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Market Matters Blog           05/21 10:44
Export Outlook for U.S. DDGS Challenging, but Promising
High Water Temporarily Closes Two Mississippi River Locks
DDG Prices Steady
Will a Late Start to Planting Affect Expected Spring Wheat Planted Acres?
DDG Prices Steady
Canadian Pacific Weekend Strike Postponed; U.S. Rivers Still Rising
DDG Prices Slightly Higher
First Tow, First Saltie of 2018 Shipping Season Arrive in Minnesota
DDG Prices Continue to Move Higher
Brazil's Bull Rally in Soybeans

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Export Outlook for U.S. DDGS Challenging, but Promising

   Alvaro Cordero, manager of global trade for the U.S. Grains Council (USGC), 
told attendees at the 22nd Annual Distillers Symposium on May 16 that one of 
the biggest challenges facing distillers dried grain with solubles (DDGS) has 
been China. Go back to January 2017 when China's Ministry of Commerce (in a 
final ruling following a year-long trade probe) slapped harsh anti-dumping 
duties and tariffs on U.S. DDGS imports. Anti-dumping duties were set at a 
range from 42.2%-to-53.7%, while anti-subsidy tariffs will be between 
11.2%-and-12%.

   Preliminary penalties assessed in late September 2016 of an anti-dumping 
penalty of 33.8% and an anti-subsidy tariff of 10%-to-10.7% had already shut 
off most DDGS exports to China. However, the final ruling of an increase to 
those penalties pretty much signaled an end to DDGS heading to China. Those 
penalties, applied to both U.S. distillers dried grains with or without 
solubles, caused U.S. exports to China to fall from 5.4 million metric tons 
(mmt) in 2015 to 3.3 mmt in 2016.

   On November 9, 2017, China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced it would 
allow U.S. DDGS to be imported without charging an 11% value-added tax (VAT). 
However, the fact that penalties imposed earlier in the year remained in force, 
dampened any prospect of increased exports to China. At the time the VAT was 
removed, DDGS exports to China totaled a mere 739,000 metric tons (mt) for 2017.

   The U.S. Census Bureau said on May 3, 2018, that U.S. exports of DDGS 
totaled 905,558 mt in March, down 12% from a year ago. Mexico was the top 
export destination again in March, accounting for 17% of the total, followed by 
Vietnam, South Korea, Thailand and Indonesia. The first three months of the 
year, DDGS exports were down 13% in 2018 from a year ago. As you can see, 
China's absence is obvious.

   Cordero said there is still uncertainty facing U.S. DDGS exports. "In 2018, 
the U.S. faces additional challenges both on tariff and non-tariff barriers," 
said Cordero. Another challenge he noted are restrictive government policies 
abroad such as fumigation, GMO and other trade barriers that affect both bulk 
and container exports. However, Codero noted that domestic consumption is 
higher and that has kept prices firm for quite some time.

   USGC has been tireless in its pursuit of other buyers for U.S. DDGS and has 
been successful in educating other countries as to the value of U.S. DDGS in 
their feed rations. USGC has said that the success of their efforts is the 
result of identifying leading companies in the market, learning the unique 
concerns and barriers to greater DDGS use, extensive technical preparation, and 
effective communication with existing and potential customers all over the 
world. 

   One example is the increase of DDGS to South Korea. South Korea currently 
ranks as the second largest market for U.S. DDGS in the current marketing year 
(September 2017-March 2018), purchasing 639,000 mt, a 6% increase 
year-over-year, according to a recent report by USGC. South Korea was the third 
largest market for U.S. DDGS in 2016-17, setting a new record for the fifth 
year in a row at 979,000 mt. Following significant work by USGC to introduce 
and advocate for it in South Korea, DDGS is now considered an established and 
superior feed ingredient there, with 96% of local feed producers using it in 
their rations.

   USGC has said it will continue working to increase U.S. DDGS exports to 
South Korea and other countries through additional educational programs aimed 
at protecting existing market share, increasing the inclusion rates in animal 
diets, and expanding business opportunities between U.S. suppliers and other 
buyers.

   Mary Kennedy can be reached at mary.kennedy@dtn.com   

   Follow her on Twitter @MaryCKenn

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High Water Temporarily Closes Two Mississippi River Locks

   Above average precipitation in the south and the Ohio River Valley have kept 
the Lower Mississippi River (LMR) at high water levels for an unprecedented 
period of over 60 days. Tom Russell, Russell Marine Group said that, "High 
water safety protocols have slowed barge traffic movements from St. Louis to 
New Orleans. The system has been stressed due to delayed logistics."

   Farther north, as the record spring snows melted, filling the Mississippi 
River in St. Paul, Minnesota, river terminals there were unable to load barges 
until recently when the water finally started to recede. High water and minor 
flooding on the UMR and Middle Mississippi River (MMR) caused transit delays 
and tow sizes to be reduced out of St Paul.

   As the water flowed south, flooding caused the closure of Locks 16 
(Muscatine, Iowa) and Lock 17 (New Boston, Illinois) on Friday, May 11, and 
were expected to remain closed until Monday, May 14, causing major delays to 
barge traffic in the area. Until floodwaters recede below 18 feet, lock 17 will 
remained closed.

   The National Weather Service Quad Cites noted May 14 that, "With the recent 
rainfall on top of the progressing routed snow melt water, river crests may 
again be approaching major flood category. The Mississippi River at Muscatine 
was at 18.27 feet and steady; flood stage is 16.0 feet. The Mississippi River 
at New Boston was at 17.99 feet and receding; flood stage is 15.0 feet." 

   On top of those closures, high water safety protocols have slowed barge 
traffic movements from St. Louis to New Orleans. Russell said that, "As long as 
there are no extreme rain events, water levels will fall enough to allow safety 
protocols to be lifted by the second or third week of May. When safety 
protocols are lifted, logistics from Cairo to the Baton Rouge/New Orleans 
Harbors will improve. Barge deliveries to terminals in the Port will be faster 
and daylight-only docking and undocking of vessels loading midstream will be 
lifted." 

   FLOODING CONTINUES TO PUT STRAIN ON AGING LOCK AND DAMS

   Every time parts of the U.S. river system floods, more pressure is placed on 
the already aging locks and dams. Mike Cox, chief of the U.S. Army Corps of 
Engineers (USACE) Rock Island District's Operations Division, has said in the 
past that nearly all of the locks and dams on the UMR, including the Illinois 
Waterway, are experiencing varying levels of problems due do the age of the 
infrastructure. 

   As those locks and dams continue to deteriorate, especially when damaged by 
floods, the USACE has made it clear that it is "unable to adequately fund 
maintenance activities to ensure the navigation system operates at an 
acceptable level of performance." 

   Many times, only temporary repairs can be made, prolonging the possibility 
that a lock and dam could fail completely, shutting down the river for an 
extended period of time. When that happens, especially during harvest, farmers 
end up bearing the losses that would come from the inability of river terminals 
to load and transport their corn and soybeans to the Gulf for export.

   The most recent "temporary fix" was made at Lock and Dam No. 11 in Dubuque, 
Iowa, on April 24, when cracks were discovered at a mitre gate connection point 
during a routine inspection. Aaron Dunlop, USACE operations manager for the 
Mississippi River Project, said that inspectors preparing for an upcoming mitre 
gate change found the crack. Fortunately, there were already plans for new 
mitre gates to be installed. 

