click image to zoom Back on March 2 we highlighted a useful graphic that Steiner Consulting Group provides the National Pork Board each week that shows the various cuts of pork and their prices for the most recent week, one week earlier and one year ago. The graphic is color-coded to indicate which cuts rose or fell versus one year earlier during the week in question. For anyone who may have missed it, you can click on this link to see all of the weekly price charts for 2012.
Several readers have asked whether a similar diagram for beef is available and that answer is yes. In fact, the beef diagram, shown at right, was the inspiration for the pork diagram.
click image to zoom USDA will take its monthly stab at the size of U.S. and international crops on Tuesday with the publication of the monthly Crop Production and World Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) reports. Two sets of numbers in particular in will be carefully scrutinized by the trade. The first is USDA’s ideas on the sizes of the corn and soybean crops in Argentina and Brazil. The second is projected U.S. carryout stocks of corn, soybeans and wheat.
USDA’s estimates of all South American crops have gotten progressively smaller as dry conditions were realized in key southern hemisphere growing areas and reports of smaller harvests have been received. Those smaller supplies have supported U.S. prices even as we have seen record-large intended corn acres and the planting season get off to an abnormally early start.
Two separate wire services surveyed analysts last week to gauge “the market’s” expectations for the report. The table at right shows the results of both surveys. If one rounds of Reuters’ published numbers to one decimal place, there is no more than 1000 metric tons of difference between the average estimates of either survey. The important relationships, of course, are those relative to USDA’s March estimates and last year’s crop. As can be seen, all of the South American crops are expected to be significantly smaller than one year ago. That is no surprise at all. But the average of the analysts estimates indicate that “the market” is expecting all of the numbers to be smaller than USDA’s March figures. Analysts expect Argentine’s soybean crop to be pegged 2.8% lower than it was in March. Declines of 2.4% and 2% are expected for Argentina’s corn crop and Brazil’s soybean harvest, respectively, while Brazil’s corn crop is expected to drop by only 0.5% from the March prediction.
Both wires services also asked analysts about year-end U.S. stocks of corn, wheat and soybeans. The answers were again quite similar so we present only the DowJones results at right. USDA is expected to reduce all three projected carryouts. If stocks fall to the estimated 717 mil. bu., the year-end corn stocks/use ratio would be 5.56, down from 6.30 but still larger than 1996’s 4.98.