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A nice soaking in cold water may feel pretty good in a couple of months when summer temperatures rise. But the bracing bucket USDA tossed at corn and soybean growers on May 12 was anything but refreshing for markets badly in need of a reset.

Of course, it’s wrong to blame the messenger for bad news – something I know all too well after spending 50 years in the media business. Government statisticians and economists don’t spend their time like evil scientists trying to devise new ways to punish prices, despite all the conspiracy theories over the years saying just that.

But anyone hoping for bullish numbers from the May World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates suffered a “ball don’t lie” moment. You can quibble with the agency’s forecasts but the bottom line for both 2022 and 2023 crop prices was bearish, pretty much as expected.

USDA’s first monthly forecasts for the 2023 marketing year around the world don’t rule out potential for rallies this summer and fall. But barring some serious disruptions from weather, war or other events, bulls have some heavy lifting to do.

May 16, 2023



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