   This closure came less than two weeks after the first tow finally reached 
St. Paul, Minnesota, to open the 2018 shipping season, already well behind 
schedule. The 24-hour closure caused a backlog of barges that had been working 
their way north.

   On May 1, for the first time in 80 years, new permanent gates were finally 
installed by the USACE. All four mitre gates were originally installed in late 
1930 when Lock and Dam 11 was built. There have been intermittent closures as 
crews work to replace the four 110-ton gates and American Commercial Barge Line 
(ACBL reported that the lock would closed from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on May 11 to 
install the gates. 

   A study funded by the Mid-America Freight Coalition noted that the USACE 
estimated that backlogged maintenance costs for locks and dams on the 
Mississippi and Illinois rivers total more than $1 billion. The study concluded 
that, "Given the age and maintenance backlog, a failure at any of these 
facilities, especially the southernmost, would divert some of the transport of 
agricultural products to trucks, which in turn, would add more stress on the 
nation's highways, many of which are also in need of repair." 

   Here is a link to the entire study:

   
http://midamericafreight.org/2017/10/mafc-releases-report-looking-at-the-impact-
of-upper-mississippi-river-lock-and-dam-shutdowns-on-state-highway-infrastructur
e/ 

   President Trump noted in his January 30 State of the Union address that he 
was approving funding of $1.5 trillion for the rebuilding of bridges, highways, 
locks and dams, airports and other projects. In Trump's "Legislative Outline 
For Rebuilding America" posted on the White House website on Feb. 12, 2018, he 
said that, "My administration is committed to working with the Congress to 
enact a law that will enable America's builders to construct new, modern, and 
efficient infrastructure throughout our beautiful land." 

   Here is the link to the February 12 release of Trump's infrastructure plan: 

   https://www.whitehouse.gov/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/INFRASTRUCTURE-211.pdf 

   Fast forward to May 10 when CNBC reported that White House Press Secretary, 
Sarah Huckabee Sanders, told reporters that all of President Donald Trump's 
talk of a massive, trillion-dollar upgrade to America's infrastructure, from 
"Infrastructure Week" declarations to a 53-page plan unveiled three months ago, 
won't produce "a specific piece of legislation" in 2018.

   It goes without saying that this news is devastating for not only our 
waterways, but also to roads, bridges, water and sewer systems, railways and 
subways, airports, and harbors -- all of which are in some need of repair.

   In fact, in the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) 2017 
Infrastructure Report Card, the nation's infrastructure received an average 
grade of D+. The report is an assessment of the conditions of the nation's 
infrastructure across 16 categories and is done every four years. 

   Here is a link to the 2017 report card: 
https://www.infrastructurereportcard.org/making-the-grade/report-card-history/ 

   Of the 16 categories graded by the ASCE, six of those are essential to the 
success of agriculture shipments. Those categories are bridges, which were 
graded C+, ports C+, railroads B, roads D-, levees D and inland waterways D. 
Without any specific financial help from the government, it may not be long 
before we see the "D" grade become an "F," and should that happen, the 
consequences could be devastating to the agriculture community -- especially to 
farmers whose prices and livelihood rely on timely movement of their grain.

   Mary Kennedy can be reached at mary.kennedy@dtn.com 

   Follow her on Twitter @MaryCKenn

******************************************************************************
DDG Prices Steady

   OMAHA (DTN) -- The average distillers dried grains (DDG) spot price from the 
39 locations DTN contacted was $172 per ton for the week-ended May 10, up 5 
cents versus two weeks ago. Merchandisers noted that, overall, prices were 
supported by tight supplies in some areas. A California merchandiser said 
prices were strong there thanks to Mexico being a large buyer recently.

   The U.S. Census Bureau said on May 3 that U.S. exports of distillers dried 
grains with solubles (DDGS) totaled 905,558 metric tons (mt) in March, down 12% 
from a year ago. Mexico was the top export destination again in March, 
accounting for 17% of the total and followed by Vietnam, South Korea, Thailand 
and Indonesia. The first three months of the year, DDGS exports were down 13% 
in 2018 from a year ago.

   Based on the average of bids collected by DTN, the value of DDG relative to 
corn for the week-ended May 10 was at 121.01%, and the value of DDG relative to 
soybean meal was at 44.05%. The cost per unit of protein for DDG was $6.37, 
compared to the cost per unit of protein for soybean meal at $8.22. Soymeal 
prices moved lower this past week, causing DDG per-protein unit cost to lose 
some advantage, but DDG still remains a better value.

   The U.S. Grains Council (USGC) noted in its weekly market price update, 
"Barge CIF NOLA values are lower this week, giving back only some of last 
week's $13/mt gain. FOB Gulf values followed a similar pattern this week, 
dropping after last week's $8/mt gain. Netbacks for those with river access 
remain near two-year highs."

   River conditions were expected to get messy once again starting Friday. 
American Commercial Barge Line noted that Upper Mississippi River Locks 16 (UM 
457) and Lock 17 (UM 437) were expected to close on Friday, May 11, and were 
expected to remain closed until the middle of next week due to already high 
water issues. An additional 2 to 3 inches of rain was expected over the 
weekend, which could push the closure back to late next week. This would be a 
complete closure; major delays are expected to develop in both directions.   

   On the international front, USGC noted that exporters are reporting that 
prices remain firm in Asia. "Buyers are calling frequently, hoping for lower 
prices that simply aren't coming yet. Merchandisers suggest that eventually 
buyers will be forced to cover their position/needs, and hint that this will 
occur at higher prices. Prices for 40-foot containers CNF Southeast Asia are 
presently valued at $242.50/mt."


ALL PRICES SUBJECT TO CONFIRMATION             CURRENT        PREVIOUS   CHANGE
COMPANY   STATE                               5/10/2018       4/26/2018
Bartlett and Company, Kansas City, MO (816-753-6300)

          Missouri            Dry                $180           $170       $10
                              Modified           $90             $85       $5
CHS, Minneapolis, MN (800-769-1066)

          Illinois            Dry                $180           $175       $5
          Indiana             Dry                $175           $170       $5
          Iowa                Dry                $175           $170       $5
          Michigan            Dry                $175           $170       $5
          Minnesota           Dry                $170           $160       $10
          North Dakota        Dry                $170           $165       $5
          New York            Dry                $175           $170       $5
          South Dakota        Dry                $170           $160       $10
MGP Ingredients, Atchison, KS (800-255-0302 Ext. 5253)

          Kansas              Dry                $165           $163       $2
POET Nutrition, Sioux Falls, SD (888-327-8799)

          Indiana             Dry                $175           $170       $5
          Iowa                Dry                $165           $160       $5
          Michigan            Dry                $180           $175       $5
          Minnesota           Dry                $170           $165       $5
          Missouri            Dry                $185           $180       $5
          Ohio                Dry                $175           $170       $5
          South Dakota        Dry                $165           $155       $10
    `              `
United BioEnergy, Wichita, KS (316-616-3521)
          Kansas              Dry                $168           $168       $0
                              Wet                $55             $55       $0
          Illinois            Dry                $178           $175       $3
          Nebraska            Dry                $168           $168       $0
                              Wet                $55             $55       $0
U.S. Commodities, Minneapolis, MN (888-293-1640)

