Corn prices see slight decline, but remain strong

(Commodity News Service Canada) — Manitoba corn producers have seen a somewhat bearish start to 2011 as far as prices are concerned, and that has been directly tied to losses in values on the Chicago Board of Trade.

Scott Capinegro, president of Barrington Commodity Brokers in Barrington, Ill., explained why corn values declined in the first week of the New Year.

“The funds did some re-allocation over the week, which brought values down as they had some corn to sell,” Capinegro said.

Despite the losses last week, Capinegro said prices still remain at strong values for producers, and could go back up depending on what happens with weather conditions in Argentina, as well as the upcoming U.S. Department of Agriculture crop report to be released Wednesday.

Pam de Rocquigny, corn specialist with Manitoba Agriculture, Food, and Rural Initiatives at Carman, said with corn prices competing well with other commodities, it looks like Manitoba’s corn acres will be close to what was planted in 2010.

“Price does dictate what goes into the ground. It depends what prices in other commodities are doing, as guys only have so many acres to plant,” de Rocquigny said.

“With the prices the way they are, I certainly don’t see a big drop in acres, although there’s still quite a bit of time until guys get out on the land.”

There were 172,000 acres of corn planted in Manitoba in 2010, De Rocquigny said, and that’s slightly higher than the 167,000 planted in 2009. The numbers of the previous two years are right on average, she said, and she expects them to stay there.

“Grain corn acres can vary anywhere from 130,000 to 180,000, so I think it should stay pretty stable in 2011,” she said.

Demand for corn in the province has been coming from the usual suspects, De Rocquigny said.

“We have the Husky ethanol plant in Minnedosa. The feedmills and livestock producers have also been key players.”

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