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View from the Cab: Cautiously optimistic future

By Kent Casson

The director of exports and logistics for Illinois Corn is cautiously optimistic about the future.

The export program over the past year was not what many had hoped as USDA cut exports which had to do with a big South American crop and tightness in the domestic market which was competing for grain.

“There have been some flash sales coming across in the last few weeks, a lot to Mexico which is positive,” explained Collin Waters at the recent annual meeting of the Illinois Corn Growers Association in Bloomington.

Currently in terms of sales, Waters feels we are sitting pretty well but he is watching actual export movements closely.

“Low water in the river systems has really put a damper on the ability to move grain and that impacts basis and everything else.”

Waters is hopeful for more water in the system, especially on the Ohio River so barges can be fully loaded and get down to New Orleans in good shape.

Brazil had a bumper crop last year but we have seen the market move a bit due to weather issues they have been facing.

“There is a really important window for the Brazilian corn growers to hit (for their second crop),” added Waters.

The U.S. is more competitive in the global market so Waters maintains the optimism that we will see an improvement over the previous year.

Over the past few years, there has been a new emphasis on the Japanese market, especially for ethanol or anything which can add value to the U.S. corn crop. According to Waters, Japan has been forward thinking in recent years with the aviation fuel market.

“The market for ethanol around the world is growing,” explained Waters.

In addition to my visit with Waters, I interviewed numerous guests at the recent Illinois Corn Growers Association annual meeting in Bloomington and will be sharing more with you in the future.

As of this writing, I am trying to warm-up as temperatures have been a bit brisk in the early mornings and now, we are anticipating some rain with milder temperatures returning possibly.

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