          Illinois            Dry                $175           $175       $0
          Indiana             Dry                $175           $175       $0
          Iowa                Dry                $165           $160       $5
          Michigan            Dry                $170           $170       $0
          Minnesota           Dry                $170           $160       $10
          Nebraska            Dry                $165           $170       -$5
          New York            Dry                $180           $180       $0
          North Dakota        Dry                $170           $170       $0
          Ohio                Dry                $170           $170       $0
          South Dakota        Dry                $165           $155       $10
          Wisconsin           Dry                $170           $160       $10
Valero Energy Corp, San Antonio Texas
                                          (210-345-3362)     (210-345-3362)
          Indiana             Dry                $178           $170       $8
          Iowa                Dry                $170           $155       $15
          Minnesota           Dry                $175           $160       $15
          Nebraska            Dry                $170           $170       $0
          Ohio                Dry                $180           $170       $10
          South Dakota        Dry                $165           $165       $0
          California                             $238           $235       $3
Western Milling, Goshen, California (559-302-1074)

          California          Dry                $245           $234       $11
*Prices listed per ton.

          Weekly Average                         $172           $167       $5
The weekly average prices above reflect only those companies DTN

collects spot prices from. States include: Missouri, Iowa, Nebraska,
Kansas, Illinois, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, Michigan,
Wisconsin and Indiana. Prices for Pennsylvania, New York and
California are not included in the averages.

   **


                     VALUE OF DDG VS. CORN & SOYBEAN MEAL
                        Settlement Price:   Quote Date      Bushel  Short Ton
                                     Corn      5/10/2018   $3.9475      $140.98
                             Soybean Meal      5/10/2018   $390.50
            DDG Weekly Average Spot Price        $172.00
                                  DDG Value Relative to:
                                                           5/10        4/26
                                                    Corn   121.01%      121.14%
                                            Soybean Meal    44.05%       44.04%
                               Cost Per Unit of Protein:

                                                     DDG     $6.37        $6.19
                                            Soybean Meal     $8.22        $7.98
Notes:

Corn and soybean prices take from DTN Market Quotes. DDG price
represents the average spot price from Midwest companies
collected on Thursday afternoons. Soybean meal cost per unit
of protein is cost per ton divided by 47.5. DDG cost per unit
of protein is cost per ton divided by 27.

   Mary Kennedy can be reached at mary.kennedy@dtn.com 

   Follow her on Twitter @MaryCKenn

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Will a Late Start to Planting Affect Expected Spring Wheat Planted Acres?

   Spring came late this year as snow and cold temperatures stalled planting of 
the wheat that bears its name. Farmers in North Dakota, South Dakota, Montana 
and northwest Minnesota had no choice but to wait for the snow to melt and the 
ground to thaw, as the calendar days for planting slipped away. 

   During the past week, I reached out to farmers and elevator managers in 
South Dakota, Minnesota and North Dakota, asking if they have started planting 
and if the late start may change spring wheat planting intentions in their area.

   In its March 29 Planting Intentions report, USDA forecast that spring wheat 
acres would increase 15%. But as of April 30, spring wheat planted in North 
Dakota was at 3%, behind 17% last year and 22% for the five-year average, 
according to NASS. Minnesota spring wheat planted was reported as only 2% 
complete, compared with 20% last year, and the five-year average of 34%. In 
South Dakota, the state furthest behind, spring wheat planted was 12%, well 
behind 83% last year and 63% for the five-year average.

   SOUTH DAKOTA UP AGAINST INSURANCE FINAL PLANT DATES

   Jerry Cope, who does the grain marketing for Dakota Mill and Grain Inc. in 
Rapid City, South Dakota, told me that, "Six months ago, spring wheat 
intentions were low in western South Dakota with projected year-over-year 
declines. Intentions spiked along with the price spike to over $6.00 on the 
board. The late spring had many nervous that they would not get all the spring 
wheat planted as wanted. 

   "A late warmer and drier trend, along with fields working well over the last 
10 days, has been accompanied by a late surge of spring wheat plantings ahead 
of the May 5 insurance cutoff in South Dakota. Four out of five farmers I talk 
to indicate they got all the spring wheat planted that they wanted, and seed 
sellers said they also saw a late surge in calls for seed wheat. The insurance 
cutoff date for spring wheat is May 5 in southern South Dakota and May 15 to 
the north."

   On May 3, Ryan Wagner of Wagner Farms in Roslyn, South Dakota, said, "Corn 
acres planted might be more than wheat acres seeded by the end of the day. 
Wheat is on hold because the soybean stubble is too wet with frost still coming 
out. Wheat stubble with grazed cover crop is nice and dry, mellow and warm 
enough to plant."

   Wagner went on to say, "It looks like we're on hold on wheat for a few days 
and will work on corn on this wheat stubble/cover crop tomorrow. Very little 
activity in my immediate area so far this week, but plenty of fieldwork being 
done in the James River valley to my west and the Minnesota River valley to my 
east. I'm guessing things will really start to ramp up this weekend, though; 
the forecast looks good for a solid week out, so we should be in good shape."

   Wagner reported back on Saturday, May 5, and said he was back to wheat while 
the corn planter sits. "Monday we will get both rigs going and try to spray 
some burndown as well. Next week will be a very busy week around here."

   Tim Luken, manager Oahe Grain in Onida, South Dakota, told me that his 
farmers started planting spring wheat there on April 27. "Warm 80-degree, windy 
weather has helped dry things out this past weekend, and it will be balls to 
the wall, go, go, go from here out," said Luken. "I have not heard of any 
spring wheat abandonment due to late spring yet, because it doesn't take long 
to plant with the equipment they have these days. I would say, weather 
permitting, in the next 10 days, spring wheat will be in. Farmers will go right 
into corn followed by beans and sunflowers. 

   "The winter wheat is greening up very nicely, and I do not see any winter 
kill in the area this year. Should be a year of no issues for crop adjusters to 
zero-out fields this year. Both topsoil and subsoil moisture has been 
recharged, and as of now, looks to be in good shape. I did talk to a famer on 
Tuesday and he said he was done with spring wheat (1,900 acres) and is now 
planting corn." 

   Insurance final plant dates in South Dakota are May 5 for the southern part 
of the state and May 15 for the northern area. Dates are specific to the 
location of each county in the state.

   MINNESOTA FINALLY THAWS OUT

   Tim Dufault, who farms in Crookston, Minnesota, told me on May 2 that spring 
planting had finally begun in the Red River Valley. "It is a later-than-usual 
starting date after the eighth coldest April on record, according to the 
National Weather Service in Grand Forks, North Dakota. Once the snow finally 
went away, the ground has dried up quickly and allowed field work to begin just 
about everywhere in eastern North Dakota and western Minnesota. We started 
seeding April 28, about seven days later than normal. With cooperative weather 
and no more breakdowns, we could finish spring wheat seeding by May 8. This 
would still be a favorable planting window to achieve good wheat yields. 

   "As of right now, I don't know of any acres switching crops. If we should 
get a prolonged weather delay in the first week or two of May, I think wheat 
and corn acres would quickly switch to soybeans," Dufault said.

