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USDA probes release of incorrect data that pressured crop prices

Posted by Flaman Agriculture Sep 16, 2015

Chicago | Reuters — A U.S. Agriculture Department (USDA) unit is reviewing its procedures after posting incorrect crop data online on Wednesday, an error that temporarily pressured grain prices.

The Farm Service Agency (FSA) inadvertently issued the wrong data on crop acreage around 5 a.m. CT and posted corrected data four hours later.

The agency is investigating why the error occurred and reviewing procedures “to make certain there are checks to avoid any future errors of this sort,” FSA spokesman Kent Politsch said.

Some traders said the error eroded their confidence in USDA, which is considered the gold standard for data on crop production, supplies and demand.

“The whole thing was funny, embarrassing, very much so for the FSA,” said Ted Seifried, vice-president of the Chicago brokerage Zaner Group.

The erroneous data showed that U.S. farmers reported they could not plant 1.622 million acres of corn as of Sept. 3, down from 2.301 million acres reported in August, and 848,000 acres of soybeans, down from 2.173 million in August.

The numbers pushed down futures prices as traders projected the declines in so-called “prevented plantings” would translate into increased production.

One trader said the drop in prices automatically triggered his pre-placed order to exit a position in wheat futures. The market later recovered before trading back down to the trigger price, indicating the order was probably executed earlier than it would have been had FSA not issued the incorrect data, he said.

After 9 a.m. CT, the FSA issued corrected data, which increased prevented plantings to 2.352 million acres for corn and 2.219 million for soybeans.

The agency removed the incorrect data from its website after it was posted and intentionally delayed the release of the correct data so that users were aware it was coming, a USDA official said.

Still, officials may face criticism for the error next month at an annual USDA data users’ meeting in Chicago.

“USDA deserves the embarrassment of this colossal mistake,” tweeted Bill Nelson, analyst for Doane Advisory Services in St. Louis.

October is the first month in which USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) considers FSA acreage data when making its own acreage estimates for a monthly crop report.

Lance Honig, chief of the crops branch for NASS, said he feels “every bit as confident in the FSA data as I did before today… They took very quick action to correct it.”

Tom Polansek reports on agriculture and ag commodity markets for Reuters from Chicago. Additional reporting for Reuters by Michael Hirtzer in Chicago.

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Posted in Crop reports | Tagged with USDA crop prices commodities | More articles by Flaman Agriculture

Prairie wheat bids climb higher

Posted by Flaman Agriculture Sep 15, 2015

CNS Canada — Cash wheat bids across Western Canada posted solid gains during the week ended Friday, as U.S. futures recovered from their five-year lows and Canadian basis levels showed some improvement.

Average Canada Western Red Spring (CWRS) wheat prices were up by C$9 to $13 per tonne across the three Prairie provinces, according to price quotes from a cross-section of delivery points. Bids ranged from about $221 per tonne in southern Saskatchewan, to as high as $233 per tonne in southern Alberta.

Quoted basis levels varied from location to location, but improved by C$5 on average to sit at $36 above the futures when using the grain company methodology of quoting the basis as the difference between U.S. dollar-denominated futures and the Canadian dollar cash bids.

When accounting for the currency exchange rates by adjusting the Canadian prices to U.S. dollars, CWRS bids ranged from US$167 to $176 per tonne. That would put the currency adjusted basis levels at about US$14 to $23 below the futures.

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Posted in Farm related news | Tagged with crop prices wheat wheat prices | More articles by Flaman Agriculture

U.S. grains - Prices advance on crop, weather worries

Posted by Flaman Agriculture Aug 05, 2015

Reuters is reporting that  . . .

U.S. grain and soybean futures jumped on Wednesday as concerns about poor weather hurting autumn harvests fuelled a recovery from recent losses in the markets.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture, in a crop report on Aug. 12, may trim its U.S. soybean acreage and ending stocks estimates because of excessive rains that disrupted spring plantings, traders said.

Traders were also keeping an eye on weather forecasts amid worries that some growing areas may turn too dry during an important period for soybean development this month.

