine U.S. Total

22 Weekly Export Inspections in million bushels For week of 05/05/16 This Week Last Week Average Trade Guess This Week Last Year Rate Needed to Meet USDA Forecast Year-to- Date Total This Year Year-to- Date Total Last Year WHEAT CORN ,134.2 SOYBEANS , ,699.3 Source: USDA, Reuters Weekly Export Sales (million bushels) AS OF WEEK ENDING 4/28/16 Wheat Corn Soybeans Old Crop Sales New Crop Sales Total Sales Last Week Trade Estimates USDA Forecast Export Shipments USDA Forecast Commitments % of USDA est. 97% 86% 97% Average for this week 96% 84% 93% Shipments % of USDA est. 84% 56% 89% Average for this week 85% 66% 84% Source: USDA, Reuters Total Corn Sales & Shipments (Year to Date) 120% 100% 80% 60% 40% 20% 0% Total Commitments % of USDA Forecast

23 Corn Shipments (Year to Date) % 70.0% 60.0% 50.0% 40.0% 30.0% 20.0% 10.0% 0.0% Total Shipments % of USDA Forecast Total Next Year's Corn Sales (Year to Date) SOURCE: USDA.

24 60,000 Weekly Corn Export Inspections Thousand Bushels 50,000 40,000 30,000 20,000 10, Yr. Avg $7.00 Spot Corn Delivered To Japan Gulf Brazil Argentina Ukraine $6.50 $6.00 $5.50 $5.00 $4.50 $4.00

25 Commitment of Traders - Corn net position in contracts $ $4.80 $ $ $4.20 $ $ $ $3.40 $ $3.00 1/15 3/15 5/15 7/15 9/15 11/15 1/16 3/16 5/16 Source: CFTC nearby futures Index funds Hedge funds Futures Net open interest in corn (futures and options) 3,000,000 2,500,000 net contracts 2,000,000 1,500,000 1,000, ,000 - Source: CFTC

26 December Corn Bull vs Bear Years /1 1/1 3/1 5/1 7/1 9/1 11/ Bull Market Dec-16 Normal Year December Corn Futures Seasonal Trend Start Date +1 Week +2 Weeks +3 Weeks +4 Weeks +5 Weeks +6 Weeks 5/9 5/16 5/23 5/30 6/6 6/13 6/20 Ave. Gain/Loss 0.5 (0.9) % Up 19/42 15/42 20/42 20/42 17/42 18/42 % Down 23/42 27/42 22/42 22/42 25/42 24/42 Ave. Gain - Up year Ave Loss - Down Year (6.9) (7.6) (11.9) (11.9) (13.1) (14.6) Biggest Gain Biggest Loss (24.8) (26.3) (37.8) (42.0) (50.0) (49.5) This table shows the typical seasonal pattern at weekly intervals from the start date, based on average daily futures prices from Gains and losses are based on the difference between the closing price on the start date and the closing price on the weekly date shown.

27 July Corn Bull vs Bear Years Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul 255 Bull Market Years July 2016 Normal Year July Corn Futures Seasonal Trend Start Date +1 Week +2 Weeks +3 Weeks +4 Weeks +5 Weeks +6 Weeks 5/9 5/16 5/23 5/30 6/6 6/13 6/20 Ave. Gain/Loss (3.3) (3.8) (3.7) (4.7) (4.5) (1.3) % Up 22/42 18/42 20/42 19/42 17/42 20/42 % Down 19/42 23/42 22/42 23/42 25/42 22/42 Ave. Gain - Up year Ave Loss - Down Year (14.3) (13.8) (15.0) (18.4) (17.6) (20.8) Biggest Gain Biggest Loss (85.5) (77.8) (83.3) (78.5) (82.0) (79.3) This table shows the typical seasonal pattern at weekly intervals from the start date, based on average daily futures prices from Gains and losses are based on the difference between the closing price on the start date and the closing price on the weekly date shown.

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