   Brian Kjesbo, who farms in Wendell, Minnesota, in the west-central part of 
the state told me on May 4 that, "For spring wheat, I'd say seedings are over 
50% complete in our area with many now transitioning into corn and sugar beet 
planting. There have been a number of positive factors supporting spring wheat 
acres thru the winter. Sugar beet cooperatives are pushing for a return to 
spring wheat prior to beets for quality, weed and disease management. In 
addition, the combination of really strong yields, quality, and price last year 
for eastern spring wheat growers encouraged folks to look at a return to wheat. 
However, the later-than-ideal spring has pulled some intended acres back away 
from wheat in recent weeks." 

   On May 3, Danny Pinske, manager of Pro-Ag Farmers' Cooperative in Hoffman, 
Minnesota, told me, "We are just starting to go in this area. Some corn planted 
and some wheat on the lighter soils. If the weather holds, it will be balls to 
the walls this weekend! Still hearing wheat acres will be up a small amount. I 
am wondering if there will be a few more corn acres at the current price level. 
Maybe taking from beans? Planting weather is the key for the upcoming week." 

   Insurance final plant dates in Minnesota are May 15 for the southern part of 
the state, May 31 for the middle, central part of the state, and June 5 for the 
northern area. Dates are specific to the location of each county in the state.

   NORTH DAKOTA FARMERS LOOKING FOR THE FINISH LINE

   Mark Rohrich of Rohrich Farms in Ashley, North Dakota, told me on April 30 
that he had just started planting. "We will plan on moving forward with the 
acres planned, and in the area, I think for now, most people are at the same 
feeling at least until May 15 or so. Chance of rain tonight, but it looks like 
decent weather in the near term, so things should move along. Still some water 
in spots that I think the frost is holding up."

   "Getting a good start on spring wheat," Keith Brandt, general manager of 
Plains Grain and Agronomy LLC in Enderlin, North Dakota, said on May 2. "Still 
dealing with frost in the ground that's preventing some field work, and I see 
that going away by early in the week. No corn or soybeans planted in our area. 
Some corn will be planted by the weekend with the big push next week."

   An elevator manager in eastern North Dakota told me on May 2 that not much 
was done the first half of this week like he thought could be. "Planting stage 
is like only 5% on grains and 10% on beets yet. Not a lot of ground is ready 
around our trade area," he said. "Fertilizer spreading is at a snail's pace and 
hoping by the weekend, a lot more will be ready to go. It's pretty hard to say 
it'll go in at Mach speed with the fertilizer spreading unable to keep up to 
it." 

   He mentioned that they had rain last Monday night through Tuesday morning 
all around his area, but amounts varied. The Fargo area only received one-tenth 
of an inch but a half-inch just north, northeast of Fargo. "West of here, like 
Clifford up through Reynolds to Grand Forks, was a swath of an inch. My area 
only saw four-tenths of an inch," he noted. "The dirt was really moving on 
Sunday night, so rain was needed. It's amazing how quickly that top inch or so 
went powder dry, yet just below that it's too wet to go on yet. It was pretty 
fortunate rain, especially for those in central North Dakota that got a good 
shot coming off the dryness last year. Frost is coming out and this rain will 
speed that up and hold the blowing dirt for a day or two." 

   The eastern North Dakota elevator manager told me that farmers will get the 
crop planted, most likely in the next 10-to-14 days. "However, due to rotations 
and which ground is ready first, they will be jumping around on what's being 
planted to start with. The concern will quickly be issues with overly dry 
topsoil. It's not all going to be planted quick enough to beat how quick the 
seed beds will get to dry. No doubt there will be some issues with germination 
in some areas and very likely dirt will continue to blow out. Up north in the 
northeast corner of North Dakota, they are about 40% done with beets with some 
having most of their wheat planted, but there is also talk of how dry the 
topsoil is. On the hill to the west in the Langdon area, they are the same 
stage as us -- barely able to start yet," he concluded.

   Over in the north-central part of the state, Jeff Kittell, merchandiser for 
Border Ag and Energy in Russell, North Dakota, told me, "Our area is just 
getting into full swing at this point, and I don't see any acres being 
switched. The biggest problem we are seeing right now is the availability of 
NH3 because everywhere in the state hit the fields at the same time and there 
are just not enough trucks and hours to keep up with demand to load farmers' 
tanks."

   Out in the northwestern part of state in Parshall, 60 miles from Minot, 
Blase Hendrickson said, "We just wrapped up this evening (May 3) with spring 
wheat. We have not changed any acres or plans for the year yet in terms of 
spring wheat. For our area, guys are just getting started in general, but no 
one seems to be in a rush; I'd swear everyone thinks it's April 3 and not May 
3. However, there are lots of wet areas still in fields and the ground is still 
quite cold, so that might have something to do with it." 

   Insurance final plant dates in North Dakota are May 31 for the southern half 
of the state and June 5 for the northern half. Dates are specific to the 
location of each county in the state.

   FINAL THOUGHTS

   "Overall, planting progress has been very uneven with some making great 
progress and others who haven't started yet," said Wendell, Minnesota, farmer 
Kjesbo. "The bottom line is less spring wheat than originally intended, but 
still up year on year. The underlying bearish nature of global wheat 
fundamentals, stronger-than-expected soybean prices, and positive outlook for 
corn prices also has tempered some wheat enthusiasm."

   "Spring wheat acres will be down from NASS numbers in March," said Brandt, 
the Plains Grain and Agronomy LLC general manager. "We could see total spring 
wheat acres down 250,000-to-300,000 acres. I'd say the biggest drop would be in 
South Dakota and the Red River Valley of North Dakota and Minnesota."

   "It's hard to believe only two weeks ago, we had blizzard conditions with 
snow from 6 inches to 19 inches. And today, May 2, it is 80 degrees. Crazy 
weather," said Oahe Grain manager Luken.

   Finally, given the severe drought conditions in North and South Dakota last 
summer, Hendrickson, the Parshall, North Dakota farmer, summed up what is most 
critical this year in those states: "We are going to need very timely and ample 
rains this year to have a good crop."

   Here is a link to USDA weekly statistics by state crop progress reports: 
https://www.nass.usda.gov/Statistics_by_State/index.php. The next report is due 
out on Monday, May 7, and will show planting progress through Sunday, May 6. 

   Mary Kennedy can be reached at mary.kennedy@dtn.com 

   Follow her on Twitter @MaryCKenn

******************************************************************************
DDG Prices Steady

   OMAHA (DTN) -- The average distillers dried grains (DDG) spot price from the 
39 locations DTN contacted was $167 per ton for the week ended April 26, 
unchanged versus a week ago. Prices were mixed, but a merchandiser said that, 
overall, prices were supported by plant maintenance slowdowns.

   The Energy Information Administration (EIA) reported that U.S. ethanol 
production was estimated at 985,000 barrels per day (bpd) for the week ending 
April 20. Production tapered off seasonally because of plant downtime for 
maintenance. 

   Based on the average of bids collected by DTN, the value of DDG relative to 
corn for the week-ended April 26 was at 121.14%, and the value of DDG relative 
to soybean meal was at 44.04%. The cost per unit of protein for DDG was $6.19, 
compared to the cost per unit of protein for soybean meal at $7.98. Soymeal 
prices rose this past week, keeping DDG prices the better value of the two 
protein feeds.

