A message from the top on the strong start for the US corn crop – “it ain’t over yet”.

Yes, the proportion of US corn rated “good” or “excellent” in the first US Department of Agriculture rating of 2022 was, at 73%, up 1 point year on year, and above mean too. (Over the previous five years, the initial rating averages just shy of 70%.)

It was above the 68% figure expected by investors too – not that this was a surprise to the senior official source that GrainPriceNews bumped in to at the International Grains Council conference in London.

“It has been wet in the right places. There is enough moisture around. That has helped with the early progress,” the source said.

Two paths

However, as to whether the US gets an above-average corn yield this year, there is a way to go yet.

“In the good years, the rating starts high, and just stays there,” the official said.

Say 2016, which was a record-breaking yield year, displayed that pattern.

“But the norm is for a gradual deterioration, an accumulation of errors if you like, as time goes on,” and for the condition reading to slide into harvest.

Whatever, “you can bet that there will a scare sometime in June which will send the market higher”, even if only temporarily.

There will be selling opportunities yet for those believing in the flat-line scenario.