World Grain - May 2020 - 53

as they did at the beginning of this writing and the same
may be true for corn. Weather conditions in the United
States this spring were expected to be wetter biased,
but not as wet as last year, but planting of corn was expected to be slow because of the wet bias. That concern
was expected to comingle with fears of Safrinha corn
problems in Brazil.
Late planting in Brazil this year was feared to push
reproduction of Safrinha corn into the heart of the dry
season, leading to lower production at the same time
the US crop was planted late. These expectations were
moving along on a correct path to support corn futures
prices until the COVID-19 pandemic and the global
economic slowdown. The fall in oil demand around the
world dropped the need for ethanol and that reduced
the need for corn. Suddenly the demand for corn was
reduced and that was after US producers decided to
plan a huge corn crop. The large US crop was of little
concern for a while because it was thought that the crop
would be planted late enough that it would not yield as
well as it should. The latest USDA crop progress statistics showed that US planting has had its problems in
some areas, but the crop was getting planted faster than
expected from a national perspective.
To make matters worse, Brazil's second season corn
went through a large part of April with below average
precipitation, resulting in declining soil moisture prior
to reproduction. The environment was looking somewhat threatening to reproduction because top and subsoil moisture was being depleted ahead of reproduction.
Just when it looked like corn could be faced with
some losses in Brazil, a massive cold airmass was sudGHQO\EHLQJDGYHUWLVHGIRU$UJHQWLQDLQWKH¿UVWGD\VRI
May. That cold airmass was expected to push a strong
cold front into second-season corn production areas
just in time to generate some badly needed rain in the
driest corn production areas. It remains to be seen how
VLJQL¿FDQWWKDWUDLQZLOOEHEXWUHOLHIIURPGU\QHVVLV
expected. That, along with the US crop planting progress and huge acreage expected in the United States,
large crops in South America and low ethanol demand,
leaves potential corn price appreciation about as good
as wheat. That does not bode well for any big turnaround in commodity futures prices anytime soon - at
least not from a weather fundamental perspective.
Drew Lerner is senior agricultural meteorologist with World
Weather, Inc. He may be reached at worldweather@bizkc.
rr.com. World Weather, Inc. forecasts and comments pertaining to
present, past and future weather conditions included in this report
constitute the corporation's judgment as of the date of this report
and are subject to change without notice.
We want to hear from you - Send comments and inquiries
to worldgrain@sosland.com. For reprints of WG articles,
e-mail reprints@sosland.com.

www.World-Grain.com / World Grain / May 2020

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World Grain - May 2020

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World Grain - May 2020 - 1
World Grain - May 2020 - 2
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