   The U.S. Grains Council (USGC) noted in its weekly market price update that, 
"Barge CIF NOLA DDGS values fell $4/metric ton (MT) for nearby shipment and $2 
to $3/mt for June/July. Easing transportation constraints helped lower prices 
in this market, as well as in the rail-delivered PNW market. FOB Gulf values 
are $6/mt higher for May shipment and $4 higher for June/July. 

   "Internationally, merchandisers are reporting some foreign buyers are 
becoming frustrated with DDGS prices remaining high for so long, buoyed by firm 
soybean meal markets. This has led to some weakness in CIF Southeast Asia 
prices, which fell $2/mt this week. Prices for most Asian destinations are 
lower, but product for Myanmar and Bangladesh is steady/higher."


ALL PRICES SUBJECT TO CONFIRMATION             CURRENT        PREVIOUS   CHANGE
COMPANY   STATE                               4/26/2018       4/19/2018
Bartlett and Company, Kansas City, MO (816-753-6300)
          Missouri            Dry                $170           $175       -$5
                              Modified           $85             $90       -$5
CHS, Minneapolis, MN (800-769-1066)
          Illinois            Dry                $175           $175       $0
          Indiana             Dry                $170           $170       $0
          Iowa                Dry                $170           $170       $0
          Michigan            Dry                $170           $180      -$10
          Minnesota           Dry                $160           $165       -$5
          North Dakota        Dry                $165           $170       -$5
          New York            Dry                $170           $175       -$5
          South Dakota        Dry                $160           $165       -$5
MGP Ingredients, Atchison, KS (800-255-0302 Ext. 5253)
          Kansas              Dry                $163           $163       $0
POET Nutrition, Sioux Falls, SD (888-327-8799)
          Indiana             Dry                $170           $170       $0
          Iowa                Dry                $160           $160       $0
          Michigan            Dry                $175           $170       $5
          Minnesota           Dry                $165           $165       $0
          Missouri            Dry                $180           $180       $0
          Ohio                Dry                $170           $170       $0
          South Dakota        Dry                $155           $155       $0
    `              `
United BioEnergy, Wichita, KS (316-616-3521)
          Kansas              Dry                $168           $168       $0
                              Wet                $55             $55       $0
          Illinois            Dry                $175           $175       $0
          Nebraska            Dry                $168           $168       $0
                              Wet                $55             $55       $0
U.S. Commodities, Minneapolis, MN (888-293-1640)
          Illinois            Dry                $175           $175       $0
          Indiana             Dry                $175           $175       $0
          Iowa                Dry                $160           $160       $0
          Michigan            Dry                $170           $170       $0
          Minnesota           Dry                $160           $155       $5
          Nebraska            Dry                $170           $165       $5
          New York            Dry                $180           $180       $0
          North Dakota        Dry                $170           $170       $0
          Ohio                Dry                $170           $170       $0
          South Dakota        Dry                $155           $155       $0
          Wisconsin           Dry                $160           $160       $0
Valero Energy Corp, San Antonio Texas     (210-345-3362)     (210-345-3362)
          Indiana             Dry                $170           $170       $0
          Iowa                Dry                $155           $155       $0
          Minnesota           Dry                $160           $160       $0
          Nebraska            Dry                $170           $170       $0
          Ohio                Dry                $170           $170       $0
          South Dakota        Dry                $165           $165       $0
          California                             $235           $235       $0
Western Milling, Goshen, California (559-302-1074)
          California          Dry                $234           $238       -$4
*Prices listed per ton.
          Weekly Average                         $167           $167       $0
The weekly average prices above reflect only those companies DTN
collects spot prices from. States include: Missouri, Iowa, Nebraska,
Kansas, Illinois, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, Michigan,
Wisconsin and Indiana. Prices for Pennsylvania, New York and
California are not included in the averages.

   **


VALUE OF DDG VS. CORN & SOYBEAN MEAL
Settlement Price:                         Quote Date     Bushel    Short Ton
Corn                                      4/26/2018      $3.8600   $137.86
Soybean Meal                              4/26/2018                $379.20
DDG Weekly Average Spot Price                                      $167.00
DDG Value Relative to:                                   4/26      4/19
                                                         121.14%   122.40%
Soybean Meal                                             44.04%    44.73%
Cost Per Unit of Protein:
DDG                                                      $6.19     $6.19
Soybean Meal                                             $7.98     $7.86
Notes:
Corn and soybean prices take from DTN Market Quotes. DDG price
represents the average spot price from Midwest companies
collected on Thursday afternoons. Soybean meal cost per unit
of protein is cost per ton divided by 47.5. DDG cost per unit
of protein is cost per ton divided by 27.

   Mary Kennedy can be reached at mary.kennedy@dtn.com 

   Follow her on Twitter @MaryCKenn

******************************************************************************
Canadian Pacific Weekend Strike Postponed; U.S. Rivers Still Rising

   Rail shippers in Canada and the U.S. could be heard breathing a sigh of 
relief late Friday evening after the CP announced it had come to what may be 
just a temporary agreement with the two unions that had planned to strike April 
21. If that strike occurs, it will disrupt rail movement in and out of Canada 
and the western U.S. because they rely on service from the CP. 

   The CP announced April 20, "This evening, we reached an agreement with both 
the Teamsters Canada Rail Conference-Train & Engine (TCRC) and the 
International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW), which averts the 
potential work stoppage of 12:01 a.m. ET tomorrow, April 21, 2018. As such, 
CP's embargoes for shipments routing to and from CP Canadian locations has been 
cancelled effective immediately. CP will immediately begin to execute a safe 
and structured start-up of its train operations in Canada."

   However, it does not appear that a strike is completely off the table. The 
Minister of Labor directed the Canadian Industrial Relations Board to 
administer a ratification vote on each of the company's final offers to members 
of the Teamsters Canada Rail Conference (Teamsters) and the IBEW, according to 
the CP.

   According to CBC Canada, Teamsters Canada President Doug Finnson said in a 
statement, "CP succeeded in delaying the inevitable. The government will bring 
this ridiculous offer to our members and we strongly recommend that members 
vote against it. I would like to reassure our members that we have given 
nothing up."

   The Teamsters and the IBEW only agreed to postpone a strike until after the 
vote, but Finnson said, "CP has exhausted all of its possibilities and will 
have to eventually face its workers." Finnson described CP as victims "of their 
own aggressive behavior," with the union charging that Teamsters had filed 
thousands of contract violations grievances and multiple unfair labor practice 
complaints against its employer, according to CBC.

   Until the unions vote and accept an offer by the CP, the threat of a strike 
is still imminent. Stay tuned.

   MISSISSIPPI RIVER AND TRIBUTARIES STILL FLOODING

   Since the end of February, commerce on the Mississippi, Illinois and Ohio 
rivers has been hampered by high water. Heavy rains and snow melt caused 
massive flooding and while there has been some relief, flood warnings have now 
been issued again for parts of the Ohio River at Cairo, Illinois, and the 
Mississippi River at Vicksburg, Mississippi, and all the way in to the Gulf.

   Tom Russell, Russell Marine Group told DTN that, "High water safety 
protocols on the Ohio River and Lower Mississippi River from Cairo to New 
Orleans have been in place since March. As long as extreme rain events do not 
occur, the current forecasts indicate water levels will fall sufficiently to 
lift safety protocols sometime during the second half of May."