“Additional risk premium is being added to corn, wheat and soybean futures ahead of critical U.S. supply updates from the USDA,” Chicago-based agricultural consultancy AgResource Co. said in a note.

. . . .

In the wheat market, Egypt, one of the world’s largest wheat importers, said it bought 120,000 tonnes of Russian wheat in a tender.

U.S. wheat is seen as too expensive to be competitive on the export market.

On Thursday, traders will digest weekly U.S. grain export sales data from the USDA.

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Posted in Commodity prices | Tagged with canola wheat barley oats crop prices saskatchewan | More articles by Flaman Agriculture

Canola, wheat, barley, and oats prices up!

Posted by Flaman Agriculture Jul 20, 2015


From http://www.agriculture.gov.sk.ca/MarketTrends

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Posted in Commodity prices | Tagged with canola wheat barley oats crop prices saskatchewan | More articles by Flaman Agriculture

Early Sask. lentil, pea harvests likely to support prices

Posted by Flaman Agriculture Jul 17, 2015

CNS is reporting that . . . .

Saskatchewan’s dryness could likely mean an earlier harvest and smaller yield for pea and lentil crops this year, according to a regional crop specialist.

That means new-crop prices will be supported, said Chuck Penner, president at LeftField Commodity Research.

Old crops are disappearing, he said, and the market will become active as soon as farmers start harvesting. “Buyers are ready to take this crop as soon as it’s off the combine.”

Pea and lentil prices will dip slightly right after harvest, he said, especially if farmers sell heavily, but he expects the market to recover after that.

Shannon Friesen, a regional crop specialist with Saskatchewan’s Agriculture Knowledge Centre in Moose Jaw, said lentil crops in the province’s west and pea crops in the province’s south are much more advanced than they should be.

There are indications desiccation will begin in August, which means farmers will start harvesting soon after, she said.

Full story at http://www.agcanada.com/daily/early-sask-lentil-pea-harvests-likely-to-support-prices

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Posted in Commodity prices | Tagged with lentils Saskatchewan crop prices | More articles by Flaman Agriculture

Prairie durum prices rising as farmers aren't selling

Posted by Flaman Agriculture Jul 17, 2015

CNS is reporting that  . . .

Prices for durum in the Prairie cash market have been on the rise recently, but there are very few actual transactions being made as farmers aren’t selling.

“The companies know that, generally speaking, farmers aren’t in the mood to sell, so they’re probably trying to maybe encourage deliveries of last year’s durum, so trying to get that out of the bins, which might be hard,” said Neil Townsend, director of market research services with CWB in Winnipeg.

Cash prices for durum in Saskatchewan and Alberta gained between $20 and $37 per tonne during the week ended July 10, to range from $310 to $343 per tonne, according to data collected from a number of delivery points in Western Canada.

Some buyers are also looking to lock in some new-crop contracts for high-quality durum, due to poor-quality crops out of Europe and Canada last year.

Farmers, however, are still waiting for the market to move higher as drought continues to plague many growing regions in Alberta and Saskatchewan.

Full story at http://www.agcanada.com/daily/prairie-durum-prices-rising-as-farmers-arent-selling

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Posted in Commodity prices | Tagged with durum wheat crop prices | More articles by Flaman Agriculture

Rye prices seen high, but stable

Posted by Flaman Agriculture Jul 17, 2015

CNS is reporting that  . . .

Rye crops have been reacting to Saskatchewan’s heat and dryness by developing faster than they would normally be — but healthy crops elsewhere appear to be helping to keep global prices stable, at least for the time being.

U.S. crops may stop rye prices from moving too turbulently, at least until Canada’s yield becomes more clear, said Roger Kissick, grain merchant at Linear Grain.

“The U.S. also has a good crop of their own. This early in the season, those types of concerns won’t show up until later on,” he said.

According to Kissick, considering the current values of other crops, rye prices are high — and the market will likely not be very active over coming months, until about Christmas.

Right now, he said, average rye prices are between $5.50 and $6.50 a bushel.

Full story at http://www.agcanada.com/daily/rye-prices-seen-high-but-stable

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Posted in Commodity prices | Tagged with rye crop prices Saskatchewan crop conditions | More articles by Flaman Agriculture