The USDA planned to release the report Jan. 11
By Diego Flammini
The ongoing government shutdown over the dispute about U.S.-Mexican border will leave the ag industry without several important USDA reports.
The ag department will not release the WASDE as originally scheduled on Jan. 11. The Crop Production and Grain Stocks reports will also be delayed “even if funding is restored before that date,” the USDA says.
Despite the report delays, commodity markets may not be affected.
Traders tend to use the USDA’s figures to determine if they made the correct decisions, said Moe Agostino, chief commodity strategist with Farms.com.
“This is the third week of the government shutdown and, if you look at soybeans in particular, we’ve actually seen a bit of a rally since the shutdown started,” he told Farms.com. “Nowadays, the markets get their information from other sources and tend to trade information before government reports come out.
“It feels now like the government numbers are just a confirmation of whether the information reflected in commodity prices was right, wrong or indifferent.”
While commodity markets may continue normal operations, the delayed reports could affect growers’ planting decisions.
The government shutdown “makes it very difficult for producers to decide what they’re going to do for a marketing plan and decide what to do for their acreage allocation,” Ted Seifried, chief market strategist with Zaner Group in Chicago, Ill., told Bloomberg.
Not all USDA services are suspended during the shutdown, however.
The USDA will continue to provide meat, poultry and processed egg inspections, grain and commodity inspections, and honor trade mitigation purchases.