   On April 22, The NWS issued a flood warning, saying it continues for the 
Ohio River at Cairo until April 29. At 10 p.m. Sunday, the stage was 43.2 feet. 
Flood Stage is 42 feet. The Forecast is for the river to continue rising to 
near 44.9 feet by early April 27 morning. The river will fall below flood stage 
early April 29.

   Russell said that high water and safety protocols that mandate tow size 
reductions, daylight-only operations and extra tug power remaining in fleets 
have severely stressed the system from St. Louis to New Orleans. "Barge transit 
times from St. Louis to New Orleans have increased by additional five-to-seven 
days. Barge rates spiked due to lack of turn-around time."

   By midweek, barge freight rates did back off, mainly for the next week 
forward, although bids on the nearby were 25% lower versus Monday. A barge line 
noted that the lack of any grain moving was one of the reasons shippers have 
lowered bids. However, by the end of the week, some shippers did buy offers 
that were posted for the rest of April and interest started to pick up for May. 

   Basis along the river was stronger in many spots by April 20, thanks in part 
to cheaper freight, but empties are still slow to return northbound out of the 
Gulf. CIF NOLA bids remained firm, as logistics in the Baton Rouge and New 
Orleans harbors remain backed up and extremely congested. This has been the 
case for more than six weeks. According to the NWS, the flooding will continue 
for at least the next few weeks. 

   On April 21, the NWS issued a continuing flood warning for the Mississippi 
River at Baton Rouge until May 8. NWS said at 9 p.m. Sunday the stage was 37.3 
feet. Flood stage is 35 feet. The forecast is for the river to continue to fall 
to below flood stage by Tuesday afternoon. The impact  is at 36.0 feet, river 
traffic and industrial activity on the river side of the levees will be greatly 
affected. Navigational safety regulations will be strictly enforced. Meanwhile, 
the impact at 35 feet is river islands from Red River Landing downstream to 
Baton Rouge will be inundated.

   Russell said that, "In port, barge deliveries to grain terminals now take 
four to six days. Ships are slow to load due to the conditions and incidents of 
high-water related accidents. Anchorage space has been reduced due to high 
water. An oil spill two weeks ago in New Orleans closed the river for a few 
days. That stoppage caused port gridlock that pilots are still trying to work 
through. Arriving ships are being held off SWP (southwest pass) for one or two 
days, waiting for available anchorage space."

   Farther north, at the head of the Upper Mississippi River corridor in St. 
Paul, Minnesota, the river is expected to rise to 14.3 feet (minor flood stage 
is 14 feet) by April 29. So far, major flooding (17 feet) is not expected, but 
the Twin Cities just experienced their largest April snowfall on record, and 
for the entire month of April as of the 18th, they received 26.1 inches, 
breaking the previous record of 21.8 inches in 1983. Also, since the start of 
2018 the Twin Cities broke another snowfall record, receiving 70.3 inches as of 
April 18.

   As long as the snowmelt remains on a slow pace and no heavy rains show up in 
the next few weeks, we should be in good shape in St. Paul. However, as the 
river fills up in St. Paul, it has to move south, which will only add to the 
already high water still present in the Lower Mississippi River to the Gulf.

   Here's a link to the NWS for all U.S. flood gauges: 
https://water.weather.gov/ahps/forecasts.php

   Mary Kennedy can be reached at mary.kennedy@dtn.com

   Follow Mary Kennedy on Twitter @MaryCKenn

******************************************************************************
DDG Prices Slightly Higher

   OMAHA (DTN) -- The average distillers dried grains (DDG) spot price from the 
39 locations DTN contacted was $167 per ton for the week ended April 19, up $1 
per ton versus a week ago. A few merchandisers did say the market does feel 
like it wants to move lower heading in to May. That will all depend on supply 
availability and feeder demand as we head to warmer temperatures.

   The Energy Information Administration (EIA) reported that ethanol plant 
production continued lower, dropping 25,000 barrels per day (bpd) to 1.009 
million bpd during the week ended April 13. DDG bids were higher in the plants 
where supplies have been tightened by either spring maintenance or slower 
production.

   Based on the average of bids collected by DTN, the value of DDG relative to 
corn for the week ended April 19 was at 122.40%, and the value of DDG relative 
to soybean meal was at 44.73%. The cost per unit of protein for DDG was $6.19, 
compared to the cost per unit of protein for soybean meal at $7.86. Even with 
soymeal prices weaker this week, DDG still remains the best value per unit of 
protein.

   The U.S. Grains Council (USGC) noted in its weekly market price update that, 
"Barge CIF NOLA prices fell this week while FOB NOLA prices decreased as well. 
Logistics issues across the Midwest sent rail-delivered PNW prices $3/metric 
tons (MT) higher and FOB Lethbridge, Alberta values $12/MT higher. Prices for 
product CIF Southeast Asia were steady/higher, rising $2/MT on average. Prices 
for shipments to Taiwan led the way with $4/MT gains, while product for the 
Philippines and Malaysia rose $3/MT." 


ALL PRICES SUBJECT TO CONFIRMATION       CURRENT     PREVIOUS CHANGE
                                                      4/12/
COMPANY   STATE                         4/19/2018      2018
Bartlett and Company, Kansas City, MO (816-753-6300)
          Missouri         Dry             $175        $170     $5
                           Modified        $90         $85      $5
CHS, Minneapolis, MN (800-769-1066)
          Illinois         Dry             $175        $175     $0
          Indiana          Dry             $170        $170     $0
          Iowa             Dry             $170        $170     $0
          Michigan         Dry             $180        $175     $5
          Minnesota        Dry             $165        $165     $0
          North Dakota     Dry             $170        $170     $0
          New York         Dry             $175        $175     $0
          South Dakota     Dry             $165        $165     $0
MGP Ingredients, Atchison, KS (800-255-0302 Ext. 5253)
          Kansas           Dry             $163        $160     $3
POET Nutrition, Sioux Falls, SD (888-327-8799)
          Indiana          Dry             $170        $170     $0
          Iowa             Dry             $160        $155     $5
          Michigan         Dry             $170        $170     $0
          Minnesota        Dry             $165        $160     $5
          Missouri         Dry             $180        $180     $0
          Ohio             Dry             $170        $170     $0
          South Dakota     Dry             $155        $155     $0
    `            `
United BioEnergy, Wichita, KS (316-616-3521)
          Kansas           Dry             $168        $163     $5
                           Wet             $55         $55      $0
          Illinois         Dry             $175        $172     $3
          Nebraska         Dry             $168        $163     $5
                           Wet             $55         $55      $0
U.S. Commodities, Minneapolis, MN (888-293-1640)
          Illinois         Dry             $175        $175     $0
          Indiana          Dry             $175        $175     $0
          Iowa             Dry             $160        $160     $0
          Michigan         Dry             $170        $170     $0
          Minnesota        Dry             $155        $155     $0
          Nebraska         Dry             $165        $165     $0
          New York         Dry             $180        $180     $0
          North Dakota     Dry             $170        $170     $0
          Ohio             Dry             $170        $170     $0
          South Dakota     Dry             $155        $155     $0
          Wisconsin        Dry             $160        $160     $0
Valero Energy Corp, San Antonio Texas (210-345-3362) (210-345-3362)
          Indiana          Dry             $170        $170     $0
          Iowa             Dry             $155        $155     $0
          Minnesota        Dry             $160        $160     $0
          Nebraska         Dry             $170        $170     $0
          Ohio             Dry             $170        $170     $0
          South Dakota     Dry             $165        $165     $0
          California                       $235        $235     $0
Western Milling, Goshen, California (559-302-1074)
          California       Dry             $238        $236     $2
*Prices listed per ton.
          Weekly Average                   $167        $166     $1
The weekly average prices above reflect only those companies DTN
collects spot prices from. States include: Missouri, Iowa, Nebraska,
Kansas, Illinois, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, Michigan,
Wisconsin and Indiana. Prices for Pennsylvania, New York and
California are not included in the averages.

