Weather has been the focus for this market as we head into May. Here in the U.S., less-than-ideal conditions had stalled planting progress over the last two weeks. However, temperatures warmed up last week and are expected to be conducive for plantings in early May. As of Apr. 25, corn was 17 percent planted, behind last year’s rate of 24 percent and the five-year average of 20 percent. The next two crop progress reports should show rapid planting progress and get this crop back to or above the five-year average.
In Brazil, dryness has continued to stress the crop, most of which will be entering pollination over the next two weeks. The forecast this week also looks dry, with the possibility of some rain in week two of the forecast. Given the dry conditions, some analysts forecast this crop is closer to 100 MMT vs. the current USDA estimate of 109 MMT, and if the crop misses out on any significant rain in the next two weeks, production may fall below 100 MMT.
Also of note last week, Mexico’s corn crop is enduring some stress due to drought. Local reports indicate the crop will not achieve USDA’s current 2020/21 production estimate of 27.80 MMT. Imports of corn in Q1 were strong for Mexico at 4.22 MMT—almost entirely U.S. corn. Recently, Mexico has also been actively buying more U.S. corn.