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September 15, 2020 | FBN Insights | Kevin McNew

Weekly Crop Conditions Slip

Crop ratings declined compared to last week as frost damage in Northern Plains offset beneficial rains

Weekly Crop Conditions Slip

  • Corn crop ratings were down 1% from last week to 60% good to excellent versus 55% last year.
  • Corn harvest was 5% complete as expected, which was ahead of the 3% pace last year.
  • Soybean crop ratings were lower than expected at 63% good to excellent, down from 65% last week.
  • Soybeans dropping leaves is 37% complete versus 31% average, with western states well ahead of usual.
  • Spring wheat harvest jumped to 92% complete compared with 82% last week, and 75% average.
  • Winter wheat planting was slower than expected at 10% complete, but still ahead of the 8% average.
  • Upland cotton crop conditions were unchanged at 45% good to excellent, still above 41% last year.

FBN’s Take On What It Means: Crop ratings declined compared to last week as frost damage in the Northern Plains offset beneficial rains. Temperatures are forecast to return to near normal after last week’s freeze. Harvest is increasing in the western Corn Belt, but is going to be complicated in the South by hurricane Sally, which will also threaten cotton quality, depending on its path after coming ashore. Most of the Midwest will not be affected by the storm and harvest should be able to continue on pace through the last half of the month.

China 2020/21 Crop Forecasts

  • China’s agriculture ministry raised its forecasts for corn imports in 2019/20 to 7 million tonnes, up from 6 million in its August forecast.
  • 2020/21 corn imports were expected to total 7 million tonnes, up from the previous month’s estimate of 5 million tonnes.
  • Corn output in 2020/21 was projected at 265 million tonnes, down 1.8 million tonnes from the forecast in August.
  • The ministry lowered its forecast for edible oil output in 2020/21 to 27.65 million tonnes, on falling rapeseed imports and after rains affected quality.
  • Forecasts for soybean output at 18.8 million tonnes, and imports of 95.1 million tonnes in 2020/21 year were unchanged.

FBN’s Take On What It Means: The agriculture ministry lowered its outlook for corn output in the new crop year after a typhoon hit some parts of the country's northeastern corn belt. Total imports will likely be raised as China purchases from the US and Ukraine already exceed 10 million tonnes. FBN will continue to look for increased buying from China to be supportive for corn and soybean prices. 

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