               VALUE OF DDG VS. CORN & SOYBEAN MEAL
                            Settlement Price:      Quote Date                  Bushel     Short Ton
                                         Corn             4/19/2018           $3.8200           $136.43
                                 Soybean Meal             4/19/2018                             $373.30
                DDG Weekly Average Spot Price                                                   $167.00
                       DDG Value Relative to:                             4/19              4/12
                                                                              122.40%           119.56%
                                 Soybean Meal                                  44.73%            43.29%
                    Cost Per Unit of Protein:
                                          DDG                                   $6.19             $6.15
                                 Soybean Meal                                   $7.86             $8.07
Notes:
Corn and soybean prices take from DTN Market Quotes. DDG price
represents the average spot price from Midwest companies
collected on Thursday afternoons. Soybean meal cost per unit
of protein is cost per ton divided by 47.5. DDG cost per unit
of protein is cost per ton divided by 27.

   Mary Kennedy can be reached at mary.kennedy@dtn.com

   Follow her on Twitter @MaryCKenn

******************************************************************************
First Tow, First Saltie of 2018 Shipping Season Arrive in Minnesota

   Spring has yet to arrive in Minnesota. This past weekend, Minnesota broke a 
snowfall record for April, with over 13 to 25 inches falling from the Twin 
Cities to the southern part of the state. Minnesota farmers have yet to get in 
their fields, meaning they have planted zero crops. The Minnesota Twins 
canceled four of their first 10 home games because of snow, Minnesota High 
Schools have shortened their spring sports seasons and not a single one of 
Minnesota's 10,000 Lakes have yet to declare "ice out."

   Finally, on April 11, after cutting through ice on Lake Pepin, the Motor 
Vessel Michael Poindexter, pushing 12 barges, locked through Lock and Dam 2, 
near Hastings, Minnesota, on its way to St. Paul. The St. Paul District 
maintains a 9-foot navigation channel and operates 12 locks and dams to support 
navigation from Minneapolis to Guttenberg, Iowa.

   This was the latest start to the shipping season in the UMR not related to 
flooding. The USACE noted that the earliest date for an up-bound tow to reach 
Lock and Dam 2 was March 4 in 1983, 1984 and 2000. The average start date of 
the navigation season is March 22. The latest arrival date unrelated to 
flooding was April 8, 2013. Historic flooding in 2001 delayed the arrival of 
the first tow until May 11.

   Farther north, up in Duluth, the first saltie (oceangoing ship) of the 2018 
commercial navigation season, the Federal Weser, arrived in the Port of 
Duluth-Superior late on on April 12. Here is a video of the ship arriving in 
the dark, heading under the Duluth aerial lift bridge: 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P5fmtimSpQY. 

   According to a press release by the Duluth Port Authority, the Federal Weser 
was expected to start loading 21,400 metric tons of durum wheat bound for 
Algeria April 16 in the morning at the CHS terminal on the Superior side of the 
harbor. If all goes according to plan, departure could be late April 17 or 
April 18.

   "Some of the world's highest-quality grains move from farmers' fields in 
Minnesota and North Dakota through the Port of Duluth-Superior to customers in 
countries across Europe, North Africa and points beyond," said Kate Ferguson, 
director of business development for the Duluth Seaway Port Authority. "When it 
comes to shipping everything from agricultural products and iron ore to heavy 
equipment and project cargoes, the Port of Duluth-Superior literally links the 
heartland of North America to the world."                                       
        

   The Federal Weser is the first of a half-dozen salties that will make their 
way to the Twin Ports via the Great Lakes St. Lawrence Seaway System during the 
next couple of weeks.

   Meanwhile, as Minnesota digs out of another weekend snowstorm, those of us 
who live here have concluded that our official seasons of 2018 are: winter, 
summer, fall, winter. Spring will not make an appearance this year.

   Mary Kennedy can be reached at mary.kennedy@dtn.com   

   Follow Mary Kennedy on Twitter @MaryCKenn

******************************************************************************
DDG Prices Continue to Move Higher

   OMAHA (DTN) -- The average distillers dried grains (DDG) spot price from the 
39 locations where DTN collected bids was $166 per ton for the week ended April 
12, up $4 per ton versus a week ago. 

   The domestic and export markets continue to strengthen due to tight supplies 
and strong demand. The EIA noted that ethanol plant production fell 4,000 
barrels per day (bpd) on the week to 1.034 million bpd during the week ended 
April 6. 

   A merchandiser told me that the price strength may continue as supplies 
could get tighter with some plants heading in to spring maintenance.

   Based on the average of bids collected by DTN, the value of DDG relative to 
corn for the week ended April 12 was at 119.56%, and the value of DDG relative 
to soybean meal was at 43.29%. The cost per unit of protein for DDG was $6.15, 
compared to the cost per unit of protein for soybean meal at $8.07, keeping DDG 
competitively priced in feed rations. 

   The U.S. Grains Council (USGC) noted in its weekly market price update that, 
"On the export market, FOB NOLA DDGS are $10/metric ton (mt) higher and valued 
at 136% of FOB NOLA corn. The DDGS/corn ratio is at its highest point in at 
least two years as international DDGS demand remains robust. The difference 
between FOB NOLA-Barge CIF NOLA values widened again this week, increasing 
netback to merchandisers with river access, which should keep pulling product 
to the export market. Prices for DDGS CIF Southeast Asia rose $12/mt on average 
this week." 

   The shipping season on the Mississippi River is now 100% open after the 
Motor Vessel Michael Poindexter, pushing 12 barges, locked through Lock and Dam 
2, near Hastings, Minnesota, on its way to St. Paul on Wednesday, April 11, 
after cutting though ice on Lake Pepin. The St. Paul District maintains a 
9-foot navigation channel and operates 12 locks and dams to support navigation 
from Minneapolis, Minnesota to Guttenberg, Iowa. 

   According to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, this was the latest start to 
the shipping season in the Upper Mississippi River not related to flooding.


