|Tick Size||1/4 cent per bushel ($12.50 per contract)|
|Daily Limit||35 cents per bushel ($1,750 per contract) Expanded limit 55 cents|
|Contract Size||5,000 bushels|
|Months||Mar, May, Jul, Sep, Dec (H, K, N, U, Z)|
|Trading Hours||7:00p.m. - 7:45a.m. and 8:30a.m. - 1:20p.m. (Settles 1:15p.m.) (Sun-Fri) CST|
|Value of One Futures Unit||$50|
|Value of One Options Unit||$50|
|Last Trading Day||The business day prior to the 15th calendar day of the contract month|
Corn is a member of the grass family of plants and is a native grain of the American continents. Fossils of corn pollen that are over 80,000 years old have been found in lake sediment under Mexico City. Archaeological discoveries show that cultivated corn existed in the southwestern U.S. for at least 3,000 years, indicating that the indigenous people of the region cultivated corn as a food crop long before the Europeans reached the New World. Corn is a hardy plant that grows in many different areas of the world. It can grow at altitudes as low as sea level and as high as 12,000 feet in the South American Andes Mountains. Corn can also grow in tropical climates that receive up to 400 inches of rainfall per year, or in areas that receive only 12 inches of rainfall per year. Corn is used primarily as livestock feed in the United States and the rest of the world. Other uses for corn are alcohol additives for gasoline, adhesives, corn oil for cooking and margarine, sweeteners, and as food for humans. Corn is the largest crop in the U.S., both in terms of dollar value and the number of acres planted.
The largest futures market for corn is at the CME Group. Corn futures also trade at the B3 exchange, the Dalian Commodity Exchange, the Euronext Derivatives Market, the JSE Securities Exchange, the MATba ROFEX exhange, and the Osaka Exchange. The CME futures contract calls for the delivery of 5000 bushels of No. 2 yellow corn at par contract price, No. 1 yellow at 1-1/2 cents per bushel over the contract price, or No. 3 yellow at 1-1/2 cents per bushel below the contract price.
Prices - CME corn futures prices (Barchart.com symbol code ZC) trended higher into Q2 of 2022 and posted a 10-year high in April of $8.2700 per bushel. Russia's invasion of Ukraine roiled grain markets and sparked global supply concerns as the conflict snarled grain shipments out of the Black Sea region. Russia and Ukraine supply about a fifth of the world's corn sales. Also, sanctions by most countries against Russian exports sent fertilizer costs soaring to all-time highs, which prompted farmers to scale back on fertilizer use, which could undercut crop yields and further restrict global corn supplies. Russia is the world's second-biggest producer of potash, a key ingredient in fertilizer. The surge in fertilizer costs also prompted U.S. farmers to cut back on their 2022 corn plantings. The USDA's prospective planting report in late March projected U.S. corn seedings at an estimated 4-year low of 89.5 million acres, down -4.2% yr/yr. Also, a cold and wet spring in the U.S. left the corn planting pace in early June at its slowest start since 2013. In addition, removing Russian and Ukraine corn supplies from the world market boosted demand for U.S. corn, pushing prices even higher. However, corn prices plummeted to a 1-year low in July of $5.6150 per bushel after the USDA, in its July WASDE report, reported larger than expected U.S. and global corn stockpiles as livestock operators scaled back their cattle and hog herds due to soaring costs, reducing demand for corn for animal feed. Also, a deal brokered by Turkey and the United Nations in July to allow Ukrainian grain shipments from Black Sea ports eased supply concerns and weighed on corn prices after Russia blockaded the country's ports following its invasion. Corn prices then rallied into September as adverse weather curbed the prospects for the U.S. corn crop. The Pro Farmers crop tour in late August cut its U.S. corn harvest estimate to 13.759 billion bushels, 4.2% less than what the USDA had forecast in its August WASDE report. Corn prices slipped into December after the dollar index rallied to a 20-year high. Also, corn supply concerns eased after Ukraine said the deal to allow it to export grains from its Black Sea ports was extended into 2023. Corn prices recovered slightly into year-end and finished 2022 up +14.4% yr/yr at $6.7850 a bushel.
Supply - World production of corn in the 2022/23 marketing year is forecasted to fall by -4.9% yr/yr to 1.155 billion metric tons. The world's largest corn producers are expected to be the U.S. with 30.2% of world production, China with 24.0%, and Brazil with 10.8%. The world area harvested with corn in 2021/22 fell by -0.6% yr/yr to 342.0 million hectares. World ending stocks of corn and coarse grains in 2021/22 rose by +2.8% yr/yr to 330.2 million metric tons.
U.S. corn production for the 2022/23 marketing year (Sep-Aug) is forecasted to fall by -8.9% yr/yr to 13.729 billion bushels. U.S. farmers are forecasted to harvest 79.207 million acres of corn for grain usage in 2022/23, which is down by -7.2% yr/yr. The U.S. corn yield in 2022/23 is forecasted to fall -2.1% yr/yr to 173.3 bushels per acre. U.S. 2021/22 ending stocks increased +11.5% yr/yr to 1.241 billion bushels. The largest corn-producing states in the U.S. in 2022 were Iowa with 18.3% of U.S. production, Illinois with 16.5%, Nebraska with 11.4%, Minnesota with 10.5%, and Indiana with 7.0%.
Demand - World consumption of course grains in the 2021/22 crop year rose by +2.8% yr/yr to a record high of 1.492 billion metric tons. The largest category of usage in 2021/22, aside from animal feed, was for ethanol production (alcohol fuel) with 5.326 billion bushels, which is 78.7% of total non-feed usage. That was up by +5.9% yr/yr. After ethanol, the largest non-feed usage categories are high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) with 6.2% of U.S. usage, glucose and dextrose sugars with 5.5%, corn starch with 3.6%, cereal and other corn products with 3.2%, and alcoholic beverages with 2.4%.
Trade - U.S. exports of corn in 2022/23 are expected to fall by -22.1% yr/yr to 48.897 million metric tons. Brazil's corn exports in 2022/23 are expected to rise by +1.1% yr/yr to 47.000 million metric tons. Argentina's corn exports are expected to rise +7.0% yr/yr to 38.000 million metric tons.
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