ALL PRICES SUBJECT TO CONFIRMATION              CURRENT        PREVIOUS  CHANGE
COMPANY    STATE                               4/12/2018       4/5/2018
Bartlett and Company, Kansas City, MO (816-753-6300)
           Missouri            Dry                $170           $170      $0
                               Modified           $85            $85       $0
CHS, Minneapolis, MN (800-769-1066)
           Illinois            Dry                $175           $175      $0
           Indiana             Dry                $170           $165      $5
           Iowa                Dry                $170           $160      $10
           Michigan            Dry                $175           $170      $5
           Minnesota           Dry                $165           $160      $5
           North Dakota        Dry                $170           $165      $5
           New York            Dry                $175           $175      $0
           South Dakota        Dry                $165           $160      $5
MGP Ingredients, Atchison, KS (800-255-0302 Ext. 5253)
           Kansas              Dry                $160           $160      $0
POET Nutrition, Sioux Falls, SD (888-327-8799)
           Indiana             Dry                $170           $165      $5
           Iowa                Dry                $155           $150      $5
           Michigan            Dry                $170           $165      $5
           Minnesota           Dry                $160           $150      $10
           Missouri            Dry                $180           $170      $10
           Ohio                Dry                $170           $165      $5
           South Dakota        Dry                $155           $150      $5
    `               `
United BioEnergy, Wichita, KS (316-616-3521)
           Kansas              Dry                $163           $163      $0
                               Wet                $55            $55       $0
           Illinois            Dry                $172           $172      $0
           Nebraska            Dry                $163           $163      $0
                               Wet                $55            $55       $0
U.S. Commodities, Minneapolis, MN (888-293-1640)
           Illinois            Dry                $175           $170      $5
           Indiana             Dry                $175           $170      $5
           Iowa                Dry                $160           $155      $5
           Michigan            Dry                $170           $165      $5
           Minnesota           Dry                $155           $150      $5
           Nebraska            Dry                $165           $160      $5
           New York            Dry                $180           $175      $5
           North Dakota        Dry                $170           $165      $5
           Ohio                Dry                $170           $165      $5
           South Dakota        Dry                $155           $150      $5
           Wisconsin           Dry                $160           $155      $5
Valero Energy Corp, San Antonio Texas      (210-345-3362)     (210-345-3362)
           Indiana             Dry                $170           $167      $3
           Iowa                Dry                $155           $155      $0
           Minnesota           Dry                $160           $155      $5
           Nebraska            Dry                $170           $155      $15
           Ohio                Dry                $170           $165      $5
           South Dakota        Dry                $165           $165      $0
           California                             $235           $225      $10
Western Milling, Goshen, California (559-302-1074)
           California          Dry                $236           $234      $2
*Prices listed per ton.
           Weekly Average                         $166           $162      $4
The weekly average prices above reflect only those companies DTN
collects spot prices from. States include: Missouri, Iowa, Nebraska,
Kansas, Illinois, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, Michigan,
Wisconsin and Indiana. Prices for Pennsylvania, New York and

   **


VALUE OF DDG VS. CORN & SOYBEAN MEAL
Settlement Price:                         Quote Date     Bushel    Short Ton
Corn                                      4/12/2018      $3.8875   $138.84
Soybean Meal                              4/12/2018      $383.40
DDG Weekly Average Spot Price             $166.00
DDG Value Relative to:                                   4/12      4/5
119.56%                                   116.46%
Soybean Meal                                             43.29%    42.23%
Cost Per Unit of Protein:
DDG                                                      $6.15     $6.00
Soybean Meal                                             $8.07     $8.08
Notes:
Corn and soybean prices take from DTN Market Quotes. DDG price
represents the average spot price from Midwest companies
collected on Thursday afternoons. Soybean meal cost per unit
of protein is cost per ton divided by 47.5. DDG cost per unit
of protein is cost per ton divided by 27.

   Mary Kennedy can be reached at mary.kennedy@dtn.com 

   Follow her on Twitter @MaryCKenn

******************************************************************************
Brazil's Bull Rally in Soybeans

   As USDA reports go, Tuesday's USDA World Agricultural Supply and Demand 
Estimates (WASDE) report was a bit of a sleeper with no major surprises 
revealed. USDA's 550 million bushel estimate of U.S. ending soybean stocks for 
2017-18 seemed a little too bullish to be true, as USDA just showed on March 29 
that U.S. soybean demand was down 6% from a year ago in the first half of 
2017-18. Tuesday's ending stocks estimate means soybean demand will have to be 
up 8% in the second half of the season just to meet USDA's expectations. That 
is a tall order after China just proposed a 25% tariff on U.S. soybeans last 
week.

   As we often point out here at DTN, USDA estimates are one thing and the 
market's own actions are another. But this time around, the two may be closer 
than most suspect, as a variety of soybean prices are showing strong bullish 
behavior in the face of troublesome fundamental concerns.

   The most surprising bullish behavior is coming from Brazil where the FOB 
soybean price traded at $11.83 on Wednesday, just one day after Brazil's 
government agency, CONAB, raised its soybean crop estimate to a record-high 
115.0 million metric tons (4.23 billion bushels). USDA followed with the same 
assessment a few hours later. That $11.83 happens to be the highest such price 
for Brazil since July 2016 and is 43 cents above the FOB price in New Orleans.

   As odd as it is to see a new high price cited along with a record crop 
estimate, USDA's Oilseeds: World Markets and Trade offered some explanation 
Tuesday (https://bit.ly/2hvLUru). USDA reduced its estimate of Brazil's ending 
soybean stocks from an already tight 49 mb (1.325 mmt) to an even tighter 27 mb 
(738,000 mt) for the current 2017-18 local season. In other words, the 
combination of China's insatiable demand and Argentina's drought is squeezing 
nearly every soybean out of Brazil, and the result is an unusual bull market 
rally in Brazil at harvest time.

   If the U.S. and China were more politically at ease, we would normally 
expect China to take advantage of cheaper U.S. prices and buy more soybeans 
from the red, white and blue, but in the current environment, China seems to be 
doing all it can to avoid the U.S. The question may soon become: How big of a 
price difference between the U.S. and Brazil does there have to be for China to 
come back to the U.S. market?

   Since the latest report of weekly U.S. export sales for the week ending 
March 29, USDA has announced 47.5 mb (1.292 mmt) of old-crop soybean sales to 
either China or unknown destinations. Thursday morning's weekly report from 
USDA will show more and promises to be interesting.

   It is possible that China's government already knew the country would soon 
need more soybeans from the U.S. on April 4 when they proposed a 25% tariff on 
U.S. soybeans. It is also fair to wonder if that pressure led China's President 
Xi Jinping to say on April 11 that China would "protect the lawful 
(intellectual property) owned by foreign enterprises in China" ("China's Xi 
announces plans to 'open' China ..." by Everett Rosenfeld and Huileng Tan, 
CNBC.com, April 10, 2018, at https://cnb.cx/2ICkVE3). Protection of 
intellectual property was a key complaint of the U.S., which led to the recent 
spate of increased tariffs, some enacted, but most still proposed.

   In spite of China's reluctance, U.S. soybean prices are also showing bullish 
behavior, especially in the new-crop months when China typically relies on the 
U.S. for soybeans. Wednesday's closing soybean prices showed the November 
contract 7 3/4 cents above the March, a bullish sign of commercial willingness 
to secure new-crop supplies early.

   And commercial firms aren't the only ones interested in securing new-crop 
soybean supplies. On Tuesday and Wednesday, Argentina bought a total of 8.8 
million bushels (240,000 mt) of new-crop soybeans from the U.S. -- rare 
purchases from the world's largest exporter of soybean meal.

   It may be difficult to believe that roughly a week after China's tariff news 
broke, the market for new-crop soybeans is showing this much bullish behavior. 
But as it now stands, the trend in new-crop soybeans is up as the bullish 
evidence is outweighing the market's bearish fears.

   Todd Hultman can be reached at Todd.Hultman@dtn.com

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